Warhammer 40,000/Tactics/Chaos Space Marines(7E)

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Why Play Chaos Space Marines[edit]

Chaos Space Marines are the main antagonist of the Warhammer 40,000 setting, with the Horus Heresy arguably being the most pivotal moment of 40k's timeline. From a fluff-perspective, a Chaos Space Marine army can be a Warband derived from one of the nine original Traitor Legions, or a more recent group of Marines (or even an entire Chapter) that has gone Renegade, and the fluff for your army is yours to write; besides the normal question of "what god(s) do your Chaos Marines follow?", the backstory of how your former defenders of Humanity fell to Chaos can be every bit as compelling, as well as any driving motivations. After all, while some Chaos Space Marines may be occasional pawns in the grand scheme of the Gods, most of their own motives remain entirely human, whether it's the quest for vengeance in The Long War, carving out pocket empires, or researching forbidden secrets. In many ways, Chaos Space Marines are the Your Dudes army.

From a gameplay perspective, Chaos Space Marines can best be described as "Space Marauders", compensating for a lack of uniform quality with a mix of psychic prowess, close combat saturation, and "troubleshooters" to plug gaps in your battleplan. Unlike some other armies, Chaos Space Marines don't have too many "over-specialized" units, but they have "exotic generalists" that can be adapted to multiple roles in one go. That said, many of their advantages come with corresponding disadvantages. You lack And They Shall Know No Fear, which means you need to keep pressure on your opponent or else when you do falter, you may not properly recover from it. In exchange, you get the option to improve your Leadership beyond Loyalist standards (while most Loyalist Marine squads will be Leadership 8, you can easily have Leadership 10 throughout your army), while Fearless is easily available to units that pay a premium for them. Likewise, you lack a lot of the shiny toys Loyalists get, and notably lack access to Grav Weaponry, Razorbacks, Landspeeders or Vanilla Drop Pods. In exchange, you get a lot of "daemontech" tools, as well as the ability to jury-rig those vehicles you do get with a wide array of options. While the Loyalists can easily get units that will murder your melee units in a straight-up slugfest (if they pay top points for them), your rank-and-file will beat up their rank-and-file most of the time; add in a system where your heroes or unit leaders can receive herohammer buffs (or the chance to transform into Daemon Princes or those-that-must-not-be-named) for beating up your opponents, and Chaos Marines favor a very gung-ho playstyle.

Gameplay Reasons[edit]

  • Herohammer Toybox: Although you don't have a character that has the sheer destructive crunch as Commander Smashfucker, you have a lot of cool relics on hand. Between the Burning Brand of Skalathrax, Black Mace, or Axe of Blind Fury, you can make heroes that are really good at bringing the fight to your foe. Add in a system that randomly buffs (though with its risks; this will be covered) your heroes for kicking ass and taking names, and your characters have a playstyle that can be incredibly fun.
  • Rocking the Psychic Phase - Although you don't have the sheer ability to run Psychic shenanigans as an Eldar or Daemon faction, Chaos Space Marines have a fairly extensive psychic toolbox to work with. Other than Telekinesis (which is generally not considered a power discipline) and Divination (though one artifact does allow you to take it), you have access to most of the base rulebook disciplines, including Telepathy and Malefic Daemonology. Traitor's Hate helped out further by giving Chaos "copypastes" of the Astartes powers from Angel of Death. Unlike the Loyalists, your casters have the option to go up to Mastery Level 3 (or even Mastery Level 4 for one of them). Instead of the Psychic Hood, the Spell Familiar is a fairly cheap upgrade that lets you reroll failed Psychic Tests. So not only can you throw down more Warp Charge than a loyalist army, but you can make each one count for more.
  • Exotic Generalists: Chaos Marines have trouble-shooter units that can plug into multiple different roles at once. The Heldrake blends the line between an aerial interceptor and ground-attack aircraft, potentially doing both at once, while the Obliterator is always guaranteed to have the right gun for the right job, while being able to smash things in a pinch. Even the humble Rhino gets a few tricks up its sleeve in a Chaos army, with additional equipment options letting it deny Overwatch or serve as fire support.
  • Marks and Icons Chaos Gods - Chaos Space Marines can be marked to be stronger, faster, tougher, or trickier than their Loyalist brethren at a cost. Some of these bonuses are costly for what they are, and in several cases Loyalists can arguably do it better, but some of them let you do things other armies can't quite do.
  • Unconventional Alliance opportunities: Chaos Space Marines are one of the only armies (besides Renegades and Heretics or Daemonkin) that is Battle Brothers with Chaos Daemons and Renegade Knights, and this does allow for some unique power combinations between the two. They're also Allies of Convenience with Necrons, and are the only faction that is Allies of Convenience with Orks.
  • Apocalypse - You're better than the loyalists in Apocalypse games because you get fucking Titans and lots of sweet Forgeworld loving in the form of flyers and Daemon Engines. You're part of the Apocalypse Quintet along with the Imperial Guard, Eldar, Orks, and Tyranids, to which all other apocalypse armies are measured against. Be warned, you are comparatively lacking in long ranged heavy artillery, so even in Apocalypse, your dish is best served by getting close to RIP AND TEAR.

Hobby Reasons[edit]

  • Strong Hobby Appeal - Not only the cult squads and regular CSM units, but we also boast some pretty badass looking vehicles. Helbrutes are our fleshy chaos dreadnoughts, and the daemon engines are fucking awesome! On top of those, you also get access to some Crazy Chaos Infused Models like the half organic half mechanical Obliterators, Daemon marines with jump packs called "Warp Talons", Warp Smiths which are Chaos Tech Marines, and Dark Apostles! And how about those Dark Vengeance Chosen?
  • Incredibly diverse and creative conversion options - For those that enjoy kitbashing and converting, you can do so with the help from pretty much any kit from any other race and not give a single fuck about what people say. You can legitimately say: "Dude, i play Chaos, and Chaos can take any form". So long as you don't make a fool out of yourself and pretend that a Lizardman with wheels and spikes instead of legs would make a good Chaos Bike.

Historical Difficulties with Playing Chaos Space Marines[edit]

The Chaos Space Marine codex is the oldest one in current use; the army has generally been considered "middle-to-lower" tier, and a classic online cliche is Ork players and Chaos players arguing who has the worst codex. However, a lot of this perception is tainted by two major factors:

  • When people play a "hard" Chaos Space Marines army, they generally focus on a small list of power units (Heldrakes, Bikers, and...those things) but the actual Marines themselves don't get to see much action. The perception of the relative power of the codex as a whole is colored by the view that "you can make a Chaos Space Marine army work, if it has no Chaos Space Marines in it." What many players also forget is that prior to the current Space Marine codex adding the Battle Demi-Company, the Tactical Marine was seldom seen in competitive games either, and this was with them getting ATSKNF and Chapter Tactics of choice. This was simply because 7th edition missions favor mobility and the ability to rapidly cap and secure objectives, and Space Marines can take Bikes as troops.
    • With Traitor Legions adding "Legion Tactics" and "free" Veterans of the Long War if you adhere to certain army restrictions, one may now actually start seeing more spikey Power on the table. People started drooling with anticipation the moment the Death Guard bonuses were revealed, but most the Legions get some cool bonuses on top of that!
  • The army slots are punishing if you attempt to play a "single CAD", with Elites generally considered overpriced and troops being a "tax." Generally, long-range anti-tank will only be in Heavy Support and "Fast" units will only exist in Fast Attack. Unlike Space Wolves, you don't have access to heavy Thunderwolf lists. Unlike Blood Angels, you do not have a Formation that lets you double up on Fast Attacks. On top of that, your fast attack options are passable, but not great, Heldrake notwithstanding. Some Legions can "shift" this up a bit.

However, one can argue that these issues are holdovers from the beginning of 7th edition, when competitive 40k players and tournament organizers closely to 6th-edition style formats of "One CAD and one non-CAD max." However, the subsequent introduction of Superheavies into standard games of 40k as well as the introduction of super-detachments (starting with the Necron Decurion) resulted in tournament listbuilding restrictions becoming more flexible ("3 detachments instead of two"), and this also reflects in how one can build lists for Chaos. Add the random slew of scattered formations here-and-there that Chaos gets; while many of them are underwhelming if not outright horrible, there are a few which have potential, and one has already given its name to a new tournament build (the Cabalstar).

Otherwise, most of the issues have generally come from Chaos being compared to loyalist Space Marines (and their many variants). Among them are:

  • They Shall Know Fear: Unlike vanilla Space Marines, you don't get "And They Shall Know No Fear." Considering the advantages of ATSKNF are four-fold (Auto-pass Fear checks, immune to being destroyed by sweeping advance, auto-regroup regardless of how many models you have left, and suffer no move/shoot penalties after regrouping), the regular Chaos Marines are in an unenviable position point-for-point. However, it's not all doom and gloom: Unlike the loyalists, you get a fair few options for making your guys Fearless or superior Leadership so you're less likely to fail Morale checks in the first place. Inversely, if you're running MSU units, you don't care too much about trying to rally "that one last" model for any given unit when you can have two more small units in backup. In addition, many of your units have major combat bonuses vs marines, and most CSM are superior in melee to their opposite numbers in the vanilla marines codex, so the old chaos tactic of just not losing melee still works
  • Beggars of the Long War: As a price for Chaos getting access to more consistently powerful Psykers, herohammer blessings, or general "unconventional" power options, they're missing a lot of powerful tools the Loyalists get access to. Most notably, your army lacks Grav Weapons which are considered "the one special weapon to rule them all" for normal Space Marines. However, you can find "analogues" for most of the other tools Marines get that you don't, though you also lack good equivalents for Drop Pods, Razorbacks, Attack Bikes, or flying transports. Forgeworld can potentially mitigate this to some degree if you wish. You'll see other small examples of Chaos technology being more "dated" or second-hand than their Loyalist counterparts, discussed in their individual unit entries.
  • Tactically Inflexible: Chaos Space Marines have no units with the innate ability to Infiltrate or Scout. They don't have any special rules or wargear to get better deployment options, to have better chances of selecting a table edge or to Seize the Initiative, to improve their Reserves rolls or to mitigate scattering from Deep Strike (the Dimensional Key doesn't particularly count). Unlike many armies, they don't get many non-psychic "toolbox" abilities; there is no Combat Tactics/Doctrina/Canticles equivalent, nor do you get stuff like Guard Orders/Acts of Faith.
  • A Bookkeeping Nightmare: Chaos Marines *do* have access to cool formations that can potentially make even subpar units playable and fun (if not exactly competitive). Unfortunately, the rules that allow you to do so are spread out between SIX separate supplements and that's before you consider data slates, Forgeworld or any allies you want! These books usually have one or two good Formations with the rest being underwhelming at best, and paying full price for all of said books so that you can play a decent build will have you spending nearly as much money on paper as you'd be spending on plastic to actually build your army.
    • If you're starting off with Chaos, if you do take a supplement, it should be the Traitor Legions one. It contains the rules from Traitor's Hate, Black Legion, and Wrath of Magnus while adding rules for the other 8 legions on top. Imperial Armour 13/Siege of Vraks are optional at this point now, while you probably won't bother with Crimson Slaughter unless you really want some of their special Relics.

How to counter these cons[edit]

  • Don't try to play CSM like loyalists. Your spikey dudes are sub-par when compared to regular SM point for point. That's a fact. Luckily, you have the option to take hordes of cultists, monstrous daemon princes and FUCKING DRAGONS to go with your bolter-lugging meatheads. Those will provide you with the edge you need.
  • Supplements and the new formations are your (best) buds. They give an opportunity for some really game-changing playlists, that have potential to make a regular CSM army competitive, excruciatingly trolly, while at the same time keeping real to the fluff. They do not fix the fundamental flaws of the Codex, but they offer some really cool special rules. So check them out! (but more about that in the tactics suggestions down below!)
  • Cult units have Fearless and give you better mileage, if you have the points. You can also make them Troops (Plague and Noise Marines, for example, are awesome, if a bit situational).
  • While nowhere near as good as ATSKNF, VotLW is the "budget" upgrade compared over the Icon (Scroll down for more on that), if you can't afford giving units Fearless.
  • Pretty obvious, but do look into Forgeworld if you have the money, as they can help a bunch. Just don't go fielding them in games with people only looking to have fun. Chaos players are usually not associated to that guy.
    • Also, FW threw you a bone in the form of an updated Renegades and Heretics list that also counts as BB. They're... alright, but don't rely on their infantry for anything other than fodder. They do throw down with fucking tonnes of armoured support, though.
  • Allies give you some breathing room when building an army. You have access to Necrons and Orks as allies of convenience (in fact, you are the *only* army that treats Orks as anything better than Desperate), and are the only army that is Blood Brothers with Daemons (DUH) and Renegade Knights.
  • UNBOUND BITCHES: prepare yourself for 6 squads of Obliterators and a Flying Daemon Circus.

Special Rules[edit]

Legions of Chaos[edit]

As of Traitor Legions, you now have the option to run your Spikey Marines as veterans from one of the original 9 Traitor Legions! Whether you want your army to evoke battlecries of "BLOOD FOR THE BLOOD GOD!", "IRON WITHIN! IRON WITHOUT!", or any of the other ones, this is now an option for you, the aspiring Chaos Warmaster! The individual Legion entries are detailed near the end, with each Legion having certain restrictions in exchange for certain bonuses. Note that any detachment may be a Legion detachment if it adheres to the restrictions of said Legion and detachment in question. For example, you could run a Chaos Warband as a Black Legion Detachment despite the Black Legion Speartip not having the Chaos Warband as a core, as long as you didn't have any Special Characters besides Abaddon. However, you could not run a Black Legion Warband as a Death Guard Detachment, for that formation has the restriction "This is a Black Legion Detachment." Note: Unlike Codex: Space Marines, the Legion rules are strictly optional. You don't have to field a Chaos Space Marine Detachment as a Legion, and in fact, you cannot field it as one should you wish to take certain Special Characters including Bela'kor, Cypher, Fabius Bile or Huron. That said, the bonuses offered by adhering to a Legion generally outweigh the restrictions by a considerable margin, while free Veterans of the Long War adds up!

Warlord Traits[edit]

  1. Black Crusader - All units within 12" gain Preferred Enemy (Space Marines). Since this applies to shooting as well as melee, this is worth keeping if you're facing Marines. It's useless otherwise. Abaddon starts with this one.
  2. Flames of Spite - Melee weapons get Soulblaze. Terrible even for a mob-killer HQ, and far worse on a challenge-oriented HQ.
  3. Master of Deception - D3 infantry units can Infiltrate. Excellent trait, but still not much compared to TACTICAL GENIUS. Huron and Ahriman have this by default.
  4. Hatred Incarnate - Hatred for the warlord and his unit. Kharn, appropriately, comes with this.
  5. Lord of Terror - Fear is shit, feel sorry for rolling this. Typhus has this by default, poor sod.
  6. Exalted Champion - A re-roll on the Rewards Table is something you absolutely need to take. Seriously, this can be the difference between living with a mediocre boost and becoming... gribbly.

Two of the Warlord Traits are effectively useless, while another one will be useless depending on what army you face, and whether you're running a Black Crusade or not. If you're running a Black Crusade, and come up against an Imperial army, Hatred Incarnate will do nothing as you already Hate them. If you're not up against a Space Marine army, Black Crusader will be useless. And if you're not running a Black Crusade, Exalted Champion will be mostly useless since you won't get the free rolls with Path to Glory. If you do face a Marine army, you have a fair chance of getting something usable though Strategic is going to be a safe option too.

Wing Leader Traits[edit]

In Skies of Death, one Heldrake in a Flyerwing is automatically upgraded to a Wing Leader and gets to make a pre-game roll for one of three bonuses.

  1. Warp Fury - The Heldrake gets infinite-use Daemonforge. This is nice.
  2. Fueled By Murder - If the Heldrake's attack causes an enemy model to be removed as a casualty, its ranged weapon is twin-linked in the next Shooting Phase. All it takes is one Vector Strike and you're basically twin-linked for most of the game after.
  3. Icon of Slaughter - Add 1 to the Pursuit value for the Wing Leader and all models from this Flyer Wing during the Dogfight Phase. Ehhhh.

Fighter Ace Traits[edit]

This preceded Skies of Death. In Death From The Skies, you now have a bonus rule allowing you to pay 35 points for one of 3 special traits for any Flyer or FMC (FGC is still debatable).

  1. Arcane Targeting System - +1 BS. Useless if your Heldrake is packing a Baleflamer, and usually useless on a Daemon Prince. Handy if you take a Hades Autocannon Heldrake.
  2. Terror of the Skies - Re-rolls To Wound and penetrate when Vector Striking. Not a bad one, by far.
  3. Lord of Chaos - Fellow Chaos Marines within 12" gain Relentless. Enjoy toting along fucking rockets and super-dakka cultists like nobody's business.

Tactical Objectives[edit]

Added in the new Traitor's Hate book, you get a full deck of tactical objectives with the first 6 being CSM-oriented.

11. Glorious Carnage
1 VP if you completely destroy an enemy unit in your turn.
12. The Warp is Your ally
1 VP if you successfully manifested a psychic power.
13. The Will of Chaos
Roll a dice upon generating this card. Score 1 VP if you control the objective corresponding to that roll at the end of your turn.
14. The Gaze of the Gods
1 VP if a character rolls on the Chaos boon table. D3 VP if 3 or more characters roll on the boon table.
15. Claim and Despoil
D3 VP if you steal an objective an enemy unit was holding.
16. Rise to Glory
1 VP if your warlord rolled Unworthy Offering or Spawnhood on the boon table. D3+3 VP if your Warlord wins looses the Chaos lottery and becomes a Daemon Prince. D3 VP if you roll any other result on the Boon table for your warlord.

Chaos Boons[edit]

Chaos Boons are a power lottery with the potential to buff your heroes to epic proportions or to backfire horribly and turn them into things which must not be named. The most common way to trigger rolls on this table is through the Champion of Chaos special rule (covered below), but it can also be triggered through the Boon of Mutation psyker power, the Gift of Mutation upgrade, or through the Path to Glory effect from the Black Crusade detachment. Note that you cannot gain the same Boon multiple times; treat all such subsequent rolls as "Nothing."

      • Important Note: On Pg. 29, going by RAW: -The Champion that turns into a Spawn or Daemon Prince is considered a separate, non-scoring unit. Let me repeat that. Non. Scoring. Now that 7th edition allows any units to score objectives, this can be a detrimental flaw. If you thought Failbadon turning into that... Thing, or a Daemon Prince was bad, having him being non-scoring makes him even more of a failure..
    • 11-16 - Nothing. The anticlimax is real.
    • 21-22 - Replace model with Chaos Spawn-ARRGHNNNGNHWNHBLENNLNHELH. You don't want this to happen to any tooled-up HQ you have, though it's not necessarily the end of the world if it happens to a rank-and-file Champion for some reason. Note that a Champion that becomes one of...those things retains its Mark, despite losing everything else.
    • 23 - +1 Attack.
    • 24 - Eternal Warrior. Nice on an HQ, pointless on single-wound models.
    • 25 - +1 Strength. Enjoy your S10 powerfist.
    • 26 - +1 BS.
    • 31 - +1 Initiative.
    • 32 - Return to full wounds, or gain +1 Wound if unwounded.
    • 33 - +1 Toughness.
    • 34 - Shrouded.
    • 35 - Armour Save improves by 1 to a maximum of 2+. Nice, especially as Chaos doesn't get artificer armor.
    • 36 - Melee weapon has Fleshbane
    • 41 - Passing a Deny the Witch roll makes enemy Psyker take a Str 6 AP 2 hit.
    • 42 - Re-roll failed armor saves.
    • 43 - Melee attacks are Poisoned (4+)
    • 44 - Crusader
    • 45 - Hammer of Wrath
    • 46 - Icy Aura (enemy models in base contact take a Str 4 AP 5 hit at Initiative Step 1)
    • 51 - Adamantium Will.
    • 52 - A ranged weapon has +1 Strength. Nice if your Warlord has a Burning Brand or another cool ranged weapon, but pointless otherwise.
    • 53 - Hatred (EVERYTHING! ALL THE TIME!).
    • 54 - Shred.
    • 55 - Melee attacks have instant death.
    • 56 - +1 WS.
    • 61 - Stubborn. Yeah, that's great to have, seeing as how most of your dueling HQs have FEARLESS.
    • 62 - Fleet
    • 63 - Feel No Pain
    • 64 - Roll another d3+1 on this table (re-rolling Spawnhood and Daemon Prince results)
    • 65-66 - Replace this model with a Daemon Prince with Power Armor.

Champion of Chaos[edit]

Barring the Daemon Prince or any "vehicle characters" (which only show up in certain formations), all your Characters (be they your HQs or your Champions) have this rule. The downside is that in any assault where at least one character with this rule is engaged, at least one of your Champion of Chaos characters must issue a challenge, while if your opponent can issue a challenge and at least one of your characters with this rule is eligible to accept, one of those characters must accept. 7th edition helped in that wounds from a challenge may now "spill over" to the rest of an enemy unit, but this effectively means that if you want to tool out a squad for close combat, you better give at least one of your characters some decent protection/a Sigil of Corruption for you won't have access to Look Out Sir. The "good news" (though this can be relative) is that if your character's attack is part of an attack that directly kills an enemy Character, you get to roll on the aforementioned Chaos Boon table.

Veterans of the Long War[edit]

Remember when Chaos Space Marines were more than just Space Marines with spikes? (Pepperidge Farm remembers) We do and Phil Kelly sure does. Those 10,000 year old pissed-off motherfuckers we know and love from the 3.5 codex are back (although in limited numbers). Units with this rule gain +1Ld and Hatred (Space Marines) - this includes ALL units from ALL the different Space Marines codices, including the Grey Knights & Deathwatch. This upgrade is pricey however, and when you do take it, you end up costing the same as your Loyalist brethren, while lacking a lot of the benefits they get for the cost. However, taken on critical units (these will be noted accordingly), this is a lifesaver. Note that if you're running Black Legion with the supplement, you have to buy this for every unit you take that can (for extra dosage of fluffiness, if not usefulness). No ifs, ands or buts. Note too, that all modifiers are cumulative, so the leadership bonus can cancel out penalties imposed on your Ld10 HQs. Cypher is the most obvious mention here, but there are any number of attacks on leadership that having an effective leadership 11 will protect you from (Your leadership cannot go beyond 10, so Cypher and anyone else's would cancel Veterans of the Long War if the model already has LD 10).


Once per game, a vehicle with this rule may re-roll armor penetration and to-wound results. However, the owner must in the end of that phase roll a D6 and on a 1, the vehicle loses a hull point with no saves. Defilers, Forgefiends, Heldrakes and Maulerfiends have this.

Infernal Relic (Forge World)[edit]

You cannot have more than one of vehicles with this rule in your primary detachment (and zero in allied), unless you have an Technomancer in this detachment. Any Warpsmith, Sorcerer with at least one Malefic power or Abaddon himself can be made a Technomancer for free, and as a nice bonus gain an immunity to being nommed by possessed transports.

Armory of Chaos[edit]

Remember a time when you had to flip back and forth between a wargear page and your unit entries? Peppridge Farm /tg/ remembers, and 3.5 was awesome because of it. Well guess what's back? Yeah, that's right - one BIG inventory section to pick your wargear from. Here are all the goodies the Dark gods are willing to let you work with. Sadly, there's some dead weight intermixed with otherwise generic items, and the retarded awesomeness of the Kai Gun is missing. What can we say? This isn't 3E and it's not like those days will be coming back any time soon. Just enjoy the fact it's better than what the last codex was...

Melee Weapons[edit]

Nothing too unique here. These are for Aspiring Champion models in pretty much any of the squads that have champs and any models who say they can take wargear from this list (Not Terminator Champions - they have their own list).

You can replace either the model's bolt pistol or CCW with one of theses, or replace BOTH the pistol and the CCW with two. So you can have two fists or two chain axes for that awesome factor you were aiming for. Knock yourself out.

  • Power Weapons: There are four flavors to enjoy: sword, maul, axe, and lance.
    • The sword is AP3, but is otherwise a standard melee weapon (importantly, it doesn't mess with your initiative). However, since it's the same price as the lightning claws, you probably want to take that instead, as those bad boys come with Shred (allowing you to reroll To Wound), but unlike the claw it isn't a specialist weapon.
    • The maul adds +2S and AP4, meaning it's a fair bit nicer than the chainaxe, albeit at a slightly higher price. It also comes with Concussive; enemies that take a wound from it are knocked down to I1 for the next turn. These are good for monsterous creature hunting and killing Necrons and Tau.
    • The axe adds +1S and AP2, but it's Unwieldy (which brings you down to I1); in other words, it's a weaker power fist. Only take one if you can't afford a fist, or want the extra attack.
    • Lastly, the children of the Dark Gods get their hands on the (all-new this edition) power lance, which is AP3 and +1S on the charge, and AP4/model's strength otherwise. It's fairly decent (especially combined with a Dirge Caster-carrying Rhino), but good luck finding one. It literally can't be found on any Chaos sprues - so if you want to use it you'll have to improvise.
  • Lightning Claws: You get AP3 and Shred (which lets you reroll To Wound). If you're taking one claw, you should take a second one or a power fist, since both claw and fist are now Specialist Weapons and thus you get +1A when taken together. The lightning claw is almost always superior to the power sword, especially so if the bearer has 3+ attacks. The only potential downside is that you won't get the extra attack from having a melee weapon and a pistol, but seeing as how lightning claws are particularly good against tougher opponents (and you should be slaughtering low-Toughness models anyway), you should probably just take these.
  • Chain Axe: It's a basic melee weapon, except it has AP 4. Berzerker squads get these for only 3 points per model, instead of 8. Since you probably won't have too many Berzerkers, you should probably take them (arguably, they should have been included standard, but that's not an argument for here). Not taking them would probably make Khorne a bit disgruntled. Note that they aren't good enough to chop up Marines; you need real power weapons for that, so don't rely too heavily on these, especially given that power weapons are only a few points more.
  • Plague Knife: The other cult weapon. Poisoned CCWs that Plague Marines get as stock wargear.
  • Power Fist: Just the same as any other codex: double the strength, but I1. If you're stuck but you want to spend some points on melee weapons, this is a good choice. Also, as stated above, both these and the Lightning Claws are Specialist Weapons, so you get +1A if you have one of each.

Ranged Weapons[edit]

Like the melee list, these are for all the Champions who aren't wearing terminator armor (see list below for their options) and any of the units who specifically say they can take items from this list:

  • Combi-Bolter: A Twin-Linked Bolter. Simple enough. Rapid fire at 12 inches makes this a twin linked storm bolter. Have fun.
  • Combi-Flamer/-Melta/-Plasma: A Boltgun with a built in Meltagun, Plasma Gun, or Flamer. The secondary weapon gets a single shot per game. Useful, but use it wisely.
  • Plasma Pistol: Self explanatory. Too bad GW still hasn't realized that it isn't worth 15 points for a weapon that has a chance to explode and kill you.

Terminator Weapons[edit]

This is for Terminator Champions and any units that say they can take from this list (Termie Lords, Sorcerers, etc).

You can replace the Combi-Bolter and/or your standard power weapon with any of these, the only exception being you can't swap out your standard power weapon for a Combi-Weapon. Bear in mind, if you replace the terminator's Combi-Bolter for another close combat weapon it will not be able to shoot (duh?).

  • Combi-Weapon: Not a terrible choice but not one of the best. Deep Striking 3 man Termicide squads with 3 Combi-Plasmas/Meltas can be a great diversionary tactic.
  • Power Weapon: Because dual-wielding Power weapons makes you look cool. Not much else besides unless you really care about being able to shoot things and Overwatch.
  • Lightning Claw: You want a lightning claw? If you do, take either another one or a power fist for your other hand. That way you don't have to strike at I1 with the fist if it is too risky.
  • Power Fist: It's a power fist. If you want to, take a second fist for your other hand so you can live out your boxing match fantasies with "Papa Smurf" Marneus Calgar. If not, make sure to take a claw with your fist.
  • Chain Fist It's a power fist that wrecks vehicles even harder. Take it if you you like chainsaws and fisting things.

Possibly the best choice is claw + chain/power fist, because due to the wording of the Specialist Weapon rule you get an extra attack for a pair of any specialist CCW - not necessarily the same ones.

Special Issue Wargear[edit]

These are for any of the units who say they can take wargear from this list. Usually just Chaos Lords and Sorcerers.

  • Jump Packs: Makes you jump Infantry. Group your Chaos Lord or Sorcerer with some Raptors and let him follow his dreams.
  • Blight Grenades: Diseased heads that counts as both assault and defensive grenades, they have lost the 8" Stealth rule but now they can cause Blind if the Roll to Hit succeeds! Between these and Fearless, Nurglite Chaos Lords are excellent for leading units of lesser troops. Plague Marines get these by default!
  • Melta Bombs: Melta Bombs, good for exploding things made of metal or flesh.
  • Sigil of Corruption: A 4++ save. This can be further improved with Mark Of Tzeentch to give a model a 3++ save, since we don't get Storm Shields. Dark Apostles get these as part of their starting wargear.
  • Chaos Bike: It's a bike. It comes with a twin-linked bolter. It gives you all those bike special rules like Jink. Make your Chaos Lord Doomrider or something. Arguably, the TL bolter you get with the bike counts as a weapon, so you can exchange it for something flashier (such as the Burning Brand). Just remember that you need to WYSIWYG it so you don't get punched in the face.
  • Combat Drugs (Traitor Legions): Used by any detachment that is an Emperor's Children Army, every unit with the Mark of Slaanesh can roll on the Combat Drugs table. D6 for a stat boost.
    • 1: +1WS. Could make the difference between an enemy unit hitting you on 5+, but don't bet on it.
    • 2: +1BS. Irrelevant if you took a combi-bolter since you're BS5. Very relevant on just about anything else. Don't forget your BS6 re-rolls.
    • 3: +1I. You're already I5/6 due to Mark of Slaanesh, but could help when going up against Eldar/Dark Eldar/Harlequins.
    • 4: +1S. This is pretty good. Since it applies at base, you could very well become S10 with a Power Fist.
    • 5: +1T. Pretty damn good. Best result you could hope for. If you roll this while your warlord is on a bike, laugh as you now best the Nurgle Bike Lord with FnP 4+ and T6. Even T5 and FnP 4+ is ridiculously tough to shift. Slaanesh armies are the best Chaos Space Marine army, which is ironic considering what happened to Slaanesh in Age of Sigmar.
    • 6: +1A. Extra attack is mediocre unless you forgot to take a second Specialist weapon.

Marks of Chaos[edit]

Marks of Chaos have changed in the new codex and give everyone the same bonuses, with the added change of giving access to the corresponding god's psychic powers; their cost will also vary depending on said model/unit. Marks will also color a unit's access to some wargear.

  • Khorne: Bestows Rage and Counter-Attack. Daemon Princes of Khorne gain Furious Charge and Hatred (Slaanesh). Being the cheapest Mark (at least for most units), it's probably one of the least useful, because it only lasts on the charge and then you lose the bonuses in all subsequent rounds. It's somewhat powerful for the first round if you get the charge, and can help if you fuck up your positioning and get charged yourself. This is especially true of a mob of Cultists, who can get an absolutely rapetastic amount of attacks with this baby even if they get charged, instead of drowning some unlucky sod under piles of dead chaos-worshiping corpses come the assault phase. Not as good on actual space marines. Terminators jumping out of a land raider can get a lot of mileage out of it - and so can any atacker who ignores the charged unit's armour save (characters, chosen mutilators etc). The Icon of Wrath that goes with it can be useful.
  • Nurgle: Bestows +1T and forces psykers to roll on Nurgle powers. Daemon Princes of Nurgle gain Shrouded, Slow and Purposeful and Hatred (Tzeentch). This is quite nice for most units, giving you a bit more protection from small-arms fire and largely eliminates the chance of Instant Death for multi-wound models, and while it doesn't directly make your dudes as killy as the Mark of Khorne, it often negates some of the casualties they may have taken while footslogging accross the field and catching overwatch bolter fire.
  • Slaanesh: Bestows +1I and forces psykers to roll on Slaanesh powers. Daemon Princes of Slaneesh gain Fleet, Rending (pretty useless, since they're already AP2 thanks to Smash), +3 inches to every run move, and Hatred (Khorne). Although +1I doesn't seem that great, it means that you'll be hitting before the Loyalist scum and thus won't take as many wounds back. Units Marked with Slaanesh now also grant Eldar the USR Hatred(Slaanesh), while at the same time forcing them to suffer a -1Ld penalty against Fear. Now, I know what you're saying, "But unless your Slaaneshi unit is composed of Daemons OR Raptors, they don't have Fear so Eldar wouldn't suffer from -1Ld fear penalty". That's why Telepathy exists. Both Chaos Marine Sorcs AND Slaanesh Daemons with access to psychic powers can roll on Telepathy. Get a 3 and all of a sudden your ENTIRE ARMY scares the panzy little space elfs. The nerf to Runes of Warding means that they can stall you for a turn, but in the end they'll just have to sit back and let it happen. Run your Slaaneshi warband as Crimson Slaughter for maximum Space Elf trolling (Free Fear on your whole army FTW!)
  • Tzeentch: This Mark is largely inadequate, for a few reasons. Firstly, it's usually at the upper end of price of all Marks. The only benefit is +1 to invulnerable save (which means a 6++ if the model doesn't already have one). Oh, and forced access to Tzeentch's Discipline, which is pretty terrible. Importantly, giving this Mark to a Sorcerer does not upgrade his mastery level or let him take more psychic powers, so Mastery Level 1 Sorcerers are gonna be stuck with whatever shitty power they rolled on Tzeentch's discipline (this is a particularly big issue for Thousand Sons Aspiring Sorcerers). Now, the bonus to invulnerable save CAN certainly be nice IF you already have Terminator armour or a Sigil of Corruption, because it DOES stack with both of them, making Terminators, Obliterators and certain Lords more likely to not die when they are inevitably hit with plasma/grav/D weapons. Daemon Princes of Tzeentch have it slightly better, as they re-roll saves of 1 and gain Hatred (Nurgle), which is a fairly nice benefit, but again, if he's gonna be a psyker, you're gonna have to take at least one Tzeentch's power.

Icons of Chaos[edit]

Icons are now issued to an individual model in a unit, and provide the whole squad with specific benefits. As it's a flat cost per unit, icons are more points-efficient the more models there are in said unit. Note that squads with a specific mark are limited to taking icons respective to their mark. Also note that ALL icons also add an additional 1 to assault results.

  • Icon of Wrath: Limited to units with the Mark of Khorne, this Icon grants Furious Charge and allows the unit to re-roll charge distances. This makes the unit, essentially, a squad of mini-'Zerkers. If you're going to spend the points to give them the Mark of Khorne, you might as well go all the way and give them the Icon as well, especially since re-rolling charge distances is such great utility.
  • Icon of Flame: This Icon is limited to units with the Mark of Tzeentch, not that it matters, because you won't take it, because it gives Soulblaze to bolt weapons (and only bolt weapons) in the unit, and Soulblaze almost always sucks.
  • Icon of Despair: This Icon is only for units with the Mark of Nurgle, but again, it doesn't really matter, since it bestows Fear, which, in a game dominated by Space Marines who Know No Fear, isn't useful. If you know you're going up against an army like Imperial Guard that has low Leadership across the board, it might be worth it, but even then, Fear is still less than useful especially when you can run your guys as Crimson Slaughter and use the points on more useful upgrades.
  • Icon of Excess: Finally, an Icon that's unequivocally good! The Icon of Excess is only for units with the Mark of Slaanesh, which is a shame, since it grants Feel No Pain, thereby making units with the Icon nearly impossible to crack without a sustained effort. It's especially nice with Havocs and Noise Marines. However, beware of going too crazy with them (although that is the Slaaneshi way...), as it's by far the most expensive of the Icons.
  • Icon of Vengeance: This last Icon doesn't have a Mark requirement, as it's generically Long War-themed. It grants Fearless, and that is a very, very good thing, as it compensates for the Chaos Marine lack of And They Shall Know No Fear (arguably, it even does it one better), and it's economical on squads with more than 10 models (which is what Chaos excels at, after all).

Chaos Rewards[edit]

Chaos rewards are god-specific steeds, buffs and gimmicks. Reserved for certain models such as Chaos Lords and Sorcerers, whose entries specifically state what they can take from this list:

  • Ichor Blood: Any time the model with this fails to save a wound, the unit who inflicted the wound takes a S3 AP4 hit. Marginally useful against anything with T3 and shitty armour saves (if you remember that you bought this unuseful upgrade), but ultimately stupid. Phil Kelly apparently forgot he wasn't writing the Tyranid codex.
  • Gift of Mutation: A free roll on the Boon Table before the game starts for 10 points. Ignore Prince and Spawn rolls. Not too bad, but can end up being a point sink that gives nothing in return. Would have been marginally better in a Chaos Warband, due to "buy one get one free" - except it doesn't work. Favored sons specifies that you get two rolls when you kill a character, and only then.
  • Aura of Dark Glory: A cheap 5++ save. Although nice, it's overshadowed by the Sigil of Corruption in Special Issue Wargear, which is slightly more expensive but gives you a 4++ save. However, it is recommended for the Warpsmith, who can't take Special Issue Wargear.
    • Note: Thousand Sons come with this standard, combined with the Mark of Tzeentch to give them a crunch-explained 4++ save.
  • Combat Familiar: A little Daemon munchkin who fights with his master. Counts as being on the same base as the model it was bought for. Adds two S4 AP- attacks in Assault. Whoop-de-doo - looks like Phillipus forgot he was writing CSM and not Orks. Pass.
  • Spell Familiar: Lets you flat-out reroll failed Psychic tests. At 15 points, this is an auto-take for your Sorcerers. Curiously enough, any HQ can take this, though it would only matter if you're fooling around with Daemon Princes or the Scrolls of Magnus.

Then we have our Steeds. As before, the only models who can take a steed are Lords or Sorcerers without Terminator Armor. These really should have had their own separate section in the armoury...

  • Juggernaut of Khorne: Hey, it got it's own model, right? Really though, it's a pretty good choice if you don't want your head honcho to be a Terminator Lord. The Juggernaut gives +1T, +1 Wound, and +1 Attack AND the model becomes cavalry. Give the Lord any of those new crazy new daemon weapons and bring glorious slaughter to your enemies in the name of Khorne.
  • Disc of Tzeentch: Basically a Jetbike that grants your HQ an extra melee attack. At 10 points more than a regular Bike, and lacking the twin-linked Bolters they normally get, you better have a good reason to use this. The real issue with the Disc of Tzeentch is there really isn't a good unit to join a character to, that it can fully take advantage of the extra Jetbike rules. You "could" make the case for using the Disc for a "Gunship" Sorcerer but Daemon Allies do that better.
  • Palanquin of Nurgle: +2 Wounds, +1 attack and you become Very Bulky. The problem with this upgrade is that your character does not gain any movement bonuses from it, and it requires the Mark of Nurgle, effectively making this combo a 60-point investment base. There are a few edge-cases to argue for taking this mount though; the first one is if you're trying to build a deathstar (why?) with Chaos, as a Lord with this and some source of Eternal Warrior would be admittedly tough to kill. The second case would be if you want to experiment with Daemonology; since Perils of the Warp has a 66% chance of outright wounding a Psyker with no defense whatsoever, and so doubling the wounds of your Sorcerer is one potential workaround.
  • Steed of Slaanesh: More special rules than the rest of the steeds. This one gives you +1 attack & Acute Senses, lets you move an extra 3", you become Cavalry and it gives you and the unit you join Outflanking. If for some reason you're running an infantry-heavy Chaos build, and were planning to take a Sorcerer anyway, this may actually be useful for a late-game Objective grab.
    • Alternative Option: Raptors or Bikes. They're as fast like the Lord, and you can buy some Meltas on them + Combi-Meltas on their Champion and even the Lord himself. You can enter most likely on the side you want, move 12" and blow up some vehicles. This is not worth it if you're not willing to commit to a full squad with such upgrades, as it usually repays itself if you manage to survive a few turns and get into melee, but if you like those units and want a safe way to bring them where you need them, this is worth considering.

Artefacts of Chaos[edit]

This is where you find your Daemon weapons and other cool Chaos-y stuff. You're only allowed one of each per army. The Axe of Blind Fury and Black Mace are Daemon weapons, which just like before, add +D6 attacks, but a roll of 1 automatically wounds the model with no armor or cover saves (although you can still take Invulnerable saves) and reduces him to WS1 for one fighting sub-phase. Note that these weapons are not restricted to just Chaos Lords - but to any model that can take wargear from the Artefacts of Chaos list. Also keep in mind that a model who ascends to Daemonhood loses all wargear and rules, so if you take one of these and ascend during the game you don't get to keep your toy.

Among your chief weapons are:

  • The Murder Sword: Take a Power Sword. Make it cost twice as much, and make it cost an extra 5 on top of that. In exchange, you get to nominate **one** enemy character, and while you're in base-to-base contact with that character (presumably due to a Challenge), it becomes double-strength, AP 1, and causes Instant Death. The problem with this one is simple: It requires too many variables to go off for it to work as planned, the really powerful characters out there tend to have some form of Eternal Warrior, and for 5 points more, you can run the "Power Fist/Lightning Claw" combo, granting your Champion far more versatility and more deadliness against a far wider variety of targets.
  • The Black Mace: Notably, this not a Maul in that it does not add bonus Strength nor does it grant Concussive. However, the Black Mace is a Daemon Weapon with Fleshbane, AP4, and a nifty special rule: Cursed: When The Black Mace causes an unsaved wound, the model who took it must immediately make a Toughness test (6s automatically fail) or be Removed From Play. No ifs, ands, or buts. Not only that, at the end of any phase where the weapon has caused at least one wound, all non-vehicle enemy models nearby the Mace must also take a Toughness Test or take a wound with no saves of any kind allowed. If you're looking for a monster-killer, or a way to mulch through tarpits, this is up there, and if you can get Enfeeble (or run a Prince with Grotti The Nurgling) nearby, this thing goes from "scary" to having the effect of a localized black hole...assuming the Prince survives any retaliatory attacks that is. Alas, it does not benefit from Vector Strike.
  • Axe of Blind Fury: This toy is reserved for those with Mark of Khorne. Adds +2 Strength at AP2 and gives the Rage USR (even though Mark of Khorne already gave you Rage, Daemon Princes of Khorne will benefit from it). Really nice, but it lowers your WS and BS by 1 which is a bit of a bummer. Still, A Chaos Lord or Apostle with this can go nuts. Thanks to the latest FAQ, Daemon Prince of Khorne can take the Axe of Blind Fury, and good dark gods, he is MASSIVELY brutal with this toy: fucking 7+D6 S9 AP2 WS8 attacks on the charge. Alternatively, give it to a Juggernaut Lord and enjoy the bloodshed. He'll cost a measly 145 pts (170 if you give a Sigil) and destroy many things as long as you can keep him alive (blob of Cultists or Spaw-GLALBBRBRBRBRLL) and out of Challenges by having random Aspiring Champions step up.
  • Burning Brand of Skalathrax: S4 AP3 Assault 1. This is the very Flamer that Kharn himself used to fragment the World Eaters from a unified force to numerous fragmented warbands in the Skalathrax Incident. It's basically an AP 3 Torrent flamer with Soul Blaze. The Soul Blaze is "cute" but Torrent and AP 3 take this artifact over the top. This is a really nice artifact, and a good one to "make points for" generally. Whether you use it for a Daemon Prince to act as a pseudo-Heldrake (Vector Strike an enemy, burn another enemy), you use it to make a "tax HQ" more dangerous (if you just want to pop a Lord in a Rhino, this is a good way to make him a contributing fighter), or you want to toss it in a Terminator Annihilation Force so you can "double-tap" it on the way down, this is a really nice artifact for its cost.
  • Scrolls of Magnus: Big scroll of spells reserved for the mortal followers of Tzeentch (alas, a Prince cannot take it), so put on your robe and wizard hat. At the start of every turn, your character may elect to take a S3 AP 1 hit to roll for a random power; you roll one die to see which discipline you roll on (Pyromancy, Biomancy, Telepathy, Tzeentch, Telekinesis, or Divination), and you roll another die to see what power you actually get. If the bearer of the Scrolls of Magnus was not already a Psyker when generating a power, the character becomes an ML 1 Psyker, so you can have a spell-slinging fighting Lord. If you roll a power you already have, you start the whole process over.
    • The Bad: Cool though it may seem, this actually has some pretty big downsides. The first is the point cost. For the cost of taking the Mark of Tzeentch and the Scroll of Magnus on a model, you could buy another Sorcerer altogether! You can't take Primaris powers, though if you roll for only one non-Tzeentchian Power, then you'll have the Psychic Focus ("sigh", and the Chaos Psychic Focus for Tzeentch, not that anyone cares for it); admittedly, Biomancy's Smite can be nice when your Lord is BS 5, and Psychic Shriek/Prescience never go unwelcome. The whole process is totally random: you won't necessarily get a spell that's useful to you, but you won't know until after you take the hit. Which brings us to the really big downside: every time you roll on the table, including re-rolls, the model takes a S3 AP1 hit. Plus even if you know a lot of different powers, you'll only be able to cast one per turn anyway due to your limited Mastery Level.
    • So Why Take This - If you want to add "another Psyker" to any formation with a mandatory Chaos HQ, this gives you another option. While you can run a Cabal if you want multiple Sorcerers or use Daemon allies, this lets a formation's Dark Apostle "do something" besides provide passive auras, while a Disc Lord of Tzeentch is pricey but effectively a mini-monster in his own right. If you're running the Mark of Tzeentch anyway (to turn a Sigil of Corruption into a "Hands-free" Stormshield, or for tougher Terminator armor), you can justify 25 of the points for the Scroll as "an extra Warp Charge", with 20 points accounting for the luxury of an unorthodox Psyker vector, and the ability to learn multiple powers throughout the game.
  • Dimensional Key: The Dimensional Key activates after its holder kills a model in close combat. From that point onward, any enemy model that starts any phase within 12" of the holder treats all Terrain as both Difficult and Dangerous terrain for the duration of that phase. On top of that, all friendly Codex: Chaos Space Marine units that Deep Strike (anywhere, not just within 12" of the bearer) don't scatter for the rest of the game.
    • Analysis: A cute item with a flawed implementation. The problem with it is that unless you're fighting an army that wants to assault you, or one is extremely lucky, you can expect to reach Assault by turn 2 at the earliest. This wouldn't seem too bad, until one remembers that reserves start to arrive at the beginning of turn 2 on a 3+. This means that generally, 2/3rds of your reserves will have already arrived by the time you activate it. Those remaining units will certainly arrive safely, but it's difficult to justify 25 points on a wargear option that affects, in the vast majority of cases, two units at best, chosen randomly. On top of that,
    • Making the Key Work: Let's suppose you do have your heart set on trying this toy out. How do you make the most out of it despite its flawed design? One possibility is to consider the Deep Strike a "nice-to-have" bonus rather than integral to your battleplans. As long as you're not facing an army with Ignore Cover, the Key lets your unit march into the open, and delay "countercharges" to some degree. Combine some Overwatch fire, and a -2 to charge distance can make the difference between your opponent getting the charge or just standing there in the open waiting to be charged. If you really want to get that Deep Strike Bonus, Soulswitch or Worldwrithe both give you the option for Turn 1 assaults, should you roll it; the problem remains relying on excessive luck on generating Psychic Powers. Should you be running fortifications anyway, the Comms Relay lets you reroll reserves, both failed and successful, should you really wish to play with your guys off-table for more turns than normal. One final edge-case is that the rules as written state "units that arrive from Deep Strike" and Gate of Infinity also states you "arrive by Deep Strike." Chaos lacks Hit and Run or other ways to truly disengage, but this "could" give you the edge if you were trying to create an Obliterator analogue of the more infamous Centstar...one without Grav, mind you.
    • In apocalypse: When you have the ability to choose when your reserves come in, this really gains some traction.

