Warhammer 40,000/Tactics/Chaos Space Marines(8E)

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Why Play Chaos Space Marines?[edit]

Chaos Space Marines - sorry, Heretic Astartes - are the main antagonists of the Warhammer 40,000 setting, with the Horus Heresy arguably being the most pivotal moment of the W40K timeline. From a fluff-perspective, a Chaos Space Marine army can be a warband derived from one of the nine original Traitor Legions, or a more recent chapter of loyalists that has gone Renegade, or a mixture of both. While some Chaos Space Marines may be occasional pawns in the great game of the Gods, most of their own motives remain entirely human. Whether it's the quest for vengeance in The Long War, carving out pocket empires, or researching forbidden secrets, Chaos Space Marines are here to Rip and Tear those corpse-worshipping fuckers to shreds. LET THE GALAXY BURN!

In simple terms, this is a viciously aggressive army and you can often overwhelm an opponent in a heartbeat, whether it be in shooting, psychic power (and they have a considerable psychic toolbox to draw from), or melee. Chaos Space Marines can officially claim to have the second most options for faction traits, relics, warlord traits, and stratagems of any codex in 8th edition... Fucking Loyalists.

It's not all great though, only a handful of super competitive options - most either involving cheesy spam (Abaddon and Cultists, Daemon Princes) or dickish/pricey (monetary and points) army combinations. You also don't have too many defensive options outside psychic powers - no camo cloaks or storm shields for you. Unless you're playing Death Guard, you will have to rely on constantly moving forward for the kill and not getting into a battle of attrition.

Despite all of this, we can and WILL endure!! We do not require the Shiny Toys of our childish cousins, for our ingenuity and grisly tools from The Dark Age suit us quite well. We do not aspire to gradual, tenacious conquest , for it is better to kill quickly and be done with it!! We do not require foolhardy courage, as our Grandfather cleanses us of pain and fear. Nor do we require autistic discipline, For our passion gives us strength, and our Gods' strength is that of our passions. We require nothing but our faith, strength to dominate, and the will to conquer and pillage this galaxy to its foundations. We have but to reach out and take this galaxy for ourselves and do not fret or fear, for what can impeccable strategy do when victory is our destiny?

Getting Started[edit]

Whether you are a fresh recruit to the ways of chaos or a grizzled veteran of the long war returning after a long absence, you will need the most up to date copy of the rules available. 8th edition has been marked by continual change, with unit entries being rewritten weeks (or in the case of the Imperial Guard, mere days) after a codex has been released. Gathered here is an ordered list of all of the books containing rules for this faction and why you might need them

  • The Most Recent FAQ and Erratas: For all of the Below. As they're all relevant and have tweaks and FAQ answers that all affect your army.
  • Codex Chaos Space Marines, Version 2: Released in 2019, this books is an update to the previous codex released in 2017, and contains new units and rules introduced in Vigilus Ablaze, updated entries, and the most recent point costs taken from the 2018 Chapter Approved.
  • Vigilus Ablaze: A campaign book covering the second part of the invasion of the Vigilus System. It also contains additional rules for renegade chapters and the BLACK LEGION as well as specialist detachments for all Chaos Marines.
  • Index: Forces of Chaos: Your source of your various flavors of Forge World cheese, including all your Fliers and most of your Lords of War.
  • Index: Chaos: If you want to run a legacy option not found in the codex, such as a character on a bike/daemonic mount.
  • Shadowspear: A new box set that doubles as both a starting set and a vehicle for new models/units. You can download the rules for free. Mainly used for the Psyker-focused Warlord traits, as now everything in Shadowspear can be found in one of the sources above.
  • Faith & Fury: Book 2 of the Psychic Awakening event. It contains additional rules for the Traitor Legions besides the BLACK LEGION.

Once you've got all of those, keep in mind that you're going to want to decide on your playstyle next, informed by the units you want to use, and then finally you're going to have to choose a Legion or Renegade Chapter that you're army's a part of. While that might not sound as important, the various options can offer bonuses that either heavily benefit your playstyle, or could even detract from it, so choose carefully.

Faction Keywords[edit]

The main keywords you have to keep track of for Chaos Marines are HERETIC ASTARTES, which cover both Traitor Legions and Renegade Chapters; <LEGION> which include all the units regarding a particular Legion, Renegade Chapter, Warband or army of YOUR OWN creation and MARK OF CHAOS, which has gone from being an upgrade to a free keyword change that allows you to receive god-specific buffs and access to relevant Icons.

However, do keep in mind that you can't give the DEATH GUARD or THOUSAND SONS legion keyword to any unit that isn't listed in their respective army lists either in the Index: Chaos or their own codex. So you can't have DEATH GUARD bikes, and you can't have THOUSAND SONS Warptalons, for example. Renegade Chapter equivalents like The Purge and The Scourged are fine, though.

Keep in mind that there are Daemons in the book that do not share the <Heretic Astartes> Keyword, and by taking them you will lose access to your legion trait. The datasheets are in your codex to allow for summoning. If you want a demon army, get the demon codex.

Special Character Note

There are several Forgeworld characters (Arkos, Zhufor, and Necrosius) that have two Faction Keywords: the parent Legion and the warband they are part of. In Arkos's case, he has both ALPHA LEGION and THE FAITHLESS, only buffing the latter. The intent seems to be that you can title a warband whatever you want while still being able to select a particular Legion tactic. So if you wanted to field a Faithless army, you'd give all your units the THE FAITHLESS keyword and pick the Alpha Legion tactic.

Also note that if you're looking for a Legion-specific character like Kharn or Lucius, you'll find them under the World Eaters and Emperor's Children entries in their respective Legions.

Special Rules[edit]

  • Malicious Volleys: 2nd Edition Returns. Any Heretic Astartes model using a Rapid Fire bolt weapon can take double the listed attacks (2 for Bolters, 4 for Combi-bolters, etc) if at least one of the following is true:
    • The target is in half range.
    • The model didn't move during the previous Movement Phase.
    • The firing model is a Terminator, Biker, or Helbrute.
      • This isn't the most powerful rule by any means, but it kindles some life into small arms fire from Marines, as well as increasing the effective range of Terminator Combi-bolters. Compared to the Imperium, you don't have as many bolt weapon varieties. No Hurricane Bolters or Bolt Rifles to make use of, instead you have Rubric Marines - who will love this rule. Gives Marines the option of being able to sit in cover or on an objective and still benefit from rapid firing. Take a few squads with bolters and a heavy bolter or two and post them up on an objective for some solid objective campers. You can also do the same with regular terminators, though due to their cost it's not advisable (although 10 termies with combi bolters now always put out 40 shots in the shooting phase meaning that, when coupled with their power-/chainfists, termies are now one of the most versatile units in the entire game, able to deal with hordes and vehicles alike with ease).
  • Daemonic Ritual: Grab your robe and Wizard Hat. Build a salt circle, find yourself a goat carcass, and a willing (or unwilling if you're into that) virgin participant. Too far for a wargame? Well this is 40k, you already sold your soul to get these models, didn't you? Time to summon Daemons! Any CHAOS CHARACTER can take this action instead of moving during the Movement phase, with the notable exception of Cypher. Roll 3d6 and you can summon up to that many Power Levels worth of new friends! This is very useful when utilized to place (cheap) charge-blocking fleshwalls or objective humpers where needed, instead of footslogging across the map. But DO NOT go overboard with reserved points for summoning and do not rely on summoning something big (with the possible but still discouraged exception of the Keeper of Secrets.) Daemon Troops are four power for 10 models, with the ability to upscale through unit size if you roll high. Be warned that rolling doubles inflicts a Mortal Wound and rolling triples inflicts D3 of them. If you don't have a reliable way of restoring Wounds or rerolling dice, think twice before using your Warlord for this. Remember that CHARACTERS with Marks can only summon their associated god's minions.
    • Arch-Daemonic Ritual: Ever wanted to meet Satan himself? Now you can! A special version of the above rule designed for your big nasty Lord of War Daemons, namely An'Ggrath, Zarakynel, Aetaos'Rau'Keres and Scabeiathrax. There are a few differences: you roll up to 9D6, but if you roll triples, your CHAOS CHARACTER goes SPLAT. Zarakynel can be reliably summoned with this and Scabby around half the time, but An'Ggrath and Aetaos might require some reroll shenanigans to pull off. Note that the Word Bearers Stratagem does NOT protect against rolling triples on this, as it only stops Mortal Wounds, but rerolling should let you get it off most of the time, so it's still very helpful. It's strongly recommended to keep some barebone Warpsmiths or Exalted Champs around if you're attempting this so you don't accidentally SQUELCH your tricked out Sorcerer. Alternatively, a trio of R&H Renegade Commanders can be picked up for a measly 75 points if you're opposed to playing Word Bearers and are looking for some chumps to get splattered for your expensive Marines.
  • Death to the False Emperor: The replacement for Veterans of the Long War. Every time you roll a 6 to hit (or a 5+, if you have a +1 modifier for example) in close combat when fighting against Imperial scum, you get to immediately make another attack. These attacks cannot generate additional attacks themselves.
  • Despoilers of the Galaxy: Objective Secured by any other name is still as powerful.
  • Hateful Assault: If you charge, are charged, or perform a Heroic Intervention, get +1 Attack. Anyone with the HERETIC ASTARTES or FALLEN keywords gets this - i.e. literally everything in the Codex except...those with the CULTIST keyword. Also applies to vehicles, so now Helbrutes are even more attractive, and makes bolt pistol and chainsword builds MUCH more appealing with the extra attacks.
  • Mere Mortals: Added in the revised Codex, this prevents Cultists from gaining benefits from Legion/Renegade Traits. Oddly, doesn't affect Dark Disciples, but at this point GW are just desperately trying to get CSMs on the table, so Cultists will never see anything beneficial long-term.

