Warhammer 40,000/6th Edition Tactics/Chaos Space Marines
- 1 Why Play Chaos Space Marines
- 2 The Stuff of Chaos
- 2.1 Special Rules
- 2.2 Inventory of Chaos
- 2.3 Psychic Powers
- 3 Unit Analysis
- 4 Supplements
- 5 Allies
- 6 Building your Army
- 7 Tactics
- 8 Dataslate Formations
Why Play Chaos Space Marines
Are you tired of playing against Ultrasmurfs? Sick of weeboo Tau and cheesemongering Grey Knights? Then for you my very pissed off buddy, Chaos is calling.
- Cool models - Not only the cult squads and regular CSM units, but now we boast some pretty badass looking vehicles. Hellbrutes are our new 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 Chosens? Hell, now you can lead Giant blobs of cultists into battle and Kill in the name of Kay-OSS!
- Pretty good choppa and dakka options. Putting it simply, you have a lot of options, and now that you get your wargear options back, your options will eclipse the loyalist scum; just be warned, kitting your guys out WILL be expensive. Otherwise, you play chaos (more than ever now) to RIP AND TEAR things to death and some of the new units will get right on top of your opponent so you can dick-slap them with ease!
- The Anti-Marine Marines. Nearly everything in your army can fight better when it's taking on any loyalist variant. I'm looking at you Warp Talons.
- Cult squads offer even more options. Khorne Berserkers are brilliant close-combat units, even though they're no longer the unstoppable murder machines they were in editions past. Noise Marines can drown enemies in mid-range firepower, with access to an improved Missile Launcher in the Blastmaster as part of the bargain (this is, however, pricey) and the Doom Siren, a sonic "flamer" that can melt all but the toughest armour. Still not cheap though. Plague Marines and Thousand Sons, whilst both extremely expensive (especially the latter), offer tough-as-balls units for holding objectives and soaking up enemy fire with the Plague Marines laughing off antipersonnel fire, and the Thousand Sons capable of ignoring your average Battle Cannon shot - and both of them offer good firepower, either in the conventional Bolter/Special Weapon flavor (Plague Marines) or with AP3 Bolter and Sorcery flavor (Sons).
- Marks - Marks of Chaos give a good choice of customization for your squads. For a relatively small investment of points (though the Nurgle/Tzeentch marks can get pricey), they allow a quick retooling of a squad, turning your basic CSMs into a decent beatstick or into laughing bullet-soakers.
- 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, you are best served by getting close to RIP AND TEAR.
The Stuff of Chaos
Our dark lord Phil Kelly has split marks and icons into two separate categories, so that your precious invuln save or bonus special rule doesn't get lost when the icon bearer gets sniped (on the flip side, any benefit bestowed by an icon is still lost). Additionally, some units benefit from new rules for added fun.
- Veterans of the Long War: Remember when Chaos Space Marines were more than just Spess Muhreens with spikes? We do and Phil Kelly sure does. Those 10,000 year old pissed-off motherfuckers we know and love from Codex 3.5 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 Codexes, including the Grey Knights. Note that if you're running Black Legion with the supplement, you have to buy this for every unit you take that can. No ifs, ands or buts.
- Daemonforge: Once per game, a vehicle with this rule may re-roll armor penetration and to-wound results. However, the owner must then roll a D6 and on a 1, the vehicle loses a hull point with no saves. Every Daemon Engine in the new book has this rule, which includes Defilers, Forge Fiends, Maulerfiends and Heldrakes (but not Helbrutes or Possessed vehicles).
- Champion of Chaos: Chalk this one up to Fantasyhammer 40K striking again, but just like the Warriors of Chaos, some CSM units can now buff themselves in service of the dark gods. Whenever a model with this rule kills an enemy character roll two six-sided dice to generate a value between 11 and 66 (one die is for the tens, the other for the ones). This result may bestow a Chaos Boon as follows (note that your squads must accept challenges, so you might want to keep a champion in each unit to accept them, the last thing you need is for your Kharn or Abaddon to direct all their attacks on some measly enemy sergeant than the rest of his squad)also, note unlike normal 2d6 or 5d3 rolls, you can't math hammer a bell curve for this to see what is most likely. Generally, unless there is a range to the roll like 21-22 for you know what, there all equally likely.:
- 11-16 - Nothing
- 21-22 - Replace model with Chaos SpawnoHGODNOORLEAAAAAAGLCHGLAAHMAAAAAAKKKKSSSSSSssss
- 23 - +1 Attack
- 24 - Eternal Warrior
- 25 - +1 Strength
- 26 - +1 BS
- 31 - +1 Initiative
- 32 - Return to full wounds, if unwounded gain +1 Wound
- 33 - +1 Toughness
- 34 - Shrouded
- 35 - Armour Save improves by 1
- 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
- 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
- 53 - Hatred (EVERYTHING! ALL THE TIME!)
- 54 - Shred
- 55 - Melee attacks have instant death
- 56 - +1 WS
- 61 - Stubborn
- 62 - Fleet
- 63 - Feel No Pain
- 64 - Roll another d3+1 on this table (re-rolling Spawnhood and Daemon Prince results)
- 65-66 - Replace model with Daemon Prince. Arrrrr yeah.
Inventory of Chaos
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
Marks of Chaos
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 (note, terminators pay MOAR for marks). Marks will also color a unit's access to 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 it in all subsequent rounds. It is somewhat powerful for the first round if you get the charge, but you will not always pass the Counter-Attack LD test. This is especially true of a mob of Cultists, who can get an absolutely rapetastic amount of attacks with this baby (beware that that can get very expensive if you take it with really large units, and furthermore it's often not worth it). The Icon of Wrath that goes with it is useful.
- Nurgle: Bestows +1T and gives access to Nurgle powers if the unit is a psyker. 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, but it also doesn't make you as killy as the Mark of Khorne.
- Slaanesh: Bestows +1I and gives access to Slaanesh powers if the unit is a psyker. Daemon Princes of Slaneesh gain Fleet, Rending, +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 won't take as many wounds. 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 4 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 terrible, for a few reasons. Firstly, it's usually at the upper end of price for the 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 isn't much a benefit, as it's a mediocre lore at best, and actively harmful at worst. 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 lore (this is a particularly big issue for Thousand Sons Sorcerers). Now, the bonus to invulnerable saves is certainly nice, especially when you already have Terminator armour or a Sigil of Corruption for delicious stacking benefits. There could also be benefit in giving it to a unit that normally has poor saves (read: Cultists), but here, it's easily too expensive to see real benefit (especially given Cultists are basically cannon fodder). Daemon Princes of Tzeentch, on the other hand, reroll 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 Tzeentch's powers.
Icons of Chaos
Icons are now issued to individual models within a unit, and provide the whole squad with specific benefits. As it is a flat cost per unit, icons are more points-efficient the more models there are in said unit. Note that certain squads are limited to taking certain icons; for instance, Noise Marines may only take a Slaaneshi Icon.
- Icon of Wrath: Limited to units with the Mark of Khrone, 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 of 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 that Know No Fear, isn't exactly 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.
- 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 requirment, 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 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 are god specific steeds, buffs and gimmicks. Reserved for certain models such as Chaos Lords and Sorcerers, whose entry specifically states they can take from here.
- Ichor Blood: Any time the model with this fails to prevent a wound, the unit who wounded him takes a S3 AP4 hit.
- Gift of Mutation: A free roll on the Boon table before the game for 10 points. Re-roll Prince and Spawn rolls. You can rarely go wrong with this.
- 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.
- Spell Familiar: Another Daemon munchkin. This guy lets you re-roll psychic tests. It's not Mastery of Sorcery (what we always wanted from the Chaos Daemons codex) but it will do. 15 points and very valuable.
Then we have our Steeds. As before, the only models who can take a steed are Lords or Sorcerers without Terminator Armor.
- Juggernaut of Khorne: Hey, it's got its own model, right? Really though, its 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: +1 attack, and the disc is treated as a jetbike giving +1 toughness. Be more styling than those snively Eldar.
- Palanquin of Nurgle: +2 Wounds, +1 attack and you become Very Bulky (as if you were going to try to cram him in a Raider or something). Load him up as you would with a Juggernaut and have fun. Be wary of railguns and Instant Death weapons (
Lords can't get Eternal WarriorIf you are really lucky (1/36 is very lucky indeed) on the Chaos Boons table, you can get Eternal Warrior).
- Steed of Slannesh: 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.
Artefacts of Chaos
This is where you find your Daemon weapons and other cool Chaos-y stuff. You're only allowed one of each. The Axe of Blind Fury and Black Mace are Daemon weapons which, just like before, add +D6 attacks, but a roll of one automatically wounds the model with no armor or cover saves (although you can still take Invulnerable saves) and reduces him to WS1. Note that these weapons are not restricted to just Chaos Lords - any model that says it can take a wargear from the Artefacts of Chaos list can. Also keep in mind that a model who ascends to Daemonhood loses all his 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: A power sword that you can give to almost any of the non-special character HQs. Before the game you declare one enemy model to be the target of the MURDER SWORD. Once the wielder of the MURDER SWORD comes into base contact with the model during Assault, the MURDER SWORD doubles the users strength, the weapon becomes AP1 and gains Instant Death due to its special rule, MURDER. Great for killing off that special snowflake in your opponent's army. Note that, thanks to Champion of Chaos, you can end up fighting some puny Sergeant in a challenge. Sure, you'll still have a sweet-looking AP3 power weapon (which, given the statlines of most of the Chaos HQ choices, should be more than killy), but you'll have to put up with an idiot with a power fist trying to murder you first.... and after messily slaughtering him, you can move on to the actual target. This delaying tactic is why some have decried the MURDER SWORD as "horrible," but these people clearly just have no taste for style.
- Alternate Opinion: While it's awesome to use with excessive brute force, The MURDER SWORD can also be used in other ways. Let's get the obvious out of the way: the enemy character chosen to be MURDERED (from now on called the corpse) is going to do everything in his power to avoid getting near the character who owns the MURDER SWORD, shooting the poor bastard to death or flogging down him with anything he can all game long, rendering the MURDER SWORD useless. And with good reason: with this piece of cake, any Chaos Lord, or even a buffed Sorcerer (not saying Daemon princes) can kill any vanilla HQ and almost all Special characters in ONE round of combat(as long they don't have Eternal warrior). Keeping that in mind, the MURDER SWORD has a... say, "Hazard Aura", where the corpse won't enter. This depends, of course, on the movement range of the MURDER SWORD's owner, his transport, or anything that makes him cover more ground and assault. You can take advantage of this. Place the wielder of the MURDER SWORD where you think the corpse can make the most harm and enjoy seeing the look on your opponent's face when he figures out that you've ruined his battle-plan and rendered his special snowflake useless. Even more, you can use this to make the corpse go where you want him to be, like within sight of your tanks, alone in a corner... your call. It's difficult to master, but you'll enjoy it when it succeeds. HOWEVER, be aware that no one likes being trolled that way, so expect that the wielder of the MURDER SWORD and whatever squad he hangs out with, if any, will become the greatest fire magnet you've ever seen, so kit the wielder accordingly. And even this can be used to your advantage... Basically, give it to a Tzeentchian Sorcerer on Disc (3+/3++), stick him into a HUGE blob of Cultists and enjoy trolling.
- -note- you only have to be in base to base contact with the CORPSE to get the x2 str and the AP 2. Need something to MURDER loyalist termies??? Stick the MURDER SWORD in a bike squad and use the champion to challenge, letting the lord mop up the squad while your bike champ eats it.
- The Black Mace: A mace (not a power maul) with Fleshbane (wounds on 2+), AP4, and a nifty special rule: CURSED. When The Black Mace causes an unsaved wound, the model who took it must take a toughness test. If they fail, that model is removed with no saves allowed and all enemy models within 3" of the model with the Black Mace must take the toughness test as well. It's scary AND can affect enemy models even when your wielder is in a challenge. If AP4 doesn't sound good enough, give it to a Daemon Prince, whose Monstrous Creature AP 2 takes precedence over the weapon's AP. The terrifying nature of this weapon, of course, is that it does not inflict Instant Death, but rather removes the model from play, meaning that any big terrifying model you please (short of gargantuan creatures, anyway) that fails a Toughness check will simply disappear, Eternal Warrior or not.
- 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). 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
gooddark gods, he is MASSIVELY brutal with this toy - it's 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 155 pts and destroy anything as long as you can keep him alive (blob of Cultists) and out of Challenges.
- Burning Brand of Skalathrax: S4 AP3 Assault 1 like a flamer on Doom Siren 'roids (regular flamers are AP5). The special thing about it is has Soul Blaze and Torrent. Throw it on a winged Daemon Prince and you can troll the fuck out of the enemy: Vector Strike one squad, then use the flamer to either finish them or melt another unit entirely. Vector Strike a Metal Box, burn the SPESS MEHREENS that pour out. Alternatively, placing it on a bare-bones (or near-bare-bones) Chaos Lord gives you a very irritating little character that will be hard-pressed not to kill enough models to earn his points back and then some.