Overall: The core Chaos Relics are generally focused on hitting your opponent harder. You'll notice no defensive wargear in here. Of them, the Axe of Blind Fury and the Black Mace are both dangerously powerful (the latter more so on a Daemon Prince or a Sorcerer that rolls Iron Arm), and the Burning Brand is "boring-yet-practical" at what it does. The Murdersword is too situational and expensive to take advantage of, and the Dimensional Key would be awesome if it was easier to trigger, but is relegated to the realm of "gimmick" otherwise. The Scrolls of Magnus are an expensive gimmick but "can" be used if you want to turn a mandatory HQ into a "backup caster".

Vehicle Equipment[edit]

Huh. Looks like everybody else forgot these existed. In any case, there's some pretty interesting stuff in here worth a look.

  • Combi-Bolter: No, seriously, I promise, there's interesting stuff in here. The vehicle combi-bolter is the same as the one in the Ranged Weapons section, giving you a little bit more fire. Not super-useful, but it's only five points. It also protects your actual guns from "weapon destroyed" result since now it is randomly rolled instead of chosen by opponent - so if your big shiny spiky Vindicator get penetrated you have a 4+ save against Demolisher cannon removal for only 5 pts.
  • Dirge Caster: Funny, if nothing else. Enemy units within 6" can't Overwatch. This can be usable in some cases (Land Raiders, Helbrutes and Maulerfiends), but you can mitigate Overwatch without having to explicitly shut down your opponent's movement. There are some fringe cases where it can be useful (shutting down Supporting Fire or "Wall of Death", or "Reckless Abandon" if you're fighting a Corsair player), but you *are* driving your vehicles point-blank so be prepared!
  • Dozer Blade: The Dozer Blade lets you reroll failed Dangerous Terrain tests, changing the odds of your vehicle becoming immobile battlefield terrain from 1/6 to 1/36, and makes your Rhinos deadlier when ramming stuff. For such a cheap price, it's worth taking if you find yourself driving through terrain on a regular basis. Since you don't get Drop Pods, and want your Marines to get from Point A to Point B, consider this a near auto-take for your Rhinos.
  • Warpflame Gargoyles: Soul Blaze. Pass.
  • Combi-weapons: You can take a combi-flamer, -melta, or -plasma. Well, you can, but it probably won't be all that useful.
    • Second Opinion: Actually, one of the things that keeps Sisters competitive is Melta weapons on cheap, plentiful transports, so combi-meltas on Rhinos might be worth it. Sure we don't get multi-meltas, but we also get more than 15 options and plastic models, so it's a trade off.
  • Extra Armour: Vehicles with this count Crew Stunned as Crew Shaken when rolling on the Vehicle Damage table. Useful for a Land Raider (which itself is arguably not that useful), but for most other units, they'll die from HP depletion before this effect takes place, or they're effectively useless if Shaken anyway.
  • Havoc Launcher: One of our more unique pieces of equipment, this is basically a frag missile launcher with 1 better str and AP. Its also twin-linked and only 12 points. Its very nice to stick on your Rhinos to add to fire power against GEQ's. Putting it on other tanks can also help protect their more relevant guns. You too can rain fiery hell down upon your opponents!
  • Destroyer Blades: Tank Shocking troops is nice right? Why not add some blades that do d6 s5 hits? Oh, they're gonna Death or Glory? Well take 2d6 S5 hits fools. The only problem is the price; on regular Rhinos, it almost increases their cost by 50%, while not making them any harder to kill, while your heavier vehicles generally want to be sitting back and shooting stuff.
  • Daemonic Possession: Handy if your vehicle relies on blasts or templates to kill stuff. This means a Vindicator. Otherwise, it's mostly a pass: First off, it lowers your BS to 3, which is still okay, but not great. Secondly, on any transport vehicles, it has a chance of nomming a random member of a transported squad without any saves of any kind possible. On the other hand, it regains a Hull Point, which is nice. It can also ignore Shaken and Stunned results (although the riders don't). It might work, but there's always a chance it will up and kill a member of your expensive Terminator squad. On the other hand, Cultists becoming hull point sacrifices is somewhat of a possibility.
  • Malefic Ammo(Forge World): Only available to Infernal Relic vehicles, it grants Rending for Heavy Bolters, unless otherwise specified. It is however, ludicrously expensive on the vast majority of models (30 pts on a relic pred, 40 on a sicaran!). Generally not worth your time, unfortunately.

Legacies of Ruin (Forge World)[edit]

A special purchase, this gives one vehicle per thousand points some special properties to indicate that it took part in either a special battle or has some one-of-a-kind customization done to it. Daemon Engines and Vehicles with Daemonic Possession/Daemonic Resilience can't grab it, which is a bloody shame, cause most of those would have been hilarious on a mauler or defiler. As it is, most of them are situational at best, and the others are downright unusable. Each legacy can only be purchased once per army, and several of them come with certain different prices based on whether or not it's a tank or a walker or if it's superheavy.

  • Veteran of the Scouring: Tanks grab IWND and Preferred Enemy (Marines). Walkers grab IWND and Hatred (Marines). Both are pretty neat, though tanks grab the better bit. Quite good on Titans, as it basically give your Titan the Titan of Nurgle bonus, for cheaper, and leaves you free to snag one of the other upgrades.
  • War Within the Eye: They all get AW and Preferred Enemy (Chaos Marines). Pretty cheap and a decent way to deny some targeted witchfires.
  • Maelstrom Raider: All vehicles gain Outflank and Fear. It does sound pretty cool to outflank that Predator and make some surprising smashes or give some Land Raider a safer way to deliver its murderous payload.
  • Death of Kasyr Lutien: Gives vehicles Fear. In addition, if a is within 12" and using casting a Malefic power, they can re-roll one d6 per hull left on the vehicle. However, if the test still fails, the vehicle has to take a pen. For the point-cost, this is an incredible benefit if you're taking Daemon allies.
  • Blood of Mackan: Tanks gain Preferred Enemy (Blood Angels) and ignores all defense lines and barricades. In addition, if the tank gains Destroyer Blades, the damage it deals after tank shock and death-or-glory will have an AP equal to its current HP. Makes them a very vicious suicide unit.
  • Siege of Vraks: Enables a vehicle to ignore damage from Dangerous Terrain on a 4+ and can re-roll to-hit on targets in defense lines. Pretty cheap, so it's worth a grab against some Aegis-exploiting Tau or Guardsmen.
  • Fourth Quadrant Rebellion: Supports Cultists within 12" by giving them Fearless and gains a 4++ invul when it has 1 HP left. Fearless Cultists sounds nice, but you can just use the Helcult formation for cheaper.
  • Badab Uprising: Tanks and superheavies gain Fear and Preferred Enemy (Marines) while non-SH Walkers gain Rage and Hatred (Chaos Marines). Walkers tend to benefit off it more.
  • Scourge of the Greenskin: Tanks get +d6" movement for Tank Shocks and get Preferred Enemy (Orks). It's definitely going to need some scrapers to clean off the copious amounts of Ork stuck in the treads.
  • Last of the Forge: The transport gains Preferred Enemy (Nids) and can ignore Stunned/Shaken on a 4+ while the troops inside get Hatred (Nids). It's a pretty decent way to keep it moving even without Nids as an enemy, but that's it.
  • Screams of Lugganath: Grants vehicles Fear against Eldar (Very flimsy), but the awesome part is the boosting of Dirge Casters to 12" range. That's a save for anything that's gotta get in deep.
  • Perdus Rift Anomaly: Gives the vehicle Preferred Enemy (Tau), but also gives you a re-roll for the seize/forces the other guy to re-roll the seize. The PE bonus versus Tau is cute, but the extra shot at Seize the Initiative or the insurance against it can help win a game by itself. If you're using Legacies, this is a really good one.
  • First War of Armageddon: Gives Fear against IG and improves Daemon Saves for Khorne Daemons by +1, which makes them a whole lot more survivable.

All the following legacies also give Daemonic Possession and Fear, which is nice

  • Vessel of Dhornurgh the reborn:Every unit with an Icon of Despair within 12" gain Gets Hot! and Rending in Close Combat only. Best suited for Plague Marines who already have Plague Knifes and their armor and Feel No Pain can compensate for Gets Hot!
  • Vessel of Auloth the Primordial Iterator:Every unit with an Icon of Wrath (read below) within 12" gains Fear and Feel no Pain. It's hella pricy, but these are some pretty nice upgrades. This one also happens to give the vehicle pinning on all of it's weapons. Slap it on a fire raptor and pin the world.
    • IMPORTANT NOTE: Though it officially written as applying to Icons of Wrath, it is actually Icon of Vengeance. Forge World has confirmed via email that it was a typo.

Psychic Powers[edit]

Marked sorcerers and DP's can and actually MUST take some god-specific powers. Do note, that you cannot roll more than half of the powers from god's chart, so no all-Tzeentch dakka chart for your Arhiman (as of the Wrath of Magnus update, your Thousand Sons Sorcerers, Exalted Sorcerers, Psykers and Ahriman CAN choose to generate all of their psychic powers from the Discipline of Tzeentch now, so you can have that all-Tzeentch dakka you always wanted - and best of all, Ahriman can spam the same witchfire three times in the same psychic phase!) or all-Slaanesh rape chart for level 3 cocaine sorcerer. On the bright side you get a free Primaris from your god discipline, despite generating some powers from other disciplines. You still have to generate a power or two from your god's table though.

Tzeentch (Updated Wrath of Magnus/Traitor Legions)[edit]

Wrath of Magnus made this discipline a whole lot better. Sure 2 powers suck, but now you have a better chance of rolling a better power instead.

  • Primaris: Tzeentch's Firestorm: The problem with this Primaris is that it's too random for its own good. As a small blast, it remains an inaccurate weapon, while its randomized strength means it only takes one bad roll for this bad-boy to end up wounding Guardsmen on 5+. There's some cutesy special rule where each model killed by this attack inflicts D3 lasgun hits on the unit...but the odds of that mattering are near-nil.
  • 1: Boon of Mutation: This power is also pretty bad. A character within 2" of the caster (read: most likely in the same unit, or the Psyker himself) takes a S4, AP- hit, and, if he survives, he gets a roll on the Chaos Boon table. When doing so, he re-rolls Dark Apotheosis, but not Spaw-- er, gribbly-tentacle-thing-dom. Granted, sometimes it's worth getting a fleshy thing-that-must-not-be-named; a Combi-Melta Champion that has already fired would be a notable example. If you're running the Chaos Warband with Favored Scions, this "could" be a usable power if cast early-on because you now have the potential to "double-buff" target characters or negate uninentional transformations, but you generally want to focus more on higher-priority powers. Even moreso than with normal powers, you will want your Psyker to be able to have a good "move instead of fire" ability, be it Turbo or Swooping.
    • Silly Observation: Boon of Mutation can target *any* friendly character. Even those without Champion of Chaos. Although you are Battle Brothers only with Daemons (and Renegades & Heretics if playing Forgeworld), this does allow for silly rules-breaking quandaries like Bloodthirsters with 2+ rerollable armor. Are you feeling lucky, punk? Be careful with this though. You could potentially have a lot of psykers pouring all their warp-charges into buffing a Daemon into some nigh-unkillable fuck, but one unlucky roll and you can have all your luck reversed if he's turned into that which shall not be named.
    • Silly Observation part 2: In the last Black Crusade Campaign Book, the Helforged Warpack allows one of your warmachines to become a character-type unit with a 4++, thus allowing you to stab him in the back for a sweet upgrade. Why would you want to make a Maulerfiend/Forgefiend/Helbrute/Defiler more killey than they already are ? I don't know ! But who knows, you might end up with an 3++ invul on your Helbrute or Instant Death on your Forgefiend. Again, "Are you feeling lucky" ?
  • 2: DOOMBOLT: DOOMBOLT. If you are rolling for Tzeentchian Powers, Doombolt is the power you want. Simply put, it's an 18" S8, AP1, Beam that makes vehicle explosions even explodier. It has good range, and unlike comparable powers, you only need one Warp Charge for it to succeed. Yes, DOOMBOLT is awesome, and yes, you do most definitely want it.
  • 3: Siphon Magic: WC1 Blessing on the Psyker. Finally a Tzeentch power rewarding psyker lists! For the remainder of that Psychic Phase, every time a friendly Psyker manifests a psychic power within 18", the caster of Siphon Magic gets an extra die; the Psyker in question may spend those dice as bonus Warp Charge. Bring horrors and laugh. This power's utility basically depends on the caster's mastery level. For a sorcerer with a high mastery level, it is a huge benefit, being able to cast multiple other pricier powers while letting the other psykers in the army also use theirs. However, for a sorcerer with only ML1, it is completely and utterly useless, as they only get to cast one power per psychic phase anyway, including this one: the Grand Coven army list prevents this, but even then, the only powers left to a ML1 Tzeentch sorcerer who rolled this are the primaris power and Force; the Primaris is not particularly good, and if you really want your Sorcerer to cast Force to trigger Blessing of Tzeentch, chances are you will do that first rather than burning Warp Charge on this power instead!
    • Jury is Out: Due to amusing RAW, it may be possible to use this power to store dice over multiple turns. This is based on the fact that while the Psyker can spend the dice as "bonus Warp Charge" they're not technically Warp Charge, and the blessing's only effect is to allow you to accrue such dice in the first place. Discuss this with your opponents beforehand, but in practice this shouldn't be a gamebreaker, especially if you end up rolling this power for a ML 1 Aspiring Sorcerer whom would otherwise have no reason to ever attempt to manifest this power.
  • 4: Breath of Chaos: This power costs 2 Warp Charge, and is a 4+ Poisoned flamethrower that glances vehicles on a 4+. This is a nice one to have, but it's not DOOMBOLT.
  • 5: Baleful Devotion: WC2, S6 AP2 Assault D6 focused witchfire. On a 6 it turns the model into a Chaos Spawn. Despite it being a Focused Witchfire, this power is probably better for sniping Monstrous Creatures, especially those without Invulnerable Saves. Every 6 shaves off an extra D3 wounds from a Wraithknight while denying Feel No Pain, or outright turns a Tyranid MC into...one of those things. To a lesser degree, S6 is S6 and you "could" use this power to strip some HP off, though rolling on Heretech will be a better deal if you want to do that. The high base WC cost means using it to intentionally snipe enemy models from squads suffers from the same issues the Maleceptor has! Normally, Psychic Shriek is a better "all-around" power to have, though this power does at least have some other uses.
  • 6: Treason of Tzeentch: WC3 24" Malediction. Immediately make a shooting attack with the unit as if it's a friendly unit. They don't count as having moved, and must test Pinning afterward. Time for mind control battles with GSC, HELL YEAH! Note, while this power costs one more WC than the equivalent GSC power Mind Control, this one can affect an entire unit rather than just a single model; see that unit of Grav-Cannon Devestators? You know you want to shoot with them...

Nurgle (Updated Traitor Legions)[edit]

A passable discipline with powers that can do a lot of harm if you're both lucky and smart.

  • Nurgle's Rot: Like with Tzeentch Primaris, it's full of random and FUN. Every enemy unit within 6", except Nurgle-aligned units, take D6+1 number of hits with 4+ poisoned and AP5. Depending on your rolls and number of nearby squads it could kill dozens of Guardsmen or Orks, or deal a single wound on space marine, which would be armor saved. Remember that if you're within range of just one enemy model from, say, 2 different squads, both of them are hit with that D6+1!
  • Weapon Virus: Curse that adds "Gets Hot" to all weapons in targeted unit. Awesome on vehicles and flyers that have weapons that pour out a lot of shots. Guardsmen, Shoota Boyz, Cultist and Kroot blobs would hate your guts. MEQ's and TEQ's wouldn't even be bothered by this, however the one time they roll that 1 for their armour save...
    • Consider casting this on enemy vehicles with blast weapons. Rolling a 1 stops blast/template weapons from firing.
  • Fleshy Abundance: WC1 Blessing targeting a friendly Psyker within 14". They immediately regain D3 wounds. Useful for regaining wounds lost to Perils.
  • Blades of Putrifaction: WC1 Blessing. Close combat weapons gain Poisoned, and if they already have the poison rule they become Poisoned (2+).
  • Gift of Contagion: The longest range curse in the game with a whopping 48" range. Roll a d3; on a 1 the target gets -1 A and Shrouded, on a 2 -1 S and cannot run, on a 3 -1 S and T. Note that this power explicitly states that it can stack on itself, despite the normal rules for multiple Witchfires/Maledictions not stacking.
  • Plague Wind: Double warp-charge poisoned AP2 spell, now in form of large blast, rather than flamer template. It could kill more things than Breath, but it can harmlessly scatter away, and even on one of your own squads (if not with the same Mark). The only real problem with it is that Daemons get it for one warp charge.
  • Curse of the Leper: Blessing if cast on friendly unit, malediction if targeting an enemy. +1S and +1T if blessing, -1S/T to enemies.

Slaanesh (Updated Traitor Legions)[edit]

Every power here is pretty darn useful. Tzeentch's discipline is now close to, if not equal, thanks to the Wrath of Magnus supplement.

  • Sensory Overload: This is a fairly non-random primaris with the ability to annoy if not outright cripple an enemy unit of choice each turn. By itself, it's a 24" S4, AP 4, Assault 4 shot, but with Blind, Concussive, and Pinning. At worst, you force a Blind Check on a single enemy unit of choice, since you only have to hit in order for it to go off. Against armies known for low Initiative (Orks and Necrons most notably), this can outright cripple a unit of choice, while the other effects require actually landing wounds for it to matter. Concussive would stack with the Blind Check if you somehow managed to wound a solo multi-wound model, while Pinning can annoy weaker squads. Really though, this is for the Blind Check.
  • Hysterical Frenzy: This is a fairly random buff, with the potential to be either mediocre or outright scary. You select a friendly non-vehicle unit within 12", and roll a D3 to see what buff they receive. On a 1, the unit receives an extra point of Initiative. On a 2, an extra point of Strength and on a 3, an extra attack.
  • Delightful Agonies: WC1 Blessing that targets a friendly unit within 12". Gives squad Feel No Pain (4+). Somewhat redundant in the Emperor's Children detachment, but great with Tzeench or Helcults
  • Symphony of Pain: This is another fairly useful spell. it curses an enemy squad with -1 BS an WS, but also increases the strength of all sonic weapon hits against them by 1. The power is explicitly stated to be cumulative, so you could hypothetically further debuff the enemy and buff Noise Marines.
  • Sonic Shockwave: WC1. S5 AP4 9" Nova Assault D6, pinning, ignores cover.
  • Aural Onslaught: WC2 beam at S8 AP2 Assault 1, and before you roll to wound any enemy unit targeted must pass a Leadership test or if they fail you re-roll to wound.
  • Apoplectic Glee: AKA "Ecstatic Seizures" or "Long range Trazyn". Point at non-vehicle squad, cast, and watch as every model takes a hit at their base strength. Two warp charges as well, but certainly worth it watching Orks, Guardsmen, Tau, and Nids delete themselves for you.

Psychic Powers (Traitor's Hate/Wrath of Magnus/Traitor Legions)[edit]

Traitor's Hate gives Chaos Psykers access to the four Astartes discplines that were added in Angels of Death, with different names because Chaos. Although the powers are a CTRL+C and CTRL+V, they're still useful to have, and you get some unusual options with some powers due to being Battle Brothers with Daemons.


Overview: Ectomancy is a really good Discipline for Chaos Space Marines. One of the traditional shortcomings of the army is that it is slow, and two of the major powers help you get your army around the map. Ghost Storm is useful for strategic redeployment while Soul Switch can let your Psyker serve as a "slingshot" for melee units, or let you "withdraw" some units to safety. Beyond that, Empyric Shield gives you a de-facto "Storm Shield" for a Sorcerer or Daemon Prince while Infernal Claws lets you mulch through your opponent in melee. Daemon Shriek can give an anti-flyer tool, and when all else fails, you have two additional Witchfires.

  • Primaris - Warp Shock - WC1 Witchfire with Range 18", S5 AP 4, Assault 6. This is an alright "1 Warp Charge leftover" primaris to have. Although it's not Psychic Shriek, it's still usable.
  • 1. Empyric Shield - WC1 Blessing that gives the Psyker a 3+ Invulnerable save. Unless you already took Mark of Tzeentch and gave him a Sigil of Corruption, this is a great power. Also an easy way for a Tzeentch prince to get a 3++ that only fails on a 2.
  • 2. Daemon Shriek - WC1 Witchfire Nova. All units within 9" suffer 1 S1 AP- Haywire hit.
  • 3. Coruscating Blaze - WC2 Witchfire at S5 AP4 Assault D6, and if you roll a 4 for each enemy unit in 6" of the targeted unit, they also suffer D6 S5 AP4 hits. It's literally the same as Lightning arc from the Loyalist Fulmination discipline.
  • 4. Infernal Claws - WC1 Blessing that targets the Psyker. Gains +1 Attacks and Strength, and for every hit he lands, he gains 2 extra hits at S5 AP-. Any hits count, be it Hammer of Wrath, attacks from Spell Familiars, or even those from Icy Aura. The real edge-case combo (if you luck out, that is) goes to Crimson Slaughter that manage to roll the "Spectral Assailants." Basically, since every model in base-to-base of your Warlord takes d6 automatic Strength 3 hits, those would trigger the extra hits from Infernal Claws. Let us suppose that your Lord gets in a fight, mulches a few guys, and they proceed to pile in. Let us suppose you're facing a small Guard blob or Ork mob (they wound you on 6s), maybe 5 or so models in base-to-base. At the start of the next close combat phase you're in, that blob would take 5d6 Strength 3 hits (so an average of 17.5 hits), which would result in an average of 35 additional Strength 5 hits on the enemy unit! Of course, you really don't want to rely on gimmicks to win your game.
  • 5. Ghost Storm - WC2 Blessing which targets an unengaged non-flying vehicle or unit in 18". That unit may immediately make an additional 18" move, ignoring all intervening terrain and models, effectively making the unit do a free "Interceptor Shunt". The unit "counts as moving" for that turn and cannot charge.
  • 6. Soulswitch - WC2 Blessing. Targets a non-vehicle unit within 24", even ones locked in combat. The Psyker's unit and the affected unit swap places. If either unit was Zooming (meaning either that you cast the power on a Daemon Prince, or the Daemon Prince did the casting), said units switch to Gliding, and if either unit was engaged in a close combat, the newly-swapped units end up engaged in old close combats instead. Uses for this power include:
    • Strategic repositioning: Whether it's setting up a proper Melta strike or pulling Obliterator Teams into better firing positions, a Bike-mounted Sorcerer has the option to give your army critical boosts to speed as needed before Turboing to better positions for subsequent repositions. It also lets your army spread a wider net.
    • Escaping bad combats/setting up traps: Put your Sorcerer in a unit that's unlikely to break. Be it Plague Zombies, Helcult Cultists, a unit of Daemonkin Bloodletters if you're feeling cheeky...you have options. There's nothing preventing you from Summoning a unit of Plaguebearers or another "tarpit" unit (or a proper beatstick unit if that's your preference) then using Soulswitch to pull them into your close combat.
    • Yo-yo-ing: A Daemon Prince has the option to Vector Strike a foe, then use Soulswitch on one of your backfield units to pull himself back to safety. Depending on your plans, you can either use this ability defensively (Soulswitch a unit of Summoned Screamers, then have the Screamers turbo back to their battleline), or offensively (Vector Strike an opponent's transport, Soulswitch an Obliterator team to finish the passengers off).

Jury Is Out: Both Ghost Storm and Soulswitch state they target a unit. The BRB states that Allies of Convenience are counted as enemies, and thus cannot receive Blessings, but other Traitor's Hate blessings explicitly state that they target a friendly unit. Whether this is an editing mistake on GW's part, or an explicit exception is to be determined; as a rule, assume that the rulebook takes precedence, because the rules do not explicitly state you may target non-friendly units, though discuss with your opponent (or TO if applicable) beforehand.

  • Common sense is to talk with your opponent about this, but these are not rules as intended.


Overview: While generally viewed as a weak or hard to use group of powers for loyalists, the powers of Geomortis open up some interesting doors for CSM players particularly when artefacts like the Dimensional Key require getting your lord into close combat as soon as possible

Primaris - Rockmaw - WC2 Power which targets a unit 18" from the Sorcerer. All models must make a Dangerous Terrain test with no armor saves allowed.

  • 1. Ley Leech - WC1 Blessing which targets a friendly non-vehicle character within 18". The character heals D3 wounds, and gives the entire unit IWND. The ability to heal wounds lost to Perils is great. Even better when used on that Nurgle Chaos Lord on Bike to truly make your opponent rage. The latter unit-wide IWND is only decent if you're hanging out with The Nameless Beasts.
  • 2. Rupture - WC1. Pick a point 24" from the Psyker. All units within 6" take a single S5 AP4 ignores cover hit, and the area becomes Dangerous Terrain.
  • 3. Torturer of Worlds - WC1 Malediction targeting all enemies within 18". They all treat movement as difficult terrain, and cannot run, flat out, or turbo-boost.
  • 4. Earthly Anathema - WC1 blessing which gives a friendly unit within 24" Move Through Cover and Ignores Cover on all its ranged weapons. Furthermore, the unit does not need line of sight to attack a unit, only range matters. Holy shit, that's awesome. Give this to your Obliterators or Vindicator Squadron and laugh at your opponents.
  • 5. Profane Ruination - WC1. Targets a single Building or terrain piece within 24". If it targets a building, on a 1-3 it takes a glancing hit, and on a 4+ it takes a penetrating hit. If on a piece of terrain on a 4+ an enemy unit inside takes D6 S6 AP- hits, randomly allocated.
  • 6. Worldwrithe - WC3. Target a piece of terrain in 24". You can then lift it 24" from its starting point, so long as you drop it over 1" away from a unit or other terrain piece. All units inside the terrain piece must take Dangerous Terrain tests, or if they're not fully in the terrain they must disembark, taking DT tests as they go. This is a neat power for it allows you to either levitate a cover-camping unit closer, reestablish line of site, the list goes on.


Overview:Heretech is Technomancy under a different name. Like that discipline, this discipline is very specialized towards vehicles, with only one out of the seven powers being "general purpose"... It has two defensive buffs for your vehicles, and one offensive buff, but the real reason you take this discipline is because two of the three powers let you rapidly strip Hull Points from an enemy vehicle regardless of Armor, one power lets you strip a HP from multiple vehicles in a line, and another lets you use your opponent's guns against them. If you're up against an enemy with next-to-no vehicles (Battlesuit Tau, Scatterbike Eldar, etc), this discipline is going to be useless for you, but if you're up against someone wanting to run an Armored Company, this may give you that extra edge.

  • Primaris - Corrupt Machine - WC1 18" Malediction. Select a weapon on an enemy vehicle then both you and your opponent roll a die. If he rolls higher, nothing happens. If you draw, he can only fire snap shots with that weapon. If you roll higher, You take control of said vehicle's weapon for a turn. This power has several inherent limitations: The most immediate one is that hull-mounted weapons are still restricted by normal fire arcs, and those Soulgrinder cannons you're facing down will be looking at you. The second is that just because you get to shoot doesn't mean your opponent is forced to snap-shoot next turn; if your plan was to stop a Knight from double-tapping with a Rapid-Fire battle-cannon, this could be a problem. One thing this power lets you do is mess up units with "One-Use Weapons." Hit your opponent's Manticore with this power, and not only are you inflicting a good deal of damage, but that's one less missile that's landing in your own ranks.
  • 1. Boon of the Iron Beast - WC1. Blessing you give to 1 vehicle in 24". It now ignores Crew Shaken, Crew Stunned, and either gives Power of the Machine Spirit, or +1 BS if the target vehicle already has PotMS. Note that unless explicitly stated, the same Blessing cannot stack, and currently Chaos has no vehicles with POtMS, so that part of the copypaste is currently useless. You "can" use this power as a gimmick to let a Defiler split-fire its Battle Cannon at one unit while double-tapping another with Havoc Launchers, but gimmicks are cute when they don't rely on "and then I get lucky and roll this power." A more practical use for this power will be if you're running a Predator or two as a backfield firebase, as it would protect them from an unlucky Penetrating hit, or let them threaten two vehicles at once (Autocannon to one vehicle, Lascannons to another), or even if you simply want to let your Vindicator move 12" then fire. In a pinch, this lets your Chaos Land Raider work like a Loyalist one, though Land Raiders are still inefficient even with a tiny point discount. Also fantastic with Purge, allowing you to reposition and fire your Basilisks, Wyverns, and other Artillery Carriage units.
  • 2. Scrapcode Curse - WC1. 18" Focused Witchfire. Smacks a vehicle with D3 S1 AP- Haywire hits. Your first "HP stripping" power.
  • 3. Dark Invigoration - WC1. Blessing that either restores 1 hull point, or repairs either an immobilized or destroyed weapon result, as well as giving the vehicle IWND. While the repairs are nice, your Daemonic vehicles already get IWND so that bonus is partially wasted; this is nice to cast on a Soulgrinder however.
  • 4. Fleshmetal Hide - WC2. Blessing that grants plus 1 AV to all sides for a turn. Or, if put at a non-vehicle unit, gives +1T. This is the only "general-purpose" power in this entire Discipline,
  • 5. Electromortis - WC1. A S1 Haywire Beam.
  • 6. Flayerstorm - WC2. Focused Witchfire, 18". Target loses D3 HP, no saves, no ifs ands or buts. For each HP lost, inflicts D6 S4AP6 rending hits to an enemy unit within 12" of the target vehicle. Your second HP stripping power, you will want to throw extra Warp Charge down anyway. "Focused Witchfire" is fairly silly for powers like this, as squadroned vehicles aren't the most common thing.


Overview: Sinistrum is the copy-paste of Librarius. It has a grab-bag of assorted powers, related to making the Sorcerer fight harder, passively or actively defending against enemy Psychic powers, or making or breaking Deathstars.

  • Primaris - Fury of the Gods - WC1. S5 AP3 Assault 1 Blast.
  • 1. Warp Fate - WC2 Blessing. The Psyker and his unit re-roll all failed saving throws. I don't think I need to tell you how awesome this is.
  • 2. Empyragheist - WC1. A 20" S6 AP4 beam with Pinning.
  • 3. Armour of Hatred - WC1. Blessing that gives the Psyker and all friendly units within 12" Fearless, Adamantium Will, and a 4++ against against Witchfires only. The 4++ can be handy against enemies that rely on Witchfires to kill you (notably, the Tzeentchian Warpflame Host, the Wyrdstorm Brotherhood, and others), as you'll have that defense on top of ability to Deny.
  • 4. Diabolic Strength - WC1. Gives +2 Strength, Toughness, Initiative, and Attacks. It essentially wraps up the attribute increases from Iron Arm and Warp Speed into a nice Warp Charge 1 package, though it doesn't give the other benefits (notably, Smash or Fleet). A Daemon Prince that lucks out and rolls this power goes from a glass sledgehammer to a diamond wrecking ball.
  • 5. Warp Lure - WC1. A unique Malediction which targets an enemy Psyker within 24". You roll roll 2D6 and add the Mastery Level of your Psyker, while your opponent rolls 1d6 and adds the Mastery Level of the targeted Psyker. If you roll higher, that Psyker takes a single wound with no saves of any kind allowed, and that enemy Psyker only manifests Warp Charge dice on rolls of 6. On top of all of this, if you beat your opponent's roll by 3 or more, that Psyker forgets a randomly-determined power. Because of the extreme potential this power has to shut down your opponent's Psychic Phase altogether, this power will draw a lot of Deny the Witch dice, making it a good opener power. The fact that it is a malediction and not a Witchfire means that you can use this power against Flyers (usually meaning Flyrants, though you "could" chip a wound off Fateweaver if your opponent blows dice elsewhere)/Invisible units without any issue, and may circumvent "Look Out Sir" mechanics, and the fact it ignores any and all saves can be scary when one considers that many Psykers have 2 wounds at best. All it takes is for your opponent to Perils of the Warp once, and this power can snipe out a Psyker...assuming you get Line of Sight that is.
  • 6. Death Hex - WC2 Malediction. Targets an enemy unit, drops its invulnerable save by 2 (to a minimum of 6+). This thing is essentially Banishment, but it's much more versatile. This is what you use to counter fucks with Storm Shields, Smash Fucker's 2++ bullshit, Riptide's Shield Generator buff, as well as stuff like Draigo with his 3++ (even if Draigo specifically probably has better DtW than you).

Unit Analysis[edit]


Want to use that Doomrider model? Get a Slaaneshi Chaos Lord with a bike and a MURDER SWORD. DO COCAAAAAAINE (though, you cannot get bike-mounted twin meltas and MC plasma gun to build the true Doomrider).

  • Chaos Lord - A nasty, inexpensive close-combat character with tons of options. Even fully-kitted out (Lightning Claw, Power Fist, 2+/3++) will usually run you under 175 points - quite impressive in and of itself. Chaos Lords in general love to accompany CSM units. The Lord unlocks a faction of cult marines (except the Sons) as troops, assuming he has the corresponding Mark. You can even take two Lords with two different Marks to unlock two different sets of cult troops! Lords get access to essentially the entire CSM armory and they are only 65 points base. You motherfucking need to get this guy into close combat to challenge and buff him into the stratosphere with Chaos Boons. Making him a Nurgle Biker Lord rewards you with a piece of cheese and a few angry glares for your T6 leader. Also cheap and Fearless - he only costs about 20 points more than a chaos marine holding an Icon of Vengeance, but has the same effect and is a lot tougher and nastier in a fight. Remember to equip the Lord with Sigil of Corruption no matter the rest of options, a 4++ save is always a good idea.
    • Mark of Khorne: Rage + Counterattack. Unlocks Khorne Berzerkers as Troops choices. Stick this guy on a Juggernaut of Khorne and give him the Axe of Blind Fury Artefact. You end up with a T5 W4 CC monstrosity which has the Cavalry unit type and thanks to the assorted USRs and the Artefact gets 7+D6 S6 AP2 attacks struck at full Initiative. Add a retinue of MoK Bikers with the Icon of Wrath. The entire unit gains Furious Charge (so the Lord's Strength on the Charge is actually 7) and might re-roll the Charge distance. Outfit the Champion with an LC or PF to support the Lord and remove enemy units from the table in each Assault Phase. Many skulls shall be collected for the Blood God when the Lord and his warriors reach the foe...
    • Mark of Nurgle: +1 Toughness. Yes, that's right. Put the Chaos Lord on a Bike and get the dreaded T6 HQ. This means he is immune to Instant Death inflicted by S10 weapons and most small arms fire wounds him only on 6s. It might be a good idea to accompany him with a unit of MoN Spawn to get loads of T6 ablative wounds that can keep up with his 12" move. MoN Chaos Bikers work well too. Take the Blight Grenades as well, for just 5 pts. you get assault + defensive grenades to deny the charging enemy his bonus attacks. Also, this makes Plague Marines Troops, so you get Objective Secured units that are really difficult to remove from their posts.
    • Mark of Slaanesh: +1 Initiative. Unlocks Noise Marines as Troops choices, which is very good. With the enhanced reflexes you usually strike before everyone else. Take a Lightning Claw or two to shred the corpsefuckers before they know what hit them. Or even better, take the reliable LC+PF combo and put this guy on a Bike. Additionally, take a MoS Biker retinue with the Icon of Excess. They are fast, durable with T5 and 3+, can use FnP to protect them more often that not and they strike at Initiative 5. All in all the unit is quite versatile and might be more survivable than the MoN equivalent due to the FnP. Just stay away from S10.
    • Mark of Tzeentch: +1 Invulnerable save. Unlike the previous examples this guy is probably best used alone. He doesn't unlock any Troops choices and the viable candidates for retinue don't benefit much from the Mark. However, MoT is the only means of reliably getting a 3++ save on the HQ (SoC + MoT). You might give him a Disc of Tzeentch for shits and giggles: zoom around the table thanks to your Jetbike status and rend enemies in CC. Or perhaps take the Burning Brand of Skalathrax. Tzeentch loves fire, after all. Then again, he's the 'best' terminator-lord, what with the 2+/3++, and works really well with MoT terminators.
  • Chaos Sorcerer - The Sorcerer has a weaker statline than a Chaos Lord, with one less WS, BS, Wound, Initiative and Attack. However, he's 5 points cheaper and comes with a free Force Weapon of choice and Mastery Level 1. Unlike vanilla Librarians, you don't get access to a Psychic Hood, but you're 5 points cheaper compared to them in exchange, and you can upgrade to Mastery Level 3 (while they're capped at ML 2 outside of certain special characters). Generally, you'll want to run him unmarked, as using up one of your rolls on a mandatory roll for your Chaos God hurts. That said, other than Psychic Shriek or Summoning none of the basic Primaris Powers are anything to write home about so it's not a complete loss if you're not planning on a "pure" caster anyway. Depending on your list, you can either run him "Barebones" as your mandatory HQ tax, or you can run him . If you're going for a more heavy psyker presence, you will take the Spell Familiar and a Bike for your Sorcerer; being able to move 12", cast Psychic Shriek, then Turbo Boost away from retaliation is seldom a bad use of points. A Sorcerer with the Mark of Tzeentch will unlock Rubric Marines as troops.
  • Exalted Sorcerer of Tzeentch (Wrath of Magnus): Instead of giving a Sorcerer a Mark of Tzeentch, just take one of these. Has mark of tzeentch, is ML2 base, and can upgrade to ML3. He's BS5, I5, and W3 compared to a standard sorcerer, which is awesome! Also has access to a S9 AP2 Heavy 1, Lance Blast once per game thanks to his Lord of the Silver Tower special rule. Side note: he's fearless unlike a Chaos Sorcerer, if that matters. AND DIVINATION which the sorcerer doesn't know (outside of crimson slaughter artifact).
    • Analysis:The Exalted Sorcerer, much like the Warpsmith and Dark Apostle, does not have access to Special Issue Wargear or Terminator Armour. While he combines the strengths of both the Chaos Lord and the Chaos Sorcerer and has an orbital bombardment to boot, he is quite expensive for a character locked at 3+/4++, and furthermore must take a costly Disc if he wants go fast(no bike for you!) For this reason it is quite difficult to spam these guys even with the formations that promote such a strategy, and without the right psychic powers they will end up as expensive glass cannons. Exalted Sorcerers may be monstrously powerful, but attempt to take more than one or two, and you will find yourself spending all your points on just a few models that cannot win the game on their own. Take one with the Astral Grimoire, however, and you have an excellent force multiplier for the rest of your army. Alternatively take a disc and the Seer's Bane and you have a swift and deadly HQ to lead a fast attack squad, who can also dish out plenty of pain in the psychic and shooting phases.
  • Daemon Prince: Your personal, customizable melee beatstick. He sports WS 9, I8, 4 wounds, 5 attacks, and is a Monstrous Creature so he gets Smash. He also has access to Chaos Rewards And Chaos Artefacts (notably the Axe of Blind Fury and Black Mace) and can take wings, turning him into a Flying Monstrous Creature. He does have some steep downsides, though. His biggest weakness is his newfound lack of Eternal Warrior, so S10 blows and Instant Death weapons/rules are the bane of his existence. Also, with a sharp rise in base cost (plus the fact that he must be devoted to one of the Chaos Gods) the price tag once you've added wings, Mastery levels, power armour, and so on, he can become very costly, very quick. So that means you have to actually get off your ass and think about how best to use him. Often run with the Black Mace, which although costly is quite terrifying for pretty much anything that he runs into.
    • Side Note: Since you MUST be devoted to a chaos god, if you make your Daemon Prince a psyker he must roll at least 1 power on the chart of his dedicated god. This makes fishing for Endurance or Iron Arm slightly more difficult.
  • Warpsmith: The Chaos equivalent of a Techmarine, the Warpsmith is your most expensive HQ choice that is not a Special Character. Other than being BS 5, Leadership 10 and having 2 wounds, his statline is the same as a normal Aspiring Champion, with a few twists. He comes with a free 2+ armor save, Power Axe & Bolt Pistol, and Mechatendrils. It's this last piece of equipment that makes the Warpsmith unique; it gives him an extra 2 attacks, as well as an in-built Flamer and a Meltagun; he has the option to fire both the Flamer and Meltagun, or one alongside a non-Mechatendril weapon. He can forfeit shooting to attempt to repair an adjacent friendly vehicle on a 4+, or curse a nearby enemy vehicle (an enemy vehicle within 18" suffers Gets Hot on all its weapons, if you roll to-hit on BS 5), and one of your opponent's terrain-pieces provides one less Cover than normal.
    • Analysis: The problem with the Warpsmith is that he's an expensive HQ without having "general-purpose" flexibility. For the price of one Warpsmith, you can buy a Sorcerer of Chaos with a Bike, Spell Familiar, and still have 15 points leftover! He can repair vehicles, but most vehicles Chaos has access to cost less than he does, and it's common for vehicles to be destroyed outright in a turn before they can be repaired. His guns are mis-matched, making the "fire two weapons" option fairly pointless at first, and a 2+ save only means so much. That being said, three different formations in Traitor's Hate have a mandatory Warpsmith (while the Cult of Destruction formation lets you have up to 3 if you're ok with bleeding points), so you'll want to find a way to use your Warpsmith regardless. For just 10 points more, you can give your Warpsmith a Combi-Meltagun. Compared to a 5-man team of Chaos Space Marines with one Meltagun and one Champion with a Combi-Melta, he costs 25 points more, in exchange for better Ballistic Skill, and a grab-bag of abilities here-and-there; the only issue remains getting him to his target. Ectomancy Psychic Powers are one option, but another option is finding a "spare" Rhino for him; a Daemonkin CAD can run Rhinos as Fast Attack, while a team of Autocannon Havocs can take a Rhino without actually needing it.
    • Note that while the warpsmith isn't necessarily "great" at anything, Master of Mechanisms is hilarious against shooty LoW choices. Watching an overeager Stompa or Gatling Knight player strip 3-5 HP due to gets hot in a single round of shooting will cause tears and/or RAGE.
  • Dark Apostle: The Chaos equivalent of a Chaplain, the Dark Apostle is a "passive" support character. He comes stock with a Power Maul, Bolt Pistol and Sigil of Corruption, he grants his unit Zealot, characters in his unit may reroll results from Chaos Boons, and friendly Chaos Space Marine units within 6" of him use his Leadership (Leadership 10) instead of their own.
    • Analysis: The Dark Apostle's shares similar problems to the Warpsmith, in being more expensive than a Sorcerer for less flexibility. He costs 45 points more than a Sorcerer while maintaining the exact same statline and even accounting for his free Sigil of Corruption, this still leaves him 20 points more expensive than a similarly-equipped Sorcerer. To add insult to injury, the Apostle cannot take any wargear to enhance his own mobility; no Bikes, Jump Packs, or Mounts for him which is a shame as a Khornate Apostle on a Juggernaut would have been awesome. So what do those extra 20 points do for you? You get gain a Leadership 10 bubble, you grant Zealot to a unit of choice, and you get some insurance to control whether or not characters in his unit will be transformed (though usually matters mostly for himself!). The Leadership 10 bubble is more tailored towards running large mobs of cultists as more than just "mandatory troops", though it "could" help if you wish to run largish units of Obliterators/Mutilators due to the high cost they pay for VOTLW. Moreso than the other HQs, his bonuses are very niche, and it's hard to justify the extra points you pay for him over a Sorcerer if you're running a CAD.