Warlord Traits[edit]

Universal[edit]

  • Eternal Vendetta: Re-roll wounds in the fights phase against models with the ADEPTUS ASTARTES Keyword. Instantly better than Hatred Incarnate when against Marine armies (which should be common) and is pretty damn OP against them, but useless against anything else.
    • Huron had this warlord trait in the original codex, but following the release of Vigilus Ablaze, he switched up for Reaver Lord (see below).
  • Exalted Champion: Add 1 to your attack characteristic. While this one seems underwhelming at first glance, it is also the most reliably useful of the universal traits, not relying on rolling 6s or hoping that reroll turns out better for you. A direct upgrade on the main book trait that gives +1 attack when you charge.
    • Especially fun on a Khorne Daemon Prince, who already gets +1 A. If you manage to give him Diabolic Strength with Malefic Talons, you've got 10 attacks at strength 9. Did someone say "Blood for the Blood God?"
  • Flames Of Spite: On a to-wound roll of 6+ in melee, inflict 1 mortal wound in addition to any other damage. This warlord trait works best if your warlord relies on the weight of attacks, such as a Daemon Prince with two malefic talons or an Alpha Legion Lord with the Blade of the Hydra, or is likely to gain additional attacks from DTTFE. A Lord on a Steed of Slaanesh is also a fine choice as well.
  • Hatred Incarnate: You must re-roll wound rolls of 1 for attacks made by your Warlord. An aggressive trait that is only really useful on a beatstick HQ. Great for a Daemon Prince or any HQ with high Strength weaponry (Plasma, Chainfist) or volume of attacks (Blade of the Hydra, Malefic Talons). Otherwise just average.
  • Lord Of Terror: Enemy units within 6 inches must roll 2 dice for morale and use the highest result. This one doesn't do crap for most armies but is *brutal* with Night Lords (which is ironic, considering it is not a Night Lord specific trait). With the cumulative -5 while using Raptors with Icons (or more, if you use Be'lakor, too), making your opponents discard the lowest die result is very good. Fabulous Bill comes stock with this one, which kinda sucks. Haarken Worldclaimer also gets this, which works much better for him than for Bile.
  • Unholy Fortitude: Add 1 to the wound characteristic and gain a 6+++ FNP. An improved version of the main rulebook trait. Just about any warlord will benefit from this trait, but for maximum durability, take an Iron Warriors Daemon Prince with the Fleshmetal Exoskeleton and the Nurgle keyword, so it can benefit from the Grandfather's Blessing stratagem and the Miasma of Pestilence psychic power.

Psyker Only[edit]

Per Codex: Daemonkin, these Warlord Traits can be taken if your warlord is a psyker (i.e. a Sorcerer of any type, Daemon Prince, or Master of Possession).

  • Arch-Sorcerer: The Warlord knows one additional psychic power from any discipline on their character sheet. Unfortunately, all of your legal carriers of this only have access to one discipline, and all of them already know more powers than they can cast. Least bad on a Daemon Prince, where it doubles the non-Smite powers to choose from (typically Warptime and Diabolic Strength are your best bets).
  • Demon-Bound power: +1 to your warlord's strength characteristic. In addition, you can re-roll damage rolls for your warlord's force weapon, if he has one - remember, Daemon Princes do not. Useless on Sorcerers because Chaos Lords fight better anyway, but it does make Daemon Princes of Nurgle, Slaanesh or Tzeentch Str 8 - letting them fight anything except knights and still do well. Combined with Diabolic Strength, it makes DP's S10 which is enough to wound nearly all heavy Infantry on 2's.
  • Devourer of Magic: The Warlord can deny one more power, and regains a wound for each power he denies successfully. Useful for a blitzing Daemon Prince against Psyker-heavy armies, as he can stop a smite or two and heal up in the process.
  • Infernal Gaze: +6 to the range of your warlord's smite power. Feel like a Thousand Son for a game, or better still, take Thousand Sons instead.
  • Reader of Fate: Once per battle, you can re-roll one psychic test or deny attempt. In addition, if your army is battle forged, each time your warlord casts a psychic power, roll 1d6. On a 6, gain a command point. One of the other Warlord Traits that lets you regenerate CP, but worse overall, because you need to cast a power to get a 1/6 chance of doing so.
  • Warp Lord: When taking Psychic Tests, the Warlord may re-roll 1s. Perhaps one of the best options to stick on a Terminator Sorcerer or Master of Possession in a Council of Traitors detachment. Virtually eliminates double 1 perils, and will come in clutch in the late game where preserving command points is more of a concern. Can also be used to boost the difficulty of your opponent's Deny attempts, or in rare cases, you can gamble to push a regular smite into super smite.

Psychic Powers[edit]

Dark Hereticus

  • Death Hex (WC 8): Target an enemy unit within 12" - they cannot take invulnerable saves. There is a very crucial difference between Death Hex and Null Zone; Null Zone is a 6" bubble around the psyker, whereas Death Hex has a longer 12" range and can choose a specific target, which arguably makes it much more flexible. Since you're only unable to target characters in the Shooting phase, you can strip Girlyman or Cawl or Celestine of their invuln save and then rip them to pieces in close combat. Absolutely diabolical. Unlike Null Zone, 12" is enough range for your Psyker to cast this from RELATIVE safety (hide behind other units), and is the ultimate answer to both Deathstar killy units like Wraithblades or Stormshield Terminators AND snowflakes like Trajan Valoris, Kaldor Draigo, or any other unique characters who hide behind invulns. Put this on a Daemon Prince, and he becomes an ultimate destroyer of hopes and dreams. With no invulnerable save to hide behind, few units can withstand the unholy might of a charging Daemon Prince and live to fight back. You may not need it in every game, but using Chaos Familiar to nab this in a bind can change EVERYTHING.
  • Diabolic Strength (WC 6): Targeted model within 12" of the Psyker gains +2 strength, +1 attacks. You know who can cast this? A Daemon Prince. You know who is a fantastic target for this? Also a Daemon Prince. Cast on a Helbrute with Fist/Scourge combo. This will net you 6 S14 AP-3 D3 attacks + 3 S10 AP-2 D2 from the scourge, all hitting on 3+, which should be enough to put a sizeable hole in any tank. Laugh maniacally when the Helbrute gets crazed and can fight twice in the same fight phase...
  • Gift of Chaos (WC 6): Targets an enemy unit within 6 inches. Roll a die. If you roll higher than the unit's toughness, it suffers d3+3 mortal wounds. If a Character is slain, add a Chaos Spa.... err, an unnameable beast to your army. This is diabolical if used right. In order to use it right, give the power to a sorcerer, put that sucker in a terminator armor and deep strike him with other termies near the enemy's HQ and give it a round of shooting. You'll need to go through a whole round of whatever the enemy throws at you, but that's what the other terminators are for. If it works you'll have a wonderful ball of weird (that you'll need to pay reinforcement points to use) next to or around whatever remains of your deep strikers. Alternatively you could just stuff a vanilla Sorcerer into a rhino to get him to an enemy character. Add a havoc launcher and/or marines to butter up whoever you're going for.
  • Infernal Gaze (WC 5): Pick an enemy unit within 18" to have a staring contest with and roll 3 dice; any results of a 4+ cause a mortal wound. While not as spammable and reliable as Smite, it can target specific enemy units rather than just the closest.
  • Prescience (WC 7): Pick a friendly Chaos Marine unit within 18"; that unit adds 1 to their hit rolls (shooting and close combat) until the next psychic phase. Tougher than the others to pull off, but rightfully so, as this power can be a tremendous force multiplier for your army. However, do not cast this power on any unit that already hits on a 2+, unless it is carrying a lot of plasma and you're very determined to keep it alive through overcharging. You will be wasting the effect since a to hit roll of 1 always fails to hit, regardless of modifiers.
    • Prescience allows Death to the False Emperor hits to generate on a 5+, or a 4+ if the unit has an Icon of Excess. Unfortunately both the Icon of Excess and the Black Legion Warlord Trait First Among Traitors wording states that DTTFE rolls modify to a 5+, rather than adding +1 to the roll. Prescience and either of these two will boost DTTFE to a 4+, but they will not stack. Will still make Slaanesh blush though (to be fair anything does).
    • Prescience provides greater gains in efficiency when cast on units with lower stats or a large number of shots, (e.g BS4+ becoming 3+ is an improvement of offensive output of 133%; BS3+ to BS2+ is 125%. Likewise, on units with better shooting attacks (such as combi-plasma Terminators or a biker combi-bolter squad), the increased offensive output is more useful. Especially devastating on a unit that can both shoot and charge in the same turn, such as Terminators. As if you needed another reason to drop a Sorcerer behind them when they deepstrike.
  • Warptime (WC 6): Pick a friendly Chaos Marine unit within 3"; that unit can immediately move as though it were the movement phase. Can't be applied more than once in a turn, nor can you use it on things arriving from Deepstrike / Reinforcements. Still fantastic.