- Scrolls of Magnus: Big scroll of spells reserved for the followers of Tzeentch, so put on your robe and wizard hat. At the start of every turn, you can roll for a random psychic power in a random domain (either Pyromancy, Biomancy, Telepathy, Tzeentch, Telekinesis, or Divination). If you roll a power you already have, you start the whole process over.
- Cool though it may seem, this actually has some pretty big downsides. First off, you can't take Primaris powers, which is bad, since there are quite a few nice Primaris powers (such as in Divination or Telepathy). It also doesn't increase the number of warp charge tokens you get, so unless you have a ton of mastery levels (and you're capped at three), you won't benefit all that much. Not to mention that 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; sure, that's only one wound at most, but that's a wound you take for almost no advantage. Finally, this toy is denied to Princes, Mark of Tzeentch or not, which makes some sense, but also limits it to, essentially, Sorcerers, who are squishy as it is. According to the CSM FAQ, a model that uses the Scrolls of Magnus becomes a Psyker (presumably giving them one warp charge), allowing it to be used by any HQ with the Mark of Tzeentch, even if the model in question isn't naturally a Psyker. A Dark Apostle with a 3++ and the Scrolls of Magnus makes for an interesting if not tourney-worthy play style.
- Dimensional Key: A very interesting doo-dad. The Dimensional Key activates after its holder kills a model in close combat. Afterwards, any enemy model within 12" of the holder treats their environment as both Difficult and Dangerous terrain. On top of that, all models that deep strike (anywhere, not just within 12" of the bearer) after the key activates don't scatter for the rest of the game.
- Take Ahriman/Huron as warlord, then infiltrate a winged DP or Chaos Lord with jump-pack/bike/steed and Raptors/Bikers/Spawns escort. Voila! 1st turn charge for perfect deep strikes is almost yours! Except for the fact that infiltrating units can't charge first turn in 6th edition. For extra lulz place some LoS-blocking hills or walls near the enemy deployment zone, as per 6th Edition's terrain deployment rules.
- Alternative opinion:: The Dimensional Key is an item that is much less effective than one might think. Unless one is extremely lucky, both with rolls and unit placement, the best a unit can hope for is a turn-2 assault. 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 is difficult to justify 25 points on a wargear option that affects, in the vast majority of cases, two units at best, chosen randomly. When one is allied with Daemons (which is an excellent idea, as they are the only army that are Battle Brothers with Chaos Marines) this item is even less useful, as fully 5/6ths of your army has arrived by turn 2. It also has no effect on Daemons if they are allies, as stated by the book.
- In apocalypse: When you have the ability to choose when your reserves come in, this really gains some traction.
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, since it's so new and can't be found on any Chaos sprues yet. The best solution right now is to combine a Chaos Icon's rod and a power sword or to raid a Chaos Knights box.
- 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.
- 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.
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.
- 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. Still not too bad a buy.
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
These are for any of the units who say they can take wargear from this list. Usually just Chaos Lords and Sorcerers.
- Jump Packs: It's a jump pack. 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. Between these and Fearless, Nurglite Chaos Lords are excellent for leading units of lesser troops.
- 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.
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
shinyspiky 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. Suddenly, those flamers (especially those with low AP, like D-scithes, Liquifires or dreadnought-mounted Flamestorm cannons) doesn't look so threatening to your 'zerkers. Also, it's only five points, so you can slap these on every transport vehicle you have. Dirge Casters are auto-take when facing Tau; charging a squad at the right spot will prevent a whole bunch of things from Overwatching.
- 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. For such a cheap price, it's worth taking if you find yourself driving through terrain on a regular basis.
- Warpflame Gargoyles: For five points, you get Soul Blaze, which sets your opponents on fire. MUAHAHAHAH-- oh, sorry. Not all that useful, but it does apply to all. weapons, including, say, the Autocannon on a Predator or the Battle Cannon on a Defiler. It can do some damage to weaker squads (read: 'Nids, Guardsmen, Fire Warriors), but anything with power armor will just shrug it off. Dealing a few extra flamer hits on 4+ probably aren't worth it. Do note that soulblaze allow you to ignore Pyromancy's Fiery Shield power but on the other hand renders all the weapons on your vehicle absolutely useless against the Avatar of Khaine.
- Combi-weapons: You can take a combi-flamer, -melta, or -plasma. Well, you can, but it probably won't be all that useful unless your opponent tries to assault your tank or you Tank Shock their vehicle. Otherwise, none of your vehicles will get close enough to bother, with the possible exception of the Defiler.
- Alternative Opinion: Makes the plasma death squad even more special. Move six, choose to fire rapid fire plasma from the firing slots, and watch 6 strength 7 ap2 shots tear out your enemy's asshole. Take two of these squads and run them side by side for extra lols.
- Alternative Alternative Opinion: put combi-meltas on your rhinos. Chances are your enemy will forget about them, allowing for some epic trolling when the rhinos roll up and vaporize a tank or special character.
- Extra Armour: Vehicles with this count Crew Stunned as Crew Shaken when rolling on the Vehicle Damage table. Not that useful in 6-th edition, due to glancing hits no longer roll in damage table.
- Havoc Launcher: One of our more unique pieces of equipment, this is basically a frag missile launcher, except it's twin-linked and only 12 points. 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. Think of it as baby's first Defrolla.
- Daemonic Possession: Something of a mixed bag. 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 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.
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 or all-Slaanesh rape chart for level 3 cocaine sorcerer.
Largely terrible, sadly and ironically, given Tzeentch is the god of magic.
- Tzeentch's Firestorm: Far too random and FUN to rely on in any way, Tzeentch's Firestrom gives you a small blast with a randomized Strength ranging from two to seven. It also has the Inferno rule, so you get a few more S3 hits every time you kill a model. So, you can't rely on it to kill tanks, and, being AP-, it's not so great against MEQ. It has the potential to decimate squads of GEQ, but that requires you to actually hit the small blast template. As a Primaris it's alright, but again, most certainly not something particularly good.
- Boon of Mutation: Nope. Nope, nope, nope. Nopenopenope. This is in the running for the worst psychic power in the game. Seriously. A model within 2" of the caster (read: in the same unit) takes a S4, AP- hit, and, if he survives, he gets a roll on the Chaos Boon table. When doing so, he rerolls Dark Apotheosis, but not Spaw-- er, gribbly-tentacle-thing-dom. So, you must have two characters with completely different roles in the same unit, be willing to damage the recipient just for the "privilege" of the roll, be willing to risk getting a useless result (+1 BS on a Chaos Lord... yay...) or even Spa--er, gribbly-tentacle-thing-dom, and use up Warp Charges that you could have used for a force sword or other, more useful psychic power. It may be flavorful, but there is absolutely no reason, ever, that you would choose this over the Primaris, because that could actually damage the enemy.
- DOOMBOLT: DOOMBOLT is what you're hoping for if you have a Thousand Sons Sorcerer forced to roll on this table. It's a S8, AP1, Beam that makes vehicle explosions even explodier. Yes, DOOMBOLT is awesome, and yes, you do most definitely want it.
- Breath of Chaos: This is an AP2, 4+ Poisoned flamethrower that glances vehicles on a 4+. It's pretty neat all around, and particularly good at taking Terminators, except there's so much AP 2 in the game nowadays that it's absolutely redundant, especially with a Template range and 2 Warp Charge cost. It's alright, but it's not DOOMBOLT.
- Nurgle's Rot: Like with Tzeentch primaris, it's full of random and FUN. Every enemy unit in 6", except Nurgle-alligned marines/daemons would take random 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 single wound on space marine, which would be armor saved.
- Weapon Virus: Curse, that adds "Gets Hot" to all weapons in targeted unit. Guardsman, Shoota Boys, Kultist and Kroot blobs would hate your guts. MEQ's and TEQ's wouldn't even be bothered by this, however.
- Gift of Contagion: The longest range curse in the game, it's even more random than Firestorm. At worst it could bless your opponent with Shrouded at the cost of -1A, at best it strips him of 1 toughness and strength, which is quite impressive. Not as good as similar Enfeeble from Biomancy though, but this is a price you pay for 48" range.
- 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 scatter out of target, and even on your own squad.
Considered the best of god-specific disciplines, with every power being pretty useful. Suddenly, the god of rape and cocaine delivers more majick power than the god of magic himself.
- Sensory Overload: Surprisingly non-random primaris, it's basically another stolen Dorn's Arrow, except with Concussive, Blind and Pinning. Your opponent would probably pass leadership and initiative tests, but if not, it's gonna be fun. The nice point is that non-walker vehicles fail Blind tests automatically (due to technically being I0)
- Hysterical Frenzy: Neat buff to make some of your squads much more choppy. +1 to A, I or S is always nice for any close combat unit.
- Symphony of Pain: Another great spell, it curses enemy squad with -1 BS an WS, but also increases the strength of all sonic weapon hits against them by one. WE ARE AMPLIFIED!
- Ecstatic Seizures: AKA "Tarpit killer" or "Long range Trazyn" Point at squad, cast, and watch as half of the models tear themselves apart. Two warp charges as well, but certainly worth it.
Want to use that Doomrider model? Get a Slaneeshi Chaos Lord with a bike and a powersword/MURDER SWORD DO COCAAAAAAINE (though, you cannot get bike-mounted twin meltas and MC plasmagun do build 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.
- Chaos Sorcerer - 1 less Wound, Attacks, Initiative, BS and WS than the chaos lord. Has a Bolt Pistol and a Force Weapon. This dude only costs 60 points to field with nothing but you can buff his mastery level to a max of 3 at a cost of 25 pts/level and give him a mark for access to one of the corresponding Chaos god pysker disciplines. (Khorne excluded for obvious reasons, Kyras be damned). Our evil wizard also gets access to rewards and artifacts as well as terminator armor and weapons. What you want to give him will depend on how you want to field him: if he's going alone for the most part you should give him terminator armor but not deepstrike him. You can pack him with a squad of Termies with the same mark as him and let him rock things with 2+/5++ (4++ if the mark is Tzeentchian) Meatshields. The downside with deepstriking him means he doesn't do much till he hits the table at turn 2-3. Giving the Sorcerer a jump pack lets him join a squad of Raptors, providing mobility and the chance for him to jump into range for a physic power and jump back out. Give him a Mark of Tzeentch as well as sigil of corruption for a 3++ save. He also has the option to take a spell familiar, which is a must if you're going for anything higher then mastery level 2. For 15 points it's only moderately expensive. Fully upgraded the Sorcerer will be 165 points or so and able to dish out all kinds of Chaos induced pain if kept safe. A sorcerer with Mark of Tzeentch can additionally take Thousand Sons as troops. Note that unlike a lord or an apostle he isn't fearless.
- Daemon Prince: FLUFFY, THE UTTER BANE OF ANYTHING THAT ISN'T WS/T7. Sweet merciful fuck! WS 9, I8, 5 attacks. He is a Monstrous Creature so he gets Smash which makes his strikes AP2 and has the option to double his strength if he reduces his attacks by half for a round. 4 wounds as well as access to the Chaos Rewards And Chaos Artefacts that aren't for units with specific chaos god marks (Highly recommended you give him the Axe of Blind Fury, MURDER SWORD or The Black Mace). He will run up your points tab fast but Emperor help anyone with which it gets into combat. For added fun, giving this motherfucker wings will make him a flying monstrous creature, allowing you to tag-team with your Heldrakes to shred aircraft and vector strike ground targets to death before slamming into hand-to-hand to RIP AND TEAR. He also MUST be devoted to a Chaos god - no undivided allowed. However, even with all the benefits, the daemon prince suffered a nerf. His biggest weakness is his newfound lack of Eternal Warrior, so S10 blows (fear railguns) and Instant Death weapons/rules are the bane of his existence. Also, with a sharp rise in base cost the price tag once you've added wings, Mastery levels, power armour, etc 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. Give him the Black Mace, make him a psyker and roll on Biomancy. If you get Warp Speed, you can potentially get 15 attacks on the charge (5 base, +d6 for daemon weapon, +d3 for warp speed, +1 for the charge) all at S8 AP2 fleshbane with the curse rule, at I9-10. Laugh as you wipe out an entire Paladin squad before they even get to attack. Bonus points for vector striking them first.
- Alternative opinion: Ultra-Bonus Points for taking a winged Tzeentch DP with the Burning Brand of Skalathrax(Ultra-Secret-Ultra-Dragon-Points for getting the Breath of Chaos on the powers table) amongst several Heldrakes with baleflamers. Watch as the loyalists scurry about while you vector strike vehicles and melt their occupants causing their very souls to burn, or watch entire horde armies turn to ash. Just as planned.
- 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. So to accomplish the Warp Speed tactic described above, you must purchase 2 mastery levels (1 for your designated god and one for Biomancy), and even then maybe 3 additional mastery levels so you could roll twice on Biomancy but then we're already talking over 230 pts before wargear selection. That is if you want something crazy, or you could save the psyker points and just get the BBoS.