Special Characters[edit]

  • Typhus the Traveler - Typhus is a walking tank. With Terminator Armor, Toughness 5 from the Mark of Nurgle, 4 wounds base, and Feel No Pain, Typhus will not die outright unless he's hit by a Force Weapon, or Strength 10 attacks. Otherwise, most (non-powerfist/TH) attacks will bounce off of him, plain and simple. Not only can he take a punch, but he delivers one too; his signature weapon is the Manreaper, a giant force-Scythe with +2 Strength, AP 2, Force, Unwieldy, and the Daemon Weapon special rule. As long as he avoids Wraithknights or Walkers, he can hurt it. Should he be tied up by a mob of chaff, he can also use his Destroyer Hive to center a large blast over him, and every model nearby takes an automatic S4 AP 2 hit. Top this off with being a Mastery Level 2 Psyker, whom uniquely rolls all of his powers on the Lore of Nurgle (so he has a good shot of getting Plague Wind), and he also doubles as a fairly durable Warp Charge battery with the ability to disrupt your opponent's plans with the occasional Plague Wind. He also allows you to take Plague Marines as troops. As if that's not enough, he allows your army to sidegrade any units of Chaos Cultists into Plague Zombies; the Plague Zombies become Fearless and gain Feel No Pain, but they're also Slow and Purposeful, and they cannot take any options beyond adding more bodies. However, this all comes with the drawback that he's "locked" into Lord of Terror, granting him Fear. Needless to say, you don't want him as your Warlord... not for his trait anyway. Seeing as he's one of the most survivable characters in the entire codex, and Slay The Warlord is a thing in most games, taking him as a warlord might not be a bad idea in some cases.
    • Summary: You take Typhus if you want Plague Zombies, while getting a beatstick in the bargain. Zombies give you an unrelenting screen of angry meatshields that will take dedicated firepower (though Eldar and Tau can easily wipe them off the table) to shift from objectives or serve as semi-passable tarpits. However, Typhus himself is expensive and the actual Zombies suffer from Slow and Purposeful and the inability to take any of the normal Chaos Cultist upgrades. If "fearless Cultists" is what you're looking for, there are cheaper ways to get it; from using the Cultists as a "delivery system" for an appropriately punchy Chaos Lord you planned to take anyway, to running the Helcult formation.
  • Lucius the Eternal - Lucius is a bit of an odd duck out, as well as the obligatory Slaaneshi Special Character. As a Chaos Lord, he's largely typical, but his abilities and weapons load make him a much nastier close-combat unit than he appears to be at a glance. For starters, he's WS 7, as opposed to the typical Chaos Lord WS 6, and he boasts Initiative 6 due to his Mark of Slaanesh. He lacks a traditional Daemon Weapon - but what he has in return makes this almost not matter. Lucius boasts a Doom Siren (AP3 Heavy Flamer), a Power Sword, and a unique weapon in the Lash of Torment, which reduces the number of attacks enemy models get by 1. The FAQ confirmed the Lash to be an artefact, not a weapon, barring him from taking an extra attack for two weapons. In challenges his attack always equals to his opponents' WS! That's 6 attack against a Smurf Captain! He also has Krak Grenades and Frag Grenades. What truly makes Lucius useful though, on top of all the above, is his unique ability stemming from his Armour of Shrieking Souls - any close combat attack Lucius saves against (Armor Save OR Invulnerable Save) causes an automatic S4 hit on the unit that attacked him, with no armour saves allowed. It's not all good news, however: Lucius positively sucks against vehicles and his 5+ Invulnerable save, whilst useful, isn't exactly a stellar defensive feature. He is a character designed for challenges but most HQ's have AP2 weapons or 2+ armour saves which Lucius has no counter for. He also lacks Eternal Warrior, which means he's actually quite vulnerable against things like Force Weapons and heavy weapon sniping attempts.
    • Lucy's Lash of Torment now makes ALL of his close combat attacks have the "Shred" rule, effectively giving him Lightning Claws and granting his Armour of Shrieking Souls a better chance to wound. Stick him in a squad of Noise Marines with the re-tooled Icon of Slaanesh to give him drug-fueled Feel No Pain. Also, dual Doom Sirens. You can never have enough Doom Sirens.
  • Khârn The Betrayer - A real fun guy to be around. Kharn boasts a suite of useful traits and equipment, including the Gorechild (A power axe with Armorbane and no Unwieldy, which always hits on 2+, but to hit rolls of 1 hit your own unit), Frag and Krak grenades (the latter of which will never see use), a Plasma Pistol, Furious Charge, Mark of Khorne, and perhaps most importantly, gets a 2+ Deny the Witch and immunity to Instant Death from Force Weapons. Khârn can demolish damned-near-anything in close-combat, from enemy vehicles to enemy infantry when on the charge - an advantage primarily offset by the fact that he's completely fucking useless if he can't get close, and rather easy to isolate and tear down due to a relatively weak (5+) Invulnerable save. He is best-used either with a massive mob of Cultists to absorb ranged attacks and take wounds (Terminators are too expensive to risk losing to his attacks) - the latter loaded up to the fucking gills with Flamers, the squads shoved in a Metal Box or BIG METAL BOX, and thrown directly at the enemy's face. Like Fabius Bile, Ahriman, and Abaddon, Khârn has one more attack than is listed in his profile due to his weapon loadout - for a total of five. He also has a base strength of 6, with 7 on the charge. Khârn countd as a Chaos Lord for the purpose of 'zerkers being troops.
    • Kharn's Hatred Incarnate ability lets him re-roll misses during the first round of close combat, making his entourage last that much longer without feeling his axe.
    • Fun Fact: Due to the strange wording of his 'Blessing of the Blood God' special rule, he cannot be Instant Killed by a Nemesis Daemon Hammer hit.
    • Kharn will kill you so hard that you will die to death.
    • Note that due to Gorechild and a decent number of attacks, Kharn can feasibly take on everything from Guardsmen blobs to Land Raiders in close combat and totally wreck their shit. The only things he will ever have problems in melee are Wraithlords and Wraithknights, due to their T8 making it hard to actually kill them before they instant-death Kharn with a punch to the nads. He also, understandably, has a problem with ranged combat of any sort, so a transport for him is near-mandatory (although his low cost offsets this, making even buying a personal land raider for him feasible).
    • The Land Raider argument is enhanced by the fact that Chaos Land Raiders are still Assault Vehicles, unlike Chaos Rhinos, and have the same transport capacity. Also consider fitting Dirge Casters, despite the fact that they are of pansy Slaaneshi origin to help negate overwatch.
    • The only rules change for Kharn's new Traitor's Hate entry is the Unstoppable rule is now on Kharn's model rather than on Gorechild. This means he can fist-fight Jain Zar on a 2+ after he get's disarmed!
  • Huron Blackheart - Huron is the leader of the Red Corsairs, and a fairly passable HQ to have. Of all the Special Characters in the Chaos Codex, Huron is the best "Jack of Trades" character. His signature item is the Tyrant's Claw, a Lightning Claw with +2 Strength and Armorbane and in-built Heavy Flamer, and he has a Sigil of Corruption and Power Axe. Unfortunately, he only gets his base 3 attacks base in melee so he lacks the pure melee potential of other characters. In exchange, however, he has another special item: The Hamadrya is a Combat Familiar (so he gets an extra two attacks) that also makes Huron a Mastery Level 1 Psyker, with a twist. Each and every turn, he rolls to see what powers he actually knows; he rolls a D3 to see what Discipline he knows, with a 1 being Biomancy, a 2 being Telepathy, and a 3 being Divination, and then he rolls to see what power he actually knows from that discipline.
    • Summary: The main reason you take Huron is you want to "lock in" your Warlord Trait to guarantee at least one of your units has Infiltrate, and you would would rather not spend the extra 80 points on Ahriman. His close combat loadout is acceptable against rank-and-file and he can finish off damaged Dreadnoughts/Knights a pinch, though he'll bounce off any proper melee beatsticks without proper buffs (and don't even think of pitting him against a Wraithknight!). Although his powers are random, he can always count on at least having the Primaris to fall back on. Smite and Psychic Shriek let him plink off wounds from armored units, with the former being better than normal due to Huron's improved BS, while Huron remains only one of three ways for a Chaos Marine army to get Divination powers (meaning Prescience) without resorting to Daemon allies. However, he lacks a Spell Familiar and he is still Mastery Level 1 so he won't have the same melee oomph as a proper Sorcerer. Huron is a "swiss-army" toolbox, where you will always have an option with him, though you don't always get to control what those options are.
  • Fabulous Bile - The king of mixed bags and fabulous. On one hand, Bile has good stats and wargear: Feel No Pain through his Chirurgeon, Strength 5, a weapon that causes instant death (Rod of Torment), five attacks, and a particularly nasty poisoned weapon in the Xyclos Needler. On the other hand, his Rod of Torment does not ignore armor saves (unlike, say, the MURDER SWORD), his Xyclos Needler has really bad AP and sub-par range, and perhaps most damning of all, no Invulnerable save, unlike literally every other Chaos Character in the codex. So... Sucks, Right? Not quite. The reason Fabius Bile is taken, ironically, isn't for Bile himself; it's for his Enhanced Warriors trait, which gives a unit of Chaos Space Marines +1 Strength and Fearless. An enhanced Khornate CSM unit (Mark + Icon) rolls out 4 S6 attacks per Marine on the charge while being scoring and Fearless. While he isn't stellar in a normal CSM army (he's not a fighter nor does he enhance more than one unit of CSM), he really shines as an allied HQ — if you want a reasonably cheap CC threat for your pansy blueberries, take him and a 10-strong unit of Khornate CSM with meltaguns that can threaten massed infantry with the number of attacks, massed tanks with meltaguns/carnage combo and monstrous creatures with that Instant Death stick. Know that a Disordered Charge (aka multi-charge) denies you your Rage, so plan accordingly.
  • Ahriman the Exile - A Sorcerer that costs as much as a Land Raider is seldom a good sign. On the other hand there are only three other psykers in the game with Mastery Level 4 (Fateweaver, Aetaos'Rau'Keres and that dick) and Ahriman has access to several psychic disciplines, and boasts a unique piece of gear in the Black Staff, which is a Force Staff that lets him fire off the same Witchfire psychic power THREE times a turn. This can mean three DOOMBOLTS per turn. Or three psychic screams, which is by far the most brually effective option since it now hits automatically. His firepower can be absolutely insane, but it requires good rolling for psychic powers or just choosing the Primaris for either Biomancy or Telepathy, unlike the previous codex. Making him even better, he boasts a Pistol with Inferno Bolts (so he has a S4 AP3 Pistol) and the standard Tzeentch Marine 4+ invulnerable save, but he's only T4. Sadly, he WILL take 1 wound from perils. Devastating if used right, but makes for a huge and high-priority target. Unlike a lot of other units with this price-tag, such as Old One-Eye, he tends to actually be worth it if carefully managed, mostly due to the fact that he drops a Touhou-esque barrage of firepower out in short order. Just remember that he's a gigantic fire magnet, and his force weapon is only AP4 (but S6). Has an extra attack not shown on the profile, due to his pistol and staff, for a total of 4. Still, he costs a bomb in points.
    • Worth noting, if you have enough warp charges, Ahriman can vomit off SEVEN psy powers per turn (Tzeentch primaris focus, four of his generated powers and two extra witchfires for his staff). With so many powers, it could even be favourable to try to activate all of them, spending only one WC for each - yes, that's only 50% chance, but two tries with 50% chance are statistically much better than one with 75%, and as a nice bonus you'd never get Perils. The recent draft has stated that unless explicitly permitted to do so, Psykers may not attempt to manifest more psychic powers than the number of their Mastery Level within a single Psychic phase, so this tactic has nerfed an already expensive character. Now if only good old Ahzek could get his own spell familiar, you know, since he has one in the fluff, and it even have its own name...
    • He rolls on Tzeentch, Biomancy, Pyromancy and Telepathy.
    • A fun option with this one is to ally yourself with Tzeentch daemons. Horrors will serve as batteries for Ahriman to drain. Mount him in a rhino, go full throttle and let the onslaught begin. Only being able to cast witchfires from a transport isn't much of a handicap when he can cast 12 witchfires a turn.
  • Abaddon the Despoiler - Don't be fooled by jokes regarding his lack of arms - Abaddon is BAD news. He is a very dangerous independent character in melee. 6th ed has changed how his attacks roll - he can use either Drach'nyen (+1 Strength, AP2, Daemon Weapon) or the Talon of Horus (Strength 8, AP3 and Shred, though Blood Angels gain Hatred against him). With WS7, I6, +1 attack for having 2 Specialist Weapons (so 5 base), Rage from the Mark of Khorne and the potential extra attacks from Drach'nyen if you use that, Abaddon will hammer just about anything on the charge through sheer volume of attacks. Just take care who you send him against, for there are a few characters that will remove his arms readily. Suffice to say, not many units can reliably go toe-to-toe with the Despoiler and survive for more than a round or two - most will be dead before they can attack, and many armies lack squads that can offer more than a token resistance. He has every single Chaos Mark (For Rage/Counter Attack, +1 Initiative, a 4+ Invulnerable Save, and +1 Toughness), Hatred AND Preferred Enemy against Space Marines of all kinds and Eternal Warrior. On the other hand, the drawbacks are obvious - he costs a fuckton of points, he's a huge fire-magnet, 2+ armour save not being ignored by power weapons doesn't matter much since you opponent is going to try and keep anything valuable away from him (fortunately he can Deep Strike) and he sucks at shooting (he only has a Twin-Linked Bolter, so his high ballistic skill is pretty irrelevant), and his Daemon Weapon runs the risk of reducing him to WS1. Do anything you fucking can to get him into close combat, and try to not let him lose his arms. He will maintain his title of unbeatable pretty good at melee all the way up to the exact moment where he runs into one of the few characters that can beat him. Keep him the fuck away from Death Company though especially if they have jump packs, they hate you (Talon of Horus) get +1S and +2A on the charge, at WS5. And FNP. They'll drown you under sheer number of attacks, and woe betide Abigail the Armless if they have power axes/thunder hammers in the unit. Oh and Lord Topknot will now unlock Chosen as troops.
    • Math is for math books.
    • Don't fight Jain Zar if you're up against Eldar. You will not win.
    • Since Abaddon technically has all the Marks , he can benefit from the Slaaneshi Icon of Drugs (FNP) and Khornate Icon of FUCK YOU (Furious Charge and re-roll charge distance).
    • His firepower is a lot better than it sounds against Space Marines. Because he gives every squad within 12" Preferred Enemy (Space Marines), in theory he adds a block of firepower equal to roughly 36% of every squad within that bubble - and since Chosen squads can pack five plasma guns apiece, and get re-roll Gets Hot...
    • Be careful of pitting him against AV13 or higher walkers (as S8 will have trouble punching through their armor) and keep him the fuck AWAY from any that have D Strength close combat weapons (such as Imperial Knights). One 6 rolled in the to wound roll and down goes Abbadon.
    • Abaddon can become a deamon prince or a chaos spawn.
    • Don´t forget the Bringers of Despair...try 10 termies with WS/BS 5, with Combi-Plasmas. Hitting on 2+, rerolling gets hot .this unit of 11 guys cuts throught enemy heavy infantry like plasma knife through butter. LOADS of butter even when you can´t shoot plasma charges any more. Just try it..it is fun..for you at least. Shame that preferred enemy counts only against Space Marines. But there are lots of Space Marines..right?
Supplements & Forgeworld[edit]
  • Vrosh Tattersoul (Dark Vengeance)- A dirt-cheap HQ for an assaulty squad. 65 points nets you an Aspiring Champion with an extra wound, Rage, combi-melta, power axe (plus another CCW for +1 attack), and not much else. When he kills an enemy character in close combat he always gains +1 Attack instead of rolling on the boon table. That's... really all there is to say about this guy; if you've only got 500 to 750 points of stuff then he's perfect at just rounding out a squad. In general, if you're more interested in getting some more points out there, this guy is a good take. With the general rule of thumb being that HQ units are a bit of a tax, it could very much be worth it to take this guy.
  • Be'lakor the Dark Master (Dataslate)- A returning character from Fantasy, Be'lakor gets the EW rule that regular Daemon Princes lack and is a Level 3 Psyker with all Telepathy Discipline by default, and if you don't think up at least five ways to abuse the Invisibility psy power the moment you read this, punch yourself in the face. He comes with the unique rules Shadow Form (4+ invulnerable save and Shrouded and automatically passes Dangerous Terrain tests) and Lord of Torment (gains a bonus D3 Warp Charge points by making enemy units fail morale checks). He also has wings and possesses a unique weapon called the Blade of Shadows (S+1, AP2, Fleshbane, Armourbane, and Master-Crafted). He also doesn't need to be devoted to a chaos god, as he serves all of them (making him a fluffy and effective choice for a Chaos Undivided army). At 350 points, he's a flat upgrade to the basic Daemon Prince and cost-effective to boot. His only weakness was that you had to terrain-hop him or Invis himself to keep him from dying to crazy fire. But now, with 7e, you can jink while gliding. Enjoy your constant 2+ cover save, mate. In short: JUST TAKE HIM FOR MALICE'S SAKE!!!
    • Alternative Opinion: Be VERY FUCKING CAREFUL around anything with Cleansing Flame (IE: Grey Knight Purifiers). They'll get 2D6 hits on you, 50% of which will mathematically wound (not including the fact that they'll be re-rolling 1s, due to Preferred Enemy), that will not only auto-hit (and therefore ignore your invisibility), but also ignore your precious 2+ Jink. I can tell you from personal experience that a combat squaded unit of 10 Purifiers will result in Be'Lakor's firey demise. It makes matters even worse if Be'Lakor is currently not invisible and said Purifiers are carrying Incinerators.
  • Cypher Lord of the Fallen (Dataslate)- All in all an okay character. Just beware that he can never be the Warlord and that fielding him will take -1Ld from your actual Warlord, which wouldn't be a problem since almost all of your HQ's are Fearless (woe betide the sorcerers). He gets to shoot his 16" range bolt pistol and never-hot plasma pistol twice in each shooting phase/once before or after running and overwatches at full BS (which is TEN by the way). Also uses his pistols in combat, half of his attacks with each pistol (an odd number of attacks give the bolt pistol an extra attack, never the plasma) at I8. Use him for Hit and Run trolling only ever at the end of your opponents assault phase and granting ATSKNF and Shrouded to any unit he's attached to, just remember Independent Characters cannot give Infiltrate to non-infiltrating units nor can they join units that lack Infiltrate before deployment. He's survived for 10,000 years with just power armour so has no invulnerable save but his sword gives him Eternal Warrior and the aforementioned Shrouded USR. He gives 3 VP to Dark Angels players if he's killed within 6 inches of them (1 VP for anyone else who's within 6" of him when he goes down) so don't ever be within 6 inches of a DA, duh. He will give you d3 VP if he survives the match by flipping the bird against the enemy.He can bring up to 3 units of Chosen which come separate from the FOC but can't take marks, icons or transports but have ATSKNF, Infiltrate and can apparently take power fists for 5 points! You could put him and some Havocs behind an ADL with a quad gun for a 2+ covered gunline that will never ever die, you'll just have to deploy them separately at the beginning of the game.
  • Arkos the Faithless (Forge World) - Finally an Alpha Legion Character. This guy wields the Black Blade (+2S, Rending, Power Sword), has a built-in +1 T and he also gives Counter Attack to his squad. Counter Attack is easily gained with MoK, but Arkos seems to have the benefits of a few various things, plus the rending rule can mean he may get lucky while fighting 2+ save opponents. His warlord trait is the ability to just choose to determine which is your board edge pre-game; if you do this you lose the decision of who takes first turn, but you may re-roll for Seize the Initiative... not fantastic. You may take him for fluff, but unless you have little imagination and fluff expertise you can create your own dude to represent Alpha Legion lord - he's from the times when Alphas were little more than space Taliban with lots of trained cultists, rather than modern closet loyalist anons with mind-blowingly over-complicated schemes and tons of just as planned.
  • Zhufor the Impaler (Forge World) - Zhufor is a pretty strong, well costed Khorne named HQ. He is likely better than any Terminator Lord you would be able to create with the codex with 4 attacks and S5 base meaning his power fist strikes at S10 AP2, Warboss style, with a total of 6 attacks on the charge. He also has a two handed chain axe, which can be used for mulching hordes, giving him +2 attacks when using the weapon for a total of 8 S6 AP4 attacks on the charge. He packs Eternal Warrior and Terminator armour and so is much more durable than Kharn, and most other chaos HQ's for that matter. That said, he lacks AP2 at initiative that the other killy Chaos Lords can bring and cannot make sweeping advances. If you take Kharn and find that he's dying too much to AP3 at higher initiative (Space elves and Slaanesh) or S8 instant death (half the shit in the game) take this dude instead, he's likely to survive a lot longer and S10 attacks can be a lot more deadly depending on who you're facing (insta-kill those pesky wolves!). His warlord trait also gives you +1VP for each enemy character you slay in a challenge, which considering this guys stats will likely be every character without EW. He also lets you take a squad of MoK Termies as his bodyguard without filling a slot, useful if you wanted to take them anyway, they have similar attacks but bare in mind that this unit will attract a metric fuckton of attention.
  • Necrosius (Forge World) - A fearless Nurgle Sorcerer with Feel No Pain, a Poisoned (4+) bolt pistol, and a force sword. His psychic powers are pre-designated: Nurgle's Rot, Gift of Contagion, and Wasting Disease, which is a 24" range focused witchfire that automatically hits any chosen model in a squad, resolved at S3 AP2 assault 1 Fleshbane. Use it to purge those pesky GK incinerators that deny your zombies their precious 4+ FnP. He also has +1 initiative, wounds, and Ballistic Skill compared to a normal sorcerer. Sadly he can not acquire a invulnerable save thus, rarely makes use of his Champion of Chaos rule, though his I5, FNP and force sword mean he's not totally helpless.
    • The ability to take zombies as non-compulsory troops became his warlord trait, though he still grants them all Furious Charge via his "Master of the Dead" special rule. He can only take zombies from the same book he's found in (Siege of Vraks 2nd edition), but his zombies are immensely better with 4+ FnP and the "Warp Plague" rule, which allows you to add d3 zombies to a unit if it kills an enemy unit in close combat.
      • Compared to Typhus, Necrosius is better if you want to actively take zombies rather than merely using them as a preferable alternative to cultists for compulsory troops. Necrosius' zombies are far better being 90 points for 30 with FnP 4+, furious charge and the ability to generate more, compared to Typhus 130 points for 30 with only FnP 5+. If you're taking the Purge detachment found in the book you don't need compulsory troops anyway.


  • Chaos Space Marines - These are your "Line Infantry" so to speak: A 'jack of trades' unit like their Loyalist counterparts, Chaos Space Marines tend to be sidelined in favor of other options; however, while the loyalists have the option for Bikers or Scouts to grant innate mobility or improved deployment, the only other option Chaos gets is Cultists. They're considered a "tax" unit but unlike many other tax units, they have the potential to sway a battle if used well.
    • Loadout: Chaos Space Marines start off with a Bolter, Bolt Pistol, Frag and Krak Grenades, and Power Armor and the Aspiring Champion gets a "free" Close Combat Weapon added to his Wargear in the process. In the basic squad of 5 models, one model may swap out their Bolter for a Special Weapon, and in a squad of 10 or more models, another model may swap a Bolter out for Heavy Weapon or a second Special. In practice, you won't ever take the Heavy Weapon because unlike Loyalists, your guys cannot split up into Combat Squads, and you don't get Grav Cannons. Unique to Chaos Marines, any model can swap out their Bolter for a Bolt Pistol and Close Combat Weapon for free, or take the Close Combat Weapon while retaining the Bolter for 2 points. One additional note is you can run Chaos Marines in a unit of up to 20 models if you really wish. You don't get any additional Specials/Heavies for running squads larger than 20, but Icons become relatively more cost-effective the more models they affect.
      • MSU Configuration: A basic squad of 5 models, one with a Meltagun, the Champion has a Combi-Meltagun, and the unit has a Rhino. Optionally, you can equip the Rhino with a Dozer Blade or Dirge Casters, depending on your points budget. This configuration is alright if you're treating your CSM as a "tax unit".
      • Infantry Configuration: 10 models, and either 2 Plasma Guns or 2 Meltaguns. Optionally, you can run the unit with an Mark/Icon of choice. This is alright for "disruption" if you're running Hounds of Abaddon or some other formation that buffs your rank-and-file Chaos Space Marines, though it amplifies the traditional weakness of Chaos being slow.
  • Cultists: These are your "cheap" troop choice, with the option to get a unit of 10 guys for 40 points, plus another 10 for the mandatory Champion. The actual options they get are fairly weak, but they're dirt-cheap and a good "hiding spot" for characters. You can also spend the fortification slot to buy an Aegis defense line and crap the cultists in there, for an inexpensive 2+ cover save bulwark.
    • Don't bother with a mark. Cultists are a mass of expendable bodies, and don't need the points wasted on them only to die as expected. If you're really intent on making them tougher, take Typhus and make them Plague Zombies. You "could" make the case for Marking them in any of the formations that let you "regenerate" their losses, but beyond that, keep them cheap.
    • Here's a more detailed explanation why Marks are bad for your Cultists. Starting from the "best" to the worst:
      • Nurgle: Makes your lowly Cultists as tough as Space Marines. Don't get too excited because they still wear t-shirt armor.
      • Slaanesh: Your Cultists are now I4, which means that they hit before Guardsmen and at the same time as Space Marines. Nothing special but it's still a better HtH mark than Mark of Khorne (see below).
      • Tzeentch: 6++. Needless to say, it's pretty pathetic. You "could" make the case for this if you have some other way to buff their Invulnerable Save, but most of those options can't be banked on: You don't get Divination unless you're allying in Daemons or are running Crimson Slaughter, while you can't rely on the Munitorium Crate giving you a forcefield save. If you wanted to be cute with allies, you "could" do something like running this with a Kustom Forcefield to give them an effective 4++ save, but at the end of the day they're cultists.
      • Khorne: Well, this doesn't sound like the worst mark: it gives your cultists Rage and Counter Attack. The big problem with this mark is that bucket of attacks getting Counter-Attack generates doesn't mean jack when you're only S3, and you're I3 with no assault grenades (Termagants hit before them, BLOODY TERMAGANTS (not surprising considering Tyranids' initiative values are inversely proportional to their size)). MoN gives you extra resilience which is always in effect (MoK only does anything in close combat), MoS is cheaper than MoK and with MoT you can at least attempt to troll people, so there's no reason whatsoever to take Mark of Khorne, ever.
      • Don't get me wrong, at the end of the day all Marks are bad. What ultimately kills the Marks is their price. They cost exactly 50% more than they should. If you make certain calculations, you'll figure out that an amount of points dumped into marks add roughly the same survivability or offensive capability as the equal amount of points dumped into extra bodies, and extra bodies are always better because they give you both. Not to mention that Marks don't change cultists in any meaningful or fun way unlike, say, their Dawn of War 2 counterparts. So forget about the marks; Autoguns, Flamers and Heavy Stubbers are the only meaningful options that Cultists have.
    • Comment from another reader: While cultists certainly seem to be adequate objective-humpers, they are far outclassed by the sheer versatility presented by the updated rules for Renegades and Heretics, presented in Imperial Armour 13. Instead of a wimpy troop choice you now can take Battle-Brother rank allies that essentially function the same as Imperial Guard, with platoons and blobs on the cheap. Instead of generic CHOPPA or DAKKA Cultists, you have the choice of better weaponry and more flavourful fun.
    • As should be expected, the Cultist Champion isn’t going to be winning very many challenges, but on the off chance he does, and gets to roll on the Chaos Boon table, be sure to have a camera handy. If he wins the Chaos lottery, you want to be sure and record the look on your opponent’s face when a Daemon Prince erupts from your mob of cultist lasbolt-catchers like a stripper from a birthday cake. Especially since it’ll probably never happen again.
  • Tzaangors (Wrath of Magnus): Tzaangors are similar to Cultists, but with +1 Weapon Skill, Toughness and the Mark of Tzeentch. They're in an odd place price-wise, costing 20 points more than a base Cultist unit, but not getting a champion unless they pay for one. They also start dual wielding close combat weapons, and must pay extra if they want pistols. They have zero special, heavy or melee weapons options, even for the Twistbray. Their Auxiliary formation makes them a respectable skirmish unit, but otherwise they're in an awkward space where they're too pricey to be cheap, and too cheap/fragile to be elite.
    • Their "Relic Hunters" special rule gives them a bonus in assaults against anyone wielding a unique artifact: they want to steal it for their daemonic masters! This ability is marginal at best, for while it makes them to be a more effective tarpit against expensive HQs and special characters, it does nothing against lists that don't do herohammer.
    • These bird-headed mutants are close to Ork Boyz in their stats and abilities, but not necessarily in role. Boyz are cheaper with an extra attack, Furious Charge, and the WAAAAGH! Their guns hit harder as well, albeit less accurately, and they have access to Shootas and Big Shootas to put out a good number of shots at medium range. Tzaangors have their (weak) invulnerable save and more initiative, and don't fight each other when they fail a morale test. Tzaangors also have their formation(see below) which gives them an equivalent to the WAAAAGH! that they lack when taken in a CAD.

Dedicated Transport[edit]

  • Rhino: Chaos gets the Rhino, and many of the normal guidelines to using it apply here as well. However, the Chaos Vehicle armory has more options than its loyalist counterpart; remember that the main advantage of the Rhino is it is "tough for its cost", so the moment you saddle it with upgrades, it loses that advantage. Besides Dozer Blades, the options worth considering are Dirge Casters (as shutting down enemy overwatch is nice), Havoc Launchers (Chaos does not get Razorbacks, and it's a fairly decent weapon), and "maybe" the occasional Combi-Weapon if you're running a Rhino Rush list.


Cult Marines are now elites! If you want them as troops, you need a Lord with an appropriate mark (Sorceror for Thousand Sons).