Mark Specific

A psyker of Nurgle, Slaanesh, or Tzeentch may substitute their god power for one of the Dark Hereticus powers they already know. All of these powers increase the durability of marked units in different ways. All of them are WC 6 and target a <DEITY> HERETIC ASTARTES unit within 18", meaning all of them can be used on the psyker casting them. The Nurgle and Tzeentch powers are of particular note because Death Guard and Thousand Sons, respectively, get inferior versions of these in their Legion-specific disciplines: their copies can only target their own Legion, but the ones below have no such restriction.

  • Delightful Agonies (WC 6)Slaanesh: Targets a SLAANESH HERETIC ASTARTES unit within 18"; that unit ignores wounds on a 5+. Cast on your 10-man Terminator squad and drink your enemy's tears. Or forget Termies and throw this shit on your marked Land Raider of any variant to make it feel pleasure (it's probably possessed anyway). You will struggle to contain your heretical laughter at your opponent's unending, ineffectual misery.
  • Miasma of Pestilence (WC 6)Nurgle: A NURGLE HERETIC ASTARTES unit within 18" is protected by a cloud of flies and enemies targeting them suffer a -1 to hit. Not bad for Alpha Legion and Night Lord psykers, or just to flip off Plasma spammers. Combos with the Benediction of Darkness Prayer and the Alpha Legion trait for some real bullshit (most Imperial Guard literally cannot hit you, play at night and now Space Marines cannot hit you).
  • Weaver of Fates (WC 6)Tzeentch: A TZEENTCH HERETIC ASTARTES unit within 18" gets +1 to their invulnerable save (capping at 3++) or a 5++ if they did not have one. Just great, especially on things that get high damage weapons pointed at them often. You can also use the Chaos Familiar stratagem to give your Aspiring Sorcerer this power to use on his own squad of Rubric Marines. It also works well with the Illusory Supplication Prayer or a Noctolith Crown for giving Havocs or other units in range a 4++.
    • Cast this on a Land Raider Achilles and you are officially that guy x 11. Did someone say 19 wounds on a T8 2+/3++ model that can fix itself by eating people? Oh my, what a twist.

Malefic

These powers are unique to the Master of Possession. As you'd expect, they're all about powering up your daemonic units.

  • Cursed Earth (WC 7): Increases invulnerable saves of friendly <LEGION> DAEMON within 6" by 1, up to a max of 3++. Oh, how we have missed this from 7e, and while it's not as abusable as it used to be, giving your big Daemon Engines an invulnerable save is always a plus.
  • Incursion (WC 7): Acts like Daemonic Ritual, but you roll 4 dice instead of 3 and don't risk mortal wounds from rolling doubles or triples. Fuck knows what happens on a roll of quads. WC price is steep, but you can use this on top of a Daemonic Ritual; it helps that this is also more likely to summon stronger daemons and will be less likely to backfire.
  • Infernal Power (WC 6): Until the user's next psychic phase, the user gains a 6" aura that allows all friendly <LEGION> DAEMON units to re-roll 1s to hit and to wound. Remember, that includes Daemon Engines, so have fun with your powered up Lord of Skulls.
    • Keep in mind the to-hit re-roll overlaps with a Chaos Lord's, and the to-wound in melee with an Exalted Champions, both of which are better in that they're always on; accordingly, the big reason to take this is for buffing ranged output, since you don't have ready access to re-rolling 1s to wound at range. Unfortunately, there's no way to Deep Strike the caster in with your Oblits.
  • Mutated Invigoration (WC 7): Buffs 1 target unit of Chaos Spawn, Possessed, or Obliterators/Mutilators within 18" as follows:
    • Chaos Spawn can re-roll the effects of Mutated Beyond Reason.
    • Possessed can re-roll their attack number.
    • Mutilators and Obliterators can re-roll their weapon's S, AP, or D.
      • This is absurdly bad - 3 of the 4 targetable units only receive a buff to their melee output from a caster with drastically less mobility than they have, where the buff is some combination of harder to cast or just fundamentally less useful than another source could provide; for example, a Tzeentch Herald with Gaze of Fate is providing a WC6 power that is this but better, since all of these units roll once for the entire unit, AND it's easier to cast. Obliterators would be the best target, but not only are you only buffing up to 3 models, the strongest the buff can get is the damage re-roll against a W2 target, where it's still weaker than Infernal Power, on top of being harder to cast. Seriously, just give this power a hard pass.
  • Possession (WC 5): Improves the AP of the user's melee weapons by 2 (e.g. AP-1 becomes AP-3). Until the user's next psychic phase, any Infantry Characters slain by the user become gribbly things that are added to your army (unless they were Space Marines or Chaos Space Marines, then they become Greater Possessed instead). Additionally, any vehicle destroyed by the user in melee automatically explodes, with the user taking no mortal wounds from the explosion. Unfortunately, the new units aren't free, and the AP boost seems like it would make the master of possession more deadly in close combat, but the MoP only has 3 attacks, so you're probably better off taking a different power unless you have the Daemonbound Power WT and a good plan.
  • Sacrifice (WC 4): Choose any model within 2" of the caster. They take a mortal wound. Then choose a friendly Legion Daemon unit within 18", and it heals D3 wounds. If the victim is a Warpsmith and the beneficiary is a Daemon Engine, it gets healed 3 wounds instead. While the Warpsmith element is cute, it's unnecessary. Just keep a couple cultists near your master of possession as cheap healing for whatever you care for. Alternatively, you can use the power on a model like the venomcrawler that heals wounds at the start of each turn. Finally, If your psyker ends up in combat, you can use this power to target an enemy if they get too close. Just think of it as a 2" range pistol that causes a mortal wound with the healing effect acting as a bonus. Alternatively, keep a Warpsmith 1" away from your favorite Daemon Engine and your Caster 2" away from the Warpsmith and smile as your killer Engine heals d3+3 wounds a turn.
    • Note that since the power hurts for 1 (which can be mitigated by any Feel No Pain) and heals for 1d3, in a pinch you can injure the target you're trying to heal - you'll have a 1 in 3 chance of not healing them, but you can't heal for less than the injury - and on anything with a Feel No Pain, the math is even more forgiving. Likewise, the MoP can cut himself to provide the healing if needed. Since the Lord Discordant is both a Warpsmith and a Daemon Engine, this works particularly well on him - you'll cut him for 1 and heal him for 3.

Prayers to the Dark Gods[edit]

There are 11 total prayers that dark apostles now have access to; 1 that every apostle has by default, 6 that you can choose from, and 1 prayer for each chaos god that are known in addition depending on the apostles mark, if it has one. Each apostle can attempt to chant 1 prayer per battle round on a roll of a 3+ or a 2+ if there is at least one dark disciple nearby. Each prayer can only be attempted once per battle round and there is no stratagem or ability that could allow one apostle to chant multiple times in one turn.

  • Mandatory Prayer:
    • Dark Zealotry: If this prayer is heard you can re-roll hit rolls in the fight phase for friendly attacks made within 6" of this priest.
      • Because you roll for prayers at the start of a turn, this prayer sees nearly no use until later turns, especially because you can't cast a prayer whilst embarked in a transport.
  • Universal Optional Prayers:
    • Benediction of Darkness: Pick one friendly Legion unit within 6" of this priest. Subtract 1 from hit rolls made for attacks with ranged weapons that target that unit. Note that because this happens at the start of the battle round instead of your turn, this prayer is very useful if you end up going second. Use this to protect a high priority unit, such as a Lord Discordant, from being taken out first turn. Stack with Miasma of Pestilence for Eldar level shenanigans.
    • Litany of Despair: Your opponent rolls 2D6 and discards the lowest result each time they take a morale test for a unit within 6" of the priest.
    • Illusory Supplication: Friendly Legion models within 6" of this priest have a 5++ invulnerable save.
    • Omen of Potency: Add 3 to this priest's attacks characteristic. In addition, the priest's melee weapons has an armor penetration characteristic of -4.
    • Soultearer Portent: Pick one friendly Legion unit within 6" of this priest. Add 1 to wound rolls for attacks made with melee weapons by models in that unit.
    • Warp-Sight Plea: Pick one friendly Legion unit within 6" of the priest. Add 1 to hit rolls for attacks made with ranged weapons by models in that unit. Consider stacking with prescience if you really need to hit the target.
  • God Specific Prayers:
    • Blissful DevotionSlaanesh: If this prayer is heard, the priest can advance and charge in the same turn.
    • Feculent BeseechmentNurgle: If this prayer is heard, the priest gets +2 toughness.
    • Mutating InvocationTzeentch: If this prayer is heard, the priest is healed for D3 lost wounds.
    • Wrathful Entreaty Khorne: If this prayer is heard, the priest gets +2 to its strength characteristic.