- Another Note: A DP can only take one artefact due to being only armed with one weapon and won't receive the bonus for dual-wielding on account of the DP losing his CCW when taking a special weapon. Still, enjoy 5 base attacks + 2 for Rage + D6 S9 on the charge DP of Khorne with Axe of Blinding Fury. Sweet Mother of Mercy. (Its stated under chaos artefacts "a model may REPLACE one of their weapons with the following.")
- BREAKING NEWS: For the first time ever, on December 1st 2013, Be'lakor the Dark Master got his own 40K rules (he returned in WHFB too)! For more info, see below in the Special Character section.
- Absolutely Fucking Atrocious: It's not fun going up against three (yes, three. Not sure how. Something something Allies with Chaos Daemons) Nurgle Daemon Princes with Wings and Warp-Forged Armour. The way the rules are written is that, even if the Daemon is flying, it still gets a cover save from Area Terrain, such as ruins. You have Skyfire? Oh cool, 2+ Cover. You have Ignores Cover shooting? Oh cool, 6's to hit. You have both of these things (it IS possible)? Oh cool, 3+ Armour Save. The only way to beat these fuckers is to bury them in shots and hope they fall, then have a handy Assault Terminator squad all with Thunder Hammers standing by, since there is no weapon in the game that I know of this is AP2, Skyfire, Ignores Cover, that can reliably wound T7 (or is it 8 for Nurgle?). (Tau Skyrays with 6 S8 AP3 Ignore Cover, Ignore LoS, Skyfire shots(potentially at BS6)on turn one says "Hi")
- Warp Smith: Chaos Techmarines. The new model is positively badass and on top of that, he shoots at BS5, can repair your vehicles, curse an enemy vehicle with a shooting attack that makes all their weapons get hot, strip cover saves from area terrain and fire a meltagun and flamer in a single turn. His backpack also gives him +2 attacks in close combat! He also starts out with Fleshmetal like Oblits/Muties, so has a 2+ armour save base, which is slick. Oddly, he can take marks. Just picture a Slaaneshi Warp Smith. You know those Helbrutes that seem fragile? Hide this asshole behind two of them and either a Forgefiend or a Defiler just in case. Also, Aura of Dark Glory and Mark of Nurgle/Tzeentch. Enjoy your little angry engineer with 2+, 5/4++, S5, T5/4, 5 attacks wrecking anything in his path. I'd stick him in a Chosen squad with plasmas and lightning claws. Still, 110 points when you could get a lord for 65.
- Alternate opinion: get one of these guys for a non-serious game, buy a land raider "upgrade", and enjoy the stupidly hard to kill monstrosity of 14 AV with regenerating hull points, tracks, and weapons.
- Dark Apostle: Chaos Chaplains. 105 pts. This guy can make a bunch of troops around him LD10, gives himself and any other character in his unit re-rolls on the Chaos Boon table, and has the Zealot USR, making him and his unit Fearless and Hate EVERYTHING. Works very well with huge mobs of cultists. He also fights at WS5 with a power maul and comes with 4++ as standard. Can take additional wargear but sadly, no Terminator Armor. He works well with the Axe of Blind Fury and the Mark of Khorne due to the fact that his hatred more or less offsets the issue of lowered WS.
- Another opinion - Give him the Mark of Tzneetch and the Scrolls of Magnus and slap him in a twenty man squad of unmarked (Or tzneetch marked)CSM with CCW's. Laugh at challenges with your 3++ Save and Concussive S6 weapon while having a fearless 20 man marine squad to sit on an objective, tarpit, or in general be a huge pain in the ass to deal with. For more fun, if impractical in non-casual games, slap the Black Mace on his ass and engage trollface. Only the dark gods can help your opponent if you get the Biomancy table and roll a 3, as Relentless FnP marines with 6++ saves and Hatred(Everything) will utterly ruin anyone's day.
- Typhus - Good god, Typhus. A Fearless Chaos Sorcerer in Terminator Armor with Feel No Pain on top of his Mark of Nurgle. Has Blight grenades, Destroyer Hive (which now gives him a s4 ap2 large blast over himself instead of attacking, once per game. Keep in mind though that this will hurt your own units) and a MANRAPER. He also has FOUR wounds, as opposed to three, and improved toughness from being a Nurgle Lord. Typhus flat-out rocks, to put it simply; he can devastate swarms and Tarpits through his Psy Powers, whilst his MANRAPER allows him to absolutely destroy many enemy monstrous creatures and commanders. Throw in his grenade access (rare for a Terminator) and he's quite versatile, especially given his high toughness. Typhus is, however, liberally peppered with drawbacks; he's fucking expensive 230pts, he can't do a goddamned thing to enemy vehicles (well he's S6 now, so he could glance some tanks to death I guess), his Invulnerable Save is only a 5+, and he lacks Eternal Warrior. Great unit, but keep him the fuck away from enemy walkers and character monstrous creatures. His 2+ armor save will generally protect him as most Force Weapons (minus the Nemesis Daemon Hammer) are AP3. And since his MANRAPER is AP2, well, throw him at Grey Knights with glee.
- New Codex Note: Typhus makes Plague Marines troops and can turn cultists into zombies, granting them FnP, Slow and Purposeful and fearless, but they can't take options besides more cultists and they can only use their pistols or guns to bonk things (Yay FAQs!); on the upside, you can take a shit load of them and drown your opponent in cheap, copious wounds. Cheaper less powerful choice for Zombie granting HQ is to be Necrosius 160pts. Re-released in Apoc(2013)pg. 151
- 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 Armor 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 armor 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+ armor 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.
- New Codex Note: 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 Armor 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's melee attacks always hit on 2+ (even if they would otherwise hit automatically)." Page 59 bottom right of the page in Gorechild description. If you do roll a 1, he hits a random member of any squad he happens to be in - so sometimes it's best to send him out on his own. Kharn boasts a suite of useful traits and equipment, including Gorechild (An AP2, +1 strength close combat weapon with armor bane), Frag and Krak grenades (the latter of which will never see use), a Plasma Pistol (like you're ever going to use it), Furious Charge, Mark of Khorne (Counter-Attack and Rage) and perhaps most importantly, gets a 2+ Deny the Witch against Psy Powers 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. One thing you should notice is he's S5, with +1 for Gorechild and another one +1 for FC, and with 4A + pistol + Rage... just look at your opponents face when one relatively cheap guy unleashes 7 S7 AP2 armorbane attacks on his poor army. DIE GREY KNIGHTS DIE!!! Khârn may also count as a Chaos Lord for the purpose of 'zerkers being troops.
- New Codex Note: 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.
- Huron Blackheart - The leader of the Red Corsairs, Huron gets to randomly generate a psychic power each turn due to a psychic pet that makes him Mastery Level 1 and grants an extra two S4 attacks. In addition, he's got access to a Power Axe and the Tyrant's Claw, which is an S6 lightning claw with Armorbane and an inbuilt Heavy Flamer. In many respects, Huron is kind of like Lucius, in that he's a heavy close-combat unit that can put serious hurt on groups of units he engages; unlike Lucius he's less of an infantry eraser and more of a general-combat unit, since his Claw is more than capable of busting open a tank or taking out a pesky Commander unit (though the power axe may be better for that, as it ignores 2+ saves). Additionally, his fixed warlord trait allows you to infiltrate D3 Infantry units. Remember that you cannot charge with them in the first turn anymore. However, the reason most people take him is because of his utility for handling many different kinds of situations and his warlord trait
- Fabulous Bile - The king of mixed bags. 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 Deathstick. Know that a Disordered Charge (aka multi-charge) denies you your Rage, so plan accordingly.
- Ahriman - KILL A YAK FROM 200 YARDS AWAY WITH MIND BULLETS! He's a Sorcerer that costs as much as a Land Raider; that's seldom a good sign. On the other hand he is currently one of only three psykers in the game with Mastery Level 4 (and the other two are Fateweaver and that dick), has access to several psychic disciplines, and boasts a unique piece of gear in the Black Staff, which is a Force Staff that lets Ahriman fire off THREE Witchfire psychic powers a turn. His firepower can be absolutely insane, but it requires good rolling for psychic powers now, unlike the previous codex. Making him even better, he boasts a Pistol with Inferno Bolts (so he has an S4 AP3 Pistol) and the standard Tzeentch Marine 4+ invulnerable save, which makes him remarkably tough to kill. 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. Bonus points if you take three rolls on biomancy, because he DESERVES to be a S7 T7 I8 A6 Feel No Pain, It Will Not Die, Relentless S9 in CC character.
- Abaddon The Despoiler - Don't be fooled by jokes regarding his lack of arms - Abaddon is BAD news. He is, perhaps, the single most dangerous thing on the Warhammer 40K tabletop should he get into close-combat (Except for Skarbrand, he has a good chance to kill Abbadon with ease). 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. Kaldor Draigo, Matt Ward's infamous Special Snowflake, will lose to Abaddon about 80% of the time assuming average dice rolls. 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. Just fielding him has been known to make other players break out in hives. On the other hand, the drawbacks are obvious - he costs a fuckton of points, he's a huge fire-magnet, 2+ armor 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. Also might be worth investing in a squad champion to accept challenges for him - you're not paying an arm and a leg for this guy just for him to expend all his attacks on a squad leader when he could rip the rest of the unit apart. He is in a three way tie for second most powerful HQ with The Swarmlord and Skarbrand. He will maintain his title of unbeatable at melee all the way up to the exact moment where he runs into Angron or an apocalypse melee unit like a Heirophant, a Titan, or An'ggrath, at which point he goes down like a little bitch. Oh and Lord Topknot will now unlock Chosen as troops.
- New Codex Note:Since Abaddon technically has the Mark of Slaanesh, if you stick him in a squad of Slaanesh with an Icon of drug induced Feel No Pain, Abaddon benefits from the Icon...
- Another New Codex Note:His firepower is a lot better than it sounds against Space Marines. Because he gives every squad within 12" Preferred Enemy, in theory he adds a block of firepower equal to 1/6 of every squad within that bubble - and since Chosen squads can pack five plasma guns apiece...
- Correct me if I'm wrong but since he is a chaos lord and has all four marks, doesn't that mean that he gets access to Cult units as troops?. No it doesn't because if it did it will say so in his profile just like the other special characters.
- Another New Codex Note:The awesomeness of Phil Kelly (in the April FAQ update) means that Abaddon CAN NEVER turn into a Spawn or a DP.
- 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. 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, Armorbane, 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.
- 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. 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 10 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 his haxx, i.e. hit and run trolling only ever at the end of your opponents assault phase, giving your Chaos arch-heretics ATSKNF and infiltrating even more landraiders. He's survived for 10,000 years with just power armour so has no invulnerable save but his sword gives him Eternal Warrior and Shrouded. 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 probably be fun, just try infiltrating a blob of 35 plague zombies with ATSKNF and hit and run and enjoy the lols. He can also bring up to 3 units of chosen which come separate from the FOC but can't take marks or icons and have ATSKNF and Infiltrate, but no land raiders this time as they can't take transports! Also you could put him and some havocs behind an icarus defense line with a quad gun for a BS 10 twin linked quad gun that will never miss
- Arkos The Faithless (Forge World) - Finally an Alpha Legion Character. This guy wields the 3-th ed Black Blade (+2S power sword), and gives Counter Attack to his squad, both of which are not impressive - you need AP2 for challenges, and Counter Attack is easily gained with MoK. You may take him for fluff favor, but unless you have little imagination and fluff expertise you can create your own dude to represent Alpha Legion lord, because Arkos' fluff is as outdated as his rules - he's from the times when Alphas were little more then space Taliban with lots of trained cultists, rather then modern closet loyalist anonymouses with mind-blowingly over-complicated schemes and tons of just as planned.
- Zhufor The Impaler (Forge World) - Zhufor is in very many ways like Khârn with a few advantages and disadvantages. His advantages being that he has a better armor save, Eternal Warrior, Furious Charge like Khârn and two different close combat weapons, the Skulltaker Chainaxe (like regular chainaxe, but two handed and with +2A bonus) and the Claw of Deimos (power fist with another stolen Dorn's Arrow). And, because the extra attack of the old MoK is included in his profile and the MoK is in his profile he gets either 6 S10 AP2 attacks or 8 S6 AP4 Attacks on the charge or 5 and 7 without it. His disadvantages are his lower number of attacks at I1 or his lack of AP2 from his axe. His pyschic defenses are worse with only Adamantium Will compared to Khârn's Blessing. But really, if you want a close combat monster, take Khârn who is cheaper or Abaddon who is better.
- One often overlooked point in Zhufor's favour is that he also lets you take a bodyguard unit of Khorne-marked Terminators without taking up a slot, but still granting you all the nifty advantages.(handy considering the codex's saturation of elite options)
Note, that he doesn't have the Champion of chaos rule. While this allows him to decimate everything else in the squad while not having to challenge, he doesn't gain the powers from the table.Zhufor's current post-Codex statline is found in Imperial Armour: Apocalypse, p. 152. He has Champion of Chaos, the new Mark of Khorne, and so on. Not bad, actually.