  • Chosen - Be very, very careful with fielding chosen now as they will get very VERY expensive. That said, Chosen got one weird ass buff in the new Codex; no longer can they infiltrate, but they get 2 attacks base(3 EACH total, 2 base, 1 for CC weapon/pistol) and get access to a metric fuck ton of war gear. Like I said, be very careful as you will spend a small fortune on the FOC slot here. If you're not running Plague Marines, Chosen are handy as a special weapon squad, with their ability to tote around a whole pile of special weapons regardless of squad size. Don't equip them all with power weapons and claws like the Dark Vengeance kit suggests, unless you have some bizarre attraction to paying Terminator prices for non-Terminator models. Give them four to five Plasma Guns, ruining Terminator armies as they try to dislodge your heavy weapons, you can do this with Havocs but then you lose a precious heavy support choice. Give them five Melta Guns, hide in dense terrain and ruin a mech players day. Also fun with five flamers and Huron giving them Infiltrate. They are good when you need a squad with a specialised role. Flamers could be good charge deterrents and Meltas are just mean combined with a KHARIBDYSS! On the other hand, in small games, especially if using the black legion supplement, where their extra attack and leadership can prove invaluable. These guys *hate* Space Marines, and with MoS and Claws or MoK and Axes WILL fuck their day up hard if they can into close combat. That's probably why VotLW is slightly pricey for em. Hail the gods: If playing Alpha legion JUST TAKE THEM. Infiltrating, free VOTLW plasma chosen are just as stupid as infiltrating Tactical Support Squad from the heresy, and have better combat power after firing to boot
    • Mark of Khorne: They can be very useful only costing 1 more point than Berzerkers but they have an additional attack -1 WS, lack of fearless, and can gain furious charge from the icon. Giving them a variety of power weapons - read:lightning claws and fists - will enable them to take on just about anything short of terminators, monstrous creatures and super-mechs like Knight Titans. A squad like this can rip through an Imperial Guard army if you deploy right and keep hugging assault.
    • Mark of Nurgle: While expensive, this means your Chosen squad will not get bogged down in combat when in combat with Assault Marines or deep striking assault units. This also allows you to survive heavier amounts of fire power piled onto your squad in the shooting phase, otherwise fear is pointless.
    • Mark of Slaanesh: Allows you to take the Icon of Excess, but that's 35 points more(A steal if you have 10+ models in the squad, Lord and other ICs included). Give these guys MoS and an IoE and plasma guns for FnP, AP2 and I5 goodness. 10 of these guys and a rhino is cheaper than 10 Plague Marines with a rhino. You trade T5, I3 and Plague Knives for 3 attacks(base 2 and they have pistols/ccw) at I5 with access to more special weapons. Once you throw in plasma guns they will be more expensive, but hey, you have more plasma guns. Maybe give one or two a meltagun just in case. They will be hitting first a lot in CC and gunning down anything short of a land raider with ease. Such sweet cacophony.
      • Side-note: Re-gear five of them plus the champion for CC with power weapons, being I5 with FnP and stick them in a Land Raider and watch them outshine Terminators. Oh hey you can also stick 4 more with 4 attacks(per model) on the charge in for added killing power. So. Many. Attacks. Pre-Power Weapons, but still having the IoE, they are the same points cost as 10 'Zerkers with an Icon of Wrath, while having more standard attacks, the same number on the charge, higher initiative(but one less WS, but at this point who cares) AND FnP. Devastating when used properly. Throw in a Dark Apostle and/or Slaanesh Lord and dare anything in the history of ever that isn't Deathwing Knights to fight these in CC without thinking twice.
    • Mark of Tzeentch: 6+ Invulnerable and access to Soul Blaze, but that's for Havoc Heavy Bolter squads, and the 6+ is shitty. Skip. WAIT DON'T SKIP, instead chuck a sorcerer with crimson slaughter supplement with the balestar (ML3 of course) manage to give them a 4++ then a 3++ due to THIS! Also if you spend the 5 points and get preferred enemy EVERYTHING! Re roll those gets hots and pretty much auto melt terminators with pretty much negating cover saves.... Keep these not so gentlemen around a forgefiend for lulz
  • Possessed Marines - Ah, the Possessed. The ever so random knife you can bring to the gunfight that is 7e. While it is true that they got a much-needed upgrade and significantly more options, they still leave a lot to be desired. Last edition, they were 26 points apiece and had to roll their daemonkin power off a D6 once after deployment, and whatever you rolled they were stuck with for the rest of the game. But now they're back, wearing a nice suit and trying to make up for their past negligence. Fleet used to be one of the aforementioned D6 options, but now it's part of their profile by default. Also, as officially part of the daemon club, they get a 5++, also by default, and also with no point increase. Their possible power-rolls each turn (now made on a D3) give them either +1 attack and +1 initiative, power weapon attacks at AP3, or the ability to re-roll all failed to-wound rolls. Still, their most critical flaw is not even the fact that they're a horrible point sink, or that they're fragile as fuck for their cost. No, it's the lack of a proper delivery system that hurts them the most. As it is, they just get shredded before they can even make it into CC. If they do manage to charge while there's some of them around, a ten man squad with a Mark of Slaanesh and an Icon of Excess, which is worth about 325, nets you 30 attacks at S5, I5, with a defense of 3+, 5++ and FNP, which should mop up any MEQ and GEW opposition in no time. Khorne-marked possessed get even more ridiculous, being able to overwhelm even terminator squads through sheer number of incoming S5 attacks... If they manage to make it into close combat.
    • Traitor's Hate Note: There is now a formation that includes a daemon prince and 3 units of possessed, and get this - as long as the prince is alive and nearby, the possessed get all three buffs. That's ridiculously powerful if you can pull it off. Not exactly compettitive material here, but not horrible either.
    • Here are some examples for a 10-model squad (that you want charging from that Land Raider):
      • With a Mark:
        • Khorne (290p): They get 4 attacks each on the charge, 3 if they get charged. Can grind most things to a pulp on volume of high power hits alone.
        • Slaanesh (290p): They are now at I5, which is good against MEQ's - adds survivability.
        • Nurgle (300p): They have now T5, which is always nice, but if you think about it, you want your Possessed to butcher everything on the charge or better yet - in your opponent's next assault phase (so that they can't be shot at during that turn), not to tarpit. The resistance to small arms fire T5 affords is nice, but it won't help against most guns that ignore the possessed's 3+ - ant that's probably what these guys will start eating as soon as they are in line of sight.
        • Tzeentch (310p): 4++ save is great, but compared to other marks, this option lacks the killy-power they should be used for. Then again, if you're getting shot by things that ignore your 3+ armour and flatten you otright, such as battlecannons, it could be good. Only problem is, it is horrendously expensive, so you should think very carefyully about whether you want to mark your guys or just add more bodies..
      • With a corresponding Icon:
        • Khorne (15p): Strength 6 on the charge (Furious Charge doesn't work when you get charged), but they re-roll charge distance already because of Fleet.
        • Slaanesh (35p): Feel no Pain 5+ is sweet as hell, if you plan on getting shot at and surviving for another charge.
        • The other two icons are completely useless, because Possessed already have Fear and have no bolt weapons to receive Soul Blaze. They do still grant +1 to combat resolution, which helps any build of Possessed do their job better.
      • Expensive? Yes, as always. But every one of their daemonkin rolls is good. Treat them as you would a squad of Berserkers: load ten of them into a Land Raider, and then ram them into whatever enemy squad you want dead.
    • Note: IF using the Crimson Slaughter Supplement, they gain a completely different table of results that are, for the most part, better, as well as becoming troops. The results turn to either Shrouded (for both them and their transport), Beasts, or a 3++ with Rending.
    • Note: If you don't buy the comparison to Terminators, ask yourself what'll happen to 10 Terminators if they get hit by a Demolisher cannon, or a Tau Ion Riptide, or an Imperial Knight's Melta Cannon. Just as dead as the Possessed you say? No shit. There is a hard counter to nearly every unit in this game.
    • FYI, if you want to run Khorne possessed, take Daemonkin Allies. They are better (By having the Icon of wrath built in by default as Daemons of Khorne), can be affected by allied Khorne Daemon Loci, and have the same killing power as before.
  • Noise Marines - These guys are 17 pts. and ideally taken as squads of 8-12. Take some fucking sonic blasters - they're 2/3 salvo bolters that ignore cover, and they're only 3 pts.! Throw in some Blastmasters, which still fire at either S5 AP4 Assault 2/Pinning or S8 AP3 Heavy 1/Blast/Pinning... but now ignore cover, too! Besides gun choices, they also have I5 to a regular Marine's I4. Their higher Initiative means they can be used for assault quite well, but blasters are now salvo, so you cannot charge after volley of sonic death, and you're taking these guys to chase camping units out of cover. Still their CCW costs only 1 pt per model. The champ has access to Slaaneshi goodies in the armoury, too! Go the extra mile, spend 30 points and give these guys Feel No Pain, because drugs. With the new FAQ, you can take a Blastmaster at under 10 men and a second AT 10 men, making them even more awesome! The Noise Champ even gets a CCW for free!
    • For a fun time, join a Sorcerer to a group of Noise Marines and have him roll on the Biomancy table. If you luck out and roll a 4, you can give the squad FnP, Eternal Warrior and, most importantly, Relentless! What's that? Did someone say 24" Assault 3, Ignores Cover Dakkasplooge? Or give the sorcerer Slaanesh powers and go for Symphony of PAIN, a stack-able WS/BS debuff that increases the strength of Sonic weapons. If you can get multiple Sorcerers to roll this ability, you can annihilate anything through shear volleys of NOISE! Two casts on a unit of Plague Marines and Blastmasters instant kill them right through their Feel No Pain!
    • Special Note:Noise Marine could now be the best MEQ in the game. For only one three points more than a standard tactical marine you get Fearless and I5 over ATSKNF and I4. The Blastmaster is downright dirty. FNP is a steal if you take 10+ in a single unit. Sonic weapons add dakka if you need it. For an extra point you an get an extra CCW for an additional attack, essentially making them better than a vanilla marine veteran for two less points. The Champion is great in challenges. '
  • Khorne Berserkers - Despite coming with a shopping list of weapons and special rules that'd make most Loyalists weep with envy (Fearless, Furious Charge, Rage, Counter Attack, WS5 and two attacks with weapons) Berserkers have taken a bit of a hit compared to the 4th ed book. The extra attack from the Mark of Khorne has been lost, being replaced with Rage and Counter-Attack. This doesn't make an appreciable difference on the charge, as you'll still be getting off a whopping 4 attacks, but becomes more noticeable in protracted combats, as 2 attacks vs. the old book's 3 will make a big difference. And while Counter-Attack is suitably fluffy, any decent general will tell you if your Berserkers get charged, you've used them wrong. You can now takes Chainaxes, which grant AP4, making these guys the utter bane of any horde in the game, but this will push up the cost of an already highly expensive unit. Placement is key - on the charge they'll crush hordes, overwhelm MEQs with sheer volume of attacks and wipe the floor with non-melee units. If they're not charging, they're just Marines with Counter-Attack. Use them wisely.
    • Honestly thought, these guys play second fiddle to regular chaos marines with the MoK, being a ton more expensive (6PPM!), and lacking the ability to take any special weapon out side the crappy plasma pistol. They also require a lord to make then troops.
    • A word for the wise - a Land Raider actually makes a good transport for these guys. AV14 is a wonderful thing. Plunge it into the centre of a soft formation, unload Berserkers. Laugh maniacally. Add dirge casters for even more fun and games - or hell, have Kharn accompany them for giggles. If you've got a unit of Terminators who are Deep Striking, buy them the Land Raider and then stuff the Berserkers in there on turn 1.
    • Just because it keeps getting brought up, if you think Infiltrating these guys with Huron/Ahriman/a lucky roll on the Warlord Traits table is a good idea, remember that YOU CAN NOT ASSAULT THE TURN YOU INFILTRATE.
      • Alternate take: Wanna know what Infiltrate also lets you do? Outflank. Set those guys up for a side charge. Of course, you can't assault the turn you come on, but makes a fine threat that cannot be ignored.
      • Alternate alternate take: Get these guys a dreadclaw. Bitches love dreadclaws.
  • Plague Marines - These guys are the favourites of many a player, and it's not hard to see why. Got a price bump in the last codex to 24 points each - pricey, but they get: Feel No Pain, T5, frag, krak, AND defensive grenades - oh, and now they have poisoned close combat attacks! They are terrifyingly hard to kill without resorting to a vubdicator, or aggressive close-combat squads, thanks in part to the T5/FNP combo - only S10 (dreads, smashing monsters, demolishers) hits ignore ungodly 6-th edition T5-FNP(5+) of plags. In short: these guys can take huge abuse from just about anything, and will require very strong weapons or very specific units to remove. They double on offence, too - with no minimum unit size for weapons and the ability to take a transport, they can be thrown in a METAL BOX and hurled directly at enemy formations with twin meltaguns. Toughness 5 and the weakened Feel No Pain means you're going to get those off and possibly more whilst drawing lots of enemy fire away from other units. With the sheer volume of grenades they get, Plague Marines can counter several types of enemies, too. Beware the unit's low initiative count; most enemies will strike first, and a Power Weapon or two on a fast unit is one of the few things that can fuck up this unit's shit (though a bit less so, now).
    • Plague Marine squads, probably owing to their high base price, are the only cult marines to get their champion for free(and still get the obligatory boost to Leadership and Attack). This combined with less of a limit on special weapons than other squads, means that small squads are much more cost-effective and deadlier than running larger squads.
  • Thousand Sons: Oh boy, you've just stumbled one of the the most skub units in the entire game. So, you see, Thousand Sons are pretty cool; they were doing that whole Egyptian robot thing before the Necrons boarded the hype train and they have one of the best Horus Heresy stories ever (and two of the best Horus Heresy books, for that matter). And their rules look pretty cool too: AP3 bolters, 4++ invulnerable save standard, Fearless, a Mastery Level 1 Sorcerer (with force weapon!) as the Champion...and then the issues come up. They're Slow and Purposeful, meaning they cannot Overwatch, Run, or pursue fleeing opponents. It lets them assault enemies after rapid-firing their Bolters...but chances are that a good round of shooting will leave your opponent well out of assault range. The unit is also incredibly expensive at 23 points per model, and the mandatory aspiring Sorcerer is 35 points extra. The Sorcerer also comes with a Mark of Tzeentch, meaning he must generate his one and only power from the Discipline of Tzeentch. This means you either have a Doombolt vector, or the unit is serving as a Warp Charge battery. Those AP3 bolters, by the way? Yes, they're nice (especially if you catch some fellow Marines out in the open), but there's either so much cover out there, or armies can easily bring their own cover (or Jink, or use Invisibility, or whatever...) that it usually doesn't matter...at least until you start tossing out buffs or debuffs of your own; be it a Daemon Prince of Nurgle with Grotti the Nurgling, or casting Enfeeble, dropping an enemy unit from T4-T3 ups the kill factor of Thousand Sons versus Power Armor that they become akin to a small Krak Missile squad, Ghoststorm from Ectomancy lets them shunt into better firing positions to negate enemy cover, while Geomortis has one power to let them ignore cover and line of sight. Don't forget they go down just as easily as a normal Marine to light arms fire...easier in fact, because your enemy won't feel as bad firing a LOT of dakka at them. Also, if you wind up against a lightly armored enemy (Dark Eldar and Orks come to mind), you've wasted your AP3.
    • They now have the ability for every guy to take warpflamers (normal flamers with -1 AP and Soul Blaze) and one in 10 guys can get a soulreaper cannon, 24" s5 ap3 heavy 4 Rending! Overall considered to be not worth it, but now the Tzeentch table got updated so the sorcerer isn't completely shit. And they now get +1 invuln in a Thousand Sons detachment if they get a blessing cast on them.
    • Now have models :D
    • Alternative Opinion: However, as usual, it's best not just to listen to Internet Advice. Many people do prefer to run them, just because, as mentioned above, they have really, really Awesome fluff (and they can do really well in friendly games). Still, it's best to avoid them in anything approaching a competitive environment. If you do decide to take them, it's best to take them in a Rhino, to provide them with some mobility to get around.
    • Alternative Opinion: While it is true that a primarily Thousand Sons-based army is noncompetitive,this isn't because they are a bad unit, but because they fill a very specific niche of bringing enormous pain to MEQs, and they're somewhat overpriced even for that. Honestly, if you want to have a fluffy and semi-competitive army, the best strategy would probably be to lean heavily on Daemon allies and dedicated transports in order to support and mutually complement your Thousand Sons squads.To sum it up, Thousand Sons can kick all kinds of ass, you just need to really know how to use them, and who to use them with.
    • Although seemingly a shooty unit, don't forget that Slow & Purposeful prevents them from overwatching. So if an enemy squad threatens to charge them, abuse slow and purposeful to rapid fire and charge instead, denying the charge bonuses from the enemy.
  • Chaos Terminators: The good part:They get crazy cheap Combi-Weapons which are purchasable for each guy in the squad, cost less than the Loyalist scum counterparts and get Combi-Bolters which are better than Storm bolters on the charge. The bad part: they lack the cool Loyalist special rule ATSKNF, they have worse starting gear (power weapons as opposed to power fists), are missing out on the long range dakka with Combi-Bolters, and have fewer wargear options than loyalists do (sorry no Assault Cannons, CMLs, Storm Shields, or Thunder Hammers). On the other hand, they do have access to Icons and Marks like most generic squads. These make Terminators pretty goddamn scary, but it costs quite a lot to load a squad up with them. You can also still take actual combi-weapons and a special melee weapon (thanks to the new FAQ). Especially at higher points levels, make sure to take a Land Raider as a dedicated transport to save a Heavy Support slot. Here are a few popular loadout ideas:
    • Termicide: Give every single member of the squad a Combi-Weapon (usually Combi-Meltas, possibly a Combi-Flamer or two). This allows you to take small "suicide" squads of Termies that Deep Strike in, eat a tank or two with Combi-Meltas, then threaten a squad for Combi-Flamers and their power fists should they survive. This is only advised for higher points limits, as it can be quite expensive.
      • A three man squad with just power weapons and Combi-Weapons will only cost 112pts. Take Power Mauls/Axes with Combi-Flamers and you got the Loyalist's equivilent to Drop Pod Assault Marines with Flamers, but a little more expensive and better.
    • Close-Combat Anvil: Put 'em in a Land Raider (or Deep Strike them, or do a THIS IS SPARTAN ASSAULT TANK!) supported by a nasty Terminator Lord; Lightning Claws and Chainfists are, of course, advised for melee weapons. The Heavy Flamer is cheap and drops a nice S5 AP4 template. The Reaper Autocannon, while expensive, does offer accurate, long-range S7 AP4 fire support on the move, something that Havocs can't really do. Forget Khorne (do you really need that extra bit of initial close-combat punch that only helps rout an enemy squad and leave you sitting ducks for the enemy to shoot at your terminators next turn?); take Nurgle in a small-arms heavy meta that focuses on dealing with terminators by forcing saves, or Tzeentch if you're in a plasma heavy meta, are probably the best Marks to give these guys (heavy guns don't give a damn about the difference between T4 and T5, and the Chainfists ignore I5 anyway). If cost is not a factor and you're willing to get the best of both worlds (offence and defence), give em the Mark of Slaanesh, take an Icon of Excess and equip them all with lightning claws and veterans of the long war to make Space Marines cry.
  • Scarab Occult Terminators (Wrath of Magnus): Thousand Sons Chaos Terminators in blue Egyptian-themed Tartaros Terminator Armor(similarly priced to standard Terminators but with a pricier yet more powerful squad leader). They are Fearless and come with the standard Tzeentch Terminator 2+/4++, khopeshes(power swords) and AP3 combi-bolters. Their sergeant is a Mastery Level 2 psyker with a Force Staff who can roll his second power from any discipline, and has TWO WOUNDS. The squad can take two heavy weapons per five, both a Hellfyre Missile Launcher(a lighter, cheaper, shorter ranged Cyclone that only fires kraks) and either an AP3 Heavy Flamer(if somehow you are still having doubts about being able to beat 3+ power armor) or a Soulreaper Cannon. These guys are NOT Slow and Purposeful, rather following standard Terminator Armor rules, presumably because their rubric nature and their agile Tartaros armor cancel each other out. Note that unlike regular Terminators, these guys can't take any combi-weapons or AP2 melee weapons, and have minimum squad size five, so be warned: you can't do a cheap termicide with these guys, despite their other strengths. This overspecialization also means they will have serious trouble dealing with other TEQ and with walkers, so don't rely on them as the only unit in your list.
  • Mutilators: Unlike most other units, Mutilators are taken in squads of 1 to 3 models, meaning you can run them "solo" should you wish. Effectively two-wound "melee" Terminators, with the Slow and Purposeful and Daemon rules, Mutilators are figuratively (if not literally) Swiss-Army Sword. Whenever they're in close combat, in every fight sub-phase they choose a pair of weapons to use for that fight subphase, with the restriction they cannot use the same weapon in two consecutive Player Turns: Chainfists, Lightning claws, Power Swords, Power Axes, Axes or Power Mauls. While relatively cheap for a two-wound Terminator, they have their problems: They're "Slow And Purposeful" meaning you have to go out of their way to use them aggressively, they have no ranged options whatsoever, and bad scatters can easily ruin your plans. They have a very low number of attacks meaning they're not actually that good at carving through large units, though they can "solo" vehicles or small squads of Bikers...assuming they're not shot, and the opponent doesn't just Turbo away. Rather, think of solo Mutilators as a distraction in conjunction with an army built around them, or use them to "spread a net" and lock down your opponent's movement options. Worst comes to worst, a single Mutilator with the Mark of Nurgle can be a cheapish Objective Holder that isn't worth shooting at. Their slowness means you need to plan accordingly. If you're running Daemon allies or don't mind burning wounds off your Sorcerer from the getgo, Cursed Earth helps Mutilators by providing a "no-Scatter" Deep Strike zone, as well as improving their Invulnerable for the time being. Ectomancy lets you Soulswitch with them and improve their threat range, while Geomortis can give them terrain to surf on.
    • Marks: For most builds, you want the Mark of Nurgle. Toughness 5 saves you from being doubled-down by Strength 8 weapons, and makes you slightly more resilient to small arms fire. You "can" run them with Tzeentch if you're running Daemonology, since it would give them a 3++, but this isn't an efficient deathstar compared to other options. Khorne "does" give you an extra attack on the first round of close combat, but doesn't help you survive to get there. Slaanesh is arguably the worst because two of your three main weapons are Unwieldy, thus making the Initiative bonus pointless, plus you cannot pursue enemies due to Slow and Purposeful. Overall, they are not great - unless you count the Cult of Destruction. Go read on it in its own section - it's hilarious.
  • Helbrute - The Chaos Dreadnought, the Helbrute's claim to fame (or infamy) is the "Crazed" rule: Whenever the Helbrute takes a glancing or penetrating hit, then you roll a D3 on the following turn to see what happens: 1 forces him to "Fire Frenzy" (he counts as Immobilized for the turn, and fires twice, preferably targeting an enemy that took a Hull Point from him), 2 makes him ignore shaken/stunned results and give him rage, and a roll of 3 is the same as a roll of 2 but the Helbrute also gets fleet but must run if not within 12" of an enemy unit.
    • Compared to Loyalist Dreadnoughts, you don't get a "free" Storm Bolter, nor do you get Assault Cannons, the ability to double-up on twin-linked Autocannons (you make do with a single piddly Reaper Autocannon), or to be run in a squadron (eh). You do get the option for a Thunder Hammer or Power Scourge, as well as the option to double-down on fists (though you will want a gun, since every bit helps). The Helbrute is the only unit besides the Obliterator with access to Multimeltas or Plasma Cannons; the Multimelta can find use in the Mayhem Pack formation, but otherwise its range leaves something to be desired. This anon personally prefers Plasma, simply because it only takes one well-placed blast to blast a hole in a unit of bikes, and that's enough to threaten your opponent to Jink.
    • Working around Crazed: If you take a Sorcerer with Ectomancy or Geomortis, you have powers which allow the Helbrute to move despite being immobilized, so Fire Frenzy does not become as much of a hassle. Though it will probably be FAQ'd otherwise, Power Of the Machine Spirit does not have any restrictions against being used when a model runs, so you could use it to keep your Helbrute firing whenever it gets Blood Rage. Alternately, take clear note of the fact that the Helbrute must run only if there is no enemy within 12" of him, and consider that Allies of Convenience are considered enemies. That Ork Big Mek providing a Kustom Forcefield save to your Helbrute would also prevent him from being forced to run off and jeopardize your battle plans.
    • Knight Hunting - Thanks to the GW Errata giving them 4 attacks base combined with the option for free Hatred(Imperials) from Black Crusade, a Helbrute has the attacks/means to seriously damage if not destroy a Knight for a fraction of the cost...provided it can survive to get close. Terrain remains your friend of course. The problem is they both have the same Initiative, so by default you're engaging in piece-trading, the idea being losing a Helbrute is worth finishing off a Knight. That said, it doesn't have to remain a MAD scenario, especially if you have Summoning/Incursion. Fiends of Slaanesh are a notable unit worth summoning, because when they charge, any enemy unit engaged with them suffers a -5 Initiative Penalty. This would notably let your Dreads get the drop on most anything in the game (except the odd Bloodthirster or Solitaire, but those are extreme edgecases), as you'd even be able to get to swing first versus Wraithknights and stuff; while this won't matter as much against the Wraithcannon/Suncannon variants that like to "hang back" and bombard you, the Skatach remains the most popular variant nowadays and it's a notoriously short-ranged combatant.
  • Chaos Contemptor Pattern Dreadnought (Forge World): Similar to the loyalist version, in that it has a WS5, S7, FA13 and Fleet all in one death-slinging package. Compared to a loyalist Contemptor, they replace Atomantic Shielding with a Hellfire Reactor, which bestows a 4+ save against glancing hits and a 6+ save against pens. Oh, and he deals a S2 AP2 I10 automatic hit to any enemy psyker in base contact, in case you face Grey Knights. The Contemptor gets access to ranged weapons like Heavy Conversion Beamers and Butcher Cannons along with the standard dreadnought weapons, but you really shouldn't; these guys need to be in close combat. Chainfists and power fists are the go-to here; there may be an exception for the Havoc Launcher as it's cheap and doesn't take out a close-combat arm not to mention the in-built heavy flamer and twin-linked bolter. Plasma Blasters (an assault 2, 18" Plasma Gun) and Soul Burners (changed: S and AP 4 rending blast at 24") can however push it over the threshold of pricey. Regardless, remember when Grey Knights do their 'Psyfleman Dreadnought' thing? You now have an even better, choppier version albeit much more costly. Get your cup out to collect your opponents tears as you ruthlessly obliterate his Devilfishes with Pulse Carbine bearing Fire Warriors inside. BA rhino with Sternguard Combi-Melta spam? No problem, (swiftly followed by a very ironic) KA-BOOM! Speaking of things going boom, keep in mind that it also has the Loyalist version's larger explosion range if it gets a Vehicle Explodes result on the vehicle damage roll and that the ensuing explosion will possess the Soulblaze rule as well. On top of that, they can be dedicated to the Gods as follows:
    • Khorne: Your Contemptor gets Rage and Rampage. This is arguably the best one because of its price plus extra armour running you 225 points. 7 attacks on the charge that needs to be destroyed or immobilised to stop it reaching CC - eep!
    • Tzeentch: Your Contemptor gets to re-roll 1s on Invulnerable saves, and all its Heavy Flamers get Soul Blaze. It's... underwhelming. The price paid is a bit much for the re-rolls and Soul Blaze just sucks.
    • Nurgle: Your Contemptor gets It Will Not Die. Pricey, but it can help your survival; won't do much if you're immobilised or lose an arm, though. If you want a thing that just won't die and keeps regenerating itself, consider the Decimator instead.
    • Slaanesh: No, you don't get your sonic weapons back, but you do assault and defensive grenades. Do note that nothing says you cannot throw these grenades despite them being "count as", so enjoy an additional blast or blinding attack. Still, not super great considering...
  • Slaaneshi Sonic Dreadnought (Forge World): Guess who's back Bitches! The Sonic Dreadnought is back in IA:13 is a really awesome addition. It starts naked with a TL Sonic Blaster, Doom-Siren and CHAINFIST w/ Storm bolter (no mistake... even references it later) as well as the WS/BS5 statline of a venerable. It also counts as having grenades. It doesn't have the same upgrade options, so there is no Scourge or Thunder Hammer, whilst the Sonic Blasters may be upgraded to the usual guns or second arm with TL bolter... not Storm Bolter. But you'll replace it with a Blastmaster because all of the other rules on the Dreadnought benefit your sonic weapons greatly. First you may choose to overcharge your sonic weapons and give them Rending / Gets-Hot.(It should be noted for 20 points more you can always having Rending without Gets Hot, but you'll also have to spend 5 points on a TL-Heavy Bolter or TL-Autocannon, neither of which ignores cover) Also if you remain still in the movement phase you may double your rate of fire for the turn with all your sonic weapons. Meaning twice the pain. There's no reason to NOT get this dreadnought over a Helbrute unless you are trying to save points or are adamantly adhering to a mono-god list.
    • The Sonic Dreadnought fulfills chaos's need for a rifleman, while maintaining its ability to kick ass in close combat. They work very well alongside static emplacements like artillery pieces and tanks where they can baby sit the heavy support and still make themselves useful with a blastmaster. Even Knight Titans will think twice before assaulting anything near this stunted box, or else risk getting chain fisted in the next assault phase.
  • Ferrus Infernum Dreadnought (Forgeworld): The other replacement to your Helbrute, more generic and customisable than the Sonic Dread, but no less potent. Starts off with the WS/BS 5 combo making it better and all of the standard weapon options. After that, you may dedicate it to your chosen God for either Rage/Rampage (Khorne), IWND (Nurgle), Assault/Defensive Grenades (Slaanesh) or 6+ Invulnerable Save and Soul Blaze flamers (Tzeentch). Finally, you may further customise it by adding ONE extra special rule.
    • Veteran of the Long War - if it ever EXPLODES! you roll on a table that can either turn the model into a gibbering flesh monster which at least mitigates some of your loss / re-rolls the explodes result so you might get something else / Dark Apotheosis either way this upgrade depends on you exploding... not simply being wrecked. It can also issue Challenges, as if it were a Character.
    • Host of the Daemonic Icon - for starters he ignores Shaken/Stunned on 2+, next anyone who hurts him in the Fight Sub-phase immediately takes a S4 AP3 hit per hull point lost. Therefore charge this guy directly into MEQ and your enemy will hate you. Good for Dreads with blast weapons where either of these results on the damage table would usually mean you can't fire at all.
    • Destroyer of Cities - you turn your dreadnought into the loyalist siege dreadnought and must replace your arms with the Assault Drill w/ heavy flamer and get a Flamestorm Cannon. You also increase front AV by +1 and get move-through-cover like an Ironclad Dreadnought. Not a bad choice for both vehicle hunting and close range infantry purging. In the event you're playing Cities of Death, it also gets a free Wrecker stratagem.
  • Decimator Daemon Engine (Forge World): It's the Chaos Contemptor's retarded brother piled into Imperial Armour 13. They're pricey at 205 pts., its armor is now better than a Contemptor's (by one freaking point on the rear), and not as fighty (WS/BS/I 3) at first, although it does have more attacks and a higher strength. But after reading its rules, you'll notice that it can bounce shaken/stunned results on a 2+ because of Daemonic Resilience, gets a 5+ invulnerable save for being a daemon and can deepstrike. The big deal with this guy is the "Unholy Vigour" rule: it can regrow destroyed weapons and un-immobilise on 5+ AND can revive itself from a Wrecked result on a 6+ ON ANY TURN, regaining D3 HP in the process! The only downside is that rolling a 1 once it's wrecked means it stays dead for good, but why look a gift horse in the mouth? The Decimator can give up one or both of its claws to mount the following weapons:
    • Decimator Siege Claws: your Decimator comes stock with two of these, providing a total of 4 S8 AP 2 Lightning Claw attacks plus built in heavy flamers. They also confer smash with some extra fun: a smash attack against a building or transport that successfully penetrates will do an additional D6 heavy flamer attacks against the occupants per heavy flamer, meaning two siege claws and a charge gives you a potential 6D6 heavy flamer hits against anyone inside - Falcon PUNCH! This is the seven billionth thing Forge World has given us with the word "siege" in it.
    • Butcher Cannon: Not much of point taking these anymore, seeing how a Forgefiend already has two guns with an identical profile plus pinning. For added redundancy, there's now heavy weapon platforms that mount the Hades Autocannon, at a fraction of the Fiend's cost. I guess if you really, REALLY wanna cover the board in S8 AP4 fire, then by all means take a decimator with butcher cannons.
    • Storm Laser: 36" S6 AP3 Heavy D3+2. Purchased as a pair, lasers are hilariously effective against anything with a 3+ save, especially things that might be a bit too scary up close. Death Company, Lychguard, Crisis Suits, Tyranid Monstrous Creatures: Deep Strike a Decimator in and laser those pesky trouble spots.
    • Soul Burner Petard: One higher strength and worse AP compared to the Contemptor's Soul Burner and it uses the large blast marker as opposed to the small. This weapon will squish Orks/Bugs/Guard and all other manner of tarpits to dust. You only need to buy one of these (Ordnance weapon), retaining a Siege Claw for the fighty bastards that get too close.
    • Heavy Conversion Beamer: Very expensive and radically alters the way you play this guy. There isn't much this gun can do that butcher cannons (which are now pointless) or siege claws will. On the one hand, you can hide this thing in some ruins and if you're lucky, you might be able to tag one or two vehicles/squads before they get out of its useful range. Best give it a pass - the Defiler does this better.
  • The Decimator can be dedicated to one of the Gods (Note: you require an independent character with that same mark/daemon of same god in order to do so) as follows:
    • Khorne: Gains the Rampage USR for +15 pts. Against hordes you're guaranteed an additional D3 attacks, not to mention the damage a double siege claw or claw/soul-burner and Khorne dedication can do to MEQs and TEQs.
    • Nurgle: Gains the It Will Not Die USR for +25 pts! Arguably the best, no matter what the load-out. Think of it as a possessed vindicator, only better. Send this badass barrelling against the enemy lines as it just flat out ignores being shot at by most weapons. Seriously, any army that isn't equipped for the job will have an outright bitch of a time putting down a Nurgle Decimator!
    • Slaanesh: Counts as armed with assault and defensive grenades. Now that you can Deep Strike this one is... still iffy. You are probably going to go last against space marines and if you're fighting guardsmen or Tau, you have heavy flamers that can do the job better. You could alternatively use the defensive grenades and take a conversion beamer, which is still kinda puzzling because the defiler does that mobile artillery thing way better.
    • Tzeentch: Re-roll to-hits of 1's for shooting attacks and counts Heavy Flamers (if any) gain the Soul Blaze special rule for +25 pts. It's expensive and Soul Blaze sucks, but re-rolling 1's for shooting makes this the double-gun Dakka dedication. If you were planning on taking storm lasers, you're taking this.
  • Plague Ogryns (Forge World): 50 pts./model ogryns with S6, FnP and D6 poisoned 2+ attacks. Just like everything Nurgle here, they require you to take a squad of plague marines to field these. Unfortunately, they have Slow and Purposeful and really shitty armour meaning that they actually manage to be more useless than Mutilators. Take them if you want to see them go down to bolters before they get anywhere near an enemy that will likely hold out against them!
  • Spined Chaos Beast (Forge World: 140pts for WS5,S7, T6, 4 wounds, I4 and 3 attack MC. Not at all bad. Comes stock with Fearless, IWND, Daemonic Instability (what? but it's Fearless?) and Deep Strike. The two major downsides of this unit is that it's unit composition is 1 and cannot be taken in groups which takes up our precious Elite Slots and it MUST be a Daemon of a specific god:
    • Daemon of Khorne: FREE. Furious. Charge. S8 on the charge is a fucking steal for 0 points!
    • Daemon of Tzeentch: it's only 5pts. It gives you dick in terms of psychic powers, but 5 points to re-roll invulnerable save 1's is slick. Pairs nicely with Divination 4++ re-rolling 1's; adding Cursed Earth will give it a 3++ save! T6 with 3++, oh please do throw your anti vehicle shots at me!
    • Daemon of Nurgle: Garbage at 15 points. Giving a close combat unit Slow and Purposeful should be against the rules or something. Oh sure, it has shrouded, but it already has a 5++ and if you're gonna walk this guy through cover, you're gonna waste the game not getting it into combat.
    • Daemon of Slaanesh: The other 15 point upgrade, but this one's worth taking. Fleet, Rending and +3" to your runs makes this the speed demon dedication. It's actually better in a Daemons army, where it serves as a cheap replacement for a Slaanesh-Grinder.

Fast Attack[edit]

  • Chaos Bikers - If Loyalist Bikers can best be thought of as a "horse archer" unit, engaging at close range before withdrawing to a more tactically advantageous position, Chaos Bikers are better thought of as a "pursuit cavalry" option. They're one point cheaper than their Loyalist counterparts, with the usual lack of Grav/ATSKNF/Chapter Tactics that this entails, but unlike Loyalist Bikers, they get the Bolt Pistol/CCW bonus for an extra attack each. While White Scars and Ravenwing will use "Hit and Run" to avoid getting bogged down by tarpits, Chaos uses extra attacks to hope to break through.
    • Loadout: The first thing you'll notice is you have the option to give two models Special Weapons (Flamers/Meltas/Plasmas), by trading in either the secondary Close Combat Weapon your Bikers get, or trading in your Bike's Twin-Linked Bolters. Both options have their pros and cons, but this anon's personal opinion is to swap out the Twin-Linked Bolters. You only get to fire one gun anyway, and you want every attack you can get when it comes time to assault. When it comes to Bike Squads, it may be ok to go against conventional wisdom and actually buy a Power Weapon for your Champion; unlike vanilla Marines, you have the mobility to dictate your own fights, and a few lucky rolls on the Chaos Boon table could have your squad turn into a surprisingly frightening DISTRACTION CARNIFEX!
    • Marks: When it comes to Marks, you can take them or leave them. Khorne gives extra weight on the charge, while Slaanesh grants access to the Icon of Excess, which does better in this formation due to the improved toughness. The Mark of Nurgle costs more on these guys than normal, simply because it ups your Toughness. While this can give you near-immunity to small-arms fire, it provides no defense against attacks which don't work against toughness. The Mark of Tzeentch is even more pointless on these guys than on other units; while it's cheap, a 6+ Invulnerable won't mean much when you have the option to Jink.
  • Chaos Raptors - Chaos' Assault Marines with Fear. Reasonably priced and can get shit done. Icons and double-special weapons make them respectable. A solid FA option. ; they'll be in close combat, where said save matters most (If you're going for CC take Khorne or Slaanesh. Tzeentch should only be taken if you're going for fluff). Whilst Slaanesh and Khorne are easily the best (and cheapest) options, the other two are good too. Plasma pistols are a more balanced choice, though their range can be a serious issue. A solid unit, through and through; you can't really go wrong with Raptors. Fortunately with 6th Edition these guys can pull Hammer of Wrath - an initiative 10 bonus attack on the charge. Not too shabby.
    • Loadouts: Meltaguns tend to be the weapon of choice. They let you light up transports or heavier vehicles, while your Bolt Pistols/CCWs let you shred through lighter infantry. Flamers are alright except for overlapping roles, while Plasma Guns are not particularly worth taking, as you do NOT have Relentless and won't be able to charge after firing them. Plasma Pistols are glorified point-sinks.
    • Marks: Mark of Slaanesh makes for three I5 attacks each (on the charge), Icon of Khorne gives 4 I4, Icon of Nurgle makes them T5 (and thus harder to kill), and Tzeentch gives them Invulnerable saves which you'll almost never make :)
  • Warp Talons: Oh, boy, here comes the proverbial shit twinkie in the CSM codex. Here it goes. Take everything you may like about Raptors (but strip them of ALL THE FUCKING GRENADES! I mean what the hell Phil?!) and turn the diarrhoea up a few notches and TA-DA! 30 pts. a you power armoured dude with pair of lightning claws, the daemon special rule and when he deep strikes with the rest of his crew, their pimping bling has a chance of blind everyone within 6". Usually a 33% chance (against marines, if they don't have a character in that squad). Should you actually manage to blind the enemy, most things will hit you on a 6 at range or a 5 in close combat making them easy, defenseless pickings. Too bad it almost never works. These guys should have been your first wave, coupled with Oblits for fire support and Maulers for hard targets. What makes them extremely shit is the fact that they can't assault after deepstriking, which means that even if they did manage to get in turn 2, they will get shot at by everything they didn't blind (read everything) and then do some more dying when it gets time to eat that overwatch. Theoretically they can be good with an icon of Slaanesh (Lol nope) and a Jump Pack Lord for extra punch. However, the cost is so prohibitive and the potential so limited that... No. Just no. Also work exceedingly well in Planetstrike missions; the 7th ed update in Sanctus Reach means that Deep Striking attackers can still assault after arriving on the table, meaning your Warp Talons can truly benefit from inflicting blindness on nearby units and don't have to stand around for a turn while they get blasted away. Bottom line is - they're just too fragile to survive and too expensive to take in large enough numbers to make a dent in the enemy lines after getting shot at for a turn. It really is a shame, cause they have one of the most dynamic, detailed kits out there (same one as the Raptors).
    • STOP THE PRESSES:: The Raptor Talon formation introduced in Traitor's hate finally gave Warp Talons some love. See, now they can not only assault on the turn they came in - their fear ability might actually turn out to be useful with that -1 to LD AND fear, if two or more units manage to charge. Now, scatters will be scatters, so it's not guaranteed that you will always be able to get two units in CC - but if you manage to do so on anything less than a TEQ chances are you're going to tear it a new asshole. Now - as counter-intuitive as that may seem, almost any mark EXCEPT khorne is a good fit on these guys. Slaanesh & banner makes them more survivable as they will hit first, ignore armour saves and if they get hit back FNP. Nurgle helps you not get thinned down by overwatch and not lose dudes to regular CCW's. Tzeentch could help you if you've just charged someone who can ignore your 3+, as a 4++ can be decent. Overall, using this formation is a gamble, but unlike anything else you could do with these guys, it has the potential to actually pay off.
    • Alternative opinion:: Blinding a 3-dudes XV-88 Apocalypse squad (can't be done anymore since all Tau suits get immunity to Blind from their Wargear) and giving a turn to your machines (especially Fiends, Helbrutes and Defilers) to shoot and get to CqC could be worth the risk, you can shred the armoured weeaboo next turn. Unless you took the Dimensional Key and manage to activate it, you have a reasonable risk for a bad scatter dice roll, and kissing your nasty melee unit goodbye. Vanguard Veterans suck, people (save in the case of Blood Angels, for whom they are just on the edge of hilariously awesome). You can also hop-scotch them over terrain for a turn-2 assault with your Initiative 5 (Mark of Slaneesh) or RAGE-fueled (Mark of Khorne) lightning claws. Beware that this will make them a huge fire magnet for a relatively fragile unit with only 3+/5++, so keep them screened by cover or friendly vehicles on their first turn. Or you can crap them the Mark of Tzeentch to have a 4+ inv. to be more confident about anti-MEQ weaponry. Not definitive, but nice.
    • Alternative opinion #2:: Deep Striking these guys is a bad option. Like, Michael Jackson Pepsi commercial bad. Yeah, the warpflame can be nice--IF IT WORKS. Remember, most boards are going to have you against I 4 (dem Marine), so it's a 1-4 shot of them passing the test. It's too risky to rely on the Blind to take care of getting shot the fuck to bits. Also, these things Deep Striking at vulnerable bits makes people shift fire to end your panty raid nice and quick. Unless you're diverting fire (and who wants to pay so much for a diversion--just use a distraction Mutilator instead). What I've found works to lulz-worthiness is giving them to Slaanesh with a Sorcerer with a Jet pack. Take at least one power from Slaanesh (all are great), and then Biomancy it up with what is left. These guys will tear up damn near anything they run into. OR...
    • Alternative opinion #3:: Ally with daemons. You know how any mass-deepstriking daemon army abuses the fuck out of icons and instruments? Yeah, you can do that too. Ta-daa! Enjoy precision deepstriking these guys to blind enemies so that your daemons can survive that 1 turn of shooting before they can get into melee!.
  • The Unnameable Beasts : According to legend, during a dark, terrifying time not so long ago, these were but a sick joke; no one took that which must never be named, not even in funny lists, not even for flavor nor fluff. No sane person took them; they were easily the worst unit in all of 40k, which is a hell of an accomplishment, considering Pyrovores existed back then too.. Not anymore! Chaos Spawn are now the workhorse of any assault based Chaos Space Marine army- OH MY GODS NO PL- BJADKJFOASIHDOLADMFNCAOSJ. Anyways, Run them forward ahead of your Rhinos and tag team them with your Maulerfiends. If even a single Spawn makes it into combat then they've served a very important purpose: tying up the enemy while your assaulting units hop out of their rhinos. They will also divert fire away from your Rhinos because the opponent is left with selecting 1 of 2 bad choices: either shoot the spawn to prevent his units from being tied up in combat or shoot the rhinos and hope they get disabled while still getting assaulted by the Spawn. Spawn now get access to a similar mutation ability to Possessed. Spawn also lost slow & purposeful but they eat up a slot now. Unless, that is, one of your dudes gets mutated into one. This isn't as bad as it sounds, as long as it's not a major loss and the resulting Spawn is within combat range. Their new stats make them excellent suicide melee units if one is to suddenly pop into existence, and can hopefully make back a few of the points lost by whatever 'spawned them. But being a Daemon Prince is like, 40,000x better.
    • Alternative opinion: The new buffs of rage, a ten point price drop, the minor but useful random ability at the start of each fight sub-phase, the ability to take marks (36 points for a t6 w3 unit) and the fact that you can now control the damn things mean they can actually be useful when used to escort ICs across the board, such as a bloodcrusher mounted lord with the axe of blind rape, bike sorcerer (giving him much needed protection), or if you don't mind wasting their movement, Typhus (who becomes t6 and can use the destroyer hive without wiping out his own unit). If you enjoy cheese, take 5 with MoN, stick a Nurgle Biker Lord in there with plenty of bells and whistles, and you have a ridiculously durable unit that is almost guaranteed to get your Lord across the board, whilst drawing tons of firepower away from your other units. Less than 200 points for 15 t6 wounds that can close the gap between you and your opponent ridiculously fast is a steal, and so durable that they'll most likely stick around for use as late game objective clearers. And if they don't, your oppponent has probably been diverting enough firepower towards them that the rest of your units can move up the board practically unassailed.
    • Alternative Option 2: Run 5 of these all with MoN, then use Be'lakor to cast invisibility on them. 5 T6 3W beasts which can only be targeted by snap-shots running up the battlefield and getting anywhere from 5-30 attacks per combat sounds pretty damn good.
    • Pro modeling tip if you already didn't figured it out: Their box contains 2 square and 2 rounded bases. Make 2 legitimately, then use some green stuff/playdough/hot glue to make an additional two (just model up some snake bodies, slap some spare heads and tentacles. Alternatively, pour some hot glue on top of another model/random cluster of bitz and push some appendages in while the thing is still warm). Profit!
  • Hellturkey: (Attack Flyer) Here be dragons(Swoop)(no swooping, swooping is bad(at least for your enemies))! This is that it's a flyer, which you need now, unless you want to invest in a Sicaran. What it can do is Strafing Run with a Hades Autocannon (R36" S8 AP4 Heavy 4 pinning) or drop a S6 AP3 torrent. However, it's prized ability is the vector striking at S7 against land or air targets - yowza! A good move will have you wiping your opponent's aircraft and a unit of troops off the field. For even more fun, you can use its Daemon Forge ability once per battle to reroll your wounds/pens! Careful though - although more resilient than most with 12/12/10, the bird is still thin skinned. Even though it has a 5++ and can jink in addition to being a flyer that Will Not Die, a good penetrating hit will drop it right out of the fucking sky. Still, arguably one of the best units of the entire book - sailing carelessly through air, your opponent's army it shall RIP AND TEAR... ahem, take two and take Baleflamers. With the advent of 7th edition and the FAQ (see below), Heldrakes are no longer the unbelievable, unlimited rape machines they were in the past. The 7th edition nerf to Vector Strike hits the Heldrake just as hard as the nerf to his weaponry. Since the Heldrake can no longer feasibly flame/gun the unit it Vector Strike-d (but note that you can still burn something else), you're often going to have to make a choice between getting a vector strike in, or positioning yourself for effective shooting. This dramatically reduces the Heldrake's usefulness, unless you're using the Death From The Skies maneuverability rules. This isn't to say Heldrakes aren't usable, but no longer are they an auto include in any CSM army.
    • The latest FAQ put a stop to the turret fun as the heldrake's weapons are treated as hull-mounted now, so no more Asses of Fire. Guess GW got tired watching the Corpse Emperor's lackeys burn in the fires of the warp and decided to nerf this Chaos flyer back to the Eye of Terror from "everyone bitches about how cheese it is" to merely "good". Tragically, this is not a surprise.
  • Chaos Storm Eagle (Attack Flyer, Pursuit 3, Agility 2, Forge World): 20 pts. cheaper than a loyalist Storm Eagle, still a fast attack, can't take a Typhoon Missile Launcher instead of its Heavy Bolter, but can upgrade to a Reaper Autocannon for free. It also loses the Power of the Machine Spirit rule, like every other Chaos unit, but everything else is otherwise the same. You can buy Possession for this thing, which is recommended. Take a full squad of marines, cult marines or termies and away you go! Alternatively, put Kharn and some 'zerkers in this, watch your opponent cry.
  • Hellblade (Interceptor, Pursuit 5, Agility 3, Forge World): Was Chaos' own Supersonic Flyer long before the Helldrake was on the scene, comes with two AND ONLY TWO EVER reaper autocannons, which is nice because it's only BS3. Can be possessed, though with only 2 HP there's no point in doing so. If you can't fit raptors, havocs or drakes into your list, you could always settle for one of these in your fast attack slots, but don't expect it to survive: AV10 all around and only 2 hull points makes it thin skinned, although it gets 4+ evade. With 6th ed, it's a full-fledged flyer, allowing it to hate on heavy infantry and light vehicles with impunity, while its high volume of decent strength shots make it deadly against other flyers. Be warned, even a Fighta-Bommer's defensive big shootas or a fucking Pintle mounted Stormbolter can blow this thing out of the sky due to it's shitty armour. The updated rules give it a price break, though once you upgrade its reapers to Helstorm autocannons (And really, why the fuck would you NOT?) it sits once again at 115pts. It now comes with a straight-up 5++ save and a fun little ability to allows it to be repositioned D6+2" before it takes a move, and the "Unnatural Predator" rule lets you pick out an enemy flyer before the start of the game and re-roll all To Wound or AP rolls of 1 against it, which is rather nifty.
  • Hell Talon (Strike Fighter, Pursuit 4, Agility 4, Forge World): Oh, you thought 'Blood Slaughterer' was a stupid name? A fighter bomber with Supersonic, 4 hull points and Strafing Run - which makes it having sex awesome! With its single Reaper autocannon it can put holes in heavy infantry, light vehicles, and aircraft, with its bombs it can blow apart blobs in a glorious inferno, and with its twin linked lascannon it can put holes in enemy tanks, making Mech Guard and Nidzilla cry. Another nice feature is that if the enemy army is light in MEQ units, you can swap out the autocannon for a havoc launcher instead to really get some pie plate hate on things. Just like the Blade, it gain the point break, autocannon upgrade, free invuln and teleport ability. It also gets to pick between a whole load of bombs, each of which if more fun than the others against a specific target, giving your bomber some versatility. These are bananas. Not only do they have great Flyer stats, but they suffer no penalties for shooting at ground targets the way generic fighters do. If you're expecting enemy Flyers, take these.
  • Dreadclaw Assault Pod (Attack Flyer, Pursuit 1, Agility 1, Forge World): The Chaos Space Marine version of the loyalist drop pod, the Dreadclaw has the nifty advantage of NOT being immobile (it's a deep-striking flyer with hover) and it's an assault vehicle with better armour than a rhino. Unfortunately, it eats a fast attack slot but it can deep strike 10 marines, 5 termies (though they can already do it just fine without) or a dreadnought. It counts as a Fast Skimmer once it Deep Strikes onto the table, not Zooming, therefore, you don't need sixes to hit but you can Jink to get 4+ cover (3+ if nightfight). It can Deep Strike onto the table Turn 1 and unload a shooty alpha strike unit, or move Flat Out 18" to set up a perfect Turn 2 charge. 100 points, but it gives us some fun new options and mobility. Also note that since it's a Dedicated Transport for CSM you have an Objective Secured fast skimmer (or Chosen in an Abaddabadon or BL list) to snag or contest objectives.
    • Edit: all is good and beautiful, but it has no "transport" rule. So beware rules lawyers. Mind, it also has the Daemonic Possession thingy, so shoving expensive units inside is highly undesirable (ahem, Dreadnoughts). Remember, it is rolled even if the unit starts the game already embarked upon such vehicle! Yet despite this you gain a deepstriking assault transport you can land somewhere safe (there's no Inertial Guiding System on that thing, don't treat it like a normal Pod) then flat-out towards the target. Jink to avoid the inevitable storm of hate that will head your way, move again, deploy, and assault. For the mathematically inclined that's 6+6+2d6 = 18" - 24" charge range. Take these if you have want a glorious chaos drop pod assault. Feel like a legionnaire.
    • Forgeworld has finally released an update that brings all of its Flyers up to date with Death from the Skies. What's weird is that Dreadclaws and Kharybdis are included in this document, as a rare case of "technically a flyer but." While all but worthless in a Dogfight and as maneuverable as a rock, they can be taken in Wings now and gain Attack Pattern benefits.
  • Blight Drone (Attack Flyer, Pursuit 3, Agility 4, Forge World): Possessed hovering flyer with a BS2, Daemon of Nurgle (i.e. Shrouded & 5+ Invulnerable save), reaper autocannon and a mawcannon (without tongue). It costs 150 pts, has pretty decent armour (12/11/10), but it will also explode when wrecked so be sure you get this thing as close to the enemy as possible! They can be taken in squads of 1-3 too. The mawcannon has a flamer mode (S6 AP4) and a large blast (S8 AP3).
    • Forgeworld's DFtS expansion make these buggers fair to middling in a Dogfight, but BS 2 and only having 1 direct-fire weapon and no Skyfire makes these rather lackluster. You may be able to use your USRs to tank through a Dogfight, but you won't be grounding enemies this way. YMMV.

Heavy Support[edit]