Generic Relics[edit]

Note that Relics no longer cost points. Instead, you get a single free relic per army, and can pay CP to get 1-2 more. However, you can't put more than one relic on any CHARACTER and you can't give them to any named characters either (eg. Abaddon can't have the Talisman of Burning Blood). Also, because they mostly replace <Power> weapons, you can't give most of them to Daemon Princes or Sorcerers. Other relics also sit awkwardly on certain characters due to their default equipment and roles. For example, Pus Cleaver is great on a Chaos Lord in Terminator Armour as it's a straight upgrade to the default weaponry; however an Exalted Champion will want something that lets them hit at higher strength and damage (like say, a Thunder Hammer) - despite both being melee orientated characters. Due to this, expect to find that many relics compete for the same, or similar role; as well as a few coming with awkward "activation" requirements. Few relics are real stand-out options for your warlord - who would probably be better off as a named character. This means you are going to find yourself frequently giving your relics to secondary characters, so make sure you use them to their full potential (i.e. Don't be giving a Talisman of Blood to a Shooting-Focused Warpsmith). If you want to find Legion-specific relics, you'll find them attached to their respective Legion entry.

Note that Daemon Weapons are a new type of relic found in Psychic Awakening: Faith and Fury. They function identically to other relics, but have a 1/6 chance to deal a mortal wound to the bearer, in which case they don't work. The first time in a fight phase a model is chosen to attack, roll 1d6. On a 1, the bearer takes a mortal wound and can't use the weapon to make attacks. On a 2+, they can fight normally, and sometimes better. Remember, you can always burn a command point if things go south and the extra power they give you is most of the time worth a CP.

Universal Relics

  • The Black Mace: Replaces a power maul or accursed crozius. Melee weapon with S+3 AP-2 D2. Roll 1d6 anytime you slay a model with it; on a 6, the model's unit suffers an additional mortal wound at the end of the phase. You can't cheese out and give this to a Prince anymore, but it's a very effective weapon either way. Also the only way your Dark Apostle can get a properly killy melee weapon outside of being a Word Bearer or praying real hard.
  • THE MURDER SWORD: Replaces a power sword. Melee weapon with Strength +1, AP-4, D1. At the start of the game, name an enemy character. All of your successful melee hits against that character cause mortal wounds. Very nice. Just a straight upgrade to a Power Sword and with a very useful NOPE-ing ability against 2+/3++ Characters. If you have transportation for it, this is easily one of the best ways to take the character hunting special rule for an Exalted Champion from being a funny gimmick to a terrifying threat. Girlymaaaaaan, where are youuuuu? [1]
    • Aside from ignoring invulnerable saves, it also does not require to-wound rolls, so extremely impressive against high Toughness enemy characters, such as VEHICLE or MONSTER characters.
  • Ul’’O’Cca, The Black AxeDaemon Weapon: Replaces a power axe, force axe, or daemon axe. SU AP0 D1, same as your CCW you have by dint of existing. Any unmodified wound roll of a 4+ causes 1 mortal wound in addition to any other damage. While this is best on an Exalted Champion, because the underlying weapon is so bad, and the weapon only works 5/6 of the time, usually worse than another weapon choice, like a Thunder Hammer.

God Specific Relics These Relics are restricted to characters with the appropriate MARK OF CHAOS.

Khorne

  • Axe of Blind Fury: Replaces a model's power axe. S+3 AP-3 and Dd3, but to-hit rolls of 1 cannot be rerolled or modified. Instead, they hit friendly units within 1". Now ANY Lord, Exalted Champion, or Warpsmith dedicated to Khorne can be a fun guy to be around! Overall - not a bad choice, but not something to write home about either. Seeing as how Chaos Lords and Exalted Champions are better utilized as force multipliers, this is somewhat counter-productive. Not to mention the gimmick clashes something wicked with the Lord's command ability. On the plus side, it increases your CQC damage output dramatically. However, if you don't want your axe-murderer to genocide your own guys, you'd have to make sure that they are outside the 1" betrayal reach, which can be tricky. This is why AoBF is probably best utilised as a further buff on a solitary murder-machine, rather than your support guy - a juggerlord or a warpsmith could benefit from it rather nicely. Some Anons argue that it's better to just take a power fist and the Talisman of Burning Blood, to ensure that you pull that charge off - ultimately both tactics work. One thing to consider is using daemons along with your lord - the axe may not kill them, but it will instakill 31pt terminators at a similar rate to 7pt bloodletters.
  • Talisman of Burning Blood: The bearer can advance and charge in the same turn and can reroll failed charge rolls. Good on a Juggerlord, better on a winged Daemon Prince. Might also help a Khorne-marked Lord Discordant, if you don't use that Specialist Detachment.
  • Zaall, the WrathfulDaemon Weapon: Replaces a Power/Hellforged sword with a beast. While being AP-5 and D2 is already dangerous enough, you add your Daemon Weapon roll to the weapon's Strength (so 2 to 6); you can think of it as S(U+3.33) AP-5 D2, which is certainly better than the Axe of Blind Fury, but that was a low bar to begin with. Best on a Daemon Prince, as when it fails, you can fall back on Malefic Talons, and there it doesn't have to compete with other choices, like a Thunder Hammer.

Nurgle

  • Puscleaver: Replaces a power sword, but is a force sword with 1 worse AP and the ability to wound non-vehicles on 2+ (and vehicles normally). Interesting, useful, and cheap - try it out on a Terminator Lord and laugh as he slays Carnifexes for fun.
  • G'holl'ax, the Fist of DecayDaemon Weapon: Replaces a Power Fist, but is a Thunder Hammer that always wounds on 2+. Usually terrible, because the improved wounding against T5+ is offset by the 1/6 chance to not work, and Thunder Hammers are already pretty good at wounding things.

Slaanesh

  • Intoxicating Elixir: Add 1 to the bearer's strength and attacks. Makes a killy dude even killier. Combine with Diabolic Strength for MAXIMUM EXCESS (especially on a Daemon Prince with Emperor's Children WT). Usually the best melee relic available to you.
  • Thaa’ris and Rhi’ol, The Rapacious TalonsDaemon Weapon: Replaces a pair of Lightning Claws or Malefic Talons. SU AP-2 D2, and can re-roll wound rolls. The bearer can make an additional number of attacks with this weapon equal to the result of their Daemon Weapon roll. Unfortunately, this is best on a Daemon Prince, where it's usually worse than the Intoxicating Elixir on top of another weapon choice - in particular, on average its number of attacks is worse than Malefic Talons x2 + Intoxicating Elixir, due to the 1/6 chance of not working.

Tzeentch

  • Eye of Tzeentch: Add 1 to the psychic test when manifesting Smite, casting on a 4 and getting extra wounds on a 10. Raises the expected output of Smite from 1.79 mortal wounds to 2.08.
  • Q'D'AX, the BandlessDaemon Weapon: Replaces a power sword, force sword, or hellforged sword. SU AP-3 D1d3. When resolving an attack with this weapon, invulnerable saves cannot be made. Unfortunately, as usual with Daemon Weapons, the 1/6 chance to fail to work means you're usually better off with something else.

Unit Analysis[edit]

HQ[edit]