- One often overlooked point in Zhufor's favour is that he also lets you take a bodyguard unit of Khorne-marked Terminators without taking up a slot, but still granting you all the nifty advantages.(handy considering the codex's saturation of elite options)
- Necrosius (Forge World) - A fearless Nurgle Sorcerer with Feel No Pain a poisoned bolt(4+) pistol, force sword and standard pre-designated powers : Wasting Disease(witchfire) Nurgle's Rot and GoC. Wasting Disease hits automatically, resolved at S3 AP2 assault 1 Fleshbane. He also has +1 initative, wounds, and Ballistic Skill compared to a normal sorcerer. Also, run him in a Typhus style, Zombie Horde. Special rules profile Master of the dead gives your zombies Furious Charge. **Update** Apocalypse(2013)Pg. 151 Enables Necrosius to be taken as an HQ choice for a CSM army or SoD as well as independently granting Special Rules : Plague Zombies and various others including the later stated. Sadly he can not acquire a invul save thus, rarely making use of his Champion of Chaos rule. In short, if you want to make use of his furious charge granting ability to zombies don't let him die as that ability dies with him. Comparable to Typhus is point value for Plague zombie based list, at 50points cheaper. He can get in a Rhino. Typhus can not as he is in termi armor.
Cult Marines are now elites! If you want them as troops, you need a Lord with an appropriate mark.
- Chosen Chaos Space Marines - 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 specialized role.
- Mark of Khorne: They can be very useful only costing 1 more point than Bezerkers but they have an additional attack -1 WS, lack of fearless, and can gain furious charge from the icon.
- 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 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.
- Chaos Terminators: The good part: they're cheaper than a Loyalist Terminator, they get Reaper Autocannons, and they can mix long- and close-range weapons in the same squad. The bad part: they lack the cool Loyalist special rule, they have worse starting gear (power weapons as opposed to power fists), and they don't get the same wargear options loyalists (so no Assault Cannons, Storm Shields, or Thunder Hammers). On the other hand, they do have access to Icons and Marks like most generic squads. These make Termies pretty goddamn scary, but it costs quite a lot to load a squad up with them. You can also still take 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) 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. Khorne (for extra close-combat punch) or Tzeentch (for better survivability) 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).
- 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.
- Helbrute - The new Chaos Dreadnought. Comes with a multimelta and power fist standard. Retains the normal dreadnought profile, plus the Crazed rule, which has been significantly redone making The brute focus fire/Charge with rage at whatever dared to take a hull point off of it (target priority for this guy is ALWAYS to whoever took a hull point from it last). It will still fire frenzy on a 1, a 2 will make him scrub any stunned and shaken results plus give him rage. A roll of 3 is the same as a roll of 2 but the brute gets to fleet at the closest enemy/latest hull point remover. You can upgrade the guns to standard dreadnought stuff or take another power fist, plus you can upgrade the original power fist to a thunder hammer or a power scourge (remember how awesome that was in second edition? We sure as fuck do). The hammer is alright, but you really, really want the scourge: S8 AP2 and reduces the WS of whatever you're fighting by D3.(no one noticed this but the rules state you can take both a hammer and a power scourge as a second power fist is free)(Also has a brand new model outside of Dark Vengeance, and its pretty badass)
- You NEED this thing in close combat and you need the scourge to prevent those pesky krak/haywire/EMP grenade and meltabomb attacks, so we recommend tooling up for that. Any resistance will only make his penis harder as losing hull points just pisses him off more.
- NOTE: if you try to use a Hellbrute like a loyalist dreadnought, you are going to be let down: in other words, you have no rifleman option making ranged support awkward and no drop pod either, so survivability is going to be difficult. No, what you need to do instead is if you're going to take a 'Brute, take two and take at least one Warpsmith and perhaps another walker if you're feeling saucy (defilers work best here). Your Heavy Support walkers should be providing the Dakka while the brutes punch shit to death if it gets close; Hellbrutes are actually cheap enough to make this work (post-FAQ starting cost is 100 points)! This is how Lord Phillipus makes armies: everything in it HAS TO work together and CSM is no different.
- Update: Helbrutes just received a dataslate that contains three new formations. One of them helps with delivering them to the fight, one of them gives a brute a bunch of cheap meatshields, and the last makes a bunch of brutes a legit squad and the ability to control their Crazed Rolls. Further details on that below.
- Possessed Marines - The Possessed got a much-needed upgrade and significantly more options. 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 reroll all their failed to-wound rolls. Their most obvious drawback is their points, but despite the stigma that hangs on them from the previous edition, they might be a point-sink, but not much more so than a squad of Terminators or kitted-out Berserkers. A ten man squad with a Mark of Slaanesh and an Icon of Excess costs 325 points compared to a bare-bones Terminator squad of the same size costing 312 points. And for 325, you get a ten man squad with S5 I5, three attacks each on the charge, and Feel No Pain, which means your 3+ save is now augmented not only by the 5++ for being a daemon, but by a second 5++ that can only be negated by S8 or greater weapons or ones that inflict instant death. With Icons and Marks, they can have 4++ saves, T5 and
Fearas Daemons, they already have fear, I5 (I6 if they get that daemonkin roll) and FNP, or Furious Charge, Rage and Counter-attack. Expensive? Yes, as always. But every one of their daemonkin rolls is good, and that was one of their biggest drawbacks. 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. Then roll a D3 and find out if every single one of your thirty S5 attacks is hitting at AP3, with re-rolls for every To-Wound, or if they're actually 40 attacks at a minimum of I5.
- 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 3, you can give the squad FnP, IWND, 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 Sorcs 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 point more than a standard tactical marine you get Fearless and I5 over ATSKNF and I4. The Blastmaster is downright good. FNP is a steal if you take 10+ in a single unit. Sonic weapons add dakka if you need it. For an extra point (now two more than a tactical marine) you an get a 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 - Fearless. Furious Charge. Rage. Counter Attack. WS5 and two attacks with weapons. How far the proud have fallen, eh? 105 points base for 5, then 19 fucking points each, and you can take chain axes at +3pts/model to make your guys attack at AP4; Emperor help anyone you charge! The Champion, is identical to the rest in gear, profile (apart from the mandatory +1A, +1Ld) and cost changes, but gets access to the Khornate goodies. Way worse than their previous incarnation, they can get gimped on the charge by anyone with defensive grenades and their charge bonus only lasts for the first turn unlike 4th edition Khorne Berzerkers. However, compared to Death Company, who have an extra attack, FNP and Relentless in place of counter-attack, they're aren't as mobile and are more limited in their wargear options. 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 center of a soft formation, unload Berserkers. Laugh maniacally. Add dirge casters for even more fun and games. 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. The most important thing about Bezerkers is placement, they have to get the charge or they are basically marines with counter attack, don't listen to people who say it doesn't make a difference they are wrong. However, on the charge they can wipe out most units which is the good thing about Bezerkers because they will easily kill non melee squads and are cheaper than the Death Stars required to kill them. 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 (BRB Pg.38).
- Plague Marines - These guys are the favorites 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 Battle Cannons, Power Fists, Plasma Weapons, or aggressive close-combat squads but even then you would have your Feel No Pain save - 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 offense, 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 no limit on special weapons like 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 profile probably looks pretty cool, too: AP3 bolters, 4++ invulnerable save standard, Fearless, a Mastery Level 1 Sorcerer (with force weapon!) as the Champion... There's a few issues, however. First up: Slow & Purposeful. Not as much of a deathknell as it would have been in 5th Edition, but the Thousand Sons aren't carrying heavy weapons, so it's not exactly a bonus either. They're also incredibly pricey at 23 points per model, and the Sorcerer (who you must take) is 35 points extra (!). That Sorcerer also comes with a Mark of Tzeentch. Now, if you scroll back up to the psychic powers, you'll note that at least one of his powers must be rolled from the Discipline of Tzeentch, which is to say he can only take the Discipline of Tzeentch. This is a very, very bad thing. Basically, you'll be praying for DOOMBOLT, because Boon of Mutation is terrible in almost every way (and especially so for a "regular" infantry unit you won't be putting another Character into), the Primaris is meh (although certainly preferable to Boon of Mutation), and you can't use Breath of Chaos (with a cost of 2 Warp Charges). If you do get DOOMBOLT, you're pretty much set, since that'll allow you to take out tanks from a reasonable distance away, a capability the Thousand Sons otherwise lack. Those AP3 bolters, by the way? Yes, they're nice (especially if you catch some fellow Marines out in the open), but there's usually so much cover in the game right now that it won't matter. Similarly, don't expect to get much mileage out of that force weapon; the unit doesn't have grenades and their stats are largely mediocre for close combat (especially if they get swamped by a tarpit).
- Oh, and they technically don't have models; instead, you have to get a far-too-expensive pack of bitz and add them to your regular Chaos Marines.
- 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.
- Mutilators: Close combat oblits and 55 points each. They can throw down each with a pair of the following weapons: chainfists, lightning claws, Power Swords/Axes/Mauls (pick one) per turn to RIP AND TEAR. Do note that they cannot use the same one each turn. On top of these, they can deep strike, have two wounds/attacks and can take a mark of chaos. The Mark of Nurgle is what you want - T5 is always great, even more with two wounds per model. Still... criminally low unit size and compared to paladins... NEVER EVER deep strike this guys, unless you want to force move gunlines (in which case you may consider Mark of Tzeench preferable to Nurgle) - with slow and purposeful they cannot run, so smart opponent would just kite them all day long. The thing that makes them suck is the fact that they can't have more than 3 of them so will be outnumbered in combat and won't put out enough attacks to reliably handle a unit and that they have slow and purposeful which makes them play catch-up with units while getting shot to death. Buy them a Land Raider or Dread Claw (Storm Eagle and Spartan are OK too, but they work better with BIG squads). Another tactic with these guys is to take one with MOK, and deep strike next to a heavy weapons unit. This gives the opponent a choice: ignore them and get charged the next turn, or waste their shooting on a relatively cheap guy. The other tactic is to put them in the backfield to make sure your cultists on objectives don't get charged and prevent them from getting linebreaker.
- Alternative opinion: The strength Mutilators bring is the ability to effectively handle multiple types of units. Switching between handling termies (chainfists/axes) and hordes (mauls/lightning claws) is a very rare ability to have, and what makes them dangerous. Their base cost is high, but it includes versatility that other units would have to pay out the nose to get. The small squad size is somewhat alleviated by placing the unit in a Land Raider with a terminator character, or even 2. The lost squad size doesn't matter quite so much if you can only fit 5 models in a Land raider at a time. Even so, they stack up quite favorably against other units (aside from the tried-and-true hammernator squad), and the ability to throw 3 powerfist attacks per turn, not 2, makes them just as nasty for their points (2 attacks @ 40pts. = 3 attacks @ 60, with mark). Mark of Nurgle turns them into monsters, as you can no longer insta-kill them with S:8 hits, and allows them to stand up to other units with power fists. Their ability to insta-kill paladins whilst ignoring the poor guys' AP3 attacks is very fun, but don't forget that force weapons can insta-kill you regardless of toughness.
- 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 since they replace Atomantic Shielding with a Hellfire Reactor, which allows the Chaos Contemptor a 4+ save against glancing hits and a 6+ save against pens. Oh, and he deals a S2 AP2 I10 autohit to any enemy psyker in base contact, in case you face Gey Knights. The Contemptor also has the advantage over the regular Chaos Dreadnoughts in that it isn't totally insane and gets access to weapons like Heavy Conversion Beamers, Chainfists, and Plasma Blasters (an assault 2, 18" Plasma Gun). In addition to those, they can also mount Butcher Cannons (36", S8, AP4, Heavy 4), Havoc Launchers and Soul Burners (a half-range Havoc Launcher with Rending that Ignores Cover). Oh, and they can be dedicated to chaos gods - you remember how cool that was in 3rd edition right?
(Updated as per the 2013 Imperial Armour Apocalypse)
- Khorne: Your Contemptor gets Rage and Rampage. Slap a DCW or chainfist on this mother and run at shit.
- Tzeentch: Your Contemptor gets to re-roll 1s on Invulnerable saves, and all its Heavy Flamers get Soul Blaze.
- Nurgle: Your Contemptor gets It Will Not Die.
- Slaanesh: No, you don't get your sonic weapons back, but you do assault and defensive grenades.
- Decimator Daemon Engine (Forge World): It's the Chaos Contemptor's retarded brother, and it finally got a FAQ from Forgeworld for 6th edition! Costs the same, its armor is now the same as a Contemptor's, 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's immune to shaken/stunned because of possession, gets a 5+ invulnerable save for being a daemon and has "Unholy Vigour" which means it can regrow it's blown-off weapons and legs 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 MOTHERFUCKING 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. If you really, REALLY wanna cover the board in S8 AP4 fire, then by all means take a few decimators with butcher cannons.
- Storm Laser: 36" S6 AP3 Heavy D3+2. The laser is best purchased as a pair like the Butcher Cannon and is super effective against MEQ's, especially the ones you don't want to get close to (Death Company, Lynchguard, Crisis Suits, Tyrannid Monstrous Creatures, etc).