  • Defiler - So here's this giant enemy crab-Dreadnought. Your Swiss-army vehicle; can do anything to some degree or another - and do it well. Has Fleet, 4 hull points, is somewhat better at shooting than a Dreadnought (with access to more long-range weaponry, including a Battle Cannon) and all the other Daemon Engine flair (5++, fear, IWND and Daemon Forge). This unit is amazingly flexible; you can have it shoot off plenty of firepower when stationary (It has a Reaper Autocannon, Battle Cannon, and Heavy Flamer by default), can be upgraded to be even more shooty by replacing the Reaper Autocannon with a Twin-Linked Lascannon or Twin-Linked Heavy Bolter, and the Heavy Flamer with a Havoc Launcher. Unfortunately, the cannon is Ordnance and even bound Daemons can't handle firing Ordnance as well as a Heavy Flamer or Havok launcher, apparently. With 6th Edition ruining Havoc Launchers, the shooty option is a Reaper Autocannon or Heavy Bolter Snap Firing to your Battlecannon's tune. You can go the full Monty for the Assault route, and replace the Autocannon and Flamer for a power fist or scourge respectively. The fist will get you a +1 attack and is free which is nice, but it already has two (walkers get +1 attack for EACH weapon after the first, which means 5 attack, 6 on charge) and the scourge will reduce the WS of models in base contact, so you don't even have to use it, just be in contact. Also this will leave you with only battle cannon assuming you didn't take havoc, since battle cannon is ordnance you don't need any other shooting weapon). With its ability to fire off tons of firepower AND/OR rush forward and rape things with its giant crab-claws, this thing is as versatile as units come. Its main drawbacks are that its melee and firing accuracy are average (BS/WS/I3) meaning that Power Fists smack you around and all the other Dreadnoughts except Orks go before you, and they can buy two Deff Dreads to your one Defiler. It's also an extremely large vehicle, and one that will attract a lot of enemy fire, causing enemies to put a lot of resources into attacking its weak point for massive damage. Which you can even capitalize on, using the weak side of the Defiler as a lure to bring in some of their anti-vehicle troops in right where you want them. The catch is its fairly high cost - a basic defiler is just under 200 points, and is essentially an AV 12/12/10 walker. This renders it less effective, for all its new toys, than its previous incarnation. Compare it to a doomsday ark.
    • Note DO NOT charge dreads with a defiler. Contrary to the fact that one of the most popular artworks of defilers is one in which a deffie pulls a dreadnought apart with its claws, now that dreadnoughts have FOUR power fist attacks at I4 that will be hitting you on 3... chances are the crab will be wrecked before it gets a chance to swing its manifold limbs. This reduces its usability by a fraction.
    • Alternative Opinion: When you do compare it to a doomsday ark, you'll notice that it will fall apart pretty quick when something gets too close to it. Not quite so for a defiler - while a D-day ark might have to try and run off to avoid getting popped open, you can throw a defiler happily at almost anything in charge range. Giving it a power scourge over its heavy flamer has the hilarious advantage of reversing any close combat prey's fortune as they will now hit on 4's and YOU hit THEM on 3's! Warp flame gargoyles on your guns will also do well to soften up a target before a fleet-assisted charge.
    • Havoc Launcher not doing it for you? How about TWO Havoc Launchers? Defilers have access to the chaos vehicle armory (page 102, Defiler entry, bullet point three) which is largely overlooked, meaning they can take an additional havoc launcher along with a combi bolter and a combi melta/flamer/plasma, so your defiler can always have a little bit more close (combi flamer/melta) mid (combi bolter) and long (havoc launcher) firepower, damn this crab is versatile! Warpflame Gargoyles make all your ranged weapons soul blaze, meaning the shooty Defiler can mulch infantry with even more effectiveness. And they can take Dirge Casters, meaning the assaulty Defiler can't be overwatched. Neat!
  • Havocs - Havocs are essentially "Chaos Devastators." You start with a squad of 5, that can take four Specials/Heavy Weapons at any squad size. There are two primary ways to run them: Either as long-range fire-support, or as part of a "Rhino-spam" army. In the former case, this is one of the notable units where you do want to give them Veterans of the Long War. The difference between Leadership 9 and Leadership 10 (or more realistically, Leadership 8 versus Leadership 9 due to the sergeant tending to be a glorified bullet-catcher) matters all the more when your fire support is camping by the table edge! In the second case, you'll want "two Specials and a Rhino". The Chaos Warband gave this option a new lease on life, as being able to run obsec Special Teams alongside small obsec Chosen Teams has its appeal.
    • If you still fancy using heavy weapons Havocs, Forgeworld has you covered with pretty little SM autocannon sets of five for both Legion and Kalibrax pattern (that are compatible with default vanilla arms) for just over double the price! Consider using those since everybody and his dog knows how bullshit GW Havoc box sets are (a hundred pounds for a complete set of weapons, really? Devastators have this for, like, half the price, and that's with other toys like combis, hammers and shit.)
    • Heavy Weapons Havocs become a lot more viable if you play Death Guard, giving them FNP and Relentless
  • Chaos Rapier Weapons Battery (Forge World): For 40 pts. you get an Artillery unit armed with Quad Heavy Bolter and manned by 2 Chaos Space Marine crewmen. Might take up to 2 additional Carriers with crew for 40 pts. each. The weapons may be upgraded to a Laser Destroyer (TL Ordnance AP1 Lascannon), Ectoplasma Cannon or Hades Autocannon (the same as Forgefiend's), or a Heavy Conversion Beamer. The Chaos Rapier allows you to fill the Heavy Support with fairly cheap heavy weapons on miniature tank treads, and it is worth noting they have the usual CSM BS4. Lastly, the Hellish Demise special rule means you must roll a D6 when the Chaos Rapier is destroyed. On a roll of 1 it explodes in a S3 Large Blast, 2-5 do nothing, whilst 6 does the same as 1 but leaves a non-scatter DS marker for any units with the Daemon USR. Pretty much all Rapier configurations are superior to the Havoks and Forgefiends in BOTH firepower and survivability, while being cheaper (though Fiends have their mobility and once-per-game damage booster, and Havocs can bring special weapons for Rhino drive-by or missile launchers for versatility). It should be no surprise for anyone that Forge World prices for Rapier models are outrageous.
    • Rapiers are great models for niche roles in your chaos army. Conversion Beamers are an excellent addition to any CSM ranged list, while Hades autocannons are impressive anti-infatry/MC/flyer units. There price and immobility also negate the 'better than havocs' argument. They are different, and expensive over time. But totally worth it when used appropriately.
    • Alternative take: Probably the best heavy support option for CSM. You like Vindicators yes? How about 3 Vindicator blasts at double the range that don't get fucked by melta & Haywire. Yeah they get suckier the closer the enemy get to them but you are CSM! If the enemy is getting closer to them you can charge them with your superior fighty units. They can also be pretty cheap to make. Just buy some of the Conversion Beamer arm mounts from FW and scratch build your own bases for them (or just buy 3rd party tank tracks) you're chaos so anything works, nurglings carrying it, mount it on the back of a daemon, have loyalist slaves haul it around, get creative.
  • Chaos Land Raider - It's the classic Land Raider pattern (aka, schizophrenic multiple personality disorder). The Chaos one is slightly less useful than the Loyalist version because despite being 20 points cheaper there's no Machine Spirit. It usually serves one of two major roles - as a heavy offensive vehicle (it's expensive but dear Tzeentch does it get the job done whilst being a giant fire magnet in the process) and to insert your huge, nasty, pulsating close combat squad deep into the soft moist folds of your opposition. If you use it for the latter, load it up with Extra Armour, and keep it rolling forward. Daemonic Possession isn't really worth the points, or the dip in BS. Even with twin-linked weapons, turning a 3+ to-hit into a 4+ is a tough sell, and all you really want the damn thing to do is move. And besides, do you really want to take the risk that the tank will OMNOMNOM your Terminator Chaos Lord on turn one? Because that's a thing now (your models risk being omnomnomed when you embark, which is a great mental picture, but can ruin your shit if you're unlucky). Unlike loyalist, can take dozer, greatly reducing chance for your 230+ pts transport to become utterly useless in one dice throw.
  • Chaos Land Raider Proteus (Forge World): Oldschool battle tank type Land Raider - it lacks transport capacity and assault ramp of regular Land Raider, but comes cheaper and has multimelta AND melta-immune options. While loyalists get some neat reserve-based abilities for their Proteuses, the Chaos one gets Fear and a troll-tastic upgrade that forces anyone trying to shoot it to pass a pinning test first. Overall a good choice if you want to use it as battle tank instead of a Terminator party-buss, or to deliver special weapon squads into rapid fire/melta/flamer range. Can take the "Ark of Unnameable Horror" upgrade, meaning all units that fire on the vehicle must make a pinning test or Go to Ground immediately, not firing. Doesn't work against Fearless units, units firing without line of sight (such as barrage), or units without a leadership value. Taking the Ark drops transport capacity from 10 to 8.
  • Chaos Infernal Relic Achilles (Forge World): Not as unkillable as the Heresy-era Achilles or the one corpsefuckers use nowadays, as it lacks lance-immunity and -1 to damage (still melta-proof, though), but in a typical Chaos fashion it picks it up on the offensive, gaining +1S and -1 AP for its quad-mortar each time it loses an HP. Watch your opponent rage as 1HP Achilles drops 4 S8 AP2 blasts across the board. Unfortunately it costs an absurd amount of points, making it all but unusable in competitive games. Makes a good tar-baby to carry your Oblits/Mutilators/Typhus in.
  • Chaos Spartan Assault Tank (Forge World): Land Raider on steroids. This thing is armed with 2-shot TL lascannons at each side, could fit up to 25 guys inside (or 10 termies, Abaddon and Typhus with room to spare) and has 5 HP. There is no reason to buy Land Raider, if you have enough souls of firstborn to afford this model. That moment when you realise just how difficult it is to fill this vehicle. You can only fit one squad + Independant characters so only cultists can fill it to the top. You could also ally in some spam from the Renegades and Heretics list to bulk this out. Also - don't forget - Dirge Casters for 5 points! Watch your opponent's face as the full capacity of your Spartan spills out and they can't even overwatch against it!
    • The Forge World Land Raiders are comparably easy to convert from normal Land Raiders - you just need plastic card (or wood, or styrofoam) and enough guns.
  • Obliterators - A long time Chaos army favorite with plenty of Dakka fitted in a small, deadly package. They used to be absolute cheese, but even though every time they appear in a codex, they get weaker, they're still the best heavy support choice in the book. Formerly the Techmarines of their chapters, Obliterators have contracted a warp-contagion that sears their flesh to their armour and causes their weaponry, likewise, to be subsumed. In time they have become enormous arcano-cyborgs, not quite marine, not quite machine, not quite daemon (well actually they are considered daemon type units in this rulebook, so they cause fear now, nice bonus). They're tough as hell and can take phenomenal punishment, even though they lost their fearlessness from last edition (seriously, how did that happen? But they don't give a fuck in fluff but will retreat if fighting gets too hot). For 70 points, you get a model with 2 wounds, a 2+ armour save, 5+ invulnerable save, and the ability to Deep Strike. Suffice to say, they can find a role in damned near any army, since they can soak up damage and demolish squads in pretty short order. That said, you should nearly always be deepstriking them. Parking them in cover and using Lascannons and Plasmacannons each turn is a sure enough way to waste both their durability and their firepower, and if that's the tactic you want to use why aren't you just taking Havocs? Timing is everything with an Obliterator drop, and you need to know when to drop them to deal with a problem unit, be it a cover-camping squad of Fire Warriors or a big squad of SPHESS MHUREENS tacticals. Getting them into heavy cover basically turns them into a strongpoint. They're also decent in assaults. Still, you'll want to avoid getting them tarpitted, regardless of whether it's by Guardsmen or Bloodletters. With only one powerfist to work with in close combat, it takes them forever to kill anything that's not just a vehicle or small squad, and even with the buffs 2+ armour, they're still going to die if they get caught by any elite melee unit. With the new codex they can now take marks, making then T5 or improving their save to 4++, making them an even larger pain to get rid of (You CAN give them Rage or +1I...but that would be missing the whole point of the unit). Oblits can use the following weaponry (they all come on a single model, and because Phil dislikes the cheese in the previous rulebook, he's made them trickier to use because now you can't pick the same weapon two turns in a row): Lascannon, Assault Cannon, Plasma Cannon, Multi-Melta, Heavy Flamer, Twin-Linked Flamer, Twin-Linked Plasmagun, or a Twin-Linked Meltagun. He also packs a single Power Fist for use in CC.
    • Tactics: if you buy 3 Obliterators, you're looking at around 220 points. Ideally you'll want to drop them first next to a tank you want gone and fire up their multi-meltas, so that they can make a chunk of their points cost (around 150) back. Jackpot if the enemy is bringing a Land Raider. Slow and Purposeful allows you to fire the Multi-Meltas even after deep-striking, but if you happen to scatter within 6" of the tank it is a safer bet to use the twin-linked meltas instead as they have more accuracy. After that, you'll want to set your eyes on infantry, Monstrous Creatures or other light transports - 3 Assault Cannons do a great job of causing lots of damage for either enemy type. Alternately you can drop three Plasma Cannon blasts on any MEQ/TEQ unit you catch outside cover. Sadly Obliterators can't fire overwatch due to SNP, but they do have their powerfists and 2 attacks each for desperate measures. If you have given them MoT, they could charge an MC they have wounded and try to finish it off quickly.
    • Alternative opinion: Whilst Obliterators are unquestionably versatile, even with the mandatory switching of weapons every turn, they are no longer the sole Heavy Support unit you will see players fielding. Obliterators are tough: ridiculously so. However, they pay a lot of points for this durability, and it makes their firepower-to-cost ratio rather low. 2 lascannon shots a turn for 140 points before marks is a rather expensive way to deter vehicles. Compare to the other options, such as Havoks and Forgefiends, who are incredibly economical in their distribution of ammunition, and the Obliterators start to seem a bit pricey. Obliterators sit somewhere between Havoks and Foregefiends in terms of durability. They are vulnerable to anti-infantry guns being Toughness 4, but have a 2+ armour save to protect them and 2 wounds. Their higher armour and multiple wounds entice players to fire anti-tank guns at them, but they can grab cover more easily than vehicles, and a lucky shot will only kill half the squad, rather than the entire vehicle. The downside to this mid-range endurance is that every unit the enemy has can affect them. Any unit in range has a chance hurting them, so concentration of fire to eliminate them early is a very real danger. This is rather unfortunate, as the durability that they pay so many points for can end up their achilles' heel.
    • Marks are very important, especially MoT or MoN. Some key things to remember: a 4+ invulnerable save is a godsend when the opponents will surely target you with AP2 weaponry (and this can be bumped up to a 3+ if you happen to, say, park them on a Skyshield Landing Pad) but most AP2 weaponry will Instant Death the crap out of them. This is where MoN is taken into consideration; there are far more strength 8 and 9 weapons in the game compared to Strength 10, which means that the opponent will be less likely to fire those weapons your way, as there's little point in doing so if they can only cause one wound anyways. It also means that they might just try the more time-honored tactic of drowning you in small arms fire - again, the MoN comes in handy here, as T5 is a hella lot more resilient than T4, and you still get your your 2+ armour save and your 2 wounds, so your total squad firepower wont be dropping anytime soon even if he directs 100 guardsmen to fire at your obliterator unit (you'll take about 3 wounds. Don't underestimate lasgun fire en masse). A lot of it depends on your meta really. If you generally play a lot of superheavies than MoT can be better than MoN due to more access to S10 and the D, but otherwise don't bother, as even if you're opponent brings a vindicator it's pretty easy to just deepstrike and pop it.
    • With deepstrike accuracy being such an important issue here, an obvious choice in HQ department is someone with Dimensional Key, probably a Daemon Prince. With Ahriman or Huron as Warlord, one can then infiltrate said Prince for a turn 2 charge and bring these guys in turn 3. This also has good synergy with heavy melee deepstrike, our strength over the loyalists with Raptors or Warp Talons, both of which have gone up in the world since the Heldrake nerfing.
  • Chaos Predator - Pretty much the same as the loyalist version, in both performance and cost. As long as it doesn't come up across Haywire or D-weapons, parking one of these guys in a corner will give you a good source of Lascannon fire that will take a fair share of firepower to shift from the table. As an actual battle-tank, for moving-and-shooting, the Predator isn't particularly useful, not only because of snap-shooting only one weapon at a time, but because its relatively large-ish side-arc makes flanking it easy.
    • Loadouts: By default, the Predator gets one Autocannon, which can be upgraded to a twin-linked Lascannon. This simply won't do for damage, so you will want to upgrade it with sponsons, of the Heavy Bolter or Lascannon variety. The three main ways to run a Predator: Autocannon & Heavy Bolters for anti-infantry, three Lascannons for anti-tank, or the Autocannon with Lascannon Sponsons for versatility; the "Lascannon plus Heavy Bolter Sponsons" loadout in practice should never be used. Points permitting, toss a Havoc Launcher on top of one of these tanks as it gives you slightly more firepower than your Loyalist brethren. Traitor's Hate gave Predators the ability to Squadron, and while all three are alive, they get Monster Hunter and Tank Hunter. In practice, this isn't worth doing because your vehicles do not have easy access to Power of the Machine Spirit.
    • Dirty Trick vs Tau: This is the cheapest source of Lascannons your army gets. If you're going heavy on Psychic support and can get good cover (either from fortifications or using your own Rhinos as glorified wrecks), Say your opponent runs Broadsides or so. AV 13 makes the Predator immune to Smart Missiles, while S9 AP 2 instant-deaths their battlesuits. Run a Geomortis Sorcerer with one of these models, and this thing now ignores cover and can now shoot through walls/line-of-sight blocking terrain. You now have the opportunity to beat Tau at their own game. If you're feeling cheeky, you could take a Havoc Launcher and reroll "hits" to hope it scatters onto a nearby Pathfinder unit, but that's not particularly recommended.
  • Chaos Infernal Relic Predator (Forge World): Your standard Predator, only with huge variety of weapons available. In addition to all toys of a standard Predator, it have an option to get a set of sponson heavy flamers (which you probably don't wont, but they're there anyways just in case), and one of the five new turret weapons:
    • Flamestorm Cannon, the default weapon; it sucks socks, since you cannot come close enough fast enough to use it to its full potential.
      • Thanks to the new psychic powers it's now possible to fling this baby right into the heart of the enemy. And if you go the extra mile you can even use PotMS to burn two different units. Let the galaxy burn!
    • Autocannon with Inferno Bolts, which is an autocannon with AP3, and thus OK (especially with malefic ammo).
    • Magna-Melta, which is OK on it's own, if a bit overpriced, but rises a question why didn't you just take a Vindicator instead.
    • Plasma Destroyer, which is an awesome MEQ/TEQ killer gun.
    • Heavy Conversion Beamer, which is more difficult to use, and certainly useless on BLoS-heavy tables, but massively powerful on the long range.
  • Chaos Relic Sicaran Battle Tank (Forge World): Fast 13/12/12 Tank, armed with a monstrous Twin-Linked Heavy 6 Rending Jink-ignoring Autocannon and a hull Heavy Bolter, comes with Extra Armour stock. It is superior to Predator Destructor in every way imaginable, while being only slightly more expensive (point-wise anyway, the model itself is FW-priced). It really shines at dealing with enemy Skimmers, as it is the perfect counter to the Serpent-spam. Sicaran can even be made melta-immune or take sponson weapons like a Predator. It might upgrade all of its guns with Rending USR, but it's not really worth the 40 points cost.
  • Chaos Vindicator - No more Dozer Blade included or Siege Shield. Daemonic Possession helps and mounting a Havoc Launcher gives it a backup weapon. It mounts a Demolisher Cannon, which will basically win back its points the second it fires. Heavy front armor and intense firepower means that this thing will draw huge amounts of abuse. If you throw Daemonic Possession on this thing, you will have a field day watching players go to obscene lengths to kill/get away from it. Mounting a couple extra guns will help keep the odds of losing your demolisher cannon early on low.
    • New Supplement! We can now take these in squadrons of three. While all three are alive and can fire their cannon, you can designate one to fire an apocalypse blast instead of the vindicators firing normally. It also ignores cover.
  • Chaos Deimos Pattern Vindicator Tank Destroyer (Forge World) - While Guard invented their wannabe Vindicators by replacing Rapier destroyers on their tank hunters with Demolishers, marines did the exact opposite, and this what they got as a result. This is a walking twin-linked ordnance AP1 lascannon (meaning you can re-roll both to-hit and to-pen, and blow up things on 5+). More so, it fires THREE times per turn if stationary with a chance to overheat. This thing eats tanks and may even threaten super-heavies by it's own. You can be a pussy and downgrade it to only two safe shots, but you're playing Chaos, for Gods' sake - be a man and take that risk, it's only one HP with 1/6 chance anyway. Oh, and it costs less than three artillery-type Rapiers while still capable to move and shoot (if only once). If there wasn't enough reasons to never take las-Predators in a Chaos army, here's another one, because it's flat 10 point's cheaper than tri-las Predator while being all-around better.
  • Forgefiend: Whoever decided that CSM needed Daemon Dino-bots - well, thanks! Forge Fiends come with a pair of Hades Autocannons, which throw out an absurd amount of dakka (that's 8 S8 AP4 pinning shots a turn, making Psyflmen Dreadnoughts blush). Furthermore, they can trade their Hades Autocannons for 2 S8 plasma cannons for free, and take a third one for +25 pts replacing the damn thing's face! (Most) Deepstriking terminators will piss themselves, especially Draigo's shiny dozen when faced with 3 instant-death plasma blasts a turn. On top of this, like all other daemon engines it has a 5++, fear, IWND and Daemon Forge, which comes in very handy with this guy.
    • Alternative Opinion: Opponent fielding fliers? Pop a Forgefiend down with a pair of Hades Autocannons. Eight shots give it excellent odds of hitting - even if it's only on sixes - and it's Strength of 8 will cut though almost any flier (including the Stormraven) as if it were made of paper mache. This machine can be incredibly versatile over it's cousin with the right setup. Allying with Chaos Daemons for a cheap Tzeentch Divination psyker turns this bad boys into monsters. Rerolling to hit is HUGE at BS 3, and against enemy fliers. Pop Daemon forge that turn and watch the enemy cry as its fliers implode.
  • Maulerfiend: The other Daemon Dino-bot. Comes with a pair of power fists and magma cutters, which deal a meltabomb auto-hit that can strike non-vehicle units, too! This big mother can also move at 12", ignore difficult terrain and has Fleet on top of that! Lasher tendrils reduce Dreadknights/Terminators to A1 and dreads to A2. You use this monster to run down other vehicles, charge isolated infiltrator squads, bust open fortifications and close combat backup should things not go just as planned. Also has all the Daemon Engine tricks of 5++, Fear, IWND and Daemon Forge. Maulerfiends are not designed to hunt infantry. Lasher tendrils are awesome against charging terminators, but you can't rally rely on them to keep the beast alive forever. Another thing a mauler is surprisingly good at is mushing models that have multiple wounds, 5 toughness and preferably - no invul save. Looking at you, centurions and cataphrons. What maulers lack in versatility and killyness against most units, they more than make up for with sheer speed. They happily dash across the board, smashing into units you don't want shooting at your other stuff - and can keep said units preoccupied for quite a while, and even do some damage. Additionally - two maulers - one with cutters, the other one with tendrils, on the charge, should be enough to dismember a knight (especially a ranged weapons one) - which is a big deal, since knights are becoming more and more popular. Another point worth noting is that this thing is actually a daemon - which means that Cursed Earth bumps its invulnerable save to 4++ - and that, in combination with its 12/12/10 AV is nothing to sneer at.
    • Alternate Opinion: Unfortunately, the humble Mauler is a narrowly specialized unit that occupies a pretty crowded niche along with other Heavy Support choices that are more versatile than it. Furthermore, while there are various formations that allow you to take it outside of the regular CAD, they almost always require that you pay a ridiculous 'warpsmith' tax. While a mauler it can do some pretty terrible things to tanks and can mash a terminator or two, that's about the only thing you can really rely on it to do. It has I3 so most Dreadnoughts will put it down before it gets to strike, and getting tarpitted by cheap infantry for the rest of the game is not fun at all. Additionally, one Immobilised result and it's a paperweight.
  • Plague Hulk (Forge World): Essentially a budget Soul Grinder of Nurgle that you can take without paying the ally tax. Carries a poisoned 3+ S5 AP3 flamer and a rending, 36" range S6 battle cannon.. Like all Daemons of Nurgle it now has Shrouded. It is only 150 pts, and with the rules from IA13 no longer requires a squad of plague marines to field; that said, it's about as tough to bounce as a regular Soul Grinder of Nurgle.
  • Blood Slaughterer (Forge World): Don't be fooled by the name, these are goddamn rape-blenders! Rage, Rampage, Daemon (of Khorne, granting furious charge should you lose your DCW), Daemonic Resilience, Deepstrike, Fleet, WS5, FA13, comes with a DCW, gain D3 attack on Charge (in addition to ANOTHER d3 from the Rampage) and can be taken in squads of 3: good god, things are gonna die! Each also gets the option to take a ranged weapon called an impaler which always hits on 4+ regardless of BS, CANNOT ever be snap fired and allows you to drag vehicles and monstrous creatures towards you, DRAGGING THEM INTO CLOSE COMBAT if they happen to move in BtB contact with the Slaughterer, which means it is the only model in the game that can (kind of) charge right from Deep Strike. They can be taken in vehicle squadrons of 3, cost a scant 130 points but do require a squad of Berserkers to field. The "downside" is that it has shitty 5E Rage (it must charge at/move towards the closest thing it sees); chances are you were probably going to do that anyway, and with the combination of fleet, an impaler and a shedload of S10 AP2 attacks there is damn near NOTHING that can survive a pack of Slaughterer.
  • Fire Raptor Gunship (Attack Flyer, Pursuit 3, Agility 3, Forge World): Comes naked with TL Avenger Bolt Cannon, 4 Hellstrike Missiles and two Independent-Turret Quad Heavy Bolters; the latter which aside from firing at their own targets as rumoured, don't count towards the number of weapons fired! A Legion or CSM army can swap the quad bolters for a Reaper Battery for 10 pts each, 40K Marines get a TL Autocannon for free. With all the twin-linked goodness, Strafing Run and PotMS/Independent-turrets; this bastard can dump its entire payload in a single turn and hit almost every time and it's only 260 pts altogether for the ceramite armor and reaper battery upgrades.
    • 20 pts cheaper due to the loss of PotMS but can buy Daemon Possession for the same price. Since there's no worries about passengers getting NOM'ed, TL/Strafing Run counteracts BS3 well enough and the way the turret works you don't need PotMS altogether make the Chaos Fire Raptor much nicer then it's Loyalist counterpart; which is rare. And to make it even better, it gain assess to malefic ammunition, because Rending on something with so much dakka is insane.
    • There is something to be said for adding warpflame gargoyles on these. On a single platform, for a mere 5 points, you can potentially light up 3 units a turn (or more if you clip multiple units with Balefire missiles).
  • Kharybdis Assault Claw (Air Leviathan, Pursuit 1, Agility 1, Forge World): Land Raider size Drop pod. At cost of Land Raider+ it gives you HP: 5, 20 cap/Drednought/Helbrute, special attack (with 2 versions, deep strike is S6 AP5 D3+3" ignore cover nova (at this size even 4" covers nice area), and fire sweep is flame trial with same strength and ap (ANY model under its path takes hit so be carefull), rule that allows you to ram (not when arrive from reserves, using its special attack or disembark troops) and pinning (like chaos have not enough pinnings attacks) TL stormbolter AND all drop pod rules that we love. Drop pod assault + guidance system + 20 cap + Berzerkers/muliators/helbrute with multi-melta = RAGE (also enjoy a 1/6 chance of your Possessed Transport munching the dread it was deepstriking and arriving empty, making your enemy laugh himself silly, although, if you are transporting the Warpsmith/Sorcerer/Abbs necessary to take more than one, it's not an issue). Remember that you can't charge on turn 1 though so land somewhere safe then flat-out towards the target. Jink to avoid the inevitable storm of hate that will head your way, move again, deploy, and assault. For the mathematically inclined that's 6+6+2d6 = 18" - 24" charge range. Take these to support a glorious chaos drop pod assault and safely deploy your Mutilators/Terminators/Cult Marines/Chaos Marines/possessed right in the middle of the enemy deployment zone.
    • Forgeworld has finally released an update that brings all of its Flyers up to date with Death from the Skies. What's weird is that Dreadclaws and Kharybdis are included in this document, as a rare case of "technically a flyer but." While all but worthless in a Dogfight and as maneuverable as a rock, Kharybdis pods have some new tricks. Arguably, wings are a nonstarter with the Kharybdis, due to being Infernal Relics, so no Air Superiority Detachment shenanigans to make your list outperform DA in combat drops. But on the plus side, ALL of your Kharybdis Storm Launchers can be fired with Skyfire while Zooming, without counting against your allowed weapons, as long as you don't suffer a Crew Stunned (HAHAHAHAHA). You also can shoot them all during a Dogfight as long as you aren't doing a Head-On Pass. Nothing says "FUCK OFF," like 10 Strength 6, AP 5, Twin-linked shots. Additionally, normal Crew Stunned does nothing but turn off this ability to Skyfire everything (again, if they ever manage to get it to stick).


Here are the general tactics for fortifications http://1d4chan.org/wiki/Warhammer_40,000/Tactics/Fortifications

  • Aegis Defense Lines: These are popularly used for Cultists, and with good reason. They're 50 points, they can be upgraded with a Skyfire weapon (no longer do you have to rely on Heldrakes!), and you can add a cheap little comms relay to mess with Reserves (pretty much the only way to do so with the CSM). You can also park your Autocannon Havocs here — let the Champion man the Quad Gun while his squadmates spam S7 shots from cover/eat bullets for him.
  • Skyshield Landing Pad: Pretty respectable in a small number of cases, almost worthless in most others. It has some strange special rules, but the provided advantages boil down to a decent defensive structure and an ability to deep-strike without fail. Potentially useful, but if you can't immediately see an opening for it in your army there probably isn't one.
    • Note that MoT grants +1 to invulnerable saves. MoT Las-Havocs or Oblits with a 3++ sound particularly useful. If you play the Thousand Sons Traitor Legion and add a Blessing it becomes 2++. No it doesn't the limit on MoT still applies and stops sacking beyond 3++.
  • Imperial Bastion: Surprisingly potent. An Imperial Bastion provides a useful anti-air, a place to hide a Cultist or 5-man Chaos Marine squad, and a good place to plonk a squad of Havocs to allow them to blow the shit out of everything while benefiting from 4+ cover and access to the quad-gun (which is good against flyers). The 4 free heavy bolters which can be legally placed all on one facing, gives your men the advantage of height and cover. This is especially good in a very defensively oriented army - and note that it unlocks all of those sweet extra things listed on the fortifications page, like a comms relay for reserves manipulation or tank traps to force people to disembark so you can shoot them for a turn befopre they reach your lines.
  • Void Shield Generator: Big ol' AV12 bubble to hide behind and shoot with impunity. 50pts. Want two more layers? 100pts. Excellent in a defensive army, but Void Shields do not prevent Deep Strikes. You could fill that 12" bubble with cannon fodder, either in the form of cultists, or better still, allied in Plague Zombies, for the points, because they actually keep Deep-striking Meltas out of Melta range, which would have to deploy at least 13" away from whatever you were bubble-wrapping, which nixes (Combi-) Meltas and hampers Multimeltas. Or you could focus on Havocs and Obliterators - who needs tanks?
  • Promethium Relay Pipes: Rubic Marines now have Flamethrowers (rumor has it AP3), making this thing worth consideraton. Take the big fortification with Void Shield Generators for a sorcerous fortress.
  • Wall of Martyrs Imperial Bunker: Cheap, tough with 14 armour, you can get inside, on top and it has holes for up to 8 dudes to fire out. And pretty safe to fit a squad in. Put inside someone like Noise Marines, or Havocs, throw in an ammo pile inside for extra accuracy and you can bet no troops will wanna get close to your dakka box.
  • Wall of Martyrs Firestorm Redoubt: For a few points less than a Land Raider you get an Imperial Bunker but bigger and with anti air guns. (though you may change either of the Icarus Quad Cannons for different weapons if you own them) with four 96" range interceptor/skyfire lascannon shots. While being forced to fire at BS2 seems like a pain, being twin linked means that you hit approximately 55% of the time, but you can upgrade it to BS3 if you want to pay more points on the machine spirit, but then any enemy aircraft on (or coming on to) the table has to worry about the incredible amount of dakka heading its way since massed S9 AP2 skyfire is extremely rare. Sadly, only six models can fire from the inside, so it's more suited for heavy weapon teams.
  • Plasma Obliterator: Oh my...a simple building at AV14 all around you can get inside it has fire holes and has a Plasma Obliterator which fires a 7" Massive Blast at S7 AP2. Want to obliterate its point cost in heavy infantry? Look no further. However, it still gets hot (luckily since it's a fortification it gets a 4+ save against it), and it has a new rule called Plasma Overheat which means if it takes a glancing hit due to Gets Hot! a unit embarked takes D3 randomly allocated wounds (just as with classic gets hot! allow saves). You'd think a building the size of a Bastion would have an external cooling system to prevent this fucking rule...still, at land raider cost it's quite an expensive Fortification, but oh man will this thing melt hordes, regardless of how good their save is.
  • Wall of Martyrs Vengaence weapon battery You can't get in or on top but it is cheap, you can fit two in a single slot and fires clasic battle cannon or punisher cannon shots.
  • Fortress of Redemption: Expensive both in points and actual cost, this huge model doesn't exactly bristle with guns as you would expect. But now, you are able to dominate everything on the table - tanks will be sniped with the '96 lasgun, fliers will be decimated by AA guns.
  • Macro-Cannon Aquila Stronpoint: Str D large blast or apocalyptic mega blast a weapon on a large imperial Bunker with AV15. It is even more expensive then the fortress of redemption
  • Vortex Missile Aquila Strongpoint: Its all in the name. It's the Aquila strongpoint except this version fires vortex missiles
  • Haemothrope Reactor: Boosts Void Shield Generators and plasma weapons (Plasma Obliterator included). Given that you have almost no infantry plasma cannons, it's not really worth the investment.

Lord of War[edit]

  • Magnus the Red, Daemon Primarch of Tzeentch: The biggest Character model GW ever made for 40k. 650 points for the big cheese of the Thousand Sons himself. Rules wise, he's a beast. He's a Flying Monstrous Creature, Fearless, Eternal Warrior, Deep Strike, Fleet, It Will Not Die, VotLW, and is the highest Mastery Level in the game at ML5. His high Mastery level is somewhat hamstrung by the fact that all 15 of his powers are from the updated Tzeentch discipline, the Chaos Daemons Change discipline and force. Mind you this means he knows 2 Destroyer powers. What he lacks in variety he makes up for in sheer Psychic rape. He always harnesses warp charges on 2+, and thanks to his Omniscient Eye relic, Magnus has line of sight to every enemy model on the table during the Psychic phase. Nobody is safe from being smacked by D-weapons. His wargear is also amazing. His Crimson Crown gives him a 4++, which re-rolls 1s since Daemon of Tzeentch obviously, and he never suffers Perils of the Warp. His Blade of Magnus is a S:User (so S8) AP:2 Force weapon with Soul Blaze and Transmorgify (slain opponents become those unnameable beasts). Comes with an expected beastly statline at WS/BS7 S8 T7 I7 W7 A6 Ld10 and a 4+ Armor save (not moot since it's there to determine grav-weaponry's effectiveness). In all, what else did you expect?
    • Using Magnus: If you do take Magnus, chances are you're taking more Psykers alongside him. As a rule, he's going to want to stay in the middle to anchor the rest of your army, though beware of Poison as he's not a GMC. Ideally, you want to start your Psyker Phase with him casting Spell Syphon, your other casters breaking out a few Witchfires (Shriek versus MCs/infantry, Heretek powers versus vehicles), then using the extra Warp Charge for Magnus to finish things off with a bang. Do you like Burning Chariots? Boon of Flame makes it incredibly easy to conjure up 100 points each turn for popping tanks or finishing off Marines with a solid Torrent of Pink Fire.
    • Another Take: He might be awesome though don't forget he's not a Gargantuan so that time when a D attack hits him and your opponent rolls that 6, that's 650 points gone in the blink of an eye. However if a D weapon rolls a 6 against anything, chances are high it will die regardless of what it is unless its a Warlord titan.
  • Khorne Lord of Skulls: Khorne's big badass close combat death machine. It starts with only 4 attacks, but gets more (up to ten) for each hull point it loses - even if it recovers those lost hull points later! This is made better by it having It Will Not Die and a 5+ Invulnerable save and the fact that his CC weapon is Strength D! This thing also has two ranged weapons. His arm weapon is a 48" Heavy 12 gatling gun with Pinning but can be replaced with a 60" S9 AP3 Apocalyptic blast that forces successful saves to be re-rolled. His belly gun is an MEQ killing Hellstorm Template that can be replaced with either a 48" S7 AP2 Large blast gun or an even deadlier Hellstorm Template that has Gets Hot but also has Instant Death. Well worth considering, that is, if it wasn't for it's pants-on-head retarded point cost of 888. Really, the only use you'll get out of this is buying one to convert into a Kytan.
  • Chaos Typhon Heavy Siege Tank (Forge World): Courtesy of Perturabo's fondness for superior firepower, this tank is basically a super-Vindicator. Larger than a Land Raider it boasts an all around AV 14 and 6 HPs. Equipped with a Dreadhammer Siege Cannon this thing is the ultimate bane of anything that is T5 or below and/or has only one Wound. I mean, the cannon fires a S10 AP1 Primary Weapon 1 Massive Blast (7") which, wait for it, Ignores Cover. Wanna save your sorry asses with cover saves or Jink? Well, tough luck. The Typhon can also be armed with Predator-esque sponsons and a pintle-mounted weapon up to and including a Multi-Melta. It has the option to take Armoured Ceramite in order to become nigh indestructible. May take Chaos Vehicle upgrades from the CSM Codex too. Combined with its reasonable 350 pts. stock cost it might serve as a nifty Lord of War choice in a standard-sized game.
  • Chaos Fellblade Super-Heavy Tank (Forge World): The Space Marine-grade equivalent to the Baneblade, the Chaos Fellblade packs some serious firepower on a durable platform. With AV 14/13/12, 12 HPs and the ability to take Armoured Ceramite it's not going to blow up anytime soon. As such, it has plenty of time to bring all of its guns to bear. The default arsenal includes two Quad Lascannon sponsons (4 TL Lascannon shots total), Demolisher Siege Cannon, Heavy Bolter and finally the main weapon the size of which would make Slaanesh giggle: Fellblade Accelerator Cannon. This oversized double-barreled beauty has an astounding range of 100" and two profiles: S8 AP3 Ordnance 1 Massive Blast (7") or S9 AP2 Heavy 1 Armourbane Small Blast. All of this for 540 pts. stock. Like the Chaos Typhon, the Fellblade can rake a pintle-mounted weapon and Chaos Vehicle upgrades from the CSM Codex as well. Even though it lacks Destroyer weapons of the Titans this Super-Heavy Tank still boasts considerable firepower and is arguably better balanced as far as standard-sized games are concerned.
  • Chaos Thunderhawk Gunship (Forge World): Good ol' Super-Heavy Flier which has grown some spikes. For 685 pts. it has mediocre AV 12/12/10, but at the same time it's got 9 HPs and in-built Armoured Ceramite that compensate for this. With a large transport capacity of 30 it is also explicitly permitted to transport Jump Infantry and Bikes, and boasts Assault Vehicle to go with this. Regarding the armament it has a MEQ-killing Thunderhawk cannon which might be upgraded to Everything-killing Turbo-laser destructor with Strength D, four TL Heavy Bolters (because ne'er enuff dakka), two Lascannons and 6 Hellstrike missiles. For 50 pts. it might become a Daemon with 5++ save, though the price for this is that you must roll a D6 each time a unit embarks or disembarks from the transport. If you happen to roll 1, D3 models are nommed by the Daemon Thunderhawk and restore an equivalent amount of lost HPs.
  • Renegade Knight (Renegade): Another use for an upcoming board game is to use the knight packaged as your LoW. Though it lacks any Marks like the FW Knight, it compensates by being far more customizable. It can be made to imitate any of the Loyalist Knights (With its stock build being a Gallant), but the bigger bonus is the ability to mount two of the same gun, meaning double gatlings for all the dakka goodness. It should also be noted that since this is technically CSM, Orks can finally ally with a Knight and not be uber-fucked. They...just can't repair it if it gets hurt.
  • Kytan Daemon Engine of Khorne (Forge World): Wow. And those poor bastards thought they had you cornered with their Knight bullshit. Right, so it's better armoured, has a better invulnerable save, better WS and an impressive gun. For 525 pts. Rules here. Not a perfect weapon but it can handily outclass most, if not all Knight variants and take on damn near anything on the battlefield up to Warhound titans. Also has a handy rule where if you wipe out something with its gun, you can charge something else in the assault phase so be sure to coordinate your fire to take down that squad of MEQs and then charge that superheavy or MC/GC and fuck its shit up!
  • Chaos Knight (Forge World): Rules here. The Chaotic answer to the Imperial Knight. Comes in Paladin and Errant forms. Click and paste of the normal Knight rules and weapons, but with fun Daemon upgrades and the ability to take Dirge Casters. As well as getting the Daemon Special Rule (which is ungodly since it now has an invuln save in close combat) each Deity dedication grants the Knight a special ability as follows:
    • Khorne: D3 extra attacks on the charge instead of 1, can re-roll the amount of stomp attacks it gets, and has Hatred (Slaanesh). A nice buy, to be sure.
    • Slaanesh: Opponents must make a Leadership test at -2 or become I1 for the fight sub-phase. Has Hatred (Khorne). You're purely relying on luck, but if it swings your way, bye-bye that unit the Slaanesh Knight charged.
    • Tzeentch: Heavy Stubbers gain the Soulblaze Special Rule, re-rolls 1 to-hit, and has Hatred (Nurgle). Stupid, the main weapons should have gotten Soulblaze for it to be even worthwhile, and the knight's best weapons are blasts. Re-rolling 1s to hit is useless. You're allowed to reroll the scatter for blasts even if you can only reroll 1s.
    • Nurgle: Gain IWND and Hatred (Tzeentch). Incredibly powerful, and incredibly expensive.
  • Brass Scorpion of Khorne (Forge World): Hilarious amounts of super-heavy walker rape in a segmented can. For 700 points, you get a Baneblade-level armored big metal arachnid with a Demolisher Cannon for a face, Inferno Cannon-equivalents in both arms, a S6 AP3 Heavy 10 splattergun on its tail, and close combat capability that will pretty much make anything that survives its ranged weaponry bombardment shit itself (though it's only WS3). Oh, and it makes enemy psykers explode and goes supernova when it finally gets taken down by the massive ordnance your enemy will inevitably deploy to kill the hell out of it before it does a berserk charge and tears his shiny Titan seven new assholes. What's not to like? Worth to say there is two models of Brass Scorpions - regular Defiler-like one you need to scratch-build yourself and buffed out Great Brass Scorpion, who's model is also one of the most bad-ass-looking thing Forge World ever made. Greater Brass Scorpions get +3 attacks, and +1 to SP and front armor for like 150 extra points (new Apocalypse book puts it at 300 more now. In exchange it's demolisher ignores cover, it gets more stomp attacks, gained It will not die and is a daemon.) - still totally worth it, considering awesomeness of FW model.
  • Chaos Warhound Titan (Forge World): The desecrated Scout Titan is a force to be reckoned with. Costs 730 pts. AV 14/13/12, 9 HPs and 2 Void Shields mean it's quite tough. The Agile special rule allows it to shoot all weapons, fire a single weapon after a Run move or Run twice instead. Has the Dirge Caster by default. The Chaos Warhound possesses two weapon slots and may pick any combination from the list of: Double-barreled turbo-laser destructor, Plasma blastgun, Inferno gun or Vulcan Megabolter. All weapons are powerful but the turbo-laser erases entire chunks of the enemy army with its delicious Strength D Large Blasts (2 from one weapon!). On the other hand the Megabolter is one of the rare Titan-grade weapons that might actually fire at a Flyer or Swooping FMC, and with S6 AP3 Heavy 15 it has a reasonable chance of downing one with a single salvo. What sets it apart from the loyalist version is the ability to dedicate it to a Chaos God. This is advisable for the Daemon 5++ save, the rest are mostly bonuses:
    • Khorne: The cheapest (along with Slaanesh) at 50 pts., gives Hatred (Slaanesh), lets you re-roll the number of Stomps you get, and gives +D3 attacks on the charge. Because you were going to charge instead of just shooting it with your guns anyways right? Meh upgrade really.
    • Nurgle: The most expensive at 100 pts., it gives Hatred (Tzeentch) and It Will Not Die. Despite the high cost this seems to be the best option, granting increased survivability to something that is already a huge fire magnet.
    • Tzeentch: 75 pts. granting Hatred (Nurgle), re-rolls for 1's To Hit, and gives the Inferno Cannon Soul Blaze. Despite Soul Blaze being kind of overkill and not really effective the re-rolls make up for it. Another good option. Tzeentch is probably the worst dedication. Re-rolling 1s doesn't mean shit if all weapons except for one are blast weapons
    • Slaanesh: the other 50 pts. option, this one grants Hatred (Khorne) and in CC forces the enemy to take a LD test at a -2 or reduces their initiative to 1. If it wasn't for the fact that most CC threats are I1 anyways (other Walkers maybe?) this would be good.
  • Chaos Reaver Titan (Forge World): The largest unit a Chaos Space Marine army may field. In fact, at 1,460 pts. this Battle Titan costs almost as much as a regular army. Anyway, the Chaos Reaver is extremely tough with AV 14/14/13 and 18 Hull Points protected by 4 Void Shields. It is further equipped with a Dirge Caster and must select one carapace weapon and two arm weapons. The carapace weapons are Warhound-grade whilst the arm slots have even stronger BFGs. The Laser blaster in particular is an enhanced version of the turbo-laser with Strength D AP2 Primary Weapon 3 shots per gun. You can totally equip the Reaver with two of those and a carapace turbo-laser to fire 8 Strength D Large Blasts each turn. Why? Because MAIM! KILL! BURN!, that's why. Like the Chaos Warhound it may be dedicated to a Chaos God for the Daemon USR and certain other bonuses:
    • Khorne: The cheapest (along with Slaanesh) at 100 pts., gives Hatred (Slaanesh), lets you re-roll the number of Stomps you get, and gives +D3 attacks on the charge. Because you were going to charge instead of just shooting it with your guns anyways right? Meh upgrade really. People tend to forget how much this can save their bacon. A common tactic against Reavers is to tarpit them with blobs of cheap units so they can't shoot. Re-rolling stomps can really help you clear out tarpits.
    • Nurgle: The most expensive at 200 pts., it gives Hatred (Tzeentch) and It Will Not Die. Seriously, a Daemon Reaver Titan of Nurgle will not die. Despite the high cost this seems to be the best option, granting increased survivability to something that is already a huge fire magnet.
    • Tzeentch: 150 pts. granting Hatred (Nurgle), re-rolls for 1's To Hit, and gives the Inferno Cannon Soul Blaze. Despite Soul Blaze being kind of overkill and not really effective the re-rolls make up for it. Another good option. Tzeentch is probably the worst dedication. Re-rolling 1s doesn't mean shit if all weapons except for one are blast weapons (and why would you take the Vulcan Mega-Bolter over an Apocalypse Missile Launcher or a Laser Blaster?).
    • Slaanesh: the other 100 pts option, this one grants Hatred (Khorne) and in CC forces the enemy to take a LD test at a -2 or reduces their initiative to 1. If it wasn't for the fact that most CC threats are I1 anyways (other Walkers maybe?) this would be good.
    • Alternative Opinion: Dedicating your Reaver to Nurgle really isn't worth it. Dedicate it to Khorne and give it the "Veteran Of The Scouring" legacy of ruin. It's 20pts cheaper than Nurgle and still grants IWND and Daemon. Hatred (Space Marines) is also way better than Hatred (Tzeentch). If you want proof, compare the amount of Tzeentch players to the amount of Marine players... yeah. Not only this, but you also gain +D3 attacks on the charge (not that useful, to be fair) and re-rolls for the amount of stomps you get (excellent if your opponent is trying to tarpit you). If you really want to piss off your opponent, take the Reaver dedicated to Khorne with "Veteran Of The Scouring". Add in Daemon allies and take the Grimoire of true names and some Malefic Daemonology and pray to the dark gods for Cursed Earth. That gives you a 2++ Invuln, but wait, there's more!. Take Be'lakor as you're warlord and spam invisibility. You're left with a Reaver Titan with a 2++ Invuln that can only be hit on 6s. Watch the loyalists cry!
  • Warlord Battle Titan - Hoo boy, just when you thought you were safe. Forgeworld has noted that this beast can be taken in a CSM army [1]. This destroyer of wallets is also a destroyer of friendships, as it's rules are as ridiculous as you think. Making an appearance in HH:5, it brings the pain in oh-so many ways. Coming in at a whopping 2750 points it sports 6 void shields and 30 RUINOUS-POWER-DAMNED HULL POINTS. Should you reach said hull points it has a 5++ save against hits to those hull points. It has a variety of go-fuck-yourself weapons (most of which are blasts) and rules, such as; the ability to fire Overwatch with some of its built-in weapons, immunity to being locked in combat as well as the Haywire rule and all non-Witchfire psychic attacks (and ceramite plating, fuck melta weapons), can only be hit in assault on a roll of 6 by infantry and MCs (or a 5+ by other superheavies and GCs), and all of its stomps use a Large Blast template. Oh, and should anyone actually manage to destroy it it explodes in a 12"/24"/36" blast with its own table, 1 is S D/8/4 AP 2/3/5, 2-3 is S D/10/6 AP 2/3/4, and 4-6 is S D all round and AP 1/2/2... Good luck finding someone who will play you with this, asshole.


Chaos Space Marines core codex is lackluster, and many of the best rules are spread across the supplements! Anyone with a Chaos Space Marine army in mind should read this guide, to figure out what supplements they will need.

Crimson Slaughter[edit]

Yes, the Chaos warband from Dark Vengeance that nobody had heard of before got their own supplement for some reason, and before most of the 10,000-year-old veterans get their own, to boot. This is an undivided army that cannot take VotLW, and takes Possessed as troops... and is better at it than Word Bearers, for some reason.

Unfortunately, the new revised version brought some serious nerf to this supplement. Gone is the ability to buy a cheap upgrade to your chosen to give them Preferred Enemy, and the Renegades of the Dark Millennium changed quite a bit, so that you can no longer take special characters or daemon princes.

Get this supplement if you want to play as the Crimson Slaughter, like their wargear or formations, want to play undivided CSM with access to Divination, or want any sort of Possessed-heavy or non-VotLW list.

  • If you are playing a Legion, don't get this book, you have no use for it.

Traitor's Hate[edit]

This nifty little book includes some really nice formations in addition to the official dataslates for renegade knights AND Khorne lord of skulls. All in all, not a bad deal. While the formation dataslates and updated Lord of Skulls are compiled in Traitor Legions, the renegade knight rules are not, and nor is the Black Crusade detachment. The Black Crusade is the main gem of this supplement for many players. It is a generic formation-based detachment for any Chaos Space Marine army, regardless of warband or legion.

Get this supplement if you want to play a formation-based detachment or use the CSM-only psychic disciplines, and don't want to use Traitor Legions stuff.

  • If you run Crimson Slaughter, Red Corsairs or Fabius Bile & Co., or a list containing special characters from multiple legions, you need this book if you want a formation based detachment.
  • If you are playing a Legion, you will only need this book if you are including a Knight in your army list, or if you prefer Black Crusade to your legion-specific detachment. Otherwise skip it, there's greener pastures ahead.

Wrath of Magnus[edit]

This supplement gives some love to Thousand Sons players as well as Tzeentchian Daemon players. For Chaos Marines, this updates the rules for Thousand Sons and Ahriman, updates the Lore of Tzeentch, and adds rules for Exalted Sorcerers, Tzaangors, SCARAB Occult Terminators and Magnus himself! In addition to the Thousand Sons Grand Coven, it also adds rules for any detachment to become a Thousand Sons detachment, thus granting it access to a new set of Relics and Warlord Traits, and it includes reprints of the powers from Traitor's Hate.

Where this gets amusing is the fact that any Detachment can be made a Thousand Sons detachment, and standalone formations are Detachments. This means if you really wanted to, you could run a Cult of Destruction, and give the mandatory Warpsmith the Astral Grimoire for a unit of Jump Obliterators, if you were so inclined. Alternately, a Daemon Prince casting Cursed Earth on itself would have a 3+ Invulnerable and reroll 1s. The jury is out as to whether a Detachment can belong to different Legions with mutually inclusive requirements (example: a Tzeentchian Cyclopia Cabal), but discuss this with your opponent beforehand and generally assume the answer will be no.

Get this supplement if you are a big Thousand Sons fan or want the updated Horrors rules for summoning.

  • You don't need to get Traitor Legions or Traitor's Hate if you have this book and all you are planning on playing is Thousand Sons, unless you want the generic formations or the Knight.
  • If you are playing Thousand Sons as part of your army but aren't mono-Tzeentch, get Traitor Legions instead, you won't miss any Thousand Sons rules by not buying this book.
  • Don't get this book if you are Crimson Slaughter. There's nothing in it for you unless you want to use the splitting Horrors rules.