  • Chaos Lord: Your vanilla leader. Lots of customization and a solid statline. You may want to take another version as your Warlord, but this guy is useful as a secondary HQ for his aura, which lets you re-roll every 1 to hit in a 6" bubble for friendly <LEGION> models. You can keep this guy around plasma Chosen or even Predators/Helbrutes to protect them and let them use the overcharge more freely. Note that this aura, like all auras, also applies to himself. You have the option for a Jump-Pack. Also interesting is that the vanilla Chaos Lord is cheap as chips even after you throw him a load of shiny toys. Even his gear options are notably cheap unless you go for something crazy like Combi-Melta and Power Fist and even then he's still coming in under 100pts. What this means is that there's very little reason not to take one to buff your units. Hell, give him a pair of Lightning Claws and he becomes an excellent babysitter that can keep your Havoc Gunline safe from assassins like Lictors, and all of that without having to pay for Power Fists on your Havoc Champions.
    • There is one fun trick you can do with this Lord that the loyalist equivalent (Captain) can't: dual wielding Plasma Pistols. If you can't decide between going shooty or choppy with your Lord, this is a decent compromise. Two Plasma Pistols cost 1 point less than a Combi-Plasma, and it gives you the exact same number of plasma shots at 12", provided you don't overcharge. You're basically trading the ability to make a single plasma shot at 24" for the ability to shoot in close combat. And remember, his reroll-1s aura applies to himself, so don't be afraid to supercharge that shit. Just Woo it! Oh, and remember that posh Moritat model from HH that nobody used? Well now you've got an excuse to field it! Arguably just taking the combi-plasma is better, tho... Because Daemon shells are a thing.
      • Note that a plasma gun or combi-plasma doesn't kill the wielder until all shots resolve, but with dual plasma pistols, if the first pistol rolls a 1, the wielder is dead before they can fire the second pistol. This means the two pistols will deal fewer wounds to the target than the rifle, as well as fewer wounds per point (due to the high cost of the lord, the 1 point savings is less significant than the decrease in output, even with re-rolling 1s).
    • With the release of the revamped codex Chaos lords are one of a few units that can now take a thunder hammer! However they can't take a thunder hammer if they're in terminator armor. So put your lords on bikes or give them jump packs and enjoy the smashlords. Just don't forget that the -1 to hit prevents Death to the False Emperor from triggering.
    • Jump chain sword lord, take a Lord with jump pack and 2 chain swords in black legion, use the relic chain sword and the WLT for Mortal wounds on 6+, use buffs to +1 to wound rolls. So you can get 2+ to hit re-rolling 1's, with mortal wounds on a 4+ with veterans of the long war and the prayer. You can also use psychic powers and give the psyker a WLT from the host raptoral for extra utility.
  • Chaos Terminator Lord: Like above, but with Terminator Armour. Sadly, unlike loyalists you don't have a choice between different types of armour, you're stuck with the Indomitus. 2+ armour, an extra wound, comes stock with Combi-Bolter and Power-sword and ability to Teleport onto the field from Turn 2 onwards (Thanks FAQ). This is your heavy duty Chaos Lord, the one you will want as your Warlord. Can be very cheap & effective considering what he can do. For weapon upgrades a pair of lightning claws. A combi-plasma w/ chainfist if you don't want to give up shooting. Or a Combi-Bolter and a melee relic.
    • Thunder Hammers now cost nearly double for this guy as of CA2019 while Lightning Claws got a tad cheaper, both single and paired. Consider making him Slaaneshi while running him with the Slaanesh Daemon weapon from Faith & Fury, even unbuffed he can throw out up to 11 AP-2 D2 attacks on the charge if you roll well and that is before counting warlord traits and other buffs although this is all at S:User rather than Sx2. That said buffs like Diabolic Strength will still have him hitting at S6 meaning he still wounds MEQ on 3s and is more efficient at blending Primaris.
  • Dark Apostle: Although his stats and gear are nothing to write home about, he has a variety of abilities that are a great force multiplier. Demagogue essentially fixes most of the Ld issues you have to worry about, while Prayers can offer significant buffs, ranging from flat buffs to friendly units (+1 to hit with ranged weapons, +1 to wound in melee), to debuff for your opponent (roll 2 Dice for Leadership discard lowest). Nowadays, he's best used as a backfield totem who hangs around nearby units that could benefit from a little help. If you need your Sorcerer to fly around throwing out smites and warp-timing things, rather than be stuck backfield casting prescience on Havocs, use a Dark Apostle to do it instead. Need to make those deep-strike disrupting cultists last longer, but they aren't Tzeentch marked? Use a Dark Apostle to give them an invulnerable save and Ld 9. Think of him more as a multi-role support unit than the melee leader of old.
    • The Dark Apostle now needs to roll to activate Dark Zealot, and the inability for him to activate any Prayers while in a transport (as units not on the board cannot affect the board unless specifically stated), means he'll be getting out without chanting for at least a turn if you want to use him near your front lines (and his disciples take up extra space in the transport).
    • Multiple Apostles can't repeat the same prayer, so you can't use multiples of him to make a bigger bubble of re-rolling misses in melee. Instead think of him working like a Psyker now - who has to roll to succeed, with a maximum of 1 attempt at a prayer, period, no matter how many of him you have.
    • The primary use of multiples apostles is keeping them close to the same pair of Disciples, and using the entire cluster to buff a specific unit/group of units multiple times. This means the best prayers, practically speaking, are -1 to be shot on a target unit, +1 to shoot on a target unit (safe plasma!), and 5++ to all nearby units.
    • A special note goes to the Word Bearers, as he can benefit greatly from The Voice of Lorgar WT, since as of the FAQ it also affects prayers, boosting the range of them by an extra 3". This might not sound like much at first, but going from having a 12" diameter for Illusory Supplication to an 18" diameter (not including his base) will be noticed immediately, as you can cover most (if not all) of your backfield with it along with a great portion of your front lines. You can also give him the Cursed Crozius and then go for the Omen of Potency to royally fuck up some Space Marines and even Custodes. Don't ever send him out unsupported, though; with the relic and prayer he can dish out the pain, but he'll go down like a bitch if he has to take it.
    • Consider a Word Bearers Dark Apostle with the Flames of Spite Warlord Trait and the Cursed Crozius. You'll have upgraded him with Apostle of the Dark Council, natch. Have him chant Omen of Potency and Soultearer Portent on himself. He'll kick all ass in the name of the Dark Gods, handing out mortal wounds like candy on a 5+ and just generally beating the shit out of people. Have a sorcerer with Warptime handy to help him actually get where he needs to go (and remember, with Malevolent Covenant, Word Bearer sorcerers just got super reliable), or keep him as backline counter-assault protection.
  • Daemon Prince: No longer the one man army he used to be, though his melee is still rather powerful. Use him to support other units with his 6" bubble and psychic powers. 8 wounds means he can't be targeted by shooting if he's not the closest unit, so keep him behind another unit that can match his 8" move speed. Unless you're playing a Khorne army, always take him as a psyker, the +1 attack isn't even close in to doing what his psychic powers can do (especially considering one gives him an extra attack anyway). The new Codex made all the melee weapon options for them the exact same cost, so now it's a choice between two more attacks (Talons), doing 1 more Damage per attack (Sword), or having your Strength, AP and Damage by 1 better at the cost of -1 to hit (Axe). The Talons are probably still his best equipment choice unless you're desperate for something to kill vehicles with, but even then, 7 (8 for Khorne... I see what you did there GW) attacks at -2 AP are nothing to scoff at. An Emperor's Children Daemon Prince is especially brutal. Take the Intoxicating Elixir relic for +1 strength and +1 attack; and the Stimulated by Pain WL trait for +1 attack per wound taken up to +3 attacks. With Malefic Talons that's S8/AP-2/DMG 2 with 8-11 attacks once he starts taking wounds! He can also cast Delightful Agonies on himself for 5+ FNP. Or Diabolic Strength for S10 and 9-12 attacks! He can also take a Warp Bolter for some but not game-breaking shooting.
    • Important Note: Thanks to the 2019 FAQ ALL Daemon Princes: Chaos Space Marines, Chaos Daemons, Death Guard, and Thousand Sons are all now count as the same datasheet for purposes of Matched Play. So, now despite the number and type of detachments you take you're now limited to a max of 3. So, Daemon Prince spam has been nerfed.
    • Important Note: Fly again allows models to move across enemy models while charging. However, flyers can no longer block movement, and a demon prince that flies into ruins in the movement phase can still be stuck there in the charge phase.
  • Exalted Champion: One of your main close-combat buffers and an automatic requirement for melee-focused armies, as he provides a re-roll failed wound aura for friendly <LEGION> units within 6" during the Fight Phase. Can have a range of different weapons in melee, and with the codex update, can take a Thunder Hammer - meaning A4 WS3+ (due to -1) S8 with re-roll failed wounds against everything and re-roll failed hits against Characters. Yes, all hits, even that overcharged Plasma Pistol you are unloading into the foe while bashing his brains out. No model yet, though any suitably kit-bashed model will do. Benefits greatly from a Mark of Khorne, as it gives him access to the fight twice stratagem, as well as an advance & charge relic. If you're feeling really mean, keep a Dark Apostle and an Exalted Champion next to your Berserkers or Chosen armed with power weapons for re-rolls on hits and wounds. Only downside is his lack of mobility-increasing options and painful lack of Invulnerable save.
    • Synergises well with nearly every Relic in the codex and Vigilus ablaze, except maybe the shooting relics as he wants to be in CC.
    • Consider giving him The Murder Sword and have him torpedo towards a particular character in your opponents army. Due to his re-roll to hits vs. characters and how murder sword works against a single elected target, you are almost certainly going to immediately peel off 4 mortal wounds against a named character each round of combat (assuming that they even live to see a second). Even when the attacks are swung at other enemy characters, you will still find him to be very effective with it - as his re-rolls to hit & wound will still trigger. Give him a Mark of Khorne and pop the fight-twice strat to shove the Murder Sword WAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAY up their butthole, Morty. If he's a World Eater, that's potentially 12 mortal wounds (6*2), assuming he doesn't miss any attacks.
    • When comparing him to a Master of Executions - in pure character killing potential he's significantly better. He'll cost more at 91 points rather than 70 since you'll want take a Thunder Hammer on him, but he'll outperform nearly every time. This is due to that even though fewer attacks will hit and wound Flat D3 is so much better than D1d3. That's without accounting for anyone else in the fight - the more of your dudes he has helping him, the more he'll outperform, since his aura will be more relevant. You can also give him a combi-bolter if you want.
    • It gets very debatable about how to build him as he can do a range of things. Some players prefer taking AP over Strength for Character Mashing, others take Strength over AP for Vehicle and MC beat downs. For characters, his re-roll abilities work best with higher AP weapons; as usually you want to force harder Invulnerable saves than multiple easier armour saves (or ideally, combine high AP weapons with a Death Hex). For MC/Vehicle hunting, if you're buying him a fist, if the points are available; he's better off with a hammer as your focus should be about maximising his damage output for when he does hit (remember his re-roll to hit only apply to Characters but his wounds are to everything). Twin lightning claws are redundant unless you want the extra attack - which you can get anyway if you just take a Chainsword. If you have the points, his other weapon should usually be a combi-bolter otherwise go cheap and just keep the pistol. Following this he should really be a candidate for a unique / relic weapon. As nearly all the melee ones make him incredibly dangerous.
  • Lord Discordant: The answer to the question "What do you get when you cross a Warpsmith, a Chaos Lord with a mount, and a Daemon Engine?" The Lord Discordant is...eccentric to say the least, and despite being geared towards targeting vehicles, is surprisingly well-rounded for what you pay. Be aware though that having 12 wounds means he can be targeted in the shooting phase, so expect your giant spider rider to be shot off the table turn 1 if you don't plan in advance (Benediction of Darkness, Prepared Positions, etc). He can take a fair beating, though, having a 2+/5++, an automatic wound healed on your turn, as well as having the choice to either heal 1d3 wounds or deal 1d3 mortal wounds to an enemy vehicle within 12" after killing an enemy vehicle. Provides a buff to friendly Daemon Engines which at the same time debuffs enemy vehicles, though you'll use him much more for the former than the latter. Also, with BS2+ his aura will naturally cancel out the negative modifier to hit after moving, should you decide to equip him with the autocannon instead of the baleflamer. He actually excels best in melee combat with MEQ and TEQ over multiple rounds, rather than vehicles, due to the damage and AP profiles of his weapons. Just be careful, though, as he can become bogged down by blobs like everyone else (and can't escape). His attacks also require a bit of book-keeping and a little head scratching to employ practically. The Lord Discordant himself has 4A base with his Chain Glaive, hitting at S+2 (usually 6) or x2 (usually 8) if you Heroic Intervened or Charged, AP-2 D2. This means he's best taking on vehicles if you can get the charge off; otherwise, he's probably going to be wounding on a 5. His mechatendrils then provide 2A at SU (usually 4) AP0 D1 which will largely be used to target either GEQ or as a Hail Mary to chink off a final wound on a vehicle. Depending on his remaining health, the spider then gets to chip in, striking with 3 to 5 (depending on wounds remaining) S+3 (usually 7) AP-2 D1d3 and a Techno-Virus Injector at S+4 (usually 8) AP-4 D1d3, which deals an additional 1d3 mortal wounds to vehicles it successfully wounds. He can swap the injector for a magma cutter if you're an idiot, so don't be an idiot.
    • His +1 to hit means he naturally triggers Death to the False Emperor on 5+.
    • Take a Disco Lord in a Flawless Host detachment, throw the Ultimate Confidence trait and Intoxicating Elixir relic on him. Then have a prince or sorceror nearby to cast prescience on him and you now have a 160 pt model that can kill a knight in one fight phase. You get 5 S10 -2 2dmg attacks, 5 S8 -2 D3 dmg attacks and a 1 S9 -4 D3 dmg attack all that proc 3 extra hit rolls on a 4+ (4 hit rolls if your target is imperial). Have fun.
  • Master of Executions: Similar to Exalted Champions, is meant to be a character killer. Has a greater heroic intervention of 6" if there are any enemy characters within 6" and can re-roll one hit roll, wound roll or damage roll that targets a character once per fight phase. His Axe of Dismemberment is basically a power-fist without the penalty to hit and deals additional mortal wounds on wound rolls of 6+.
    • A Slaanesh Master of Execution with the Intoxicating Elixir will come up at WS2+, S10, A6, AP-3 D3. In addition to character-killing, this allows the MoE to punch some pretty big holes in vehicles and monsters. It is so cheap that it will almost always make its points back should it get into melee.
    • Now cheaper and more efficient along with rhinos, now even more attractive as a character hunter especially with all the factions getting cuts to their characters as well.
  • Master of Possessions: A slightly retooled Sorcerer. No weapon options beyond the bolt pistol and force staff, but comes with a 5+ invulnerable save and forces Psykers within 12" to treat all doubles rolls as Perils of the Warp. He also uses Malefic powers instead of Dark Hereticus powers. Unclear where he's meant to fit in the big picture across the army, as most his powers focus around Daemon buffing. Unless you really want to run Daemonkin and a normal Sorcerer isn't doing it for you, there are better things than this guy.
    • This guy also force multiplies Daemon Engines like nothing else. Cursed Earth and Dark Power are both auras, so you can cram several Forgefiends in range for a big ball of dakka that refuses to die. If you add a Defiler, it also gets better in melee allowing you to chase off any pesky Deep Striking units and makes its guns more than just an afterthought. At the complete opposite end of the spectrum, you can use Chaos Familiar to swap a power for Warptime, throw the MoP across the board and cast Incursion to summon Daemons right on your opponents doorstep, in the process bypassing virtually all of the drawbacks of conventional summoning.
  • Sorcerer: Pretty standard. You cast 2 powers and deny one, stats are in line with the rest of your Warriors and... that's it really. He can take a Jump Pack if desired and Force Weapons are cool, but don't let this guy join melee if you can avoid it; his 3+ WS and 3 attacks mean he's not good enough to fight tough units (where his D3 damage would be really handy) and not good enough to take on hordes (since excess damage is wasted). He is however your primary source of Mortal Wounds and Buffs. Important to note that in the bump over from 7th Chaos Lords were given a invulnerable save, most Sorcerers however, were not. Make sure he's well guarded or surrounded by screen units, as he'll fall over quicker than you'd expect.
    • Note: As of the FAQ, exalted sorcs are more expensive than regular ones, making this guy a reasonable option again for 'cheap" psychic options, unless you're playing Thousand Sons.
  • Terminator Sorcerer: Heavy duty Sorcerer. Note that this guy costs slightly more than the vanilla one, but where mobility isn't a concern, is overall a better investment. Termi-Sorcerer's come with +1W, and more importantly, a 5++ save as standard, just remember to wear a helmet. You can make him a second-line fighter, using a combination of wargear and psychic powers, but don't bother. His stock equipment is a Combi-Bolter and Power Sword, and where possible the sword should be changed for a Staff almost immediately, as overall the +2 Str on a character like this is more important than the -3AP. Strangely, despite being obsessed with warp-trinkets and magical items, not many relics fit well on this guy.
  • Warpsmith: Drastically improved for 8th edition, the Warpsmith is the cheapest HQ you can get, but don't let his low cost deceive you - he is figuratively a Swiss army knife. As standard, comes with a range of tools in the form of a Flamer, Meltagun, and Bolt Pistol (which you will never fire). Having no mobility-increasing options, he'll be advancing everywhere, but his base weapons are Assault anyway so it doesn't really matter. His pistol can also be swapped out for a combi-weapon, which isn't a bad idea at all, as the most expensive choice, the combi-melta, means he still comes in just 1pt more than a standard, unequipped Chaos Lord. This is made all the better considering he shoots at 2+, comes with a 2+ save thanks to his modded power armour, and his stock melee options are a power axe and mecha-tendrils (two chainswords), letting him hold his own against small squads of MEQs. With so much kit for what you pay, he can slot in pretty much anywhere and contribute, though it can often be hard to determine where he'll add the most. Also comes with a few helpful abilities; the first lets him repair your vehicles, allowing one he ends up within 1" of to regain d3 lost wounds at the end of the movement phase. The second lets him curse an enemy vehicle, dealing a mortal wound on a roll of 2+ within 18". Another option is to have him assist your artillery and long-range firepower by repairing them or protecting against deepstrikes. Alternatively, he can be used to ride shotgun in a Land Raider that, once it deposits whatever it was carrying, he can then repair and ride off in to go sit on an objective or two. With all the bells and whistles that come with other HQ options it's very easy to overlook this guy; don't.
    • Giving him a combi-melta makes him an exceptionally dangerous tank hunter at a variety of ranges. BS 2+ and the bolter allows him to reliably hand out Mortal Wounds at 24" with Daemon Shell, at 18" enemy vehicles are in range of being Cursed for even more Mortal Wounds, and a pair of meltaguns at close range will wreck virtually anything short of super-heavies. It's also worth noting that the meltagun's bonus works against any target in 8th, meaning you can char-broil enemy Characters that might be squaring off for a fight.
    • Of course, the combi-melta is less efficient than the combi-plasma outside of 6", provided you don't mind overcharging (and you generally shouldn't).
  • Chaos Lord on Bike Index only: This Lord is fast and durable. 14" movement, Toughness 5 and the extra wound are very nice. If you can't decide if you want a tough or a fast Lord, you cannot go wrong with this guy. Now that you can shoot all non-pistol weapons, swap his bolt pistol for a second combi-bolter. Currently he and the Bike Sorcerer are the only Chaos HQ's that can legitimately have two combi-bolters. 8 S4 shots at 12" on a guy that can hit on 2+, reroll 1s, and move 14" per turn? Yes please.
    • With Bolter Drill a Combi-Bolter Lord makes a solid Outrider HQ choice backed up with 15 Bikes of Various special weapons and combinations. Clocking in around 570pts you can really throw out alot of shots down range without turbo-boosting.