- Soul Burner Petard: Like the Contemptor's, only it doesn't Ignore Cover and 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.
- 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. Only really useful on boards with lots of terrain and even then, defensive grenades provide a modicum of protection if you're ridiculously close. MIGHT be useful with the heavy conversion beamer but otherwise just not that good anymore since it costs the same as Khorne Dedication - give it a pass.
- 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. A solid choice that plays to the Decimator's strengths while boosting one of its weaknesses, load out with a storm laser and a siege claw to do HORRIBLE things to light-armoured mech armies.
- Blood Slaughterer (Forge World): Yes, it really is called a Blood Slaughterer. Yes, that's the stupidest name for anything EVER, but it fits. Raging, possessed, WS5/BS1 dreadnought with 2 dread CCW's and gets +D3 attacks on the charge. They also get the option to take a ranged weapon called an impaler which always hits on 4+ regardless of BS, CANNOT ever be snap fired and acts exactly as a Blood Angels magna-graple (albeit AP 3 instead of AP 2), except it allows you to drag monstrous creatures as well. They can be taken in vehicle squadrons of 3, cost a scant 130 points but do require a squad of Berserkers to field.
- 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 are slow and purposeful, so your call.
- 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 have multimelta AND melta-imune options. It also could fuck up enemy reserve rolls or boost yours and prevent infiltrators to deploy within whooping 24" around him. Overall a good choice if you want to use it as battle tank instead of terminator party-buss.
- Slaaneshi Sonic Dreadnought (Forge World): While no longer available in 6th ed, you could formerly upgrade any Dread in a regular Chaos Space Marine army, as long as it includes a unit of Noise Marines. You basically pay 20 points for a Dirge Caster and assault grenades and the option to take a Doom Siren in place of a Heavy Flamer (a nice upgrade from AP4 to AP 3), a pair of Sonic Blasters instead of a twin-linked Heavy Bolter and a Blastmaster instead of a twin-linked Autocannon. It suffers from all the shortcomings of a regular Chaos Dread (which are fewer in number since the FAQ that improved the results of a Fire Frenzy roll), but it may be a good choice in a fluffy Emperor's Children list. Also, how can you say no to more sonic goodness?
- Giant Chaos Spawn (Forge World): Just like the Chaos spawns, the giants have been redone. Still Monstrous Creatures with S/T6 and 4 wounds with 4+ armor save. Has the same stats, but lost slow and purposeful along with feel no pain. Now it has Fear, Fearless, Rage, Random Attacks, and Mutated beyond Sanity. If the random attacks don't sound great how about 2+ feel no pain or -2 to enemy initiative? Autocannons and heavy bolters will ignore it's armour saves but now you can get cover easily inn 6th.
- Mutated Beyond Sanity: This is what makes the Spawn really good. At the beginning of each fight roll a D3 for an ability.
- 1 Sword-spines. All models in base contact at the Initiative 10 step take an automatic S6 Ap- hit.
- 2 Gibbering Jaws. All models locked in combat with the Spawn suffer -2 to Initiative, models with Fearless ignore this.
- 3 Frenzied Regeneration. The Spawn gains feel no pain 2+ special rule.
- Chaos Space Marines - The basic Troops choice. You'll get a lot of mileage out of these guys. 13 points each, ONE cheaper than loyalists, 5-20 per squad, NOW WITH FREE ASPIRING CHAMPION (Free=10pts, but look at the loyalists, the cost is incorporated in the base cost)! Leadership 8 now. Veterans of the Long War upgrades this to 9 for 1 point ( 10 on the Champ.) Champ can take a fuck of a lot of gear. Loyalists can take a Heavy Weapon or a Special Weapon at 5 men in a Tactical squad and a Special or Heavy Weapon, in their own respect, -At 10 men. CSMs on the otherhand, can only take a Special at 5 men and a Heavy at 10. Similar options as Loyalists, but instead of Plasma Cannons and Multi-Meltas, we get Autocannons or the option of taking a second Special weapon. On the up side, we can take CCW's on top of all our gear for only +2 pts/model or throw out the bolter and just take it for free. Icons are no longer for guiding deep strikes, and yes, one dude has to take a banner but it's a flat cost per unit. You can make a strong CSM unit given all these variables.
- The biggest advantage Chaos Marines have is their versatility. With a solid armor save, 2 attacks in close-combat (if equipped with the extra CCW), strength and toughness 4, and bolters as their main weapon (and access to heavy/special weapons), Just a squad of them can be used differently as circumstances merit, enabling them to go shooty against foes, or switch to melee against foes that are particularly vulnerable in close-combat but threatening inside their "power range" (such as Guardsmen or Fire Warriors).
- Be sure to include a Rhino, whether they're kitted for close combat or gunning down your enemies, they really help getting them closer. They're easy to blow up, but they still make it easier for your Chaos brothers to deal with a certain unit earlier than later. The only time you don't want to bring Rhinos is for them to just sit on an objective, in which case you should get Cultists to do that instead.
- Needless to say they're as versatile as hell and wicked cost-effective, and they make for great scoring units: Hwee Kaptoored Eet Fhor Kay-oss!. If you have a few points left to blow once all your choices are made, you rarely can go wrong with throwing a few more Marines on the table.
(Comment from a reader: one important thing that 1d4chan left out here is the fact that you can take chaos space marines in groups of 20. Yes, seriously. It may be expensive to field so many chaos space marines in one squad, but it WILL make your army look intimidating and badass, and is also a subtle highligh to the fact that chaos space marines never underwhent the changes presented by the codex astartes, so the traitor legions are still 10,000 and above strong, and the renegade chapters are gaining in strength.)
- Cultists: 50 pts gets you a Cultist champion and 9 of these squishy 'umies. You can take up to 25 more for 4 points each, for a whopping total of 35 in your mob. Their options are pretty weak (autoguns for everyone except the Champ, 1 dude every 10 can take a heavy stubber or flamer, the Champ can take a shotgun) but they are better meat shields than Grots because they're taller, and without autoguns they cost exactly the same as grots, while being all around better. If you add a Dark Apostle to the squad they become fearless (and thus cannot to go ground), making them not only resilient but pretty decent in melee in large numbers. 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.
- 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-Shirts as their 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. Having the lowest possible save is almost like having no save at all, so unless you're very lucky your Cultists will die just as fast and 5+ cover saves or better are everywhere. And don't forget that you're paying for this upgrade...
- 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 Counter-attack is unreliable because of Cultists' low Ld, and that bucket of attacks doesn't mean jack when you're I3 and have no assault grenades (Termagants hit before them, BLOODY TERMAGANTS). MoN gives you extra ressilience which always "works" (MoK only works in 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.
- Another take on the Mark of Khorne: While it seems bad on its own (LD 8 makes counter pretty worthless,) slap a Dark Apostle with a 35 man squad of these bad boys and you got a horde with 4 attacks each on the charge, 3 attacks each when charged, and HATRED. Did I forget to mention these guys are fearless and ld 10 for counter attack? Yeah, so they are only initiative 3, but you brought a squad of 35, right? Even if you lose 20 of them before they swing you're still getting 60 attacks (rerolling hits) on the charge and 45 attacks with counter attack. Not to mention how many they will get without losing any in close combat.
- 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.
- Chaos Bikers - Chaos Bikes had always been iffy, from their inception back in 3rd, but not anymore! 6th edition improves on them considerably. They can boost their number of attacks with Mark of Khorne, become even tougher (frighteningly so) with Mark of Nurgle, or just be a pain in the ass with the Mark of Slaanesh. Though, Tzeench mark now isn't so useful, because all bikes have their 5+ jink save by default. They're great for rapid assaults, perfect when you need to deliver a Power Fist directly to an enemy's rear armor. With the release of 6th Edition, Bikers with the Mark of Nurgle are Toughness 6, not Toughness 4(6). Toughness 6. Let that settle in for a moment. Now add in the Bonus charging attack at Initiative 10 they get on the charge that hits before anyone else does. Yeah, feels nice, doesn't it? (Keep in mind these attacks will be str: 4 ap: -)
- Alternative opinion:: In large groups, using Mark of Slaanesh and Icon of Excess (which gives Feel no Pain) actually outperforms Mark of Nurgle, and is slightly cheaper too. Yeah, T6 is great, but T5 is already nice, hitting before most MEQ do and an extra 5+ save if you fail your armour save or get hit by something with AP3, that's just great. This actually makes them more dangerous and more resilient at the same time. Just be careful with your icon bearer.
- Chaos Raptors - Chaos' Assault Marines. Reasonably priced. Icons and double-special weapons make them respectable. The one of the best out of your FA options. Icon 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; they'll be in close combat, where said save matters most. Whilst Slaanesh and Khorne are easily the best (and cheapest) options, the other two are good too. Flamers are excellent for softening up infantry before a charge and for dealing with cover-camping shits, and Meltaguns will take care of any tank-related problems you have AND they still get to keep their pistols and chainswords, unlike their lesser Loyalist counterparts! Don't take a Plasma Gun unless you absolutely KNOW you're going to be occupying buildings or defensible terrain - both of which make doing so worth it; Plasma Guns are moderately expensive and you can't shoot them and charge on the same turn (and for a mobile assault unit that's a pretty nasty drawback). 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.
- New Codex Note: Give these guys Mark of Slaanesh and Icon of Excess then go tell the Blood Angels that their Assault Squads+Sanguinary Priests can eat a dick.
- New Codex Note: Get a unit of 10 of these guys, give them Mark of Khorne, Veterans of the Long War (if you are facing Spehss Muhreens or Gay Knights, otherwise forget it), and the Icon of Wrath. Tool them with special weapons as you see fit, and give lightning claws or lightning claw+power fist to the champ. The regular guys will dish out 36 S5 I4 attacks on the charge, (and don't forget those 10 juicy S4 I10 HoW attacks) plus re-rolling the charge distance (only if you don't use jump packs for movement in the movement phase, bullshit you have the icon you can ALWAYS re-roll the charge distance, don't make Khorne angry)(simply put, it is either you walk 6" and jump into assault or move 12" and eschew HoW strikes, rerolling the charge anyway), and the champ will give you 5 S5 I4 VP3 attacks. Essentially you are getting a unit of jump pack zerks. This unit is the bane of hordes (with twin flamers) or space marines and vehicles (with twin meltas) or can handle both, and with Veterans of the Long War it will almost certainly wipe out a unit of 10 loyalist marines due to the rerolls (only in close combat, imagine with pistol and melta shots...). One especially effective tactic with this squad is to use Huron to infiltrate them 18 inches from your opponent's Rhino/Chimera/etc, then on turn one move them up 12" to get in melta range, pop their transport with double melta (plus a combi-melta if you're feeling extra ballsy), and then proceed to beat the living fuck out of the disembarking passengers with Obliterator plasma cannons, making the return fire you'll receive fairly minimal. Next turn swoop in and decimate any remaining marines on the charge. For added lulz, attach a jump pack equipped Sorcerer (not marked, of course), roll on Biomancy. If you are lucky and roll a 3, you can give these guys Relentless and FnP; laugh as the enemy tries to bring down your 3+ FnP 4A on the charge death machines.
- Warp Talons: Take everything you like about Raptors (but take away ALL THE FUCKING GRENADES! I mean what the hell Phil?!) and turn it up a few notches and TA-DA! 30 pts. a pop gets you a a pair of lightning claws, the daemon special rule and when you deep strike with these guys, you can blind everyone within 6". What this effectively means is that most things will hit you on a 6 at range or a 5 in close combat making them easy, defenseless pickings. These guys are your first wave, coupled with Oblits for fire support and Maulers for hard targets. IC a Slaanesh Jump Pack Lord for Fearless and extra killiness.
- 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, Hellbrutes and Defilers) to shoot and get to CqC could be worth the risk, you can shred the armored 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:: Be a real dick. Infiltrate a Landraider with armor popping Termies (take combi meltas) and, if you can, infiltrate the Talons as well. Pop all the metal boxes first turn with melta fire and lascannons and RIP AND TEAR through the resulting sea of flesh. Of course, this makes taking Ahriman or Huron a necessity to pull it off.
- 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 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). Another effective tactic includes Ork Allies with Doc Grotsnik granting Cybork Bodies(5++) to Spawn with Marks of Tzeentch for 4++ saves.
- Heldrake: Here be dragons! First thing to note about this is that it's a flyer, which you need now. Second, no - the rumours were wrong, it cannot troll a dreadknight effectively or at all. 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 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 - this bird is thin skinned even though it has a 5++, is a flyer and It Will Not Die; a good penetrating hit will drop it right out of the fucking sky. Still, arguably the cheese unit of the entire book - sailing carelessly through air, your opponent's army it shall RIP AND TEAR... ahem, take two and take Baleflamers.
- FAQ Update: Brothers! The Lord Phil Kelly has blessed us once again! As of January 13, the Heldrake has transcended from being a cheese machine to being a rape train. Vector strikes ignore cover and hit at AP3, meaning those Loyalist corpsefuckers can meet their False Emprah, and the Heldrake's weapons are counted as being turrets: Measure from the base and in any direction you fuckin' want.