Traitor Legions[edit]

Riding on the tide of the Wrath of Magnus supplement above, this one will grant special rules and detachments to all named traitor legions, including the ones from WoM. We haven't seen something like this since 3rd edition, folks!

Traitor Legions contains ALL the current(as of December 2016) rules for EVERY Traitor Legion. Each Traitor Legion has its Legion Tactics: every model that can take VotLW in your army gets it for free, and then every model that has VotLW benefits from the Legion's special rules. Traitor Legions contains all the CSM rules from Wrath of Magnus concurrently, you get the same from either one. It also replaces the older Black Legion rules, improving them tremendously. Most importantly, though, it takes all the neglected legions and makes it so you can finally play a fluffy list, and adds a truly enormous amount of unique wargear and special rules. Daemon weapons for every god are back too! Even if it doesn't necessarily make every legion a top tier army, this book finally makes CSM FUN like it used to be!

Also included are updated Lord of Skulls and psychic powers for both the undivided disciplines and the mono-god disciplines, so you'll definitely want to get this just for those if you run sorcerers.

Get this supplement no matter what. It's important.

  • You don't need Traitor's Hate or Wrath of Magnus if you buy this book, even if you plan on running Thousand Sons. The only exception is if you specifically want the Black Crusade detachment(for instance if you aren't running a Legion), a Chaos Knight, or the updated Horrors of Tzeentch rules for summoning.
  • Even if your army isn't a Legion, you will likely want to get this book anyway just for the psychic powers.

Imperial Armour 13: War Machines of the Lost and the Damned (Forge World)[edit]

Forge World provides HUGE support for Chaos. Though it's spread between several books, IA13 is your primary go-to sources for goodies. Included in this huge book:

  • Predator, Vindicator and Land Raider variants
  • Dreadnought variants
  • Drop Pods
  • Flyers
  • More Daemon Engines
  • Super-Heavies
  • Rapier Artillery
  • Legacies of Ruin

...and more

Get this supplement if you want to take the really big/crazy/good stuff and have a hundred dollars to spare.

Experimental Rules (Forge World)[edit]

These Forge World rules are available free of charge. Just download them and print them off if you want to use them. Be sure you have a suitable model first, however.


The current free CSM rules include:

  • Chaos Knight(Daemon Knight variant)
  • Cor'Bax Utterblight, Daemon Prince of the Ruinstorm
  • Deimos Pattern Vindicator Tank Destroyer
  • Kytan Daemon Engine of Khorne

Other Supplements[edit]

Other books containing CSM rules:

  • IA: Apocalypse(3rd Edition): Contains several special characters not found in IA13, as well as Apocalypse-only formations.
  • IA: The Siege of Vraks: Contains several Nurgle-related datasheets as well as The Purge detachment rules.
  • Warzone: Pandorax: Contains several super-heavies not found in IA13, as well as Apocalypse-only formations.
  • Death from the Skies: Contains a datasheet for using the Heldrake with the advanced flyer rules.
  • Starter Sets: The Start Collecting! box and the Dark Vengeance box + Chaos expansion have their own formations. Dark Vengeance has an Aspiring Champion special character.
  • Renegade: The Renegade Imperial Knights set has a datasheet for the Chaos Knight.
  • Dataslates: Include a Kharn formation, Cypher, a Cypher formation, Be'lakor, and three Helbrute formations. Back from when GW was having its micro-transaction phase.

Outdated Supplements:

  • Black Legion formerly had its own supplement before being absorbed into Traitor Legions. Under this old supplement, Terminators were not troops, VotLW was not free, there was no Hatred(Everything!), and no big formation based detachment other than the generic one in Traitor's Hate. Suffice to say, Traitor Legions is a big boost to the Warmaster's forces! Note that there was an older Daemon Prince + Possessed formation in the old Black Legion supplement which is not reprinted in Traitor Legions, however. Another interesting rule was is in the first edition of Black Legion, where Abaddon's Chosen Terminators were an upgrade to a unit in a CAD, not a formation.
  • The older version of the Crimson Slaughter has the Chosen with Preferred Enemy be something taken as a 10 point upgrade, not a formation, meaning you could take a squad of pref. enemy plasma chosen in a CAD without paying the Possessed tax. In addition, you could take models with VotLW(such as Daemon Princes and special characters) as long as they came with it stock and you weren't buying it.


Both GW and Forge World have these. Don't ignore them, they are important because they also give errata.

The Legions[edit]

With the release of Traitor Legions, you can now run your Chaos Space Marines to represent one of the nine fallen Legions! To do this, any detachment (be it a CAD, Ally Detachment, any standalone Formation [at least, those without restrictions like "This is a Thousand Sons Detachment", etc], or Detachment of Formations) can count as belonging to one specific Legion if it adheres to certain restrictions; in exchange, you get several benefits, as well as access to a Legion-specific warlord table and list of artifacts.

Black Legion[edit]

Black Legion offer versatility with a wide variety of tactical options, while being a somewhat more elite army than your typical CSM army.

  • Requirements: Abaddon is the only Unique Character you can include in a Black Legion detachment, and any unit that can take VotLW must do so for free.
  • Benefits: You have Hatred(Everyone) and VotLW gets upgraded so you re-roll to hit against Loyalist Power Armored shitheads every single combat phase. Terminators and Chosen are troops, and any Psyker with a mark of a chaos god can choose to roll all of their powers on their god-specific table.
    • Note: Traitor Legions updates the previous Black Legion rules, removing their infamous VotLW tax and instead letting them have it for free, and finally giving them their own detachment.
  • Warlord Traits
    • 1: Black Crusader: Same as the original, Preferred Enemy (Space Marines) for your Warlord and friendly's within 12".
    • 2: Eye of the Gods: Whenever the Warlord rolls on the Chaos Boon Table or Gift of Mutation Chaos Reward, they can re-roll the result once. For a good challenge-based Warlord, this is a big save.
    • 3: Gift of Balefire: Warlord can shoot one single-use S4, AP5, Assault 1, Soulblaze template. Considering the goofiness of Soulblaze this isn't a really great gift. Still better than Black Crusader if you're facing a different army.
    • 4: Unholy Fortitude: Warlord gets It Will Not Die. YES.
    • 5: Soul Stealer: When in combat, any to-wound rolls of 6 become Instant Death. If you have hordes to kill and the Dice Gods' favor, this is a good crowd-clearer.
    • 6: Chosen of Abaddon: Warlord and friendly units within 12" gain Stubborn.
  • Relics
    • Spineshiver Blade: AP3 Daemon Weapon. Gives +1I when in combat. Neato. Combine with a Slaanesh Chaos Lord for an Initiative 7 MEQ killer! Also note, for what it's worth, that the +1I bonus is always active, regardless what weapon you're using.
    • Crucible of Lies: User has -1T, but can reroll Invuln Save rolls of 1. Why would anyone ever take this? Maybe you have a Terminator Lord or Sorcerer of Tzeentch with a Sigil of Corruption hiding in the middle of Terminators squad bodyguards. That's a 2+ armor save with a 3+ invuln that only fails on a 2. Could also work with a Disc of Tzeentch or Bike(you'd still be reaping the benefit of a bike unit's majority toughness) to negate the loss of Toughness, but then disallows the use of Terminator Armor.
    • Last Memory of the Yuranthos: A Psyker with this Relic gains an additional Mastery Level, but instead of rolling for another power, you simply get the Sunburst power from Pyromancy. Additionally, you have the option to cast Sunburst with an increased radius for a higher Warp Charge cost (declare the "target" before rolling); a minimum of 2 successes to use Sunburst with a 12" radius, and a minimum of 3 for an 18" radius. Note that should you Perils for any reason, your Psyker is slain outright!
      • Analysis: If you're dead-set on rolling a Telepathy/Ectomancy/Sinistrum Psyker, you won't want this Relic because it will cost you your Psychic Focus and Psychic Shriek is a good Primaris. Likewise, if you like running non-Battle Brother Allies, you'll also want to avoid this power because any Orks or Necrons you bring along for the ride will be hit by this power too! Otherwise, if you don't care about the Primaris powers or like to "Mix and match" (or are playing a Marked Sorcerer/Daemon Prince), then it's worth consideration as it's only 5 points more than a hypothetical 4th Mastery Level. Having a Nova on-hand can actually help extricate smaller Marine units from nearby close combats with small units, and can effectively nullify certain "extreme MSU" threats to your army. However, be careful because the moment your Sorcerer gets entangled in a fight, you won't actually be able to cast this power. If you're dead-set on running a Daemon Prince, then this is a handy "Fly By" power to cast before Swooping away from retailiation. You don't have to overcharge the Last Memory, but against certain "extreme MSU" builds (mass Scatterpacks come to mind), sometimes it may be well worth sacrificing your Sorcerer to cover an 18" diameter radius of the map in a de-facto neutron bomb.
    • Eye of Night: User can make one single-use large blast attack that is S5, AP4, makes 1d3 auto-pen hits for buildings and vehicles that ignore cover. Don't expect to ruin Land Raiders with this. It can, though, intimidate that transport full of enemies or mess up artillery. At least one auto penetrating hit is not to be sniffed at, and against vehicle less enemies, it is great for clearing out tarpits. But it is also obscenely expensive, so make it count, and put it on something with BS5. It really comes into its own in low points games- above 500pts or so, an enemy can survive one vehicle being put out of action. However, in small games, where the enemy has only one vehicle, it not being able to fire for a turn, or it losing the ability to ever move, is ridiculously good.
    • Skull of Ker'ngar: User has Eternal Warrior and Adamantium Will. Nice.
    • Hand of Darkness: When in combat, the user can trade his attacks for one AP1, S at double the user's S, strikes at Initiative, Armourbane, Fleshbane, Instant Death blow. Not really gonna do much unless in challenges (And being CSM, that will be often) or if you want to pop a tank. In a challenge this will mesh well with the Eye of the Gods trait. Falcon - PUNCH! This became slightly better with Traitor Legions, as anybody that can take this now has built in hatred, meaning you get to re-roll your one attack.
      • What you want to be using this against is monstrous creatures with multiple wounds that you can take down before they get the chance to strike. Too bad the loyalists don't have any of those, otherwise VOTLW might actually serve some purpouse other than being a +1 LD on your already fearless lord. Go make your Apostle punch some Carnifexes or Tervigons in the face or something. That's about all this artifact is useful for.
        • Not so fast! If Black Legion rules work with Raptor Talon (and I see no reason why not), you can remove any Monstrous Creature from the game in one turn by deepstriking near it with Raptors as bodyguards and declaring a charge. Suck on that, Riptides, for what good your pew-pew now?!
  • Mission Objectives
    • 1: 1VP for destroying a unit in turn
    • 2: 1VP if enemy failed morale/pin/fear
    • 3: D3VP if kill IndChar
    • 4: 1VP Roll D6 and get the objective with the same number.
    • 5: 1VP if kill unit/D3 if killed by VotLW
    • 6: 1Vp if manifested power, D3 if conjuration, D3+3 if summoned a Greater daemon
  • Black Legion Tactics

Black Legion are much more viable than before, thanks to Traitor Legions making VotLW free and making Terminators a Troops choice.

With Chosen as Troops, you can have a small unit with only a heavy weapon like a Lascannon or Autocannon, and have them sit on an objective. This gives them an advantage over Cultists. With Terminators as troops, you can have a durable, quality-over-quantity army with bare minimum T4 2+/5++ and ObSec, mass teleportation and the ability to counter a variety of lists through choices of combi-weapons and power weapons.

The Artefacts are mediocre at best, while Hatred(+better Hatred vs the Imperium) is a questionable Legion Tactic in a shooting-heavy edition. On the bright side, you have excellent leadership across the board with most units, plus having a Daemon Prince of Tzeentch with Eternal Warrior is cheese, especially if you use them as allies in a Screamerstar list. And getting re-rolls to hit the first round of every single melee helps your units do their job and be quite reliable in close combat. Kitting units for close combat pays off better because of it.

The best way to play the Black Legion is by taking advantage of your scoring Chosen and Terminator squads. Kit the Chosen with special weapons of your choice, and load them in METHAL BAWKSES! Even flamers aren't bad if you want to keep them cheep, just add another Chosen with a Meltagun and you're set. Using a mix of Chaos Marines and Chosen units gives you more mileage. Since Chosen will carry a lot of special weapons, you don't have to worry about adding them into Marine squads, but do have them watch the Chosen's back. Brothers look out for each other afterall!

Meanwhile Terminator squads make for a great vanguard. Deep strike them in, unleash your heavy and combi-weapons to destroy a target, and then start killing things in melee if your opponent fails to shoot them off the board in one turn. Alternatively, put an objective forward outside of your deployment zone and then parking an Objective Secured Land Raider full of Terminators on it.

If you run lots of Chosen, consider which unit should take Marks, if any. Chosen are a vulnerable unit, not tougher than regular space marines but costing more due to their ability to put out more damage. Keep in mind that quantity over quality is better in this edition, so use Marks with caution if you plan on taking them. On the other hand, Marks on Terminators can be very useful, as they are already a tough unit designed to work in close combat: giving a squad a Mark can push it over the line and make it quite deadly.

It should be noted that with chosen you are essentially paying +5 points per model for two extra attacks. If you are looking to Rip and Tear, you may as well take them, as on the charge they will get 4 attacks per model

  • 5 extra attacks with the mark of Khorne- Yes, they have more attacks than Khorne Berzerkers. Give them Icon of Wrath and you have Berzerkers who can take better ranged wargear and have +1 attack, at the cost of chainaxes and fearless. And you are paying less per model in turn. I played a game against Eldar and tabled them in three turns with a full chosen army - The person I was playing against was a Derp, and had guardians in close combat with chosen- but even so, chosen with mark of Nurgle Vs Howling Banshees is hilarious.

The Black Legion is a mixed bag, some of their unique traits work, and others are left to be more desired. It can be wise to keep a few of your squads cheep, and only upgrade those that need it, to save points for your Chosen kill squads/Terminator deathstars.

Note:An often overlooked combination in this supplement allows you to make one of the most durable nameless Lords in the game by equipping a tzeentch marked Terminator lord with a sigil of corruption and the Skull of Eternal Warrior. This is the only way chaos can field a 2+/3++ EW lord so slap a lightningclaw and chainfist on him for the additional attack, give him a retinue, and tank everything your opponent throws at you.

  • Despoiler’s Contingent: Take Abaddon the Despoiler along with his Terminator Squad in formation(only take 3-4 if you take a Land Raider). Throw in a 2nd HQ, either a Lord with Spineshiver blade and Hand of darkness trades out with Abaddon in challenges accordingly, OR a Sorceror, Biomancy rolls for certain, Mark of Nurgle may result in best support, Tzeentch adds “cheap” shots (powerful ones if lucky) Slaanesh may be best melee choice. As for the Terminators themselves, give them either Mark of Tzeentch, Mark of Nurgle or Mark of Slaanesh along with Icon of Excess. Stick them in a Land Raider or deepstrike them and drive deep in to the warm moist folds of flesh of your opponent's army.
    • Traitor Legions Update: This strategy becomes much stronger in Traitor Legions. If you take the unique Black Legion detachment, you start rolling for Deep Strike reserves turn 1, and your Warlord's unit arrives automatically! This means you can build your list around dishing out a brutal alpha strike.
    • Traitor Legions: Objective Secured Variant: Don't take Abaddon's formation, instead just take Terminators as troops in a CAD. Place objectives all over the battlefield then drop Objective Secured deep striking Terminators and Land Raiders all over the place, seizing ground while at the same time performing a massive blitz. It may be advantageous to take Mark of Tzeentch or Nurgle for this strategy, to avoid getting shot off your objectives and losing them to the enemy.
  • Melta Assault: Simple, take those chosen as troop, fill them up with all the Melta, Give them Mark of Khorne or Slaanesh (along with the appropriate Icon) for a better-than-average general assault squad (Slaanesh arguably being better since Feel No Pain adds to your staying power) with the potential to hurt anything in the game with all those melta guns.
  • Tank Buster: There's two versions of this but both include the Eye of Night. For a highly mobile version, go with a Sorceror with Mark of Tzeentch, Disc of Tzeentch, Crucible of Lies, Eye of Night, Hand of Darkness (or powerfists), and rolls on Biomancy. now you've got a Speeding tank buster with high strength and toughness if you’re lucky on Biomancy rolls only outright failing saves on 2. The other version trades speed for armor being a Sorceror with TDA, Eye of Night, Chainfist (or two), rolls on Biomancy. Eye of Night enemy vehicles and then punch them to death, decent challenge taker. Bonus points for going with Mark of Tzeentch and getting Winds of Chaos or Doombolt.

Thousand Sons[edit]

The thousand sons do two things really, really well. Eating MEQs and ruling the Psychic phase, with AP3 bolt weapons and power weapons all over the place, and psykers in nearly every unit. They're also pretty durable, having lots of invuln saves and plenty of ways to buff up.

  • Requirements: Only special characters allowed are Ahriman and Magnus. Everyone must take VotLW (for free), and have/must buy Mark of Tzeentch. Daemon Princes must take Daemon of Tzeentch.
  • Benefits: Rubric Marines are Troop Choices. Tzeentch Psykers can roll all of their powers on the Tzeentch Table. Any unit that gets a blessing cast on it gets +1 to their Invulnerable save, you reroll to-hit against Space Wolves in every round of close combat, but Space Wolves have Hatred(Thousand Sons).
  • Warlord Traits
    • 1: Arrogance of Aeons: Warlord has Adamantium Will, and can re-roll 1 dice when trying to deny.
    • 2: Undying Form: Eternal Warrior.
    • 3: Aether Stride: Warlord and unit isn't affected by difficult terrain and do not suffer initiative penalty when charging through DT. Great on a Terminator Sorcerer bro-ing it up with Terminators.
    • 4: Lord of Forbidden Lore: Warlord knows an extra psychic power.
    • 5: Walker of the Webway: Warlord has Deep Strike. If he already does, he and his unit do not scatter upon deep strike.
    • 6: Lord of Flux: All enemies within 12" treat all terrain, even open ground, as difficult terrain. Any unit that runs, moves flat out, turbo-boosts, or charges within this bubble must take Dangerous Terrain.
  • Artefacts of Tzeentch
    • Astral Grimoire: A single friendly unit within 12" gets the Jump Infantry rule. Note, this means any friendly and not just 1k Sons. This can mean anything from Jump Obliterators to Plague Zombies with Hammer of Wrath. This is probably the best all-comers option from Wrath of Magnus.
    • Athenaean Scrolls: If you roll any multiples of any number when casting a psychic power, it cannot be denied. Even a perils. This is if you want to sling lots of Witchfires and Maledictions around, as those are usually the easiest to Deny. That said, this artifact is near-useless against armies with no psyker presence, from Necrons to Gladius Razorspam to Tau and chances are you'll have a massive surplus of WC anyway. That said, the moment this helps you cripple a Wolfstar or Seer Council, it pays for itself then and there.
    • Coruscator: Ranged weapon: 12: range, Strength 4, AP 3, Pistol, Blast, Soul Blaze. Can be situationally useful, but severely overcosted.
    • Helm of the Third Eye: Gives the bearer and their unit Overwatch even if they have Slow and Purposeful, and gives them BS2 Overwatch if they do not have S&P. Again, trying to make up for the obvious shortcomings of the 1k sons. Consider using these on Mark of Tzeentch Obliterators, too! Stick in a mob of Tzaangors or Cultists for impractical yet hilarious overwatch.
    • Seer's Bane: A Daemon Weapon with the following profile: Strength as user, AP 2, Force and Daemon Weapon with the Bane of Wisdom rule: the strength of the weapon is equal to the bearer’s Leadership characteristic (except against vehicles) as strength and the target’s Leadership characteristic as their Toughness. Use the targets normal Toughness for the purposes of Instant Death. Particularly nasty for monster-hunting if you can Leadership debuffs from other sources.
    • Staff of Arcane Compulsion: Melee weapon, Strength +2, AP 4, Concussive, Force, Repelling Sweep: enemy units charging the bearer or his unit suffer a -2 penalty to their charge roll.

Overall: Unlike the mostly offensive-based CSM relics, these are somewhat more defensive, since most of these are force multipliers rather than creating a close combat monster, which still can be done if you want to give a Daemon Prince the Staff or a Sorcerer the Seer's bane.

  • Detachment
    • Sons of Magnus
    • Lord of Fallen Prospero: Reroll warlord trait.
    • Masters of arcane knowledge: If a psyker form the detachment perils you may re-roll, psykers may manifest one more power than their level would allow.
    • (0-4 Command) Lord of the legion (Magnus, Ahriman, DP, Exalted Sorcerer) Rehati War Sect, Ahriman's Exiles
    • (1+ Core) War Cabal, Sekhment Conclave
    • (1+ Auxiliary) War Coven, Tzaangor Warherd, Daemon engines (1 Defiler, Forgefiend, Hellbrute, Heldrake, Maulefiend), Legion Armoury (1 Land Raider, Predator, Vindicator)
  • Mission Objectives
  • Thousand Sons Tactics

Iron Warriors[edit]

Iron Warriors get bonuses against fortifications, tanks, and Imperial Fists, like you'd expect, and they're also a little tougher than most marines.

  • Requirements: No unique characters. No Chaos marks. Must take VotLW.
  • Benefits: Blood feud: All units with VotLW re-roll failed to hit every combat round against Imperial Fists, but IF all have Hatred (Iron Warriors) All units with VotLW gain 6+ FnP. Obliterators and Mutilators are troops. Units reroll armor pen vs buildings it didn’t glance or pen, if you DO pen, you get +1 to the building damage table. Havocs, Obliterators and Mutilators get Tank Hunters.
  • Warlord Traits
    • 1: 4+ FNP
    • 2: Fearless. A waste on everything but fluffy Heretech Sorcerer.
    • 3: Gives a piece of terrain in your deployment zone +1 to cover.
    • 4: Friendly Obliterators within 12" of the Warlord can fire twice in each shooting phase.
    • 5: Warlord and Unit have Split-fire and Counterattack when in cover.
    • 6: Friendly vehicles get IWND when within 6" of warlord.
  • Relics
    • Warpbreacher: You can possess a vehicle each turn as though it was daemonic possession vehicle equipment. Warpsmith only.
    • Nest of Mechserpents: (Warp Smith only) In a challenge, resolve first 2 hits normally. If both hit the remainder of your attacks have Instant Death;
    • Axe of the Forge Master It's a power axe with Armourbane and Master-crafted.
    • Fleshmetal exoskeleton: Fleshmetal armour with IWND.
    • Cranium malevolous During the enemy shooting phase enemy vehicles within 2D6 of this relic suffer an automatic haywire hit, no cover allowed.
    • Siege breaker mace: Master-crafted power maul that you can make a single S10, AP 1 attack with.
  • Detachment
    • Sons of Perturabo
    • Warsmith: Reroll warlord trait. A warpsmith can't be one, oddly enough.
    • Masters of annihilation: You MAY reroll scatter for Ordnance and Barrage
    • Intractable Brotherhood: Non-vehicles are stubborn, upgraded to fearless on fortification
    • (0-4 Command) Lords of the legions, Chaos Lord, Sorcerer, Dark Apostle or DP (Yes no War(p)smith option, cue autistic rage)
    • (1+ Core) Chaos warband
    • (1+ Auxiliary) Stronghold of chaos (1-3 fortifications), Lost and the damned, Helforged Warpack, Heldrake Terror Pack, Cult of Destruction, Fist of the Gods, Raptor Talon, Terminator Annihilation force, Favoured of Chaos, Spawn
  • Mission Objectives
  • Iron Warriors Tactics

Alpha Legion[edit]

Alpha Legion let you play sneeky cheeky chaos marines, with lots of infiltration and the tactical flexibility that offers. They've also got some fun relics and one of the most hilariously useful tricks of any army that effectively makes every single Character be your warlord, so no Slay the Warlord VPs until every last Champion on the board is dead. Also, new Warlord trait every time one of your Sergeants get "promoted.".

  • Warlord Traits
    • 1: Forward Agent: Gain Infiltrate.
    • 2: Faceless Commander: Once per game, your warlord can switch positions with another friendly character.
    • 3: Expert Timing: From turn 2 on, one unit autopasses reserve rolls.
    • 4: Hidden in Plain Sight: Gain Stealth.
    • 5: Cult Leader: Cultist units within 12" get Furious Charge and Feel No Pain (6+).
    • 6: Alpha Strategist: Acute sense and Outflank.
  • Relics
    • The Mindveil: At the start of your movement, instead of moving normally, the bearer and his unit get to move 3D6 immediately. This can take you from combat and the enemy cannot consolidate.
    • Blade of the Hydra: An AP5 Daemon Weapon with Rending and the the Multi-headed special rule: every roll of 6 to hit generates another attack and extra attacks DO generate yet more attacks. On average, this will multiply your total attacks by 1.2.
    • Viper’s Bite: A bolter with S5 AP2.
    • The Drakescale Plate: a 2+ armor save that gives a 2++ vs. flamer weapons.
    • Hydra’s Teeth: Special bolter ammo, which can be used in pistols, combi-bolters, combi-weapons, and boltguns. Gains Blast, Ignores Cover and Poison (2+). Cheap and nice for shooting up some light infantry. If you want a shooty Chaos Lord, toss either this or Viper's Bite on him and go to town.
    • Icon of Insurrection: Friendly Cultists within 12” gain Zealot.
  • Detachment
    • I Am Alpharius: Your Warlord may re-roll his trait on the Alpha Legion table if this is your primary detachment.
    • Hidden Deployment: All non-vehicle units get Shrouded during turn 1.
    • Cult Uprising: Cultist units that are completely destroyed enter ongoing reserves on a 4+. The retarded thing is that Lost & Damned formations already get a similar rule. (Shouldn't the two rules stack?)(They do. Both rules says "Place new identical unit into Ongoing Reserves" so if you lucky enough to roll 4+ twice then you get two units of Cultists. Cheesy)
    • (0-5)Command: Lord of Legion
    • (1+)Core: Chaos Warband
    • (1+)Auxiliary: Lost & Damned, Helforged Warpack, Cult of Destruction, Fist of the Gods, Raptor Talon, Terminator Annihilation Force, Demon Engine, Chaos Spawn(unit of 1-3)
  • Mission Objectives
    • 1: capture enemy/unclaimed building
    • 2: 1VP cultist unit gets destroyed
    • 3: destroy a Deep Strike, Hit&Run, Outflank, or Scout unit
    • 4: infiltrators kill a unit
    • 5: get into enemy deployment zone
    • 6: kill a character, more VP for more characters
  • Alpha Legion Tactics

World Eaters[edit]

Good old Khorne Berzerkers, you know them and you love them. Or maybe you don't. Either way, World Eaters limit your tactical flexibility but make you much meaner in melee and most of your army is going to be straight up fearless.

  • Requirements. Your only available special character is that swell guy (agree with your opponent about Zhufor). No psyker scum. Only available mark is Khorne. Must have VotLW albeit for free. Only Khornate Daemons can be taken in this army.
  • Benefits: Berzerker Horde: Berzerkers are troops; Blessing Khorne: VotLW have adam will; Butcher’s Nails: VoLW have fearless & furious charge
  • Warlord Traits
  • Artefacts of Khorne
    • Talisman of Burning Blood: Bearer's unit can move 3” extra when moving, running and charging. Combine with a Maelstrom of Gore formation for a guaranteed 8" charge minimum.
    • GOREFATHER: S+2, AP2, Armourbane Murderous strike (roll a 6 to-wound is instant death) 2-handed unwieldy.
    • Crimson Killer: Plasma pistol with soulblaze instead of Gets Hot.
    • Brass collar of Bhorghaster: Bearer can Deny the Witch on a 4+, and if he succeeds, the psyker suffers perils.
    • Bloodfeeder: Poweraxe does 2D6 attacks but each roll of 1 is a wound to you with no armor saves. Axe of Blind Fury's retarded cousin.
    • Berzerker's Glaive: S +2 AP3 demon weapon, specialist weapon, 2-handed, epitome of rage (bearer gains FnP & IWND but loses Independant Character rule)
  • Detachment
    • Sons of Angron
    • Berzerker Lord: Reroll warlord trait.
    • Blood-Mad: After infiltrators non-vehicle units entirely form the detachment may move 2d6, and Non-vehicles models and walkers re-roll fialed charges,
    • (0-4 Command) Lords of the legions: Chaos Lord, Dark Apostle or DP
    • (1+ Core) Chaos Warband, Maelstrom of Gore
    • (1+ Auxiliary) Lost and the damned, Helforged Warpack, Heldrake Terror Pack, Cult of Destruction, Fist of the Gods, Raptor Talon, Terminator Annihilation force, Favoured of Chaos, Trinity of Blood, Spawn
  • Mission Objectives
  • World Eaters Tactics

Emperor's Children[edit]

The new Emperor's Children rules play up their sensation seeker angle, giving them bonuses to durability and letting them attack even when slain, painting a picture of an army of masochists gladly throwing themselves onto the blades of their enemies just to kill and be killed.

  • Requirements: Only special character allowed is Lucius. Must take Mark of Slaanesh, only take Mark of Slaanesh. VotLW is compulsory, and free. Daemon Princes must be Daemon of Slaanesh (Not a tax since Daemon of Slaanesh is awesome)
  • Benefit: VotLW units get fearless and 6+FNP (which is upgraded to 4+ by the Icon of Excess). Noise marines are troops. If you are killed in combat before you attack you still can make one attack.
  • Warlord Traits
    • 1: Eternal Warrior. An excellent grab for a Daemon Prince in particular, but is great in almost all cases.
    • 2: +2 Initiative. I8 Chaos Lord of rape and fury who beats Eldar to the punch, or I10 Daemon Prince that hits first against Bloodthirsters.
    • 3: Warlord and unit have +1 to their Feel No Pain. 5+ FnP with bare bones Ec, and 3+ FnP if you took the Icon of Excess. Holy hell that's awesome.
    • 4: Warlord has Fear, and all opponents must test fear on 3D6. Unremarkable, onsidering 5 armies in the game ignore it outright or have something to circumvent fear (Ethereal, Commissar, Fearless, Instability). This is gonna be an utter bane of the Eldar's existence, though.
    • 5 - Stimulated by Pain: Gain an extra Attack each time you lose a wound, but effects disappear if you heal it somehow (Life Leech, Lay Leech).
    • 6: Auto-pass "Look out, sir!" rolls.
  • Artefacts of Slaanesh
    • Intoxicating elixir: Bearer makes D3 rolls on combat drugs. These are cumulative if you roll the same one more than once and with Combat Drugs from detachment bonus.
    • Shriekwave: Once per game, you can fire off this gun with 12” S8 AP2 Assault D6, Mental Trauma (before attack target makes a ld test, and if they fail you re-roll to-wound against them). How fast can you say Terminator Annihilation force?
    • Soul snare Lash: If used as a ranged weapon: 6” S4 AP5 assault 2 or, if used as a melee weapon S user AP5 melee. Either way, both attacks have the Soulsnare rule (6 to wound is auto-wound at AP2 and instant death).
    • Endless Grin: You have fear, and enemies within 6” have -1 leadership. Add to a Sorcerer to get your own Teke, the Smiling One, aka "That Grinning Bastard." Very useful though against Eldar since they already get a Leadership penalty against Mark of Slaanesh, stack and show up those cheese lords.
    • Bolts of ecstatic vexation: All Bolt weapons gain blast, ignores cover and pinning.
    • Blissgiver: 30 points for a Power Sword with the Daemon Weapon rule, and Catatonic trance - target must pass Ld test/wound or be removed from play.

Overall: In all, not too much. The Blissgiver is a welcome return, as well as Intoxicating Elixir will forge an amazing Chaos Lord or Daemon Prince of rape and fury.


    • Sons of Fulgrim
    • Lord of Hedonism: Reroll warlord trait.
    • Combat Drugs: After deployment roll one d6 to see the bonus the entire detachment has (non-vehicle, sorry no coke-fueled Helbrutes): +1 WS/BS/I/S/T/A, in that order.
  • Emperor's Children Rapture Battalion:
    • Command (0-4): Lords of the legions: Chaos Lord, Sorcerer, Dark Apostle or DP
    • Core (1+) Chaos warband and
      • Kakophoni: Lucius or a Chaos Lord (with MoS and VotLW since EC detachment) joins 3-6 units of Noise Marines. They gain the Split fire rule, and all Sonic weapons gain Shred. If you take all 6 Noise Marine squads, all Sonic weapons get +1S.
    • Auxiliary (1+): Lost and the damned, Helforged Warpack, Heldrake Terror Pack, Cult of Destruction, Fist of the Gods, Raptor Talon, Terminator Annihilation force, Favoured of Chaos, Spawn

Mission Objectives

Emperor's Children Tactics

Death Guard[edit]

Death guard are about what you'd expect, being tougher across the board than standard CSM, but they also gain relentless, which could be useful, and they're fearless, which is huge. They are, however, slower than your typical marines, so take that into account.

  • Requirements: Only unique character available is Typhus (and probably Necrosius, but we need FAQ from FW). Mark of Nurgle Only. VotLW. Psykers must take one power from Nurgle.
  • Benefits: VotLW gain Fearless, Feel No Pain, and Relentless, but suffer -1 initiative unless they are Typhus or Plague Marines, which count as troops. (Combine with The Purge to get the most out of your havocs and oblits.) Fearless Terminators with T5 and FnP? Oh, HELL yeah!
  • Warlord Traits
    • 1: Feel No Pain.
    • 2: IWND.
    • 3: +1 Wound.
    • 4: Eternal Warrior.
    • 5: Poisoned weapons get an extra +1 to their effectiveness, to a maximum of Poisoned (2+). For example, Poisoned becomes Poisoned (3+).
    • 6: Friendly units within 7" get Contagion (what this one does do?).
  • Artefacts of Nurgle
    • Puscleaver: Poison 2+ CCW. Turns your DP into an MC killer. Or don't and take the Black Mace instead.
    • Plague Skull Glothia: One use only. Range 8” S1 AP - assault 1 poison (2+) large blast.
    • Pandemic Staff: Poison 2+ staff. As a ranged weapon, it's a template S1 Ap5 assault 2. As a melee weapon, it's a S+2 AP4, melee, concussive.
    • Dolorus Knell: All friendly Death Guard units within 14" of the bearer have Fear during the Fight-subphase. Additionally, enemy units have to roll 3D6 while testing for Fear. Again, kinda "Meh" in the current meta.
    • Poxwalker Hive: Turn your cultists into zombies. At start of each turn you grant FnP to a friendly cultist unit within 7”. They can’t run or shoot for the rest of the game but gain Fearless and D3 cultists come back to life.
    • Plaguebringer: Power sword with poison 4+ and daemon weapon. At 35 points, this could be a slightly cheaper and weaker Black Mace on your DP as you will be rerolling 2+ 4+ to wound vs everything with T5 or lower.


    • Sons of Mortarion
    • Plague Lord Re-roll Warlord trait
    • Disgustingly Resillient Re-roll 1s on FNP
    • Cloud of flies If targeted from more than 18" away units have stealth
    • (0-4 Command) Lords of the legions, Chaos Lord, Sorcerer, Dark Apostle or DP
  • Core (1+) Chaos warband and
    • Plague Colony: 1 Chaos Lord with Mark of Nurgle and VotLW (as per Death Guard Detachment) or Typhus leads 3-7 units of Plague Marines. When enemy models come within 7" of a unit from this formation, they take -1WS and Initiative, and if you took all 7 Plague Marine units they reduce their toughness by 1 as well. The latter bonus too is very expensive, but allows your plagueknifes to potentially re-roll to wound if you're attacking MEQ, and even then the -1 to Initiative will solve the big issue of Death Guard being I3.
    • (1+ Auxiliary) Lost and the damned, Helforged Warpack, Heldrake Terror Pack, Cult of Destruction, Fist of the Gods, Raptor Talon, Terminator Annihilation force, Favoured of Chaos, Spawn

Mission Objectives

Death Guard Tactics

Night Lords[edit]

The Night Lords are about what you'd expect; fast, scary, and stealthy.

  • Requirements: No unique characters. No Chaos marks. Must take VotLW.
  • Benefits: All units with VotLW gain fear, night vision and stealth. Raptors are troops. Enemy locked in combat with you take Fear tests at -2.
  • Warlord Traits
    • 1 Warlord has Hit & Run
    • 2 Warlord and unit re-rolls 1's to wound in assault
    • 3 Warlord has Hatred
    • 4 Warlord has re-rollable cover saves
    • 5 Warlord has HoW, stacks with pre-existing HoW for re-rollavbe HoW wounds.
    • 5 Warlord has Rampage

  • Relics
    • Scourging Chain: You get shred in melee.
    • Claws of Black Hunt: A pair of master-crafted, rending lightning claws. Make an evil Murderwings.
    • Curze's Orb: Re-roll 1s to run, hit and wound.
    • Stormbolt Plate: Warpmetal armour with +1 to cover
    • Viox Daemonicus: Enemy within 6” get -1 Ld they get -1 to reserve rolls.
    • Talons of Night Terror: S user AP5, melee, shred. Each fight sub phase make additional D3 attacks (or D6 if it's a turn you charged).


    • Sons of Curze
    • Talon Master: Re-roll Warlord Trait
    • Strike fast, Strike hard: Re-roll failed charges
    • Nocturnal Warfare: You may chose to have Night Fightign, if you do your non-vehicles get +1 to cover saves (Not stealth or shrouded, so stack em' high lads.)
    • (1+ Core) Chaos Warband, Raptor Talon
    • (1+ Auxiliary) Lost and the damned, Helforged Warpack, Heldrake Terror Pack, Cult of Destruction, Fist of the Gods, Raptor Talon, Terminator Annihilation force, Favoured of Chaos, Spawn
    • (0-4 Command) Lords of the legions, Chaos Lord, Sorcerer, Dark Apostle or DP

Mission Objectives

Night Lords Tactics

Word Bearers[edit]

Word bearers are a bit better in the psychic phase than most, with bonuses to using sorcery, and they make it easy to roll with a daemonic themed army.

  • Requirements: No unique characters(presumably this will be changed if Lorgar and Erebus ever get rules in 40k). No cult units (such as Noise Marines or Berzerkers, need clarification for Exalted Sorcerers). However, units that can purchase marks can still take them, as long as that base unit doesn't have a specific mark by default. Marked Psykers and DPs can choose to generate all their powers from their gods' discipline. Like all legions, you must take VotLW, which is free and grants you your "legion tactics".
  • Benefits:
    • Unholy Pact: Word Bearers Psykers harness Warp Charges on 3+ when rolling Malefic Conjuration powers, and Possessed are Troops.
    • Blood Feud: Models with VotLW re-roll to hit against Ultramarines, but Ultramarines gain Hatred (Word Bearers).
    • Profane Zeal: Word Bearers units within 6" of Word Bearers Dark Apostles gain Zealot.
  • Warlord Traits
    • 1: Unholy Firebrand: Zealot. If Warlord already has Zealot, affected models re-roll hits every round, not just the first. A big improvement over the vanilla CSM "Lord of Hatred."
    • 2: Latent Powers: Become a Psyker. If already a Psyker, +1 Mastery Level. Note that unless you were a psyker already, you can only use Malefic Daemonology: there is a high risk of perils, and big summoning powers will be unreliable anyway on a non-dedicated psyker. However, Cursed Earth, the two witchfires and Sacrifice can all be quite useful if you happen to roll one.
    • 3: Voice of Lorgar: Lets you give orders to your Legionaries. Each turn you may grant a friendly unit within 12" Counterattack, Fearless, Furious Charge or Relentless.
    • 4: Unbreakable Devotion: Adamantium Will and Fearless. Unfortunately, no additional bonus to characters who already have those abilities. Can be somewhat useful on Sorcerers if you face enemy Psykers which may target you with their focused witchfires. Otherwise, re-roll.
    • 5: Nexus of the Gods: You and friendly Characters within 12", when rolling on the Chaos Boon table can either add or subtract 1 from the second die when rolling on the boon table. This prevents your warlord from accidentally turning himself into an unnameable beast, and makes the d3+1 boons, 2+ armor, Daemon Prince, etc. easier to fish for.
    • 6: Unexpected Boon: Gain an extra roll on the Boon table. Re-roll if you get nothing or if it would turn you into a you-know-what: however, keep the roll if it turns you into a Daemon Prince!
  • Relics
    • Malefic Tome: Bearer gets 1 extra power, which must be rolled on Malefic Daemonology. Very inexpensive, it can be taken like any more generic piece of wargear, rather than being a major investment like a daemon weapon: it's a very straightforward way of getting good use out of your legion tactics without over-committing to psykers. Take it on a Sorcerer with a Mark so you won't lose your psychic focus, and get summoning on top of whatever else you are using. Alternatively take it on a Daemon Prince, so that you can summon like crazy without the high risk of perils.
    • Skull of Monarchia: Bearer and unit re-roll all failed to-hit rolls against Armies of the Imperium in close combat, and if against Ultramarines re-roll to wound. This is fluffy item is unfortunately limited in usefulness, with the same issue as VotLW has for non-legion armies: you are paying extra points for bonuses in close combat that are only against specific enemy factions. While getting ripped up in melee is certainly what the smurfs deserve for being the false Emperor's bitches, this artifact won't really do much in the other 95% of battles you fight. Give it a pass, except for narrative campaign play.
    • Scripts of Erebus: Generate D6 Extra warp charges in a psychic phase, once per game. Another cheap psyker item! Similar to the Malefic Tome, this allows you to have a strong psychic phase without spending all your points on sorcerers. What is more, this works for all disciplines, not just Malefic Daemonology: other disciplines with lots of expensive powers, such as Tzeentch, become a lot easier to use with this item. Take it on a character who doesn't already have another artifact, such as your Dark Apostle, and pop it as required.
      • On average this will give you 3-4 psychic dice, which when combined with a Spell Familiar is enough on its own to cast a WC3 Malefic power, or a WC2 power from any other discipline. Depending on your powers, that's enough to save, destroy, or summon a unit, on top of whatever else you would do that turn, meaning as long as you keep your sorcerer alive this item can easily make its points back.
    • Baleful Icon: Enemy units must re-roll successful charges, and if they still succeed, the charge is disordered. This one is weird among the Word Bearers artifacts, a defensive item for a legion that wants to get into melee combat, and is only helpful if you're getting charged(expect it to do nothing against armies like Tau). The most obvious uses for it are to protect your dedicated summoner, or make a large shooty mob of cultists more resilient: it certainly has its place, and much like the psyker artifacts is extremely cheap for what it does.
    • Crown of Blasphemer: 4+ Invulnerable Save, Adamantium Will, and Fear. For just five extra points, you get a better Sigil of Corruption. In addition, this item is a relic, NOT special issue wargear, so you can take it on a Warpsmith or Daemon Prince!
    • Cursed Crozius: AP3 Power Maul that grants Preferred Enemy: Armies of the Imperium. Jealous of those loyalist captains with their Relic Blades? This is like the Relic Blade, except better, because you can dual wield it. A good choice for a Chaos Lord or Daemon Prince. Ironically the points are somewhat wasted on a Dark Apostle, since they already start with a power weapon, and you're still paying full price for this item on top of it, but that's life. The Preferred Enemy(Imperium) is a bonus, that will do some gnarly things if witchfire or plasma weapons are involved(remember a Chaos Lord with this item grants Preferred Enemy to his entire squad). Much more worthwhile than the skull, because even though it is especially powerful against the loyalist unbelievers, it does good work against xenos too.

Mission Objectives

Word Bearers tactical objectives focus around summoning daemons and getting into close combat with the enemy.

  • Unholy Crusade: 1 VP if a unit with Zealot successfully charges. A dead draw the first turn, but worth keeping if you have it right as your forces get into charge range.
  • Feed the Daemon: 1 VP if your daemons wipe something out in melee. Weaksauce.
  • Slay their False Prophets: 1 VP for killing an enemy character. Easy enough to get, as it doesn't matter how you kill the character.
  • Allies Beyond the Veil: d3 VPs for summoning daemons. Since you are Word Bearers, you were doing this anyway, right? Easiest d3 VPs ever.
  • Delight in Despoliation: d3 VPs for seizing an objective from the enemy. Riskier than simply seizing an objective, but with a better payout.
  • For the Glory of Chaos: 1 VP for getting a boon, d3 VPs for getting 3 boons, d3+3 VPs for getting 6 boons. This one is quite useful if you are running a Chaos Warband in a Grand Host, as you have access to a free boon each turn and whenever you trigger Champions of Chaos. Hilariously enough, the normally useless Tzeentch boon-giving power can actually net you lots of victory points if you draw this objective. If you aren't running a list with lots of boon-earning potential, however, this objective might as well read "1 VP for winning a challenge"- it's quite poor and often worth discarding.

Word Bearers Tactics

Detachments and Formations[edit]

Black Crusade Detachment (Traitor's Hate)[edit]

AWWW YEAAAAAA The Chaos Space Marine Decurion is here. It's a detachment comprised of formations. The benefits are:

  • The Warlord may choose to re-roll his warlord trait re-roll on the Chaos Warlord table.
  • Hatred: Armies of the Imperium (Yep, all armies from Space Marines to that lone Inquisitor)
  • One model with the Champions of Chaos Rule gets a free roll on the Chaos boon table each turn.
  • Everyone who can take VotLW can do so for free, which means you get +1 LD for free on all your marines.

They at least gave us something for Dark God's sake. Any CSM army can take this one, regardless of whether it's a legion, Crimson slaughter or something else(though if taken as Crimson Slaughter you won't get the free VotLW!). This is the go-to formation-based build for Chaos armies that don't want to deal with Legion restrictions. Note: This Detachment is NOT included in Traitor Legions. If you want to run a Legion, its main benefit (Free Veterans of the Long War) is superfluous due to said Legions getting VOTLW for free anyway. This leaves this detachment "mostly obsolete", in that . The main reason to take this Detachment is if you want to run Fabius or Huron, or if you want to give Hatred (Imperium) to a Crimson Slaughter army. Otherwise, this detachment is mostly done better by Word Bearers!