  • Chaos Hellwright [Forge World]: A suped up Warpsmith for all intents and purposes with +1 strength, +1 toughness, and +1 wound when compared to the standard CSM counterpart, though he has altered weapon options. He costs a fair bit more, but given the better statline and similar wargear (and healing) he can be a solid choice if you wanted quality over quantity, and don't have to buy more than one to take care of your vehicles. That said, their Master of Mechanisms allows them to heal allied Chaos Knights, so if you're taking one, giving them D3 wounds/turn back on top of everything else is probably worth the price tag.
  • Chaos Hellwright on Dark Abeyant [Forge World]: All the same options as above with the inclusion an extra gun and boosted statline. If you really only want one Hellwright and he's likely to be targeted and/or you have points to spare, you'll want him on the Abeyant. The Abeyant is also valuable for escorting melee-focused daemon engines into the fight, as it allows the Hellwright to move at their full 8 inches and not have to run his ass up. Thanks to the mortal wounds his pistol spits out and the improved damage of his axe, he's also much more able to make a valuable contribution once it's time to get stuck in.
  • Chaos Lord on Bike (Legends): Tough and fast. The extra wound and toughness are nice, and the Sigil grants him decent protection. Throw him alongside some fellow bikers if you really want to make it hurt.
  • Sorcerer on Bike (Legends): Tough and fast. The extra wound and toughness are nice, but again this guy has no invulnerable save and jink isn't a thing anymore. If you don't plan to use his speed for keeping him safe (and even then why not use a jumpack?), you may as well choose another option.
  • Chaos Lord/Sorcerer on Daemonic Mount (Legends): Before we get into these, notice that Daemonic Mounts give the model the DAEMON keyword. This is both good and bad. Good, because this means you get buffed by nearby Heralds (+1 Strength is nice), so if you want to go Daemonkin you have some synergy right there (confirmed in the Designers' Commentary). Bad because things like Grey Knights are that much stronger against you, keep it in mind when you choose your Lords and Sorcerers. Remember that despite having DAEMON you do not gain god specific bonuses. For example, Ahriman with a disc has both DAEMON and TZEENTCH keywords but he does not gain +1 to his invuln because he lacks the Ephemeral Form special rule.
    • As per the FAQ: ‘If your army is Battle-forged, all Character, Infantry, Biker and Helbrute units in Chaos Space Marine Detachments gain a Legion Trait, so long as every unit in that Detachment is from the same Legion.’ Means that Characters on Daemon mounts can benefit from Legion Traits.
    • Chaos Lord on Juggernaut (Legends): Slow for a mounted Chaos Lord, with only a 8" movement, trading off speed for punch. Has the same stats as the Chaos Lord on Bike but with S5, and the Juggernaut itself has 3 attacks at S5 (+2 on the charge) and AP-1 with its bladed horn. Solidly killy and one of the best to go for if you plan an assault-heavy army, after all, S5 means S10 powerfist swings. He can also do decent damage with dual claws, and Flames of Spite. Re-rolls to hit and wound while getting extra mortal wounds on a 5+, even for the 3 mount attacks. Statistically, he kills most HQs in a single activation. They can no longer take Thunder Hammers per the newest BIG FAQ (AKA BIG FAQYOU).
    • Chaos Lord on Disc (Legends): The only mount that does not boost the statline of the Chaos Lord, instead you get 12" movement and the FLY keyword, as well as a weak single attack from the mount itself. There's nothing he can do that a Chaos Lord with a Jump Pack can't, aside from getting killed easier by Grey Knights. He can, however, benefit from a variety of DAEMON buffs, such as Heralds.
    • Chaos Lord on Palanquin (Legends): The slowest of the Chaos Lords. You'll go at par with the Terminator Lords, with the big difference being you can't teleport onto the field. T5 and 6 wounds, like the Bike Lord, and some negligible extra attacks from the Nurglings. Fairly cheap, which makes him a decently tough lynchpin for a gunline, as he can buff the Plague Marines while intercepting any melee threats. Fun fact: because he has the NURGLE and DAEMON keywords, any units he wipes out count toward the Tally of Pestilence for Epidemius.
      • Now that the FAQ has confirmed that CSM characters can summon daemons, he performs the "lynchpin" role even better by being able to summon in Nurglings and Plaguebearers to screw with deepstrikers or tie up and harass anyone who gets close.
    • Chaos Lord on Steed of Slaanesh (Legends): The (in)famous Chaos Lord on Steed of Slaanesh has lost all his tactical advantages in the new edition, but he's still pretty good. 12" movement and he can advance and still charge. He gets the extra wound of the bike but not the Toughness improvement; he gets an extra attack instead. Consider giving this guy a Combi-Flamer, so he can advance, shoot without penalties and still charge. Give him some brutal melee weapons to take advantage of the extra attack.
    • Sorcerer on Disc (Legends): Tzeentch blessed him with a 5+ invulnerable save, which makes this guy pretty interesting. However, if you're taking a caster on a disc, you're probably playing Tzeentch Thousand Sons, in which case an Exalted is better. A sorcerer of Tzeentch is still interesting to cast Weaver of Fates on non Thousand Sons units like Tzeentch Possessed for a 4++.
      • If you are playing one of the Undivided Legions, consider this guy as a further upgrade over a Sorcerer with Jump Pack; the Tzeentch keyword isn't as crucial, and you're not obligated to take the God-aligned power. He has the same mobility to reach crucial areas and provide psychic support, and the increased durability allows him to operate better as a lone wanderer. The price difference between the two is almost identical to what you'd have paid to give a character an Invulnerable save in previous editions.
    • Sorcerer on Palanquin (Legends): Unlike the Chaos Lord, being slow is not as big of a deal for a Sorcerer, so this may be a good option since it's cheaper than giving him Terminator Armour. Fun fact: because he has the NURGLE DAEMON keywords, any units he wipes out counts toward the Tally of Pestilence for Epidemius.
    • Sorcerer on Steed of Slaanesh (Legends): Extra attack and the ability to advance and charge are not good selling points for a Sorcerer's mount. Yes, force weapons are mean, but you don't want this guy in melee if you can avoid it. Yes, it gives you an extra wound and more mobility, but so does the Bike. In smaller games, where you can't afford many HQs, this guy may be useful as a jack-of-all-trades.