- Chaos Storm Eagle (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 (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 for +20 points bringing the whole thing in at 135 points. 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.
- Hell Talon (Forge World): Oh, you thought 'Blood Slaughterer' was a stupid name? A fighter bomber (flyer) with Supersonic, 4 hull points and Strafing Run - which makes it fucking awesome! With its single 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.
- Dreadclaw Assault Pod (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. Note that as it is a deep striking flyer, all shots trying to hit it will do so on FUCKING 6s! Watch as they soak up the firepower of whole armies. Take with 'zerkers in mind.
Forge World no longer sells these, claiming there's a new sculpt coming... sometime... In the meantime, either get a used one, or mod one out of a pussy Loyalist Drop Pod.NOPE the models are back!
- Blight Drone (Forge World): Possessed hovering flyer with a BS2, 5+ invulnerable save, reaper autocannon and a mawcannon (without tongue). At 125 pts., It can be fielded so long as your army has a squad of Plague Marines. Pretty decent armour for a cheap flyer, 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.
- 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 and the scourge will save this thing in a punchan gaem. 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. 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.
- 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.
- Doomsday arks are open-topped, which is already a huge disadvantage. Not only are they vulnerable to being punched, they have a gimped shooting attack if they move. The biggest downside of the Defiler is that shooting the battle cannon forces you to snap-shot the rest of your weapons, and yet that's still not as bad as a doomsday ark after it moves.
- New Codex Note: 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!
- 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.
- Havocs - The cheapest choice, but not a bad one. They're the exact same as your Chaos Space Marine troops, except they can take 4 special/heavy weapons at any squad size. Unlike Devastators, you can take special weapons instead of heavies, and at the same cost as generic CSMs - up to four regardless of squad size, though they don't combat squad you have to keep them all in one place and can't divide them so they can bring their firepower in more than one place. These can be used for fairly expensive tank-, MEQ- or horde-hunting units depending on special weapon of choice, and you gain the advantage of being able to move and fire. Chosen can do this too, but they will load up on points. But, because they don't score (except in one scenario), you don't really need them running along with your CSM to clash chainswords with the enemy; they are better employed as a fire support unit. Either take Autocannons or
Flakkmissile launchers, with a couple bolter marines and maybe Mark of Nurgle for survivability. Autocannons destroy METAL BAWKSES pretty well, and Flakk can put a dent into flyers, but it's batshit expensive at 25 pts per launcher, so consider using Heldrakes and/or allied Vendettas for anti-air instead.
- Land Raider - It's the classic Land Raider pattern (aka, schizophrenic). 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 Armor, 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).
- 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. And like all chaos vehicles it could and should be possessed, because 5 HP 14/14/14 melta immune tank with 5+ invuln WOULD NEVER FUCKING DIE (unless you play against crons with scarabs, even so you can swap its heavy bolter for a heavy flamer and take a pintle mounted one to wipe out those pesky buggers. WITH FIRE). There is no reason to buy Land Raider, if you have enough souls of firstborn to afford this model.
- 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 armor 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, and will retreat if fighting gets too hot). For 70 points, you get a model with 2 wounds, a 2+ armor 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. 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+ armor, 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.
- 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+ armor save to protect them and 2 wounds. Their higher armor 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.
- Chaos Predator - Pretty much the same as the loyalist version, in both performance and cost. The Predator is a good overall vehicle, whose main drawback is that it's not quite the all-in-one package as some of the other heavy support choices Chaos can field - and those slots are absolutely critical. That said, the Predator is mighty cost-effective and can be extremely solid on both offense and defense. The preferred loadout is a Predator Destructor (Autocannon turret) with Lascannon Sponsons and a Havoc Launcher - hell of a solid offensive vehicle for 127 points that can handle most situations as-needed. Still, it fights for the slot against stiff competition from the Defiler, which fills several of the same roles. On the other hand, the Predator is is more durable, a much smaller target and has higher BS. If all else fails, you can get a no-frills Autocannon/Heavy Bolter Pred for 100 points, which is pretty damned efficient, especially with Snap Fire. With a Havok launcher, and the very cheap option to add Soulblaze, it will do horrible, horrible things to infantry hordes. Overall, it's one of the better choices available to Chaos as far as close support goes, especially now that you can take a second FOC (and therefore a total of 6 Heavy Support choices) in +2.000 games. A good choice in small games as well.
- Fuck that noise, a tri-las now costs a ridiculous 140 pts. Let the bolters handle the infantry, the Predator is here to fuck up BAWKSES.
- Chaos Vindicator - Since last edition no more the sole property of the Iron Warriors. 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.
- 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 termies 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. 8 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. What the Forge Fiend is to shooting, the Mauler Fiend is to close combat. Comes with a pair of power fists and magma cutters, which deal a meltabomb hit that can strike non-vehicle models, too! This big mother can also move at 12", ignore difficult terrain and has Fleet on top of that! Lasher tendrils reduce Dreadnoughts/Dreadknights/Terminators to A1. You use this thing 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 or not, even a single powerfist/thunderhammer attack will put it down. Take two, keep the magma cutters and use it for its intended purpose, charging and destroying vehicles and fortifications. If nothing else, the Dinobot tagteam will draw considerable fire away from your other units. Many players will struggle to stay cool under pressure in the presence of two Maulerfiends charging headlong into their vehicles.
- Alternative Opinion: You really shouldn't take lasher tendrils as this guy's main focus should be vehicle destroying and not tarpitting which is done for cheaper by a Helbrute.
- Spined Chaos Beast (Forge World): Technically a daemonic construct like the other daemon engines, but made from flesh instead of metal. It's a monstrous creature with WS5, S7, T6 and 4 wounds. 6th edition gave it 5++ and fear, too! Can also be aligned with one of the dark gods for even more goodies!
- Khorne: +15 pts., rage and furious charge. It's actually not that bad for the cost, and makes this thing's charges pretty goddamn devastating, what with 5 S8 monstrous creature attacks.
- Slaanesh: +10 pts., +1 initiative (for a total of 5). The cheapest and worst of them all although furious charge no longer grants initiative bonuses, so +1 initiative might be useful?
- Nurgle: +20 pts., feel no pain! One of the two better choices for this guy, now possibly the best because you basically get to re-roll your invulnerable save against almost everything. And yes, a 5++ with rerolls is better than a 4++ - 5/9 chance of saving wounds versus 1/2.
- Tzeentch: +15 pts, 5++ gets buffed to 4++. The other better choice.
- Plague Hulk (Forge World): Essentially a Soul Grinder of Nurgle of sorts with a poisoned 3+ S5 AP3 flamer and a rending, half-range battle cannon with 2 less strength. Like all Daemons of Nurgle it now has Shrouded. It is costly at 205 pts. and requires a squad of plague marines to field; that said, it's about as tough to bounce as a regular Soul Grinder of Nurgle. If you don't want allies, grab some plags and one of these; it will be cheaper, but the Nurgle Grinder will be more useful.
- Fire Raptor Gunship : Experimental Rules for 30K/40K are up. 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 rumored, 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 lose 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.
- METAL BOXES: Always take metal boxes. 35 points extra but worth their weight in Unobtainium. With only 12 pts more, Havoc Launchers are extremely useful for blowing up the opposition and are one of your key advantages over Loyalist losers. Oh, and with 5 pts enemies within 6" cannot overwatch. Engage trollface.
- 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.
- 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. Sadly, the net result will take up 350+ points, meaning that unless your army is very defensively oriented, it's going to just be sitting on your deployment zone going "blam" occasionally.
- Fortress of Redemption: Coming soon.
- Harbinger: Essentially a scaled down BFG ship, this big ass bomber carries death from above in a durable and retardedly well armed package. This dwarfs thunderhawks and warhound titans and if Forgeworld ever decides to give it a model, it will only be eclipsed in size by the larger titans and the Tau Manta. It has enough bombs to pretty much cover smaller boards in pieplates, and its underside mounted autocannons allow it to get some more hate on the suckers down below. However, for a flyer it is slow, and it is an oh so juicy target for your enemy's anti-air. This thing NEEDS escort if there are enemy fighters in the skies or it WILL be blown out of the sky. ... Except it only exists in Aeronautica Imperialis, and not Apocalypse.
- Plaguereaper of Nurgle: YOUR EIGHTEEN BARRELS OF HELL! Basically, its BS4 Baneblade with main gun switched to big-ass vomit-thrower of Nurgle, ability to take CSM bitz like Havoc launchers, and ability to strike back in close combat due to nurgling-infested hull. Pretty disgusting thing, but in a good way.
- Silver Tower of Tzeench: This thing is weird. It spams doombolts and shoot D-strengths beams, but only at short (for Apoc) range and is also pretty fragile with only 2SP and weak armor. Though it has a 4+ invuln, it's not really worth it.
- Alternate opinion: Very usefull next to a warhound titan to make it last until turn 2. 4+ Cover to the 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.
- Brass Scorpion of Khorne: Hilarious amounts of super-heavy walker rape in a segmented can. For 400 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 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.
- Subjugator of Slaanesh: Highly modified possessed Warhound Titan, fueled by sex, drugs and rock 'n' roll (or cocaine and dubstep, accounts vary) It have no void shields, low AV of 12/12/10 (though it comes with 5++ for being possessed) and packs lot of powerful sonic guns on its hull, but when it comes to pure raw firepower Feral Titan totally outclass Subjugator. On the other hand this thing have two giant claws, which give it a lot of S10 attacks (do not forget extra D6 S10 AP1 HoW hits) which stacks perfectly with fleet, charge-after-2D6-run and increased WS and initiative of Subjugator, making this 500-pts warmachie one of the best close-combat titan-killers in the game - even if it don't kill enemy titan in one turn, it would tie it in close combat, which is also great, considering average titan firepower. Also there is no model of this thing available - you must scrath-build it.
- Feral Titan: A chaos Warhound Titan, what works for the Warhound works for this thing. Comes stock with Dirge Caster for free, making all those chaos space marines and cultists around fearless - use it to make impenetrable anti-charge meatshield around it. Could and should be possessed WITHOUT BS penalty, because 5+ invuln on titan is great. Got 750 pts. to blow for an Apocalypse slot?
- As of the 2013 Apocalypse update the price went down by 20pts, dirge casters now work like the ones in the codex, and you can choose what daemon possesses the Feral, giving it the daemon special rule plus personal rules based on it's alignment to a God.
- Khorne: The cheapest (along with Slaanesh) at 50 pts, gives Hatred(Slaanesh), let's you reroll 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, giving survivability to something that was already a fire magnet.
- Tzeentch: 75 pts granting Hatred(Nurgle), rerolls for 1's to hits, and gives the Inferno Cannon Soul Blaze. Despite Soul Blaze being kind of overkill and not really effective the rerolls make up for it. Another good option.
- 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.
- As of the 2013 Apocalypse update the price went down by 20pts, dirge casters now work like the ones in the codex, and you can choose what daemon possesses the Feral, giving it the daemon special rule plus personal rules based on it's alignment to a God.
- Chaos Reaver Titan: Like the Feral, this doesn't differ from the Imperial version much (except it could be possessed too), use it like you'd use its loyalist counterpart.(New Apocalypse book in, price went up 10pts and possession works like the ferals, just double the cost of the upgrades.)
- Banelord Titan: Warlord titan that's spent too much time the warp causing it to get possessed by khornate daemons, and turned into an overpriced piece of scrap. Costs the same as normal Warlord and is just as durable, with lower BS, a rage table like a chaos dreadnaught, which is really bad since this thing is expensive even for an apocalypse game and you do NOT want it making uncontrollable moves that might include shooting at your army. The worst part is that it's stuck with a per-determined weapons loadout, which unfortunately is the biggest schizo armament in the game. This has two long range weapons that can hit most anything, but it's other three weapons require it to get to really, really, to the point where an enemy can easily get inside the range where its long range weapons can't shoot it, it's tail weapon requires to get to close to shot it's long range weapons, because somebody felt it was a good idea to give titan a close range weapon that it has to get too close to use two of its other guns. While the banelord is for from helpless in melee since it can make stomp attacks with destroyer weapon strength and has six regular destroyer attacks, but Apocalypse games have some very mean close combat units that can make sure that the Banelord is likely to take some damage in return, if not rip to pieces, and in melee it's NOT protected by its void shields. The only other thing of note about is that all psykic power used on it suffer automatic perils of the warp regardless of whether the pysker passes their test or not, but there's really only a few powers that pose a danger to this and they tend to require the opponent to get so close that they're better off assaulting it. So for the cost of a Warlord, you get something that can't decide if it wants to be a long range shooting unit or a close-combat unit that can never use all its weapons at once. You're better off with using a regular Warlord. Seriously, who thought that this piece of junk was a good idea?
- Chaos Thunderhawk Gunship: The guys at Forgeworld have decided they want more money by giving us a Thunderhawk.
- Anyone can take anything now, because 6th Edition.