Command (0-5)[edit]

  • Lords of the Black Crusade: A Chaos Lord (can be Abaddon, Kharn, Typhus, Lucius, Fabius, or Huron), Chaos Sorcerer (can be Ahriman), or a Daemon Prince.

Core (1+)[edit]

  • Chaos Warband: The Chaos Warband is fairly simple: You take 1 Chaos Lord, an optional Chaos Sorcerer, 2-6 Chaos Space Marine Squads, 1-3 squads of Chosen/Terminators/Possessed, 1-3 squads of Bikers/Raptors/Warp Talons, and 1-3 Helbrutes/Havoc Squads. The entire formation gets Objective Secured, and the Favored Scions rule, meaning that anytime a character from this formation rolls for a Chaos Boon as a result of Champion of Chaos (this explicitly includes the "free" bonus granted by Path to Glory but does not include the rolls from from Gifts of Mutation/Boon of Mutation), the character may roll twice and apply either or both results.
    • Summary: This is the formation you take if you want to play Chaos Space Marines as actual Chaos Space Marines. Favored Scions lets you either sacrifice" rank-and-file Champions hoping for Princes or those-that-must-not-be-named, or buff your Lord to truly frightening levels. However, this pales in comparison to the universal Objective Secured bonus. That Biker Lord of Nurgle? He has it. That "throwaway" Rhino w/ Havoc Launcher you bought for a unit of Autocannon Havocs, so you have a "budget" Typhoon Speeder equivalent? It has it. Those units of MSU Bikers or Terminators? They have it.
    • Comparison with the Battle Demi-Company: The Chaos Warband can be viewed as the traitorous version of the Battle Demi-Company. When Traitor's Hate first came out, the initial reaction was negative: The Battle Demi-Company also gets universal Objective Secured, but when taken twice also grants free Dedicated Transports. However, what the Chaos Warband lacks in "free" points it makes up for in relative flexibility: Whereas the Loyalists must take exactly three Tactical Squads, exactly 1 Fast Attack, and exactly 1 unit of Devastators, the Warband lets you take a greater ratio of Fast Attack/Heavy Supports. While the Loyalists must take a mandatory Chaplain to fully benefit from the Battle Company, you get an optional Sorcerer whom can provide far more utility throughout the game. The Chaos Warband also allows for Objective Secured Terminators(buying Objective Secured Land Raiders of course) which can be a game-changer if your opponent doesn't have enough anti-armor, and is something loyalists can't do at all.
    • Drop Assault: If you're playing with Forgeworld Chaos Marines, Chosen, and Helbrutes can take Dreadclaws (RAW deepstrike disables Daemonic-bullshit from eating the contents, furthermore, FW has sent multiple emails confirming this) as dedicated transports. Drop in, assault out of your delicious skimmers turn 2, then run around and cap objectives with your ObSec claws.
    • This is a core formation not only for Black Crusade, but also for all Legion-specific detachments except Black Legion Speartip and Thousand Sons Grand Coven.
  • Maelstorm of Gore: You can summarize this formation in two words: Fast Berserkers. One Chaos Lord (or Kharn) with the Mark of Khorne (that gets his mark for free) joins 4-8 Squads of Khorne Berzerkers. They all gain Fleet and +3" to Charge rolls, and once per game they can fight in the movement phase as if it were an assault phase if locked in combat, and enemy units cannot fight back. They say 'ATTACK' is the only order worth remembering. Well it takes a Khorne Lord to remember a second one, 'KICK EM INNA BALLS', with axes. The mental strain, however, prevents him from issuing it more than just once per fight. While this is a good start, it's not enough to make Kharn or Berzerkers worth their points, with the former still lacking Eternal Warrior and the latter having limited access to AP2 or AP3 weapons. The special second attack ability is interesting, but isn't likely to affect more than one of your units per game and is only useful if your Berzerkers get into a combat that lasts more than two rounds, since you can only use it on your turn. That said and done, the extra movement means you can run them in support of other "fast" elements, be they mass Maulerfiends from a Warpack or mass Bikers/Hounds from a Gorepack. Also, the movement bonuses mean you don't need Rhinos for your Berserkers, meaning this is one of the easier formations to "steal" Rhinos from for Warpsmith taxes.
    • This is also a core formation for the World Eaters' special detachment, who would have guessed?
  • The Lost and the Damned: 1 Dark Apostle leads 4-9 units of Chaos Cultists. The Dark Apostle gains a 6" bubble of Zealot to all LatD units. Every time a unit of cultist dies, you roll a dice and on a 4+ they instead go into ongoing reserve and gains outflank. Commander Chenkov called, he wants his Send in the next wave! rule back in. The Zealot bubble is of limited use, unless you take the Cultists in large blobs, which will be unwieldy. Their enhanced charge will still only be a load of Guardsmen attacks, and depend upon the survival of a mediocre character who has to take a forward position. They don't get Objective Secured, either, so unless you're getting mileage from their gimmicks they're worse than an Allied Detachment - which is the only way a Black Crusade will get a single Hell Blade to troll bombers & escort Dreadclaws. You could also turn them into zombies if you brought Typhus which will free them from the apostle, give them feel no pain and most importantly allow you and your oponent to reenact the night of the living dead, take Huron infiltrate them and create the ultimate regenerating tarpit, laugh at the fact that your oponent lines are going to be stuck mowing zombies for a realy long time, while your army gets grabs all the objectives and gets into a better position.
    • This is also a core formation for the Word Bearers' special detachment.

Auxiliary (1+)[edit]

You will notice that several of these Formations have a mandatory Warpsmith tax. Some people like 'em, some people don't. Good luck trying to make them work.

  • Cult of Destruction: The first of the "Warpsmith" formations. 1-3 Warp Smiths and 3-5 units of Obliterators or Mutilators in any combination. In exchange for this, the formation gets a rule called Empyronic Guidance Rituals: At the start of this turn, each Warpsmith may "guide" a unit of Mutilators/Obliterators from this formation within 8": The Obliterators may shoot twice (using different shooting weapons) that turn, or the Mutilators may make two "immediate" sets of close combat attacks this turn with different weapons.
    • Summary: If you try running this formation to get MOAR DAKKA out of your already awesome obliterators, you're going to be disappointed. The Warpsmith (you really don't have practical reason to run more than one) is a pretty hefty tax for just 3 extra shots, and the actual rules for Empyronic Guidance Rituals are very restrictive. Your Warpsmiths have to be within 8" of your Obliterator/Mutilator unit at the start of the turn to guide them, meaning not only can you not "move" your Warpsmith in range, but you also would not be able to use Empyronic Guidance Rituals on any units that arrived from Reserves/Deep Strike. Unlike many "Fire Twice" Formation benefits, your Obliterators cannot split their fire against different units, while their weapon cooldown restrictions remain in full effect. There is one minor MAJOR HUGE GAMECHANGER quirk for Mutilators: They perform their second set of attacks 'immediately after their first, meaning can do "attack-at-initiative" chainfists.
    • LET US REPEAT THAT SHALL WE - initiative chainfists. HORUS'S BOLLOX ON A RUSTY SCHTICK! This means that ANY mark will work wonderfully on these guys - 12 initiative 5 chainfists are usually enough to tear a new asshole in them middle of the forehead of almost anything - a hole which these guys will then proceed to skullfuck, and all of that will happen before said unfortunate sod even has the time to stutter 'this pleases Slaanesh'. Toughness 5 is always nice, 4++ is a no-brainer against superheavies and 2 bonus attacks on the charge means that you're guaranteed to wipe even LARGER TARGETS if you get the drop on them. Combine this with the universal hatred for the Imperium rule of the Black Crusade detachment, and there's no stopping these guys. Seriously. you want to run this formation and wreck face? Get two units of oblits and one unit of mutilators. Deepstrike oblits for great justice, on turn two. Deploy the mutilators and their waprsmith keeper in a land raider or a dreadclaw and just see them plow through anything. Turn 2 deepstrike and plasma/melta death then charge for the RIP AND TEAR action. Do note that the mutilator's special rule says that you must not use two weapons in two FIGHT supbphases in a row, which means that you can use mauls + chainfists in one, then lightning claws and power axes, rinse and repeat if anything actually survived that literal meat-grinder
    • MuteStar:take 1 warpsmith, 2 x 1 obliterator and 3 mutilator with MoN,take a CAD/formation with Huron or Ahriman(MoT mutilators with ahriman),and in the end take a Cyclopia cabal with 4-5 sorcer Lv3 on bike/jumpack with force maul/axe,now stick all these characters inside the mutilators and you obtain a DEATHSTAR.
      • How to play: infiltrate the single model obliterator,choose the right psichic powers from Fulmination/librarius/Telepathy/freely,SWAP the deathstar with the oblyterator and you can do a first turn charge thowing someting like 40 POWER/CHAINFIST and 20 ISTANT DEATH FORCE WEAPON ATTACKS in melee,and if you take ahriman you can throw 3 PSYCHIC SHRIEK IN THE FACE while use puppetsmaster power on theyr shootiest GMC/MC/unit
  • Favoured of Chaos: A Daemon Prince leads 3-5 units of Possessed. While within 12" of the Prince, all Possessed automatically receive all 3 Mutation rewards at once. Forget Crimson Slaughter, this is what you want to run Possessed with Why not run both? Crimson Slaughter can use normal CSM detachments, and their table is way better than the stock one (Shrouded, 3++ save, Rending and become Beasts), Because RAW Crimson Slaughter has no access to Daemon Princes because they can't HAVE VotLW and Daemon Princes have this built-in, and even if you get around that, the CS possessed rule works differently to begin with and as such the FoC formation actually doesn't work with it anyway.
  • Fist of the Gods: The second Warpsmith Formation, this time he leads 3-5 units of either Land Raiders, Predators, or Vindicators. All vehicles within 12" of the Smith have a 6+ Invuln, and the Warp Smith has +1 to his repair attempts. Unfortunately thanks to the draft FAQ, AoE abilities do not extend beyond the hull of a transport vehicle unless it explicitly says they do, so keep that Warpsmith following the tanks around on foot. With three predators you get tank & monster hunter. With three vindicators you get an apocalyptic sized blast with ignores cover that is otherwise unavailable to CSM outside of the 888 point lord of skulls. If you can't go 10 minutes without telling someone "iron within, iron without" and/or flipping off the nearest Imperial Fists player, then THIS is the formation for you.
  • Heldrake Terror Pack: 2-4 Heldrakes. All enemy units within 12" of 2 Heldrakes suffer -1Ld, 3 Heldrakes take -2Ld, and 4 Heldrakes -3Ld. Also all Turkeys to D6 Vector Strike hits on all units which are Pinned, Falling Back, or gone to ground. Which is useless because Pinned and gone to ground checks are made in the shooting phase after vector strikes happen, and the odds of you wasting a vector strike on units that are falling back is so small its not even worth considering. That being said, if you were already going to bring 2 heldrakes, you might as well take this. Good way to keep your fast attack slots free (if you're running a CAD) while gaining bonuses (though admittedly useless ones).
    • One decent combo to consider is to fly these guys close to a formation of deepstriking Warp Talons. If two units of Talons charge a enemy unit they get -2LD, coupled with the LD debuffs from the drakes circling overhead, you can really go a long way to guarantee the enemy breaks. Bonus points if you're in the backfield and you run them off the map.
  • Hellforged Warpack: The last of the Warpsmith formations, this one might actually be the best one. This time the Warpsmith tags along with 3-5 Helbrutes, Maulerfiends, Forgefiends, or Defilers in any combination. The Warpsmith lets vehicles re-use Daemonforge multiple times as long as he's alive, while you get to nominate one vehicle in the formation to be the Warpack Alpha. The Alpha becomes a Character and gains a 4+ Invulnerable Save, and should that model be destroyed, all other nearby models gain Rage.
    • Summary: This formation is great. The Warpsmith tax is almost nonexistent with how you field this formation. but unlike the other formations the warpsmith puts in serious work here. Tired of your maulers and helbrutes being turned into paperweights after one lucky pen roll? Warpsmith has got you covered. (Maulerfiends with infinite Daemonforge are potentially quite scary) and not limited by range, so you can pop the smith in a unit of Cultists and call it a day while your walkers parade onward. The ability to give one Maulerfiend/Helbrute the Character Status has some amusing implications too; it's fairly common for Bike armies or similar armies to give Meltabombs to their sergeants in case they need to help finish off a Knight or other similar target, and you gain the ability to challenge those characters out of their unit as a result. The Helbrute also benefits the most from gaining a 4+ invuln save, since it doesn't have a 5+ already like the Maulerfiend or Forgefiend. Take a helbrute for an alpha and pair him with two maulerfiends. If they ignore the brute it walks over to their transports and punches them to death. If they focus the brute then the maulerfiends get rage, and there are few things scarier than maulers with +2 attacks running you down and shredding all of your shiny toys.
  • Raptor Talon: A Chaos Lord with a free Jump Pack takes 3-5 units of either Warp Talons or Raptors. They can charge the turn they deep strike, but always make disordered charges if they do, and enemy units suffer -2 to their Leadership if charged by 2 units from this formation. Think twice about taking the Mark of Khorne in this formation, since you won't get to apply the extra attack for Rage on the turn you make a Disordered Charge, though it may still be valuable to get a Relic on the Chaos Lord or access an Icon of Wrath. This may be the best formation in Traitor's Hate and it makes an already decent unit (the Raptors) much better. The Key is to mix Warp Talons and Raptors - the Raptors bring flamers, meltas and grenades, while the Warp Talons cause Blindness and make sure you actually win that fight.
    • This is a core formation for the Night Lords' special detachment.
  • Terminator Annihilation Force: A Chaos Lord or Sorcerer takes 3-5 units of Terminators, getting free Terminator Armor for his trouble. Pick an enemy unit; the formation gains Hatred against it and can make a shooting attack against it in the movement phase immediately after they deep strike. This does not prevent them from making a regular shooting attack, and if the nominated unit dies they pick a new target to gain Hatred against. No deep strike manipulation or mitigation makes this a bit iffy. If you're hellbent on grabbing this formation, you might as well grab the Burning Brand for funtimes.
  • Trinity of Blood: 3 Lord of Skulls. That's right. They all have Rampage, all enemy units locked in combat with them suffer D6 S6 AP4 hits with ignores cover and soul blaze, and all shooting weapons have the twin-linked special rule if another Lord of Skulls from this formation shot at the same unit beforehand. This formation is so crazy expensive you'll probably never play it nor see it played, so go ahead and skip this one. Even the Kytan version.
    • As per the Kytan's datasheet, you can take three of them instead. experimental, but still.
  • Spawn: 1-3 units of those who shall not be named.
  • Veterans of the Legions: 1-4 units of Khorne Berzerkers, Noise Marines, Plague Marines, and Thousand Sons. No bonuses unlike Eldar Aspect Warriors formation, because, you know, your codex wasn't written by a fanboy who plays Eldar since second edition, so screw you.

Black Legion Speartip Detachment (Traitor Legions)[edit]

The Black Legion Speartip rewards alpha strikes, but does not grant objective secured to anything at all. On the flip side, running a CAD will work wonders because both Chosen, Terminators and by extension Land Raiders will have it! Keeping this in mind, there are tradeoffs to either army list, very much like the Horus Heresy Rites of War. The veterans of your Legion are mostly Luna Wolves, after all, and that carries over into their battle doctrine.

  • Special Rules
    • Warlord may re-roll on Black Legion Warlord Trait table
    • Non-vehicle units have Fear and Crusader
    • Deep Strike Units can start rolling to arrive from reserves on Turn 1. Warlord and his unit can auto-pass this roll in 1st turn if they are in DS reserve.

Command (0-5)[edit]

  • The Bringers of Despair - One unit of Terminators plus Abaddon. The Terminators have WS and BS 5 and can re-roll one "Look Out, Sir" roll for Abaddon each phase. This replaces the old ability to upgrade a unit, and now the terminators get the stat upgrades for free, which is a welcome change.
  • The Chosen of Abaddon - 1-4 Chaos Lords or Sorcerers, plus a unit of Chosen or Terminators for each one. Each Sorcerer or Chaos Lord has to join one of the corresponding units of Chosen/Terminators (and can't leave). While the character remains attached to his unit, they get Fearless. Each Chaos Lord/Sorcerer in the formation gets to roll on the Boon table prior to deployment, re-rolling Spawnhood and Dark Apotheosis results. Not particularly useful, given that you give up flexibility for a crack at a bad chart of upgrades.
  • Cyclopia Cabal - THIS IS A GOOD ONE. And nasty with the new powers from Traitor's Hate. 3-5 Sorcerers. At the start of each psychic phase, you can have one sorcerer in the formation use a special psychic power called Shroud of Deceit. The power is free to cast, but you only get 1 additional warp charge die for each Sorcerer within 12" of the main caster (you can still allocate warp charge to it as normal) and it's a warp charge 3 power. Shroud of Deceit targets a non-vehicle unit that isn't locked in combat. You can immediately fire one of its weapons make a shooting attack with that UNIT as though it were a part of your army. It's a pretty neat power, and super-useful against the Tau and their Riptides (good luck trying to get it off against Eldar though, lol). One recent tournament strategy is to add a Cabal to a Daemon army with 5 ML3 psykers, on top of fateweaver and horrors to generate 24 dice per turn. Nuts.
  • Lord of the Legion - A Chaos Lord(can be Abaddon), Sorcerer, Daemon Prince or Dark Apostle. Take this option if you just want the HQ with no added formation tax.

Core (1+)[edit]

  • Black Legion Warband - One Chaos Lord, 0-1 Sorcerer, 2-5 units of Chosen or Chaos Space Marines in any combination, 1-3 units of Terminators or Possessed in any combination, 1-3 units of Raptors, Bikes, or Warp Talons in any combination, 1-3 units of Havocs or Helbrutes in any combination. This is the core formation for the Speartip. Units in this formation roll twice when rolling for boons and can take either one or both of the results. Additionally, any time an enemy unit is completely destroyed by a unit in this formation in a phase, all of the other units in the formation can re-roll to hit and to wound rolls of 1 for the rest of the phase (note that this just means when a unit is finally completely removed from the table, per the rulebook definition of "completely destroyed"). The bonus roll on the boon table will often be irrelevant, but the other bonus is kind of cool.
    • NOTE: Unlike the other legions this uses the Black Legion Warband and not the "normal" one. That means that a Black Legion Speartip doesn't have a single Objective Secured unit since it can't take a Chaos Warband as an auxiliary either. This is a big disadvantage over other demi-company type formations. However given that this is meant to be a speartip formation, ergo you want to be the aggressor, losing objective secured isn't as big of a hindrance as you may think.
    • Alternate Opinion: This formation is actually pretty good. The key is to activate units in the right order to get the sweet Preferred Enemy for all the army; simply destroying a transport with some Autocannon Havocs can make your Plasma Chosen so much better. Or your suicide terminators popping a tank making your Chaos Lord on Steed outflanking with plasma Raptors ready to ruin the day. Or both! In general if you like to play with special weapons, this formation can help you a lot. Also, remember that without objective secure Havocs are just CSM with more weapons. Use them if you feel the need of ablative wounds and feel free to go heavy on special weapons.
  • The Hounds of Abaddon - This is a pretty solid formation. You take 1 Chaos Lord, 1-3 units of Berzerkers, 1-3 units of Chaos Space Marines, and 1-3 units of Bikes/Raptors/Warp Talons. The entire formation gets the Mark of Khorne for free; this means you can have 13-point Marines with Leadership 10, Hatred(Everything), and Rage...not bad at all! Once per game, you can declare a massed assault with this formation to run and charge in the same turn. As if that's not enough, any time you roll an 8 or more for charge distance with a unit in this formation, that unit gets +1 Strength until the end of the Assault phase, and this is where the formation can snow-ball into something truly frightening; the Icon of Wrath is highly recommended for units in this formation, as not only would the re-rolls help you maximize the chances of getting 8, but the Furious Charge would stack on top; a unit of 5 regular Marines from this formation would cost 100 points in exchange for making 20 S5 attacks on the charge, with a good chance of those attacks being S6 instead. Note that this can give a Lord with AoBF strength 8 on the charge, allowing him to ID.

Auxiliary (1+)[edit]

  • The Lost and the Damned, Helforged Warpack, Cult of Destruction, Fist of the Gods, Raptor Talon, Terminator Annihilation Force, Chaos Sp-GRUGHGLGL!!!-: See their entries in Black Crusade.
  • Daemon Engine Pack - One Warpsmith and 2 Forgefiends/Maulerfiends, in any combination. At the start of each shooting and assault phase you can have one of the fiends within 12" of the Warpsmith use his WS or BS for that phase instead of its own. In practice, this bonus works better for running dual Forgefiends, since being able to get 5 BS is a much bigger deal than 4 WS; this makes the Hades Autocannons that the Forgefiends can have much more useful, since now they'll hit with most of their shots. You can either "cycle through" the Fiends, to combo Daemonforge with improved BS, or use it alongside moving on separate flanks to force enemy Knights into a "no-win" situation regarding where to use their Ion Shields. Also at the start of the game, you nominate a single enemy character and the Forge/Maulerfiends get Preferred Enemy against that character, plus if they kill him, the the model that did so regains a hull point.

Thousand Sons Grand Coven Detachment (Wrath of Magnus/Traitor Legions)[edit]

The Thousand Sons Grand Coven is is meant to buff Rubric units/Psykers to be more viable, though the actual results are...questionable. The formation bonuses are:

  • Lord of Fallen Prospero - Your Warlord gets to re-roll his Warlord Trait if he rolls on the Tzeentch Warlord Table. This table is arguably a lot better than the vanilla Chaos one, so may be worth considering.
  • Masters of Arcane Knowledge - All Psykers in the detachment may cast an additional power beyond their Mastery Level. The most immediate ways to use this are lucking out and getting the Warlord Trait that lets you know an additional Psyker Power, or using Ahriman or Magnus, the former due to knowing more powers than his Mastery Level and the latter due to the Black Staff. Worst comes to worst, this also lets your Sorcerers pop Force to improve their units' invulnerable save while still casting their main powers. Additionally, all Psykers in the detachment may re-roll their result on Perils of the Warp. This one matters more, as extra insurance against accidentally frying your expensive Sorcerers is always nice.

Another Note: Any and all of the formations here have the Favoured of Tzeentch bonus where if you take the maximum number of units allowed for said formation (usually a commander + 9 units, because Tzeentch), every model in that formation may reroll all saving throws of 1s. While for many formations this is excessively expensive, for others it allows for incredible durability.

Command (0-4)[edit]

  • Rehati War Sect: Magnus the Red plus 3-9 units of either Tzeentch Daemon Princes or Exalted Sorcerers. The models in this formation ignore Line of Sight for casting powers. In addition, all models within 18" of Magnus manifest on a 3+.
  • Ahriman's Exiles: Ahriman plus 3-9 Exalted Sorcerers. All models within 18" of Ahriman manifest on 3+.
  • Lord of the Legion: Magnus the Red, Ahriman, or a Sorcerer, Exalted Sorcerer, or Daemon Prince of Tzeentch.

Core (1+)[edit]

  • War Cabal: Ahriman, a Daemon Prince of Tzeentch, a Sorcerer, or an Exalted Sorcerer with 1-3 more Sorcerers/Exalted ones lead 1-3 units of Rubric Marines and 1-3 units of Scarab Occult Terminators. Whenever a Psyker from this formation manifests a power, that Psyker (and the unit it's part of, should it be from this Formation) may reroll all 1s to-hit for the remainder of the turn. This formation is the "cheap" core of the two, and is probably what players will take just so they can run 3 units of Terminators with rerollable 2+ armor saves...
  • summary: this formation is probably the best core T-sons could ask for. rerolling 1s to hit is extremely useful for such a shooty army, and because literally every unit in this formation has a sorcerer leading it, you can consistently get rerollable 1's to hit every turn just by activating the sorcerers force weapons. Combine that with the bonus spell every sorcerer can cast from the detachment buffs, and you will be unleashing a LOT of DAKKA in the psychic & shooting phases to cover any shortcomings that may occur in close combat.
  • Sekhmet Conclave: A sorcerer(can be exalted or Ahriman) or a Daemon Prince(can be Magnus), plus 3-9 units of SO Terminators. Any unit from this formation within 6" of 2+ of other units from this formation gains +1 Toughness. This is what you want if you like Terminators, like being nearly impossible to kill, are sick of regular Rubrics being overcosted crap, or just don't want to paint very many models. You won't get the rerollable 2+ armor saves with this unless you take nine units of 5 terminators each plus an HQ, though, which is not going to happen in games under 2500 points.
    • Quick Note: While its true that this formation is extremely expensive especially when trying to get the blessing of Tzeentch, its not always needed thanks to +1 toughness. Also the toughness buff is applied to Magnus when in range of the termie honor guard which makes him TOUGHNESS 8 meaning he is COMPLETELY IMMUNE TO BOLTER FIRE AND strength 6 weapons only wound him on 6's so suck it space elfs. Splinter rifles still wound him on 4+.

Auxiliary (1+)[edit]

  • War Coven: 1 Tzeentch Daemon Prince, ES, or Sorcerer leads 3-9 more Sorcerers/Exalted Sorcerers. Pick one BRB Discipline at the start of the game, and all Sorcerers from this formation manifest Warp Charge for that Discipline on a 3+. This is basically your Librarius Conclave formation.
    • Are you a bad enough dude to run the Terminator Tzeentchstar? Take ten regular Sorcerers in Terminator armor and enjoy your ten man invisible 4+ FNP rerollable 2+/3++ teleporting witchfire spamming deathstar with two wounds apiece. Be sure to include the Seer's Bane and the Astral Grimoire to go fast and dominate in melee too. Warning: you won't have any points left over for actual units if you do this.
  • Tzaangor Warherd: 1 Exalted Sorcerer/Sorcerer leads 3 units of Tzaangors plus an optional 6 more units of Tzaangors or the unnameable beasts. The entire formation gains Fleet, the Tzaangors may run and charge in the same turn, and should they roll a 9 or more for Charge distance, they gain +1 Strength and Initiative. Not bad at all.
  • Daemon Engines: Defiler, Forgefiend, Heldrake, Helbrute, Maulerfiend. Pick one. Not actually a formation.
  • Legion Armory: Grab either a Chaos Land Raider, or a unit of Predators, or Vindicators. Remember you can squadron if you don't want to give up first blood, but a Land Raider may work to cart around the expensive asses of the Scarab Occult Terminators.

Word Bearers Grand Host Detachment (Traitor Legions)[edit]

Special Rules:

  • The Coryphaus: The standard re-roll warlord trait rule for this detachment.
  • Dark Crusaders: Non-vehicles have (Gasp) Crusader. This helps your melee units reach the enemy quicker. Units that already have fleet will consistently be running 5-6" a turn.
  • The Eight-Fold Path: Each turn one character gets a free Chaos Boon. However, you must choose a different character each turn.

Command (0-4)[edit]

  • Lord of the Legion: A Chaos Lord, Dark Apostle, Sorcerer or Daemon Prince.

Core (1+)[edit]

  • Chaos Warband:
  • The Lost and the Damned:

Auxiliary (1+)[edit]

  • Helforged Warpack:
  • Heldrake Terror Pack:
  • Cult of Destruction:
  • Fist of the Gods:
  • Raptor Talon:
  • Terminator Annihilation force:
  • Favoured of Chaos:
  • Spawn: 1-3 units of them. A tax if all you want is Core and Command stuff and the detachment benefits, or alternatively, a way to get lots of fast multi-wound fire magnets.


  • Wrathborn (Start Collecting! Chaos Space Marines) - 1 Terminator Chaos Lord, 1 unit of Chaos Space Marines, and 1 Helbrute. The Lord and all units within 12" of him gain Hatred. That's it.
  • Fallen Champions: Cypher grabs up to 3 Chosen Squads as Fallen goons. The Chosen aren't much more useful than normal, as they lose a lot of stuff to use. However, their use shouldn't be to much more than to guard Cypher himself as he fucks with people's shit.
    • The Chosen cannot take Artefacts, Rewards, Marks, or Transports. He can take Icon of Vengeance though. And apparently the chosen can take power fists for 5 points.
    • Chosen within 12" of Cpyher uses his leadership. They also grab ATSKNF.
    • Enemy Dark Angels with Deathwing get Zealot against your entire army.
  • Mayhem Pack: This formation of 3 Helbrutes gives them all IWND (AWWWW YEAAAAA), Deep-Striking, and a shared roll on the Crazed table, even if they've never been hit (Giving them a 2/3 chance of being rather useful, though it's still a crapshoot). All-in-all, a rather decent way to boost their survivability but not their usefulness. FUCK THAT NOISE! Getting a dreadnought in close out of nowhere is one of the best uses of them in the loyalist army and this dataslate improves upon it tremendously by tripling the amount of dreadnought and making them harder to kill in the process! Then there's the crazed rule which makes shooting the brutes a dicey prospect. NOTE - although the brutes get to share a reserve roll AND a crazed roll every round, they are NOT a single vehicle squadron. This means that they won't deepstrike in the manner a terminator squad does, and you'll have to scatter each one of them separately - and you don't have to move them as one squadron either.
    • Note - With the Errata boosting Helbrutes' attacks up to 4, this makes them even more effective as DISTRACTION CARNIFEXes. 4 attacks is enough to threaten most targets other than giant hordes (and in those cases, +1 attack for 2 weapons isn't going to do much better) while being able to pack a ranged weapon allow the helbrutes to be effective 2/3rds of the time right after they drop and continue to threaten targets up until it dies. In addition, something few people realize is that this formation is essentially the Chaos Version of a Drop Pod Dread, but you do not need to pay the extra 35 points for a Drop Pod, which is a great boon for it's role as a Distraction (cheap, moderately hard to kill, and killy).
  • Helcult: A Helbrute joins 2 squads of cultists. This gives the brute some walking meatshields, though their use is...debatable, especially now that 7E gives troops Objective Secured. This formation is useless now because only Troops in Combined Arms and Allied Detachments get Objective Secured - your units in Formations don't get it. Who cares if you have 20 (Two units of 35 means 70!) fearless T3, 6+ models when everything else is also scoring and it's too easy make enough of a dent in the cultists to contest or outright take whatever objective they were sitting on. But makes a great wall of tar-pitters and fire magnets regardless.
    • The whole group gets Rage (When the Helbrute dies). However, any rolls of 1 from the brute get transferred to anyone else within 6" of him.
    • The cultists get the Fearless USR regardless of how far they're from giant hulk of Warp-machinery. The moment he goes down, however, they exchange Fearless for Zealot.
    • If the cultists block any incoming fire for the Helbrute, the giant thing gains a 3+ Cover save. Each successful save kills one of the cultists, no saves allowed. So totally worth it since you have 35 of the shlebs in front of him. Right?
    • For added lulz, hide a warpsmith in with the cultists. There, you got yourself a reliable meat shield for both the Helbrute and a unit in which the smith can hide so he can repair any of the hits that actually make it to the Helbrute (assuming it doesn't kill it, that is).
    • Give them the Mark of Nurgle for an extra slurpy tarpit. Also consider that Sonic Weapons ignore cover so they are a great walking buffer for your Noise Marines.
  • Helfist(er) Murderpack: Out of the 5 Helbrutes in this formation, one of them must be designated a Champion, thus making them like a squad with a sergeant. The Champion becomes a Character and gets the Aura of Dark Glory and the brutes within 6" can LOS! for the big guy. The Champion also makes the entire squad choose what Crazed result they want instead of rolling it. However, once he dies, not only does this Crazed selection end, but the others also get Rage. While this sounds nice on paper, the issue is that they're still forced to footslog it all the way to the enemy, and a 5+ Invul and the ability to choose Fleet and Rage when they get hit is not going to help them out much with that. Can't really use this for insane helbrute dakka to double your shots every single turn, since only the 'brutes that have taken damage will be able to make use of the Crazed table. Bare in mind that you can technically abandon any Helbrutes affected by Fire Frenzy as they count as immobilized and according to the rules of the formation you can still pick their crazed result even when they are no longer part of the squad. This is a good way to bypass the sqaud having to all fire at the same unit.
  • Kranon's Helguard: Chaos Lord, Chosen squad , Pack of Termies, Two mobs of Cultists, a pack of Raptors, a 'Brute, and a Land Raider. Just from the DV starter kit and Crimson Slaughter Expansion. It's decent, as it forces all units within 12" of one unit here to take -1 Ld, while anyone within 12" of two or more units take -1 BS, as well as giving Fear and Stubborn, but...just like the Unrelenting Hunt, it's absolutely not worth forking over all that cash for both kits. Or even just the expansion.
  • Kharn's Butcherhorde: Formation with Kharn (Shocking, right?), 4 CSM squads with the Mark of Khorne and 4 Khorne Berseker squads. They all get Adamantium Will and for every 6 to hit they get another attack (and yes, with another 6 you get another attack and so on). Then, if you get an 8 on the charge (beign the number of Khorne and all) you double the attack value on your models. It looks nice, but that's a lot of models. That's why it's called Butcherhorde and not Butchergroup.
  • Cult of Destruction (Apocalypse) This packs in at least a 3-man pack of both Obliterators and Mutilators. If you get more Obliterators, you can gain a combined fire bonus ability. Lascannons get 48", Strength D and AP1, Flamers become Hellstorm templates with AP3, and the Artillery gets 48", Strength D AP 4 apocalyptic blast. Mutilators meanwhile get Furious Charge and get another attack per unsaved wound.
  • Heldrake Fear Squadron (Apocalypse) 3-5 of the Drakes get grouped up, and they get effectively infinite Daemonforge, though they have to take another roll per turn for damage. They can also make an extra 60" pre-deployment move. They can then make an out-of-sequence Vector Strike that can't force morale tests if they cause casualties and forfeit the ability to Vector Strike for the first turn, though they can still shoot. USeful? Well, it'll at least let them live a little longer.
  • Legionnaire Warband (Apocalypse) - A Chaos Lord grabs a 3+ Troops, 2+ Elites, and any number of HQ, Fast Attack, and Heavy Support choices. Everyone must take Veterans of the Long War and the same Mark of Chaos. They can also re-roll failed to-hit melee attacks against Space Marines and Fearless within 12" of the Marines.
  • Lords of the Black Crusade (Apocalypse) - Abaddon gets to lead Kharn, Lucius, Ahriman, and Typhus (or their equally marked Chaos Lords). For this, they get to use all their Finest Hour/Sons of their Primarch abilities at once. Also, Abaddon can make a Magma Storm Unnatural Disaster and become the Master of Disaster.
  • Lost and the Damned (Apocalypse) - 1+ Dark Apostles can use 3+ Cultists, giving them Infiltrate, FNP and Furious Charge (for Cultists), and can resurrect a single cultist during each break for free.
  • Thousand Sons War Coven (Apocalypse) - Ahriman (Or a ML3 Tzeentch Sorcerer) with 3+ additional Sorcerers get to use a new Warp Charge power called Storm of Change. It's a 48" Witchfire with S:D and AP1, Assault X, Blast, and Vortex. It also sacrifices Sorcerers for pieplates, making it very risky to use. Alternatively, just activate all of their force weapons with one power, then throw a huge unit of them at anything. That thing will die, no ifs, no buts. Or, it's a fucking Titan, in which case you're fucked anyway.
  • Tide of Spawn (Apocalypse) - 5+ Chaos thingies get to swarm up. They can't be used as normal, instead replacing an equal number of normal, unengaged infantry models. Other than that, they're no different from any normal ones. If you have the money and time and are a massive troll, take a squad of 35 cultists.... replace with these and watch as a literal tide of flesh smashes into that greentide or tyranid swarm of gaunts. Your opponents face will drop when they see that a measly cultist squad manages to wipe their way through their entire formation.

Warzone Pandorax[edit]

  • The Chosen of Abaddon (Apocalypse) - 3-5 Chaos Lords or Sorcerers all get to take permanent retinues of Chosen or Termies, all without champions. The Lords all get a bonus boon by just forming up, and when within 12" of Lord Topknot, they get Fearless, making them a bigger shield for big A. Combo with Bringers of Despair, and get your Black Legion first company rolling.
  • Daemon Engine Pack (Apocalypse) - 3-5 Forgefiends or Maulerfiends. They get Preferred Enemy against one chosen enemy and when they kill it, they get a 1 VP. They can also choose a Warpsmith to be their owner and any engines within 12" of the smith get to use his WS and BS(BS5 Forgefiends? Yes, please!), making the Daemon Engine army more useful. They also get to charge after running, which is very awesome.
  • The Hounds of Huron (Apocalypse) - A Biker Lord gets to lead 5+ Biker packs. In a move that could make Marine biker armies take note, the formation gets Acute Senses and Outflank, and bikers within 12" of the Lord get to charge after Turbo-Boosting, which is definitely some good speed.
  • Maelstrom of Gore (Apocalypse) - Kharn (or a Khornate Lord) has to take 8 8-man Berzerker packs for blood and skulls. Anyone within 18" of the Lord/Kharn get Fleet, Move Through Cover, and +3" Charge Range, making this a better way to deliver the forces of blood. However, they're still not gonna be able to hit any better.
  • Trinity of Blood (Apocalypse) - A squad made of 3 Lords of Skulls. The first kinda meh rule is the ability to grant Rage to absolutely everything that is not a vehicle within 12" of a member here, which would only be useful in certain situations (Orks, Nids, Guardsmen) and otherwise useless unless you took Cultist Blobs, which then give you a problem. The other less problematic rule is the ability to force all enemies within 24" of them to take Dangerous Terrain tests before moving unless they can fly.

Crimson Slaughter[edit]

  • Requirements: No Veterans of the Long War. Previously, this rule simply said that you could not buy the VotLW upgrade -- anything that had it stick (like Kharn) got to keep it. Now it says that no unit in the CS army can HAVE VotLW. The wording isn't clear; it can either mean that your units lose that rule if they happen to have it, or, more likely, that you can't buy those units to begin with. This means no Special Characters, no Rubricae, and, worst of all, no Daemon Princes - and no Vrosh Tattersoul. Anyway, Noise Marines, Berzerkers, and Plague Marines are excluded from this rule.
    • Alternate View: The Daemonheart still says it can't be taken on Daemon Princes, which would only be possible if they could be taken as units in the first place. An FAQ is needed, but RAI would seem to indicate that it was meant to use the old rules.
  • Benefits:
    • Harbingers of the Tormented: All models in the detachment have Fear. Yes, that includes vehicles. And cultists.
    • Slaves to the Voices: Possessed are troops instead of elites, and they roll on a different mutations table from the one in the Codex, gaining either Shrouded (includes their vehicle if they're in one), Beasts, or a 3+ invul save and Rending. The new mutations table is flat out better than the old one, and having Objective Secured makes them seriously worth considering.

Warlord Traits[edit]

  • 1: Murderous Hate: Warlord and his unit have Hatred, and get to re-roll misses in CC against Dark Angels units (because Dark Angels needed more help dying).
  • 2: Maelstrom of Torment: All enemy units within 12" of the Warlord suffer a -1 Ld penalty, and a -2 Ld penalty to any Fear tests they take. Anything vulnerable to Fear left in this game is going to fail those tests anyway, but whatever. MoS will destroy those cheesy Eldar.
  • 3: Maddened Rage: Rage and Furious Charge. If there's an enemy unit within 12" in the beginning of a shooting phase, you don't get to shoot and must charge them the following Assault phase, if possible. Unfortunate if your Warlord is shooty, pretty sweet otherwise.
  • 4: Merciless Slaughterer: Warlord and his unit have Crusader.
  • 5: Spectral Assailants: Enemy models in base contact take D6 S3 AP hits at Initiative step 10 of each Assault phase. (note that EACH enemy model will take D6 hits, which can be quite a few additional dice.)
  • 6: Pall of Mists: Warlord gets Shrouded. Pretty good if you're not already getting it from a Mutation roll (see below)


  • Crozius of the Dark Covenant: A replacement power maul for the Dark Apostles. All friendly Crimson Slaughter units within 6" of the bearer get the Zealot rule. Cute if you want your Zealot to hang in the back and ensure your Havocs stay put, or you could use it for "Go to Ground/Get Back Into The Fight" shenanigans.
  • Blade of the Relentless: Basically a power sword that makes its bearer stronger as he kills shit. 1 kill grants +1 Str, 3 kills grants AP2, 5 kills grants another +1 Str, and 10 kills grants Instant Death. Have a Sergeant take the challenge for at turn so you can kill off some grunts then take over when he dies or 'glorious intervention' into his place with a AP2 +1 strength sword. The wording of the relic says that models removed as a direct result of the bearer's close combat attacks. This means that attacks with other weapons or other sources belonging to the model that count as close combat will also count towards charging the sword. Powerfist/claw combo, icy aura boon, Spectral Assailants warlord trait, hammer of wrath, and combat familiars all count towards the total. And with the way wound allocation works with challenges now in 7th, you no longer have to worry about only getting a single "kill charge" from winning a challenge.
  • The Slaughterer's Horns: Furious Charge, Rage and Hammer of Wrath for 15 points. Very good for non-khorne HQs, but largely wasted on anything with MoK and icon of wrath. However, in a dual god themed army this presents a great way to have multiple gods/marks represented on a single character.
  • The Balestar of Mannon: Sorcerers only. Allows the bearer to roll on Divination and re-rolls on failed Psych tests. However, he doesn't get any modifiers to Deny the Witch rolls for being a Psyker. in the current edition this becomes a really interesting tool and effectively replaces the spell familiar since you can only re-roll dice once.
    • RAW: He does not get the modifier for being a psyker, but does he get the modifier for being at a higher Mastery Level than the other Psyker?
  • Daemonheart: 2+ Armor Save and It Will Not Die. Can't be taken by a Daemon Prince, which limits its usefulness somewhat. Terminator armour comes with a 5++ invulnerable save, a power weapon and combi bolter for only 10 more points, but remember it strips you from grenades and the ability to perform Sweeping Advances.
    • Final Consensus: Any self respecting chaos lord will have at least a 4++, and a Chaos Lord's one advantage over a Space Marine captain is that you can load up on weapons and relics. Thus, the Daemonheart IS BETTER THAN TERMINATOR ARMOUR in every way that matters, unless you really, really want that relentless (get a bike) or a chainfist. Everything else can be replaced with equal or better equivalents anyway. Just, TAKE IT!!!
  • Prophet of the Voices: Makes your IC a Possessed, basically. He gets Daemon, Fearless and Fleet, plus rolls on the new mutations table mentioned previously. Can only join units of Possessed of the Crimson Slaughter. Allows for some really rapetastic combos, especially if you roll lucky on the Warlord Traits and Mutations tables, though the choice between going solo and having a posse of Possessed is pretty limiting.
    • Note: Having the Daemon rule means you can benefit from Cursed Earth, giving your sorcerer/lord a 3++ with a sigil.

Crimson Slaughter Formations[edit]

  • The Ravagers - One unit of Possessed plus one unit of Chosen makes the Ravagers, granting them Sight of the Third Eye. So long as the Chosen Champion is alive, one of these units gets re-rolls to hit for the duration of your turn. Sadly, this means no re-rolls in the enemy combat phase.
  • Disciples of Mannon - One Sorcerer and a unit of Possessed that hope the Stars are Right! Roll a pair of dice at the start of the game; they are your portents of DOOOOM. Anytime your opponent rolls EXACTLY two dice (example: a Leadership check, for example) check to see if it matches your portents. If there's a match, FUN happens! You roll a further d6, and on a 1-3 you get 10 Horrors, 4-5 3 Screamers or Flamers, and a 6 gets you a Herald (BAD) or a Lord of Change (GOOD). They immediately pop up within 18 of the Sorcerer. If he bites a bullet, no Tzeentchian fun for you.
  • Brethren of the Dark Covenant - A Dark Apostle, a unit of Possessed (notice a theme here?) and 1-3 units of marines make up this mean bunch. The Dark Apostle can elect not to shoot in the shooting phase, and can instead RAEG. This inspires the formation within 12 of him, granting those within the bubble Zealot and Feel no Pain. Add this to Nurgle Chaos marines and congratulations you have Plague marines on the cheap.
  • Cult of Slaughter - Another formation lead by a Dark Apostle. This time he drags along 2-8 mobs of Cultists to be glorious meatshields. If the cultists are within 9 of the Apostle, they get leadership 10. The real treat is that in your movement phase, d6 cultists are restored to each mob within 18 of the Apostle, up to their original starting number. They bring back any marks or heavy weapons lost as well. Not too shabby.
  • Lords of Slaughter - A Chaos Lord, a unit of Termies, yet another unit of Possessed, and 1-3 Marine squads make up this formation. A simple but powerful formation, the Lord becomes a Mastery 1 Psyker with the Prescience divination power. Additionally, when targeting members of this formation, the power has infinite range.
    • Jury Is Out: Your Lord automatically gets Prescience as his main power, which precludes him from generating additional powers. Because he is a Psyker, he cannot take the Mark of Khorne. However, there are no written restrictions on being able to take any other Mark. The reason this is important is that beyond granting him access to God-specific wargear/relics, it would also grant him the appropriate Chaos Psychic Focus: Nurgle's Rot, Sensory Overload or Tzeentch's Firestorm. Currently, the rules for marked Psykers state that they must (emphasis on must) generate at least one power from their god's chart, and the Facebook Draft FAQ defines generating as rolling (the same ruling that precludes Thousand Son Sorcerers from getting Daemonology). Discuss with your opponents/TOs beforehand, as there are three possibilities:
    • Most Restrictive Option: Because the Lord already knows Prescience, this counts as his "Generated Power". Because he cannot generate a God's power, he cannot therefore take a Mark in the first place.
    • Most Permissive Option: The Lord takes a Mark, rolls for a power from the appropriate God's lore and gets the Primaris, and then gets Prescience as the Formation bonus.
    • Middle Option: The Lord takes a Mark, but Prescience counts as the generated power, precluding him from rolling for a Chaos power.
  • Kranon's Helguard - Basically the Dark Vengeance and Expansion army. A Lord, 1 unit of Chosen, 1 unit of Termies, 2 units of Cultists, 1 unit of Raptors, a Helbrute and a Land Raider. Everyone gets Stubborn, and any enemy within 12 of a unit from the formation get -1 Leadership. If they are within 12 of two or more units, they suffer -1 Ballistic Skill as well!
  • The Red Onslaught - A formation of formations. Bring all of the above! Each formation keeps its own rules, but two universal rules come into play. The Maddening Horde gives a -1 Leadership to all enemies on the battlefield, so long as 1 model is still standing. Easier said than done; remember all those possessed? At the start of each of your turns, roll a d6. On a 4+, any and every unit of Possessed that was destroyed from this formation Deep Strikes back onto the field. If they are destroyed again, they can come back again, again! The train has no brakes!