Special Characters[edit]

Note that any special characters belonging to a specific legion/renegade chapter can be found in their own Legion section; for example, you'll find Abaddon in the Black Legion section.

  • Cypher: Technically more of a renegade, but close enough for the purposes of the rules, sporting both the IMPERIUM and CHAOS keywords. Has the same protection as a Chaos Lord as well as the same stats and +1" Movement, Cypher is a bargain for what he does. Not only can he put out a lot of hurt with his weapons, but he buffs nearby Fallen allowing for plasma-spam out the ass and the best part is that if he goes down, roll a D6. On a 2+ (keep a CP ready) he doesn't count as being slain for the purposes of any mission victory conditions, just to spite your opponent.
  • Fabius Bile: The rumors of improved Astartes was just the news he needed to pop back up. Better at tackling infantry than vehicles, due to his weapons finding it hard to wound them and/or doing very little damage, but that's okay, because Bile buffs your dudes so that they can do that sort of thing for him. At the end of any Movement phase (including your opponent's) you can 'improve' a Heretic Astartes Infantry non-character unit, though the bonus is random, as is the chance your dudes survive it: they have a 1/6 chance per model of suffering a mortal wound, and then, if the unit lives, it gets +1 to randomly selected S, T, or A. Best used on melee units, in particular multi-wound stuff that can survive any experimental issues (although the unit suffers the mortal wounds, not the individual models, so individual multi-wound models can and will die because their unit was large). Just definitely don't use it on Cultists; the chance that it's worth it is 1/3 and otherwise you're more likely to hurt yourself than you are to help. Just keep him near whatever else you're putting in combat and you'll be fine.
    • His total lack of an invulnerable save hurts. It's not so bad, as he does regain D3 wounds at the beginning of each of your turns; whether that's better or not is unclear, because he's useful enough to be shot at, but not so critical you can't live without him. Your Mileage May Vary.
    • Keep in mind he cannot embark on any Transport (except a BUILDING TRANSPORT) due to having no <LEGION> keyword. Thanks, GW.
    • If you put Fabius with a unit of 20 poxwalkers his buffs can be considerable, and the downsides minimized or even negated. Consider the fact he will do on average between 3.67 mortal wounds to the squad (which can be mitigated due to Disgustingly Resilient and the models recouped due to the Dead Walk Again strat, with the added bonus of not bothering their morale), and in return he will give a permanent buff of +1A, T, or S to them, buffing the latter 2 stats to a potentially ludicrous maximum of 6 (including psychic buffs and Typhus). Watch and laugh as lasguns wound your gribblies on 6s, and even Fire Warriors require 5s to take out your chaff!. The downsides of this tactic are that it is not controllable; the buff you get will be random (although saving a command point for a re-roll does improve your chances), so planning for 1 specific outcome is not advisable. It is also noteworthy that although it is confirmed in the CSM codex that using the Daemon Barber in a CSM detachment does not cost the CSMs their legion trait, it has never been confirmed in a FAQ that the Death Guard and Thousand Sons do not. It may be better to discuss this with your opponent before the game, and certainly to ask a TO before using this tactic at any events.