- First Among Traitors: Chosen can now be fielded as a Troops Choice without taking Abaddon. Sadly, Chosen are still somewhat overpriced, although taking them as scoring Troops goes some way to alleviating their weaknesses.
- Ten Millennia of Hate: All units that can purchase Veterans of the Long War must do so. This isn't a huge deal for the most part, but it does mean you're forced to spend more points on units than you might want.
- Bringers of Despair: If Abaddon is the Warlord, he can upgrade a squad of Chaos Terminators. For +6 points a model, the Terminators gain +1 WS and +1 BS.
- 1: Black Crusader: Warlord and any friendly units within 12" gain Preferred Enemy (Space Marines)
- 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 blast. Considering the goofiness of Soulblaze this isn't a really great gift.
- 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.
- Spineshiver Blade: AP3 Daemon Weapon. Gives +1I when in combat. Neato.
- 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 and the Skull of Eternal Warrior. That's a 2+ armor save with a 3+ invuln that only fails on a 2. T3 sucks, but Eternal Warrior mitigates getting insta-gibbed by S6 and higher. 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. YMMV.
- Last Memory of the Yuranthos: This is a bit of a tricky one...
- Psykers get 1 more mastery level
- Instead of rolling another power, they use an exclusive power that gains range the more Warp Charges that are expended (12" for 2, 18" for 3. By default, it has a range of 6"). If he uses more charges and fails a psychic test, he dies. No saves.
- The power, Sunburst, is S4, AP5, Assault 2d6, blinds, and can ignore cover.
- 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.
- 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, 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!
With every unit taking VotLW, this means you will have to look for alternative choices of units or wargears they can take. 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 advanatge over Cultists. With the Artefacts mostly being mediocre at best, this limits your options more (Not that they're all bad). On the bright side, you have better 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.
The best way to play the Black Legion is by taking advantage of your scoring Chosen squads, kit them with special weapons of your choice, and load them in METHAL BAWKSES! Even Combi-bolters 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!
It's also wise to invest your points into tanks instead of units like Havocs and Obliterators if you want firepower without paying for the required Veterans tax, and thus the Defiler and Helbrutes can see more use, albeit the ladder can be unreliable. On the otherhand, Typhus can bring Zombie Cultists, and they can't take VotLW, which makes them excellent Troop choices. Also consider which unit should take Marks, if any. Keep in mind that quanity over quality is better in this edition, so use Marks with caution if you plan on taking them. If you commonly face Loyalists however, then it's best for you to take advantage of the mandatory upgrade and kit many units for close combat.
The Black Legion is a mixed bag, some of their unique traits work, and others are left to be more desired. Use every bit of advantage you have with this army, even if its just to have one Chosen unit to capture an objective while adding anti tank firepower to your warband. Similarly, keep a few of your squads cheep, and only upgrade those that needs it. If you're going use Black Legion as a fluff army, then by all means enjoy your Chosenwing, and show the universe how proud you are to be in the largest warband, and fight on for the Dark Gods of Chaos!
Yes, the Chaos warband from Dark Vengeance that nobody had heard of before got their own supplement for some reason, and it's better than the one the 10,000 year old veterans get, to boot.
- Harbingers of the Tormented: All models in the detatchment have Fear. It's a nice little bonus, but it's not going to win you any games.
- 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 the ability to take Possessed as scoring units outside of the overcrowded elites section makes them seriously worth considering.
- Draznicht's Ravagers: One unit of Chosen can be upgraded so that its Champion has the Preferred Enemy rule, for 10 points. Pretty meh, but if you're taking Chosen anyway, then why not. Remember, it only applies to the Champion, so if he dies the rest of the squad loses the buff. Plasma Chosen say "HI!".
- Renegades of the Dark Millenium: Only Berzerkers, Plague Marines and Noise Marines may take Veterans of the Long War. Supposedly because the Crimson Slaughter are a renegade chapter, while the cult troops in their ranks are mostly mercenaries from the Traitor Legions. Aside from some Leadership problems, its not going to affect your game much, and it's a far better "price" than the BL's mandatory veteran tax.
- 1: Murderous Hate: Warlord and his unit have Hatred, and get to reroll 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.
- 3: Maddened Rage: Rage and Furious Charge. If there's an enemy unith 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.
- 6: Pall of Mists: Warlord gets Shrouded. Pretty gud if you're not already getting it from a Mutation roll (see below)
Relics of the Crimson Slaughter
- Crozius of the Dark Covenant: A power maul. All friendly Crimson Slaughter units within 6" of the bearer get the Zealot rule.
- 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. Not that great, considering it's 30 points. Have a Sargent take the challengefor 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 Slaughterer's Horns: Furious Charge, Rage and Hammer of Wrath for 15 points. Cool.
- The Balestar of Mannon: Sorcerers only. Grants the bearer DIVINATION and re-rolls on failed Psych tests. However, he doesn't get any modifiers to Deny the Witch rolls for being a Psyker. Still, Divination is pretty fucking sweet.
- Daemonheart: 2+ Armor Save and It Will Not Die. Can't be taken by a Daemon Prince, which limits its usefulness somewhat.
- 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. 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.
For shits and giggles and a nigh unkillable, dead killy Chaos Lord, equip him with Blade of the Relentless, The Slaughterer's Horns, Daemonheart, Sigil of Corruption, Mark of Tzeentch, and Disc of Tzeentch - Plasma pistol/Powerfist optional. Sure, a bit pricey but with 5/4 attacks base (3 attacks base statline, +1 for pistol(if taken) and +1 for the Disc) and 6/7 attacks on the charge (at Strength 7 AP2 with Instant Death if you get the BotR fully charged) he'll be murdering things left and right while shrugging off a lot of attacks with toughness 5 (thank you jetbikes!), 2+/3++ and It Will Not Die! Tag alongside bikers as meat shields (or a/two Maulerfiend(s), hell, even Chaos Spawn) and challenge takers. NOTE: Avoid S10 weapons as he still lacks Eternal Warrior and can get insta-killed by one bad/naughty failed save. "Take from them everything. Leave behind only corpses." GLORY BE TO CHAOS!!!!!!!!!!!!!
- Black Legion: CSM don't benefit from Black Legion allies very much. Chosen are pretty shit (if you don't believe me then take a look at Sterguard Veterans) and the best thing you can get are an extra FA and HS slot and a character who has access to a different set of chaos artefacts. That's it. While it's better to consider other allies because they add different and better things to your army, BL allies are actualy highly recommended (or even a must) if you want to play pure CSMs. Extra HS and FA slots means less competition in those categories and suddenly some units become viable because you can take more of them. Example setups:
- 2 units of Autocannon Havocs + 2 units of Obliterators: Very optimal setup, with 2 units dealing a lot of high Str shots, while 2 units have less shots but have more powerful weapons and are more flexible.
- 2 Forgefiends + 2 units of Autocannon Havocs/2 units of Obliterators: Before if you wanted to run Forgefiends, you had to take 2 of them but in that case you'd had only 1 slot remaining for Havocs or Oblits. Not anymore.
- 2 Helldrakes + 2 units of Spawns: 2 Helldrakes and 2 very fast and annoying units, what's not to like?
- 12 Obliterators: Iron Warrior players, do you like your 9 Obliterators? Yes? Well now you can have 12! Sadly it's unlikely that you'll have enough points for this combo in games smaller than 2000 points.
- 4 Helldrakes: I know what you're thinking. In fact this was the first thought you had when you've read "an extra FA slot" Don't do it. Not only is it unreliable (reserve rolls can be a bitch) but you need to consider this: is an extra Helldrake better than, say, 2 Vendettas or 2 Necron Croissants? I don't think so. So basically you take an extra Helldrake if you really, really hate other people. You sadistic motherfucker.
- Alternative Opinion: Chosen as troops have some advantages. Camping squads with 5 plasmas on an objective makes for a much more defensive game. Sometimes it's nice when the enemy has to run to you.
- Chaos Daemons: New Daemons Codex! Soul grinders of Nurgle are now unspeakably awesome because they automatically have a 5+ cover save due to shrouded and have 4 HP with 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!
- Careful when taking a Daemons army as the allied detachment, you can only take one HQ, and you only get four heralds per HQ slot if Daemons are your primary detachment. This means a Daemons allied detachment can only bring one divination-user. The three options are Fateweaver, a Lord of Change, or a Herald of Tzeentch. The herald is only suggested if you put him with something other than horrors if your goal is to give prescience to your CSM as prescience is usually best used on the horrors in this situation.
- 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.
- 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!
- 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.
Allies of Convenience
- Imperial Guard: WOOOOOOOOO LOST AND THE DAMNED... sorta. In any case, strange fluff issues aside (Commissars allied with Chaos? Shut up and convert them into Apostates!), allying with Impy Guard nets you a ton of awesome tanks and a ton of
squishy meat shieldsfire support. And remember, with platoons and vehicle squadrons, you don't really need to worry about how many you can take. To be fair, this is sorta why Cultists are in the book, but... but... but... Lost and the Damned!but Guardsmen are better at that role, as well as being kind of more thematicif you want thematic, take Renegades instead - if you really wanted to emulate the scrappy non-Traitor-Guard Cultist vibe, use Penal Legion Squads. Also Leman Russes and Manticores.The biggest middle finger to imperialfags you can encounter is worthnoting also!
- Necrons: Use to easily fill in the gaps you're army might be lacking in the anti-vehicle department. An Overlord with a court of several Res-Orb Lords and two full squads of warriors (hopefully with lightning or destruction crypteks) are durable and take down vehicles. 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 lethally close to an important vehicle while simultaneously burning anything else in the sky (point for point). The Doom Scythe is more of a mixed bag. While its death ray can slice apart an entire formation of tanks in one ray, your Heldrake outclasses it for anti-infantry work for five fewer points. Best answer: bring both.
- If you plan to field a largely deep-striking army you owe it to yourself to check out Nemesor Zandrekh. His Phased Reinforcements ability doesn't specify 'crons only: as soon as a single enemy arrives from reserves you are within your rights to swamp it with Heldrakes, Night and Doom Scythes, and even deep-striking mutilator teams and/or Abaddon himself (all of which will be able to charge as soon as the enemy ends his suddenly-frantic turn). Be prepared for your opponent to punch you if you ever mention this tactic again.
- Orks: The basic ork are like the cultists, but made worthy. Can be used to screening, in the FieldMek/"biggest ork/grot blob avaliable", (sort of) vanguard in the Warboss/Nobz/Battlewagon or the Bike Warboss/bike Nobz. Also a XBAWSHUEG blob of Lootas can do a good anti-air unit (they go usually at 5+. Going 6 is no great loss).
- 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.
- 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. 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.
Building your Army
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.
The Chaos Marine Battleforce Box is a good start, giving you a Rhino, Chaos Space Marine Squad, 5 Possessed and 3 Bikes. The old Battleforce (should you track it down) has 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, giving 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.
Another option is to buy the Dark Vengeance box 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 and a few spikes with green stuff for extra effect.
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, Zerkers, Or raptors are generally all around useful against any opponent so you can almost never go wrong with buying a box (or two in the case of raptors). 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. Consider using allies with cost effective troops to counter this. 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.
- From the Walls : Real simple, Ahriman/Huron + 3-5 special nuggets of fun (any infantry squad with a special weapon or two works, Plague marines, terminators, and 1ksons work best) mounted in dedicated rhinos or LRs. Using the D3 infiltrate rule hold as much of your rhino mounted units in reserve, the models that are given infiltrate will instead have outflank. Turn 2-3 three you come out of the very walls them selves surrounding your opponent. Add a dedicated termie LR for added fun. Take Comms relay or fail miserably.
- Slaanesh Party Bus : Ten Chaos Space marines with the Mark of Slaanesh, Icon of Slaanesh, two Melta Guns,Champion with Melta-Bomb, and a Rhino (Veterans of the Long War is optional). Congratulations, any enemy vehicles you encounter will go down faster than Sisters of Battle in Matt Wards next codex. Even Walkers are going to have a hard time, as you're initiative 5, meaning even if that Dreadnought gets into combat, it's not an instant loss for you. I'd suggest you also add in a Chaos Sorcerer, but don't make him too expensive.
- Dick in a box : minimum-size Noise Marine squad, with a blastmaster or two. Put them in a METAL BAWKS and camp it behind some cover. Works very well if your opponent is lacking on deep assault units. Drink his tears as you blastmaster his troops off the table with Str 8 AP 3 blasts that ignore cover while he is unable to retaliate.
- Abbadon's Choo Choo Chosen: Using the Warmaster's ability to take Chosen as troops, This tact is very silly and a little hard to play with. Bring nothing but Chosen squads, geared how you like (but bear in mind they're expensive as all hell). The dam things can take 5 special weapons, that's possibly 5 MELTAGUNS!. Alternatively you can give up to 4 of those special weapons for fists/claws/power weps. Cram squads of 10 of them in rhinos and gear them how you want them to function. If you have any points over after that, give Abby a nice big raider with some pals to keep him company. If you cant afford that, Deep strike him with Termie pals. NEVER make him foot-slog unless your trying to scare the enemy and make it divert its fire to him. Have fun with your army composed entirely of overpriced veterans. NOTE: With the Black Legion Supplement, you can now run this list WITHOUT Abbadon. Enjoy some extra points and kit out a Chaos Lord with some new wargear and terminator armor instead. Have fun! Or, if you have some spare points (How the fuck did you do that!?!?!) you can instead upgrade some Terminators with +1 WS +1 BS skill for six extra points if you took Abbadon. Throw them with him and engage trollface, doubly so if you also gave them FNP with the Icon of Excess. Every unit in your army has to take Veterans of the Long War if it can though.