The Purge (Forgeworld)[edit]

An FOC from the IA:Vraks book, that also can be filled by Chaos Space Marines as well as the Vraksian Renegades. This detachment requires 1 HQ and 2 Elites, with the option for an additional HQ up to 4 additional Elites, 8 Troops, 4 Heavy Support and a Fortification. You don't get any Fast Attacks, and the formation cannot take any Marks other than Nurgle. In exchange, any Missile Launchers in the detachment can take Chemical Rockets, and any flamer weapons can be swapped for Chemical Flamers for free. Chemical Rockets are AP 5 Frag Missiles with Shred and Gets Hot, and Chemical Flamers are regular Flamers with Shred & Gets Hot. Not bad! There's a second bonus that any Barrage weapons from this Formation leave Dangerous terrain markers, but Chaos Marines don't get any barrage weapons anyway outside of Forgeworld, and the FW options they do get are expensive!

  • Although this is nominally a Nurgle formation, there is no requirement to actually take any models with Marks in it. The big thing this formation allows you to do is bypass a Troop tax altogether and just cram in Elites/Heavy Supports in a way normal Chaos armies can't do. Whether you want to run mass Chosen without paying for Abaddon/the Veterans tax from Black Legion, whether you want to do solo Obliterator/Mutilator MSU builds, or whether you just want to add a bunch of Walkers to another army/play Chaos Mechwarrior, this formation allows surprising amount of flexibility.
  • Though it probably was not intended and was probably a rules oversight, there is nothing preventing you from taking Daemons or vehicle Dedications of another Chaos God. For example, you could use this formation to run Blood Slaughterers if you were so inclined.
  • The detachment is decent and fluffy, yes, but losing out on all those hard-hitting and cool Nurgle Fast Attack options (Heldrakes, Spawn, Bikers, and Blight Drones, ironically) really does hurt - especially in maelstrom missions where zipping around the board to capture an objective helps a lot. Depending on what you want to do with the list, you can either go "all in" with the army theme, or supplement it with additional formations; the Heldrake Terror Pack from Traitor's Hate gives your Drakes back, while the Daemonkin Gorepack gives durable speed to round you out nicely. You could always just use Termicide for your mandatory Elites, and use the Heavy Support to spam Maulerfiends...
    • You could still grab your cheaper, zippier Assault Vehicle DTs (Dreadclaws), maybe even a couple Kharybdis, and just burninate your Chosen and Dreads into position. Or, if you have loads of cash and don't mind being That Guy, buy an Air Superiority Detachment full of Assault Pods and cackle as your Wings of pods descend and burn in perfect formation right when you need them to.
  • The wording is such that you can take both renegades, AND Chaos Marines! Have fun with hoards of zombies marching in front of your Plague Marines as artillery obliterates anything strong enough to inconvenience those fat asses. Actually, the consensus on the matter is that mixing and matching units from the two codices is not allowed. There seems to be no official errata on the matter, but a couple of e-mail replies from FW state that it shouldn't be done - which means that you can probably get away with it, if your opponent looks the other way, but don't count on doing so in a more strict setting. Take Typhus - you get no uberzombies, but his regular ones are good enough. Or take a Helcult with MoN.


Battle Brothers[edit]

  • Other Chaos Space Marines: With Traitor Legions finally getting their own rules, there will be many new strategies arising involving allying different Chaos subfactions. Chaos warbands are battle brothers with each other: if you want to benefit from another subfaction's rules, ally them in as an Allied Detachment or a single formation. This way you can take armies consisting of multiple legions and warbands if you want to combine their different strengths.
    • Want Divination? Take a Thousand Sons War Cabal or Ahriman's Exiles. Exalted Sorcerers of Tzeentch(including Ahriman) have access to Divination and can cast its powers on 3+ easily with either of these formations. Divination and tack-on psyker spam formations are no longer just for loyalists and Eldar.
    • Does your melee army need a powerful heavy weapons team, for fire support? Ally in Iron Warriors or Death Guard for autocannon or lascannon havocs, with free Feel No Pain and either Tank Hunters or Relentless. Loyalist Devastators may have the grav, but they have nothing like this.
    • Want your Possessed to not suck as bad? Ally a Crimson Slaughter formation to get a squad of Possessed that can roll Shrouded, 3++ and Beasts type among their mutations.
    • Saw the loyalist veteran meltas in drop pods strategy, and want to try it out? You can do it for cheaper by taking an Alpha Legion allied detachment and infiltrating Chosen!
  • Renegade Knights allow for more specialized loadouts but do not have the formations of Imperial Knights. And your Warpsmith has no servitors. Good support but not enough synergy to be the main focus. FUN in small games.
  • Chaos Daemons: Daemons provide fast-moving assault elements to supplement more assault-heavy forces. Soulgrinders are awesome due to having an in-built 5+ Invulnerable Save, and can either be viewed as a "better Defiler" in many ways, due to their AV 13! Fantastic mobile cover, and they pack a punch, too! Troops are no longer obscene amounts of points in this codex, either, and heralds are fuckcheap HQ units; the mandatory units in an allied detachment can cost as little as 135 points, meaning you could take Soul Grinder support in lists as small as 1000 points and still be none the worse for wear. Meanwhile, bloodthirsters follow the flying monstrous creature rules and have WS 10 (10!). Lords of change are mastery level 2 psykers by default, level 3 with the upgrade (which you will always take) and can take either Tzeenchy witchfire powers to give your enemy feel no pain or Divination powers to be useful (Divination is probably better in a shooty CSM army because of Prescience). Daemons are by far the best allies you can take simply because they bring Divination.
    • Protip: Wanna make your Bloodletters or Daemonettes actually survive so they can reach combat? Run them straight towards the enemy every turn, then park a rhino in front of them and block all incoming fire! Then deliver your delicious, demonic payload right into those helpless loyalist corpse-fuckers' sphincter!
    • Icons Also, friendly 'daemons' can get more accurate deepstrikes off daemonic icons. This does still work for warp talons ('blind' bursts near the enemy, you say?) and obliterators. You still scatter D6", but that's not that bad.
  • Khorne Daemonkin: - A combo of Daemons with things you can already do, the Space Marine aspects of the detachment don't have the random mutation table, and the champions can get access to AP2 initiative weaponry through the Axe of Khorne. The Daemons are more stable, and can actually join your squads and you can join theirs, though adding a Herald won't benefit you since it only applies the Locus to "Daemonkin" units. Having BftBG also only applies its effects to Daemonkin, so if you only use a small allied detachment you might as well save those Blood Tithe points for summoning more free units of daemons, which can be done more reliably than having Sorcerers with Malefic Daemonology. They have fantastic formations, so you can easily add them to your main force without being forced to pay a HQ+Troops tax. But even if you use the "Combined Arms Allies" FOC at least you've got Berserkers as the Troops choice, leaving your primary detachment free to build towards another god(s) of your choice.
  • Renegades & Heretics (Forgeworld) - probably the most obvious one for both fluff and functionality. You get to combine the Helldrake AND Hydra flak tanks and DOMINATE the skies. As battle brothers your characters can join each others squads and/or benefit from each others abilities, so you can have an impressive number of psykers buffing each other up. Dark Apostles can make your massively combined renegade squads fearless & zealots and Warp Smiths can fix up your multitude of tanks that you'll probably have. Your big platoons/troops choices don't need to take up several FOC slots so can generate a considerable amount of cheap bodies.
    • Now with that said, taking Renegade as allies causes a few problems. First you are "required" to take the Arch-Demagogue w/ command squad as a compulsory HQ choice. But if he's not your warlord it's a wasted slot, because you aren't allowed to buy a Demagogue Devotion (and therefore can't get any of the interesting army upgrades) and you won't have the Master of Renegades rule either, so no unlocking God-specific units using a Covenant to gain things like contagious Plague Zombies. You still get access to all of the generic list and all of their upgrade options however. So if all you wanted was access to cheap bodies or Imperial Guard tanks then it's still a perfectly good option.
  • Renegade Knights: Unlike Imperial Knights they have no relics or formations (yet), but as BB you can repair them, pack them closer with your units (e.g. Nurgle bikers), and they can dual wield identical weapons, allowing you to gear them up for specific roles.

Allies of Convenience[edit]

  • Necrons: From a hobby/fluff perspective, Necrons can make for a fun "Chaos Androids" or Dark Mechanicus project. Beyond that, Necrons provide you with a wide toolbox. Use to easily fill in the gaps your army might be lacking in the anti-vehicle department. A Command Barge and two full squads of warriors are durable and take down vehicles as well as Infantry. Use them as Living Metal shields. Can also contribute a few fantastic fliers: a night scythe can put a squad of warriors and a volt-tek haha, no lethally close to an important vehicle while simultaneously burning their fliers, though not as good as before. The Doom Scythe is more of a mixed bag. While its death ray can blow holes the size of a Land Raider into a Land Raider, your Heldrake outclasses it for anti-medium infantry work and arguably for anti-flyer work (depending on if you're using Death From The Skies). Select a flyer based on your army's needs. Notable Necron formations include the following:
    • The Deathbringer Flight is a sidegrade to the old combo of taking Nightscythes carrying Warriors w/ Storm Harbingers. You trade the rapid hull-point stripping ability of multiple Voltaic Staves in exchange for a pair of super-powered small blasts; if firing both blasts at the same target, the second one gets +2 BS for its Death Ray; this will give it a high enough BS to minimize concerns about a bad scatter. Generally speaking, two fliers is enough to have an answer enemy aircraft, as well as for providing spot elimination versus key hard targets, plus the formation is really easy to include in an army. With many tournament formats moving towards "three detachments," it's easier to plug this formation in an army.
    • The Triarch Judicator Battalion is on-and-off a mixed bag, but for the most part handles well with a Chaos army. Praetorians got buffed to the point they make a solid assault unit, and they provide their own movement to boot. Running them alongside fleshy-masses-that-were-once-human gives you a wave of fast-moving hard targets your opponent has to deal with, that can move through cover with no issue. If you're feeling sneaky, note that the Praetorians can also take Night Scythes as dedicated transports too, though you're not using them as transports. Instead, you're using the Nightscythes either as air defense, or as ground-attack craft; note that they would reroll to-penetrate vehicles marked by the formation's Stalker, so if an otherwise tough-to-remove Knight is bearing down on you, some mass Tesla just might be what the Warlord ordered.
  • Orks: From a hobby/fluff perspective, there are numerous cases of Chaos Lords trying to hire Orks as mooks, or they make an amusing "counts as" for 40k Beastmen. Orks can provide several things to an aspiring Chaos Lord. Why take a few expensive Havocs or Forgefiend, while Lootas or Mek Guns are available, or why swarm Zerkers when Slugga Boys will bury the enemy in attacks just as well? Either with Lootas or Mek Gunz, they add an additional layer of fire support that is otherwise missing in a Chaos army, and they provide extra weight of fire. With Warbuggies or Deffkoptas, they can provide a cheapish substitute to having attack bikes, though both have their own share of dirty tricks they can do in turn. Just remember that Ork armor is worthless, so don't be surprised when your Chaos boys are still standing after your big green friends are shot up. Notable Ork formations include the following:
    • Bullyboyz: Simply put, Bullyboyz turn Meganobz from a decent suicide missile into an unholy train of destruction. With Fearless and improved Weapon Skill, they hit harder, and give a commander absolute reliability that they will stand their ground. They still lack invulnerable saves and so cannot weather the attacks of mass Grav weapons, or enemies bringing their own Riptides/Fire Dragons/Thundershield Terminators/etc, but both Orks and Chaos have access to cheap chaff units that provide an extra layer of screening. Cultists are for most intents and purposes glorified Grots anyway. With Bullyboyz, you don't particularly fear Knights as much, as you have the weight of Klaw attacks to simply out-attrition them in a direct slugfest.

Desperate Allies[edit]

  • Dark Eldar: This could be a good (or at least interesting) pairing, with Plague Marines and massive Cultist blobs holding down the objectives while the Dark Eldar range ahead and blow things to pieces. As a rule of thumb, CSM are the anvil and DE are the hammer. Don't worry too much about the whole Desperate Allies thing; Chaos Marines don't have that many abilities that would benefit the DEldar, and the DEldar are usually so much faster than the rest of CSM (with the exception of the Heldrake and maybe the Maulerfiend) that you don't need to worry about the whole One Eye Open, "we won't work within 6" of you" thing.
  • Tau: NEW CODEX!!!!!! Pretty good choice. First take a Cadre Fireblade and a minimum squad of Firewarriors. Followed by a MOTHERFUCKING RIPTIDE, THIS BABY WILL SHIT DOWN THE NECK OF ANY IMPERIAL DOG!!! For extra brownie points align your MOTHERFUCKING RIPTIDE to your preferred Chaos God. For extra, extra brownie points replace the giant burst cannon on your Slaanesh Riptide with a huge dildo. If you want to be a dick, take sensor towers and make any three of your squad's weapon twinlinked. Yes, it would work on any allies, not only battle brothers. Heck, you even can twinlink enemy squad just for S&G. Worth mentioning, that Broadsides with velocity trackers are near the best anti-air in the game, and one of the few capable of penetrating damn Caestus ram.

Come the Apocalypse[edit]

  • The Imperium: Yes, that's right, you can now ally with any Imperial faction as long as they deploy 12 inches away and if they come 6 inches close to you, you need to test to see if they just stare at each other for a turn. They come in many flavors:
    • Space Marines: Since they have too many Chapter Tactics to cover(Including the Supplements), the best ones will be covered instead. Iron Hands (The supplement too) gives you more durable flyers and tanks, tougher marines, and an unkillable Chapter Master if you take the Supplement. Salamanders with their bonuses to Meltaguns and Flamers, and Imperial Fists for Tank Hunting Devastator/Centurions with Bolter Drill as a bonus.
    • Dark Angels: Pretty hilarious, but not bad if you want to troll your opponent with 4++/5++ Plague Zombies and 3++ Tzeentch Marines. Nothing else is useful here otherwise.
    • Grey Knights: Extra warp charges and Force Weapon goodness. Would you like a Storm Raven and a Baby Carriage with your order?
    • Blood Angels: Cheap Razorbacks and also providing a Storm Raven. Death Company Dreadnoughts aren't bad either (Although you have to take a unit of Death Company Not anymore, new Codex removed that requirement, but it also severely nerfed the Blood Talons- which isn't a bad thing).
    • Space Wolves: Wolf here, wolf there, wolf everywhere. Nifty flyers and Marines right here.
    • Astra Militarum: Or Imperial/Traitor Guards if you prefer, one of the best choices with their awesome tanks and flyers. Conscripts are better than Cultists since they have grenades, better armour save, free lasguns, and can be taken up to 50 models in exchange of -1 WS/BS.
    • Adepta Sororitas: Infiltrating Meltaguns with Immolators and a Exorcist? Oh my.
    • Legion of the Damned: Yet another army that can bring more Meltaguns in case you didn't have enough, although some Multi-Meltas are useful in this case.
    • Inquisition: Similar to Grey Knights in a way, although not as good for Chaos since there're better options.
    • Militarum Tempestus: They're okay as well. If you plan to take them, you may as well go with Imperial Guards since they have way more options.
    • Imperial Knights: Excellent. Just excellent. Convert them as Chaos Knights and start destroying shit with it! Plus you don't need to worry about One Eye Open for the most part.
    • Skitarii: Here comes the Dark Mechanicus! They provide you with just about everything you don't get: AP2 at initiative, anti-MC, anti-infantry, anti-tank and cheap and very reliable and cheap anti air and a long ranged mini Vindicator
  • Tyranids: They help with anti-air and providing more warp charges (that they cannot share with you). Hive Tyrants and Crones are a must, while Zoanthropes are nice to have.
  • Eldar: Provide fast units in the form of skimmers and jet bikes or durable in the form of wraiths. They provide strength 6 en mass so that could plug the anti-tank gap as well as readily available strength D in the wraithgaurd (which can be made fast by slotting them in a serpent).

Building your Army[edit]

The same fucking advice /tg/ gives for everyone: Start with 2 troops and a HQ choice. Recommendations include a Chaos Lord and 2 basic Marine squads with Rhinos.

Screw that bucket of "lord & 2 marine squads" tripe, that's what you'd do if you ran a regular marine army - which CSMs are decidedly NOT. Instead...

  • If you want to just start playing right away, the new (as of 2016) Start Collecting CSM box is pretty good value for money. It nets you a helbrute (which is a viable unit now), a squad of 10 CSMs and a terminator lord. The box comes with a formation that bypasses the need for a second troops choice, so you can pretty much buy the box in the morning, assemble your spikey dudes as soon as lunch time and start playing minimal points games (like, 500) that same afternoon. Profit!
  • A VERY GOOD AND STILL AVAILABLE option is to either split a Dark Vengeance starter box (or two) or buy it and turn all the Dark Angels into fallen, what the fuck are you talking about, all Dark Angels are loyal to the Empr...*CHOP, REND, TEAR, PAINFUL SCREAMING* As we were saying before the Emperor's lapdog tried to edit this section, you can use the whole Dark Vengeance pack to make yourself a Chaos army, just scratch the Aquila signs add some chaos sigils. Or add a couple of spikes made from green stuff. Or buy some chaos bitz off e-bay - there are cheap lots there that can take you a long way. Speaking of easy and effective conversions - the DV chosen are pretty shit, but with a little tinkering they can be made into some very cool and useful models. Thanks to the newest errata, helbrutes are actually OK now - and the DV model is pretty sweet. You can find it on-line real cheap, and it, too, is easily convertible.
  • Additionally you can also get the Crimson Slaughter Dark Vengeance Expansion pack as an alternative. It gets you a Chaos Landraider, Terminators, 5 Cultists, and Warp Talons for a good discount price - which is a nice bundle even though the talons suck - though they can be made into regular raptors (which are mediocre, but not horrible) with very little effort.
  • The Chaos Warband bundle that came out with the Traitor's hate nets you a Helbrute, a Chaos Space Marines Sorceror, 3 Bikers, 5 Havocs, 5 Warp Talons, 5 Raptors, 5 Possessed, 5 Terminators + a T-lord and 20 Chaos Space Marines. Overall this is not a bad lot to add to a collection to help it grow quickly in bulk, but it features three largely underpowered units - the jump pack guys and the possessed - which are prettybut don't really pack that much of a punch on the battlefield.
  • The Helforged Warpack bundle is OK as well - You get two dinobots, a brute and a warpsmith. Not great, but neat - and if that's the way you want to go anyway, you might as well check it out.
  • The Maelstrom of Gore is kind of nice if you want to immediately get in on that khornate glory. Berzerkers can be good against many foes, plus it has the NEW Kharn model. Keep in mind that although the eponymous formation is pretty quick on its feet, you're still going to need to invest in some transports to get accross the board, otherwise there's a good chance that your dudes are going to get shot to bits before ever getting a chance to claim some skulls for the skull throne.
  • Terror Pack - two drakes. 'nuff said.
  • The Raptor Talon bundle gives you 10 Raptors, 5 Warp Talons and a Chaos Space Marines Lord with Jump Pack, ready to deepstrike AND charge immediately after that. If you eat, sleep and breathe Night Lords, this is the box for you. Otherwise, you'd probably be better off picking something else up.
  • The favored of Chaos bundle - 15 possessed and a prince. GW has been pushing these so hard ever since the revised Crimson Slaughter came out, but there's the thing - possessed suck. If you're a diehard wordbearers fan, this might be worth yiour time. Otherwise, don't bother.
  • If you want to save a bit of cash, you could always start by getting your hands on the Betrayal at Calth box set, which provides you with 30 plastic HERESY-era Marines, a small squad of Cataphractii Terminators, a Contemptor Dread, and two HQ choices. Said HQ choices are a Cataphractii Terminator Captain (which you could choose to field as a Terminator Champion or as a Terminator Lord) and a Legion Chaplain (which you can also convert into/field as your choice of power armored Sorcerer, Dark Apostle, or Chaos Lord). The set is available for less than what Games Workshop usually sells it at, should you search eBay, and lets you decide how much obvious/rampant mutation your Traitors display by adding green stuff or painting evidence of corruption onto their armor - WITHOUT having to spend time filing off Imperial icons like Aquilas. The only thing left, really, would be some Rhinos.

The NOW OUT OF STOCK Chaos Marine Battleforce Box is a good start, giving you a Rhino, Chaos Space Marine Squad, 5 Possessed and 3 Bikes. The old Battleforce (even more elusive) had a Rhino, Khorne Berserker Squad, enough bitz for 2 Chaos Marine Squads, and a 5-strong Possessed Squad which you can easily use to make a Chaos lord with any of the new options, give Chaos Champions Lightning Claws, all the stuff you only have one of in the Chaos accessory sprue. The four remaining Possessed you can use to make the five man Chaos marine squad into a nine man one.

The Chaos Marine Attackforce box is a even better start IF YOU CAN GET YOUR HANDS ON IT, FOR IT IS ALSO A VERY OLD PRODUCT, AND OUT OF STOCK AS WELL. It gives you A Rhino, a Chaos Space Marine Squad, 5 Raptors/Warp Talons, 1 Forge Fiend/Mauler Fiend, 1 Lord/Sorcerer in Terminator Armor and 5 Terminators. This allows you to field a complete army at about 800-900 points if you split the Marines in two five man squads. If you want a quick start, get a second Marine box or a couple of Cultists from Ebay and you will have a complete playable (Although not the most competitive) army. If you really like Dinobots, Terminators and Raptors, get a second box and you will be able to fill 2/3 of the Force Organization Chart and land at about 1800 points for only about £300 ($490).

From there, it takes a bit of planning and experimentation. Chaos Space Marines differ greatly from their loyalist counterparts in that they are less forgiving of fuck ups. That is to say what works against one opponent will not likely work against another. Units like Plague marines, havocs and obliterators are generally all around useful against any opponent, so you can almost never go wrong with buying a box. Some players swear by some units while others think they are shit.

One thing to keep in mind is even your basic troops can start getting VERY expensive once the upgrades start piling up. A basic Marine can go from 13 to 19 or higher per model once you start adding on a close combat weapon, mark, Veterans of the Long war, icons, etc. As players of full cult lists already know, this will lead to being outnumbered very frequently. Finding the balance between quantity and quality in a army full of options and strong expensive units is key. Keep in mind that 7e is focused on shooting - not exclusively, but predominantly. Many people get into CSMs for the marines. However, it is often a good idea to just take a minimal squad of cultists for your mandatory troop choice and use the remaining points on something that actually hits hard.

Consider using allies with cost effective troops to counter deficiencies in your lists. For example, take a tau detachment with 2 large teams of fire warriors (or one with a large horde of kroot) with a hammerhead and fuck you (fireknife) suits to hold the back line.


  • Psychic Primer - Having at least one Psyker adds an extra layer of depth to your army, and Chaos Space Marines can bring the Psychic game. One of the main reason Psykers remain useful in 40k is they generate their powers after army creation but pre-game, meaning you're paying for a "wildcard" gun you can tailor.
    • Know what Powers To Take - Most of the "BRB Psyker" rules from the Psychic Tactica apply here. You don't get Telekinesis but you don't care about that, and you don't get Divination without the Balestar. Of the Traitor's Hate disciplines, Ectomancy gives you a good grab-bag of abilities, with the "mobility powers" being a notable force multiplier for an army that's traditionally "slow" like Chaos; when you can "swap places" with your own units, or selectively give your units the "Interceptor Shunt", an Ecto-sorcerer plugs a lot of the traditional CSM weaknesses. Heretech is for if you're up against mass enemy vehicles (*cough*...Gladius...*cough*), while Sinistrum gives you some Deathstar/anti-Deathstar tech. Geomortis has a few duds, but selective Ignore Cover/LOS can have its uses, and you get a good "Healing" power which can be helpful if you want to run a Summon Sorcerer. Remember you can "mix-and-match" disciplines. While this costs you your Psychic Focus, Psychic Shriek is the "main" Primaris that gets attention anyway. If you've rolled your two powers on one Discipline and got at least one of the powers you wanted, it's probably worth taking Psychic Shriek as your third power rather than rolling for it.
      • Summoner Psykers - Your Sorcerers are no better at avoiding Perils from attempting to Summon Daemons than any others, but this is deceiving. Princes can summon if you spend the 50 points on getting two Mastery Levels, but a more economical option may be to just spend 60 points to give your Sorcerer a Mark of Nurgle and Palanquin; the extra two wounds can give you an extra turn or two of tossing out summons. Finally, Crimson Slaughter gets Prophet of the Voices, which lets you turn one of your Sorcerers into a Daemon.
    • Mobility is Key - Most Psyker powers max out at 24" effective range, with 18" being the average for Witchfires. Thus, unless you're running a Summoner Prophet (or the less efficient Summon-Prince), you want your Psyker to bring mobility. Your Sorcerers can take Bikes (or Jump Packs for fringe uses) while your Prince can use Wings. Remember that you can Turbo or Flat-Out after using Psychic powers.
    • Protect your Psykers - You need to protect your Psykers from both your opponents and themselves. Besides incoming fire, your Psykers can Perils, and the Champion of Chaos rule can trigger from Witchfires; the last thing you want is your Sorcerer to transform into that-which-must-not-be-named because he fried a Sergeant with an errant Psychic Shriek! Protecting a Sorcerer is either a matter of joining a good "bunker" unit (whether it's a blob of Cultists, or a unit of Spawn-OHGODNOBLARGAHHHHH), or really good positioning ("Bike twelve, manifest a power, Turbo back to safety"), while Perils is something you just learn to live with (or you buy a Mark of Nurgle & Palanquin for an extra two Wounds). For protecting your Psykers against accidentally transforming themselves from their own spells however, you'll want to avoid targeting small units with characters among other similar targets that your army should otherwise be capable of taking on. That said, if you're running a Sorcerer in a Chaos Warband, Favored Scions gives you some insurance (and you might get a buff or two out of it).
    • Include some "Batteries" for support - Your Spell Familiars give you some leeway in stretching your Warp Charge out further, but you will stretch thin. A good rule of thumb is one Psyker is a "battery" for every two casters. Thankfully, you're Battle Brothers with Daemons, and an allied Detachment of 11 Daemons and a Herald of Tzeentch will give 5 Warp Charges for less than 200 points, as well as a fearless bubblewrap/objective-holders while the rest of your army gets to fight. While an overcosted unit and generally not recommended for serious play, even the Thousand Sons Sorcerer can be thought of as a "free Warp Charge" if you're insistent on running a unit of them as a glorified breacher-team.
    • Have A Plan - Psychic Powers are a tool among many. Summons let you "build momentum", set up traps, or deny/lock down the board, while other powers can make your army selectively tougher, your enemy selectively weaker, or serve as fancy analogues to guns, but if you don't plan out your powers, you will have a bad time. If you're up against an opponent that wants to do an assault alpha-strike, Summons can protect you either through bubblewrap (Daemonettes!) or with counter-charging Tarpits (Beasts of Nurgle!), while summoning "fast" move-through-cover Daemons can be used to prepare for a "push." It's when you have an underlying army providing fire support (be it of the Meltagun, Autocannon, or Termicide Combi-plasma variety) that Psykers truly shine, rather than relying on them to carry you through single-handedly.
  • Handling Challenges: For many games, Challenges are more a curiosity than an active part of the game: When you fight an army of Eldar Jetbikers or Tau Riptides, you'll find tough shooty units with nary a character a sight, and some armies (Necrons and Tyranids) may not have any characters whatsover except a single Lord or Flying Hive Tyrant! Even when up against an army with multiple sergeants, challenges are an annoyance for many of your characters; a Cultist Champion is just as dead in assault whether or not in a Challenge, while a Space Marine Sergeant and a vanilla Aspiring Champion fighting against each other is effectively a coin-flip. It's when you're up against other melee armies or ones with special bonuses in challenges (For example, Eldar, Space Marine Champions, etc) that you have to be extra-careful in combat. The first thing is to remember that Challenges are issued at the start of the Fight Sub-phase, and Challenges can only be issued or accepted by models that are Engaged. If you have a character you do not wish to engage in a challenge, keep him more than 2" away from the closest base-to-base model; he won't be Engaged at the start of the Fight Sub-Phase, so he won't have to issue a Challenge. You then wait for the character's Initiative Step to happen, then have him make his 3" step so he's now Engaged and free to beat stuff up. Alternately, if your opponent wants to issue a challenge, it pays to have several sacrificial schlubs on-hand to "take one for the team".


This section is divided into three main parts: There's the "fluffy" section for people that want to run armies that adhere closely to how the nine Traitor Legions work, the "min-max" section that does a more clinical analysis of what is/isn't competitive with Chaos, and the misc/FUN/shits & giggles section. As usual, YMMV and caveat emptor and all that funky jazz.

Thematic Build Guidelines[edit]

This section is more about running a "fluffy" Legion, for those that care for this. With the release of the Traitor Legions supplement, making a fluffy legion army is quite easy and par for the course, for the first time since the legendary 3.5 codex!

  • Alpha Legion - Alpha Legion is about sneakiness, infiltration tactics, and highly-trained Cultist teams. Alliances of Convenience with Orks are not unknown (as one may recall from Dawn of War). Fortunately for you, the Alpha Legion tactics do just this, allowing cultists, Chosen, and Marines to infiltrate. In addition, they allow any character to generate a warlord trait after your warlord dies. Who's the real Alpharius? Oh, and they don't get Slay the Warlord unless they kill every character in your army.
    • With so many infiltrating units, it is very easy to dominate the early game. Set up 5 plasma gun chosen to assassinate the enemy warlord; melta chosen for armored targets. 20 Man CSM squads plopped onto objectives or close to the enemy (circumventing the need for transports). Cultists infiltrated onto back/midfield objectives. Flamers to crisp some nasty CC units before they can get into combat. THE POSSIBILITIES ARE ENDLESS!
  • Black Legion - The Black Legion is kind of the Chaos Ultramarines in that they're fairly "generic Chaos." Pretty much anything from the codex and Black Legion supplement fits.
  • Night Lords - The Raptor Talon was tailor-made for Night Lords players. Night Lord Raptor Talons inflict -4 LD on units the turn they charge. Plus, now it's a core choice for the Night Lords Decurion!
  • Iron Warriors - Iron Warriors are about big guns. Havocs were a trademark Iron Warriors unit during the days of the Heresy, so best start grabbing as many Autocannons as you can! Cultists are notable cannon-fodder (Storm of Iron is the best example of this) as well - a Helcult works best here, giving them Fearless, albeit at cost of ObSec. Other than that, Tanks are a given (either in a Black Crusade detachment or just the Warpsmith tax auxiliary formations), as are Obliterators and Mutilators (The Obliterator Virus was first noticed among the Iron Warrior ranks.) Don't use Daemons, and any "Possessed" you do use should be modelled as Chaos arcano-cyborgs (the old 3.5 Codex mentions "Possessed" as Marines that use Daemons to power an array of infernal cybernetic implants). Though it's originally meant for a Nurgle army, a Purge detachment is very appropriate for an Iron Warriors detachment; you get an extra Heavy Support, at the cost of Fast Attack, similar to how Iron Warriors worked in 3.5., and better rockets for your Havocs - supporting their new role as aircraft and infantry hunters. Given that Mutilators and Obliterators are Troops with the IW Legion tactics, you can field 8 units of them, on top of your Heavy Support units! On the other hand, Obliterators with ObSec also make a good argument for the Combined Arms detachment.
  • Word Bearers - You have a lot of leeway in writing up an army to be a fluffy Word Bearers army. You can either go down the "mass of crazy cultists" route, the "giant blobs of Marines" route, or the "Marines and Daemons" route. Plus, the favoured of chaos formation pretty much screams "I'M A WORD BEARER!"
  • World Eaters - A good starting point is the Maelstrom of Gore formation, allowing you to spam Berzerkers to your heart's content. Alternately, the Hounds of Abaddon are an option, or Daemonkin allies.
  • Death Guard - See The Purge, especially with Legion tactics making your Havocs relentless. On the other hand, T6 bikes with Fearless and FNP... maybe convert them from forest goblin spider riders.
  • Emperor's Children - Turn up your sonic weapons to 11 with the Kakophoni formation. Noise Marines in the Decurion have S5 sonic blasters and S9 blastmasters with Shred. Judicious application of Slaanesh psychic powers allows for potential S6+ and S10! Things shall get loud now. A Helcult povides you with nice mobile cover, AP2 and is a good way to represent your pleasure slaves.
  • Thousand Sons - There are two ways to go about running Thousand Sons. The first way would be to run a Tzeentchian Sorcerer, unlock Thousand Sons troops, and...that's about it really. Add anthing with a 5++ save to benefit most from MoT and thus legion tactics, maybe a Skyshield Landing Pad as magical fortress for your Havocs. Or start with a War Cabal and expand from there. Thankfully, Traitor's Hate gives you more leeway in running a wizarding army, and without the need to lock your own Sorcerers into using the Mark of Tzeentch. Run "The Lost and the Damned" as your main core, for the gaggle of cultists/Spireguard that are kept as servants, and add at least two Thousand Sons units as your Auxiliary of choice. Run several Sorcerers with your Command Choices, Add some Things Which Must Not Be Named or Heldrakes as additional auxiliaries, and max out points on getting . Why not consider adding a Daemon CAD for additional variety as well?

Fun, fluffy and Semi-old builds[edit]

  • STD squelch: (Nurgle oriented). Ever wanted to have a legit CSM army that numbers many models and is fluffy? Then, my dirty friend, this one's for you. Take 9 units of cultists (minimum size) an Apostle to make the Lost and the Damned formation, then add Typhus. The fun part is that Typhus makes these meat puppets Fearless zombies with Slow and Purposeful and FnP, while the Apostle makes every wiped unit come back on 4+ from ongoing reserves. With Outflank. Let that sink in. Then add 3 Vindicators and a Warpsmith for some well-needed firepower. The grind is real when the enemy is guaranteed to be tarpitted or blasted back into the age of pre-industrial Russia by the Vindicators (they can combine their shots into 1 apoc-blast). All of this would be just under 1.300pts, with more than enough room for whatever bile-infused mayhem you may need to complete a Black Crusade detachment!
  • Poop Bucket Prince: Many times proven to work in practice. Upgrade your DP with MoN, Burning Brand and lvl 3 Mastery Level. Fly around the map, dropping AP2 pie plates full of shit and AP3 torrents full of morning breath, while being hit on 6'es and having 2+ jink save. If you jink and have to give up that torrent, don't worry, as you still have those awesome Nurgle powers left to itch your opponent with. Throw in a Hellturkey for free beverage during your game consisting of your opponent's salty tears.
  • Choo-Choo Chosen: Chosen can take 5 special weapons. That's possibly 5 MELTA GUNS! Alternatively, you can give up to 4 of those special weapons for fists/claws/power weaps. You can either cram squads of 10 of them in Rhinos, or drop them in Dreadclaws and gear them how you want to function. There are three ways to run "mass Chosen."
    • Take Abaddon: The most immediate one, Abaddon makes Chosen Troops. This is fun if you face lots of Marine players, since his Preferred Enemy Bubble will add up. However, if you're not facing Marines, his bonus won't matter as much...however, he is still ultimately a giant beatstick capable of bringing the pain. You have the option to Deep Strike him in, either with Terminator pals or in a Dreadclaw (since he would presumably be your Infernal Warpsmith, he would be effectively immune to being "nommed" on by his own transport), or run him in a Land Raider if you're bleeding points (how did you manage that?!)
    • Run a Black Legion army: Black Legion get Chosen Troops, or the Black Legion Warband lets them take additional units. However, they must take Veterans of the Long War, so paying an extra 10 points per 5 guys adds up fast! On the other hand, you don't have to pay for csm or cultists regardless of your HQ. Use that to your advantage.
    • (Forgeworld) Run The Purge: A Purge Detachment switches things around so rather than making Chosen troops, you only need to run mandatory Elites instead. The only catch is you can't Mark your Chosen with anything besides the Mark of Nurgle, but if you weren't planning to Mark them anyway, it's no big loss.
    • Alpha Legion: Not only are Chosen Troops, they also get Infiltrate! Add a few infiltrating regular marines and cultists for distraction and you are golden.

The Min-Max Section[edit]

  • Cabalstar - The Cabalstar is one of the more common builds if you're trying to build Chaos with a degree of competitive viability. Simply put, you're taking the Cyclopea Cabal for multiple Sorcerers, and you're looking for a suitable unit to make a Deathstar out of; add supporting fire support and objective-grabbing units to flavor, be they Bikers, Cultists, or whatnot. While you "could" experiment with making a Cabalstar out of other units, deathstars work best when they bring their own mobility, and thus the two notable units used for stars are:
    • You-know-whats: You get 3 high-toughness wounds for a reasonable price, but lack any Invulnerable Save, and lack raw damage. That said, if you're giving one Sorcerer the Black Mace, chances are that Sorcerer is also rolling Biomancy in order to fish for Iron Arm; if you get Endurance, the things-that-must-not-be-named become that much tougher against many things.
    • Flesh Hounds: The more popular option for running a Cabalstar, though if you're using Chaos Marines as your primary, this would effectively eat up three detachments, which would limit your options depending on if you're playing in certain tournament formats. Because Daemonkin Flesh Hounds do NOT have Daemonic Instability, there's nothing preventing you from joining Sorcerers to them. Ironically enough, Santic Daemonology is a good discipline to use on these guys; Hammerhand makes them that much deadlier and capable of grinding down more enemies due to weight of attacks, while Sanctuary improves their armor save while being stackable with Cursed Earth. The best thing though is that because the Flesh Hounds are Beasts, they're immune to the "Difficult and Dangerous Terrain" side effects of Sanctuary. Gate of Infinity gives them a "get out of jail free" card against certain problem units as well.
  • Dark Mechanicus - Other than the Maulerfiend and certain Forgeworld units, most Chaos Walkers are slow and don't have good alternate deployment options. They do provide unique fire support vectors and the potential for a lot of long-term damage over the course of a game, so if you do want to give them a go, you better go "All In." That said, there are several formations that cater to playing a Walker-heavy army in different ways; all three Helbrute Dataslate formations have their use,
    • Fast Builds: If you're looking for something more aggressive and "In Your Face", then you're probably playing Daemonkin instead. That said, even for such an army it probably pays to have fire support or "more maulerfiends" so it still helps to bring either Warpsmith formation (the Black Legion one or the other one). If you're using Forgefiends as fire support, having extra turns of Daemonforge will generally carry you farther than said Forgefiends getting Blood For The Blood God.
    • Attrition Builds: A "simple" build for 1850 points is: One Helcult with two units of 35 Cultists and a Helbrute, a Warpack with Warpsmith Tax, Helbrute, 3 Forgefiends and a Defiler (Alpha Beast), and a Forgehost with 3 Soulgrinders of Slaanesh (two with Torrent, and one with Bombardment). The Helcult gives you unconditionally fearless bodies to screen with or edge around for objectives with (it may help to keep the second unit in reserve), the Forgefiends give you "solid-strength" shooting for blowing through Knights/Void Shields/etc, and the rest of the Walkers provide a mix of fire support and speed to play the objectives game.
    • Experiment - The Mayhem Pack can be cute for certain "beta-strike" lists. Forgeworld gives more options of course, with the Plague Hulk being a "discount Soulgrinder", and the Blood Slaughterer allowing you some board control shenanigans with moving enemy units around. Malefic Daemonology can help, as the difference between a 5++ and a 4++ adds up across multiple vehicles, while the Void Shield can provide some protection. Remember that nothing is so tough that it cannot be killed by a D-weapon, Haywire, or Assaults, and plan accordingly.
  • Using Infiltration/Outflank - Both Ahriman and Huron have Master of Deception, so you're guaranteed to have at least one unit of Infiltrators in your army. Unlike Marines, you don't get Scouts or Scout Bikers, and the trait itself is strictly inferior to the Master Of Ambush Strategic Trait in the core rulebook, but you can at least guarantee that you'll get this power. If you don't take marks you can go Alpha Legion, making your Chosen troops and giving Chosen, CSM, and Cultists Infiltrate. And then there is Cypher and his infiltrating Chosen. For best utility, take two detachments, one for Chosen and one for infiltrating specialists. While Infiltration can be used both offensively (reposition your Havocs in a better firing position, place Obliterators in Multimelta range, outflank Chosen Rhinos, etc) and defensively (lay out a unit of Cultists to deny Scout Moves versus White Scars/Ravenwing Bikers, grant Outflank as partial defense against Skyhammers or other Alpha-strikes), you don't have the redundancy or reliability (since you could always end up only infiltrating one special unit anyway) to make a "pure" infiltration army, and any army that includes an Inquisitor with two Servo-Skulls can shut down Infiltration hard. Consider Infiltration more of a Bonus than something you build your army around.
  • Mass Deep Strike - Technically, a build like this is possible, either with Purge, Formations or even through a CAD. The problem of course is that you don't get equipment that allows you to reduce Scatters, and the only reserve manipulations you have on-hand are through Fortifications. One thing you "could" do if you were feeling cheeky would be to run mass solo-Obliterators/Mutilators (either through Purge or the Cult of Destruction) with some optional form of aerial support, akin to a Chaos Lictorshame. However, you don't get the ignore cover shenanigans of that army as a whole, or the maneuverability needed for objectives play. The Terminator Annihilation Force and Raptor Talon both offer you ways to help your Strike go off more effectively however; the former letting you "beat" Interceptor, the latter letting you tie up trouble screening units from the first turn onward. Daemon allies are the most obvious pairing, as Icons can help mitigate scatter for your Obliterators while Cursed Earth prevents it entirely! However, Necrons also provide their own tools as well; a Necron CAD can provide aerial support/obsec troops at a critical location with Nightscythe Immortals, can back up your Obliterators by running solo Heavy Destroyers (in both Fast Attack **and** Heavy Support, mind you), and three of their Elite choices also have Deep Strike. Flayed Ones are your cheap ones, Praetorians are your "Special Weapon Team/melee anchor", but the real funky combo comes with Deathmarks. Since you're Allies of Convenience with Necrons, your units are enemy units to your Necrons, so anytime you manage to Deep Strike a Terminator or other unit in, you can use Ethereal Interception to have your Deathmarks immediately follow suit. They won't be able to shoot at the end of that movement phase, but they can still shoot in your Shooting phase, so if you really need that Wraithknight dead...
  • Mechanized - The Loyalists have more and better mechanized formations; the Battle Company, Ironwolves, Lucifer Armored Task Force, and many others provide significant buffs or discounts that mean in a straight-up armored slugfest, you will be outnumbered and outgunned. The only "tank" formation that Chaos gets on the other hand is the Fist of the Gods which gives...6+ Invulnerable Saves. Moreso than the other ways to build a Chaos army, this one relies heavily on Formations, Forgeworld, and/or allies to pull its weight across.
    • Mass AV 11 - There are two ways to go about this. The non-Forgeworld way is to take a Chaos Warband, and the minimum number of Marines needed; Chosen are your Elites and Havocs are your Heavy Supports. Mount them up, and give each team either two Specials or a Special and matching Combi-weapon. Universal Obsec helps in this regard. The Forgeworld way is to run a Purge detachment and use Chosen as your mandatory Elites. You don't get Razorbacks but you can do Havoc Launchers in a pinch. Add an alternate source of AV 11 to your mix: Ork CADs give you mass Looted Wagons (even with reliability issues, 67 points for an AP 3 pieplate can add some crowd control), or Junkas if you're using Forgeworld. If you prefer a more "melee-MSU" approach and prefer the Rhinos to be support-pieces, the Seeker Calvacade lets you bring a lot of solo Seeker Chariots on the cheap.
    • Heavy Armor - Fist of the Gods gives underwhelming bonuses and saddles you with a Warpsmith tax, but is one way to take "more armor" without having to pay the requirements for a second CAD. Purge does its thing of course. Another thing to note is that most Forgeworld vehicles of this class are just plain better than the codex options available; sure, you can squadron Predators or Vindicators, but you're putting too many points in single units when that happens, and make it easier to be focus-fired. The Deimos Predator makes a scary support-piece provided you can protect it, the Sicaran is an all-around brutal vehicle, and the Relic Predator Infernus can be a source of cheap Plasma blasts that don't Gets Hot. Orks "can" up your overall resilience since Kustom Forcefields do work on enemy units, but another option is running Necrons, either with CAD tax or even just taking the Annihilation Nexus (with Doomsday Ark tax); two Sicarans and two Annihilation Barges are capable of a surprisingly respectable amount of fast-moving twin-linked S7 firepower.
  • Aerial Warfare - Other than the iconic Heldrake, Chaos does have other fliers. The Daemon Prince sacrifices durability and raw killing power for the ability to engage in close combats or combo with psychic utility (though remains very overcosted), and Forgeworld adds its share of fliers. The Hellblade is a dirt-cheap fighter for the firepower it brings, while the Chaos Fire Raptor is one of a small number of Forgeworld vehicles that is flat-out better than its Imperial equivalent.