- The Drop-and-Spray: No longer a Tzeentch-only tactic thanks to the new book, you can drop and spray with a ton of new units! You can go the old termicide route and hide a lord with a squad of Terminators (preferably with combi-meltas/combi-flamers and either a Reaper Autocannon Terminator or a Heavy Flamer terminator), or you can take him in a squad of oblits, raptors or warp talons. Shit, a sorcerer will also do well in a WT drop - fuckin' A you can pick and choose what to drop! Recommended are WT's though just to make sure that you won't get shot up when you thread the needle extra close and if you're brazen as fuck. Sadly, icons no longer help, so be sure one of your characters has a dimensional key, then deep-strike EVERYTHING right into rapid-fire range. Between the Bolters and special weapons of the Terminators and raptors, Oblit dakka and then the ensuing charge from the warp talons, you will annihilate an army on a good roll; yeah, feels good! Marks of Tzeentch or Nurgle will help ensure your squads survive to continue to be a pain in the ass for the rest of the game, one that enemies will devote a truly ridiculous amount of firepower to destroying (especially in the case of the Terminators) - to very limited avail. Just as planned.
- Maximum Fuck: Like above, this one is also not just for Khorne anymore. Coined for the name of an Angry Marines battle barge, this attack solves the problem of getting squads into close-combat in the least efficient way possible; grab a fully-kitted-out Berserker squad (Lord optional but recommended) or Terminators, and shove the lot of them into a (possessed) Land Raider. (note that possessed vehicles nom a RANDOM unit embarking onto it, so be wary) Be sure that the squad has an Icon. Zoom into close range, using the Land Raider's assault vehicle trait to ensure your troops arrive to thrust deep into the soft moist folds of your opposition. Icons don't help with deep strike anymore, so be sure you squeeze an HQ with the dimensional key into that troupe to make this work.
- Cut and Thrust: (Slaanesh-Only) Simple, simple, simple. Grab a 10-strong squad of standard Chaos Marines, load them up with a pair of flamers, an Icon of Slaanesh, and give their Aspiring Champion a Power Weapon and (optionally) Melta Bombs. Give them a Metal Box. With Initiative 5, they will strike before the vast majority of enemy troops, and their access to Flamers will add a shitton of hits to the shooting phase as they rush in. When they arrive, you should have precious little trouble dispatching most enemies that aren't dedicated close combat troops, and it's fairly frightening just how cost-effective this can be if exploited correctly. Take the Icon of Excess, FFS; Bile them up and they're even more insane.
- Sonic Bunker: (Slaanesh preferred) This is a trick that heralds back to the old days. Take 2 squads of fully pimped out noise marines or two squads of CSM, kitted out for shooting. Stick them in a possessed box each. Drive the boxes forward and unload your marines. Open fire on anything available. Then turbo boost the boxes into a Chevron formation around your noise marines. On the next turn, drive back and let the noise marines shoot again. Then turbo boost in again to cover them. This isn't quite the dickery that Fish of Fury used to be but it is still effective and with the noise marines ignoring cover, things to downhill in a hurry for the enemy. The one downside to this trick is it's expensive points wise. But, if you do pull it off right, it will dominate the entire battlefield.
- Breaker-Bunker: (Universal/Tzeentch) An untested formation designed to maximize survivability in high-point games. Designed to get your troops where they need to go (usually straight into enemy lines, hence Breaker). Focuses on four vehicles: two Rhinos, a Vindicator, and a Land Raider. Two Troops, one for each Rhino, Termies in the Raider, and a Sorcerer or Lord with the Termies. Everything should have Possession except the Raider (for accuracy), and all vehicles have Havoc Launchers. Dirge Caster the Raider and Vindicator, and give the Raider Dozer Blade. Set up the Vindicator with the Rhinos to either side and Raider directly behind, in tight formation (hence Bunker). Send this pain-train right towards points or gunlines. Get as close as possible to the enemy, then dump a Demolisher shot onto the enemy lines and move the Raider (and possibly Rhinos) past the Vindicator and Tank Shock/disembark everything. Watch chaos ensue. I chose to put Thousand Sons and a Sorcerer in for a shooting and invo boost to the army; and because leaving enemy units far-flung and transportless with two Bolt of Change-sniping Rhinos is great fun. The Sorcerer drops out with Warptime, Gift and Wind of Chaos to deal with tarpits and ICs alike, and comes with four wound-allocating Termie Champions. Three Chainfists, a pair of Lightning Claws, a combi-Melta, a Heavy Flamer, and a Mark of Tzeentch between the four of them. Versatile, but still good at chewing up general close combatants. Melta-bombs in all core squads just for dealing with tanks.
- Tank-Tics - Just because Chaos tanks aren't quite on level with the greats of the Imperium doesn't mean they're slouches - they cost little and have lots of armor. For big lulz, load up three Predator Tanks with all the trimmings and bring them into a 1500-point game. Unless the opponent plays Dark Eldar or is loaded with anti-tank weapons, they'll have precious little that can deal with 450 points of AV13 front armor making a pain in the ass of itself. If points is an issue, drag in the default versions instead, which give you a lot of dakka to throw around for 300 points.
- Dark Mechanicus - No longer limited to Apocalypse or Forge World-friendly games, as Maulerfiends, Forgefiends, Heldrakes, the new-and-improved Helbrutes, and the returning Defilers crush your enemies! From Forge World, there's also the Blood Slaughterers, Decimators, and Plague Hulks; take as many as you want and KILL!
- For non-Forge World games: Grab a Warpsmith and a couple of Helbrutes, supported by a shooty Defiler or Forgefiend, and march them up the center of the board. Maulerfiends can take out enemy tanks or fortifications with their Magma Cutters, and Heldrakes clear the skies.
- For Forge World games: Take Blood Slaughterers in squads with Impalers, aided by Defilers and Decimators tooled for shooting. Obviously, this build will be pricey (like "won't be able to play in 2000 pts or under" pricey) because you will need a squad of both Plague Mehreens and 'Zerkers if you want a Plague Hulk or Blood Slaughterers, respectively. Otherwise, use the Forgefiends or Defilers to lay down fire support and the Drake to Vector Strike death from above.
- The Blitz(Apoc Only) - Flyers. NOTHING but flyers. Harbingers raining fire and death down on the enemy while lascannon-carrying Hell Talons zoom around breaking things like Hydras and Lightnings and Hellblades mop up the survivors. Much like the Dark Eldar, this tactic is pure undiluted rape if used correctly but you are going down in flames if you make even a single mistake.
- Angel Dust - +501 pts very dakka add on. Easy, easy, easy: 10 Noise Marines, all but two with Sonic Blasters. Give the last normal dude a Blastmaster and a power sword/Doom Siren combo for the Champion. Put in Icon of Excess and Rhino with Havoc Launcher. Add 5 Thousand Sons + Aspiring Sorcerer to soak up Battle Cannos' shells and bolter down MEQs.
- Brutesmith - 2+ Hellbrutes and one Warpsmith. Give the brutes a single power scourge (meaning anything that gets close enough will have their WS dropped by 2D3) and a missile launcher to deal with damn near any ranged threat. Use the smith to repair the brutes should they lose a weapon, get immobilized or just lose a hullpoint, thus ensuring that your enemy can keep hitting them and they will only ever get pissed off. If you want a meatier shield for the smith to hide behind, grab a defiler or a forgefiend. If you're REALLY paranoid about the warpsmith getting sniped, hide him in a squad of 10 marines with an icon of vengeance and some means to overwatch (like flamers and heavy bolters, autocannons, etc.) and a champ to take on challenges; Havocs work well in this role as do mobs of basic CSM.
- Strike from the Skies - Tag-team 2+ Helldrakes with at least one Daemon Prince with wings. Give the Drakes Baleflamers and the Prince the Burning Brand of Skalathrax. There isn't much that can deal with 3+ vector-strikers dropping AP3 torrents everywhere; even if you come across Terminators, a Land Raider or a Monolith, you can always smash it with the Daemon Prince in close combat.
- Why? Because I am Khorne and FUCK YOU: - Kharn The Betrayer will lead your forces into DEADLY, BLOOD-COVERED GLORY. Ingredients: 1.) Three squads of Khorne Berzerkers with Icons of Wrath. Why? BECAUSE RE-ROLLING TO CHARGE INTO THOSE SQUISHY GUARDSMEN!. That's why! 2.) MORE 'ZERKERS... Yes, at least three more... More... MOAR! (Warning, too many 'zerkers may create a rift in space-time; only use this tactic in games which can sustain such chaos) 3.) Cultists. Yes, I said cultists, fighting with Kharn and his Bloody Buddy Brigade. Why? Well, if you slap a Mark of Khorne on them and make them run at shit until it dies (and if it won't die, throw more Cultists at it). Picture it. 35 cultists... Four attack dice per cultist (1A base +1A for two CCWs +2A for Rage with the MoK) equals 140 total dice...more dice then FUCKING ORKS! MOAR dice than your table has ROOM FOR! Throw this ten-thousand dice box of rage and watch the enemy fall from this flesh tinted rain of Chaotic DOOOM!
- Bolter blob of fun: Very basic but effective tactic. 20-man CSM squad with bolters and no upgrades beyond an Icon of Vengeance. Think of it like you would think of a shooty cultist mob. Big, (relatively) cheap unit that throws out mass dice and takes several turns to kill. Walk around boltering the living fuck out of everything that moves. De-populate horde units. Drown MEQ and TEQ units in dice. Shit, you'll even make assault units think twice before they charge knowing that out of 40 shots on overwatch, at least a few are going to stick, and if they fail the charge then they're going to get the ever living fuck blasted out of them in the next turn. And then even after your opponent finally manages to finish it off, you can still engage your trollface and remind him that he just used up all that shooting (or assaulting) to deal with a cheapo generic squad while your other guys are still running around getting shit done. Remember, if he's focus firing on your bolter squad, then he's not shooting at your much more valuable havocs/terminators/characters/whatever. Basically this unit will make its points back no matter what it does.
- THE WALKING DEAD: Simple yet trolltastic. Your army consists of Typhus, a couple of fun loving units of plague marines and a SHIT TON of plague zombies (and maybe some chaos spawn for added cheese). The idea is to deploy your zombies in as many horizontal lines as possible and march them towards enemy objectives. Nominate some of your opponent's characters to be Rick, Carl, Michonne and Andrea and make gurgling moans. Math-hammer dictates an average of 70 S4 hits to take out a unit of them and 105 S4 shots if they're in any decent cover. Deploy your army and engage trollface. Typhus' warlord trait is Master of Fear. You'll have to take Huron, Ahriman, or another Chaos Lord and hopefully role for Master of Deception in order to get infiltrating zombies. Below 2000 points you can have 210 zombies...good in theory, awful in practice. Do you know how long it takes to move 210 models?! ,
Or a bucket load of zombies, couple of squads of plague marines, a full squad of nurgle obliterators, couple of havoc squads (some with flak missile launchers, to deal with pesky Vendetta Gunships) and you're away. It will take a mega fuck ton of small arms to medium fire to have any chance of causing a dint on your lines. Along with Typhus flipping people the bird, with his troll-tastic Nurgle powers and you can have a play date with marine armies. For extra lols with a sprinkle of luck, cast Liquifying Ague on a squad of hammernators and watch as your zombies munch on his 200pt squad and only have a couple of pillows to hit back with.
- Using Allies: Ally with Necrons for delicious night-fighting! Solar Pulse is unique wargear though, and you can only have one, since you can only have 1 allied HQ so only 1 court and 1 Solar Pulse. Night-fighting is guaranteed for one turn max unless you take Imotek, whose lightning will also hit your Zombies, though if you have a metric ton of them you won't really care. Additionally, regular Necron warriors and immortals love having a pus-dripping, organ-crunching wall to hide their melee-shy necrodermis behind.
With the new Helbrute Dataslate out, now you can finally get something approaching a use towards these giant lumbering things that aren't dreads!
- 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.
- Chosen within 12" of Cpyher uses his leadership. They also grab ATSKNF.
- Enemy Dark Angels with Inner Circle get Zealot against this squad.
- Mayhem Pack: This formation of 3 brutes 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.
- Helcult: A Helbrute joins 2 squads of cultists. This gives the brute some walking meatshields, though their use is...debatable.
- The whole group gets Rage. However, any rolls of 1 from the brute get transferred to anyone else within 6" of him.
- The cultists get the Fearless USR by being near the 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.
- Helfist 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.
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