Forgeworld

  • Lord Arkos [Forge World]: A Chaos Lord who has two sub-faction keywords: THE FAITHLESS and ALPHA LEGION. He has good synergy with the Alpha Legion stratagem, being able to infiltrate 12" away from enemy lines for free and supplying +1 CP which can be used to infiltrate a retinue for him. His tankiness tends to be fairy deceptive, as he has only a 3+/5++, yet he has a built in -1 to shooting against him which stacks with the Alpha Legion trait for a -2 to shooting against him outside of 12". However, with his combi-melta and Black Blade of Venom (melee SU AP-2 3 Damage(!), gets +1 to wound things that aren't VEHICLE units), he wants to be able to close into melee. Also note, that you can take a Flames Of Spite warlord trait for him and after then use VotLW stratagem in close combat to inflict 1 mortal wound on the non-vehicle target in addition to any other damage for every wound roll of 4+. Luckily, his aura effect which gives +1 to Advance and Charge rolls for THE FAITHLESS (not ALPHA LEGION) units within 6" allows him to do precisely that. Overall, he's a pretty versatile choice of HQ to use. He's not so good in smaller points games where you may only run 1 HQ, but running him with only 1 HQ is a waste of his WL trait anyways. In higher-points multi-Warlord games, you can run him with the I Am Alpharius warlord trait, abusing his infiltration and CP bonus for a free turn-one nuke and simply switching to the next warlord down the list once he and his retinue are overwhelmed.
    • Modellers Note: As a Forge World special character from after the Heresy, and B: a special character for one of the least popular legions, Arkos has no model. One of the more popular choices for conversion is the Aspiring Champion, since he comes with a combi-melta slung over his backpack, suitably serpentine horns, and arguably the the most vicious-looking combat knife in the range.
  • Zhufor The Impaler [Forge World]: Another Dual-Legion character, this time as a WORLD EATER / SKULLTAKER. His re-roll aura only buffs Skulltakers, which means that while you can take him in a World Eaters list, you ought to take him in a Skulltakers list. At 120 points he's a solid HQ choice, and Zhufor will tear his way through any 2-wound units and most of the generic characters he comes across. Comes with a Named Power Fist and Power Axe, the fist being the same as a standard power fist, whilst the Axe goes from AP-2/D2 to AP-4/D3 on rolls of 6+ against characters. He's also quite durable, boasting 7 wounds and a 2+/4++. Uniquely, he also has the ability to deny a Psychic Power, which gives him more mileage in a World Eaters list as a psychic deny option (on top of your stratagem and relics). Not to mention, he also has the ability to deep strike, preventing him from having to run a marathon. Add onto this that he also forces an opponent to add 1 to their Leadership rolls whilst within 6 inches. As far as Khorne-aligned Terminator Lords go, he's an almost automatic preference, as for comparison purposes, a Khorne Chaos Lord with Power Axe (which is less AP and Damage) and a Power fist (which he loses his bolter for), comes to 109 points.
    • GW Have yet to clarify if Zhufor's ability causes a Daemon Banner "Reality Blink" to fail. RAW, Reality Blink occurs on a roll of 1, however as you add one (rather than subtract from the opponents leadership like all similar abilities), that result becomes 2 as per the order of modifier priority. Until FAQ'd, this means that Zhufor is so scary, that he actually stops daemons coming out the warp to fight him.

Troops[edit]

  • Black Legionnaires [Blackstone Fortress]: A two-man unit of Chaos Space Marines found in Blackstone Fortress. These guys must take the BLACK LEGION keyword. With such a small squad they are effectively immune to morale, because you can't run away when you are dead. Considering the pair costs only 26 points, they may actually be useful hiding out of LOS in your back-line as a Deep-Strike screen. Your opponent is either going to try to track them down, or have to waste long-range shots to kill a pair of marines. If you are Black Legion and find yourself a few points free, give them consideration. Unfortunately, you need Obsidius Mallex as well, to prevent them from rendering their detachment no longer battle-forged.
    • These guys also have the unique drawback of not taking up a force organisation slot in a detachment when Obsidius Mallex is in it, so they won't help you complete a detachment to qualify for its CP.
  • Chaos Space Marines: Still struggling to be the first choice troops in most lists. CSM's are... okay and getting more attractive with each micro-buff (eg. Bolter Drill, New Renegade Traits, Stratagems, new weapons like the Reaper Chain-cannon and a minor reduction in points per model in CA2019), and from tweaks to other units (eg. Mere Mortals for Cultists). They are best deployed for a specific purpose - either as a camping unit, bodies to support horde killers (thanks to Bolter drill) or to chip in with a wound or two to bring down a vehicle (thanks to special and heavy weapons). However they still don't bring enough to the table to build your wider plans upon. Part of the problem is that Havocs and Chosen do a similar job, but with easier access to weapons - so if you don't need Troop slots filled, take those instead. Also, compared to their loyalist counterparts, CSM's come out worse overall unless you're actually fighting IMPERIUM forces, In which case they <may> be better assuming you can get to combat and roll well. MSU's are better than a large unit, you aren't vulnerable to morale, while still being able to get two special weapons (one in the unit, one on the champion). Get a Pair of MSU squads with combi-melta/flamer and a regular melta/flamer and chuck them in a Rhino, Since most opponents won't pay attention to them, they can reliably support your better stuff, chip in all around the field and at the end of the day threaten an objective with Ob-Sec. As for the Icons a squad can take are, they are all lack-lustre, but the most helpful are an Icon of Despair for when your other guys win combat, or an Icon of Vengeance if you are going larger squads. With Bolter Drill, the Chainsword/Bolt-Pistol option for these guys is obsolete, as you can achieve far greater damage output by rapid firing; instead of charging into combat and giving the enemy the chance to attack back. If you really want a melee legion, then make them Slaanesh and give the Champion a Power Fist. Combined with some form of aura re-roll, he's likely to deal at least some damage before he and his squad gets wiped out.
    • The current state of affairs means that CSM's tend to tote around a Reaper Chaincannon, as this turns them into a nice little objective camping choice. Give the champion a combi-bolter and you've got a squad that can deal with light and medium infantry fairly well, dealing 10 bolter shots and 8 heavy bolter equivalent shots out to 24" if you don't move. Given that a unit of Havocs will get focused down really quickly at close range, these guys have a good use in toting around extra chain-cannons for later rounds.
  • Chaos Cultists: Your 'cheap' Troop choice. Cultists can now be set for melee or range with no changes in points, though like CSM's you achieve the same damage from shooting as getting into combat without being punched back. In honesty, don't bother running them as melee as other units are always going to be much better at it. The unit is also pretty much calling out to be ranged too, since Cultists have access to special range weapons but not special melee weapons. As far as these choices go, Flamers make them a bit more reliable when up close, while Heavy Stubbers are a cheap upgrade if you plan to camp objectives or push out enemy Deepstrikes with them. As a GEQ, unit they come with alot of problems: first they're T3, 6+ save means that they die, frequently and often; whilst the current cover systems guarantees anything larger than a MSU is going to struggle to get the benefit. Also, more are going to run away the moment they start dropping, as with their terrible Ld of 5 (6 with the Champion) you shall find them wanting, especially if they are left alone somewhere without support. However it's not all negatives; Cultists easily snowball into a real threat when under the various buffs that other Chaos units can provide; and especially synergise well with Dark Apostles who fix their low leadership. This can be improved further with them acting as a body-guard to a Cold and Heartless Iron Warriors Warlord or to Abaddon who'll make them Fearless and provide re-rolls too. You can then also use Prayers to give the unit -1 to Be Hit, +1 to Hit with Shooting and a 5++. A Sorceror nearby can then throw on Prescience, and if you mark them as Slaanesh, you can also throw on Delightful Agonies onto them for a 5+++, or if Tzeentch up their invulnerable save to 4++, or with Nurgle make them -2 to be hit. Finally add in the Veterans of the Long War Stratagem and a seemingly harmless blob of cultists is now an incredibly real threat to nearly all MEQ infantry in rapid fire range, and even models above T6 as they are wounding on 4's and 5's most the time and forcing saves (though TEQ will largely laugh at this). It's also becomes incredibly difficult for your opponent to get rid of them and even then, if they do commit the firepower, it's just a Blob of Cultists anyway and if you have the CP spare they can come back on a table edge at full strength.
    • Thanks to Mere Mortals the cultists listed here are now objectively inferior to those in the Renegades and Heretics list. If it's CP your after, the Unworthy 32 (x2 Commanders, x3 Renegade Militia) basically provides everything you want them to do for under 200 points.
    • Received a 20% reduction in points in CA2019. It's only 1ppm but that adds up quickly in large blobs. Even one 30 model unit will save you 30pts and with the price increase of Thunder Hammers for characters in CA2019, you're going to need those savings elsewhere.
  • Daemons: Technically not part of Chaos Space Marines but worth mentioning because Daemonic Ritual can summon them. Quick PSA about Instruments and Banners: One odd quirk about all the Troop choices is that you're given the option to take 1 Instrument and 1 Banner per 10 models in the unit. However, your unit can only benefit from one of each of them. What's the point of this, you may ask? Summoning rolls and reinforcement points in matched, that's why. You see, you still have to spend the points on the models, but nothing says you have to decide what models are in each unit. This means you can have a 30 model unit ready just in case you roll that 15 for summoning, but can bring them in one 10-man unit at a time if you only get a few 5+ rolls and they can all still have those extra goodies to help them out. Food for thought.
    • Summoned units do not count as part of your detachment and therefore cannot receive Legion Traits.
    • Bloodletters: Still the same glass cannons they've always been, they're an assault infantry unit that is very good at butchering multi-wound heavy infantry like the Primaris Marines and Terminators. 2 attacks each on the charge, at AP -3, hitting on 3+, wounding on 3+ (against MEQ) and potentially dealing 2 damage with one swing? These guys are brutal. Deep Strike these guys next to an unsuspecting unit of Primaris Marines and engage troll-face. Then cry as they all get shot down in overwatch.
    • Daemonettes: The Daemonettes were the best daemon at ripping up armour until 8th came along and made Bloodletters more reliable at it. This isn't to say these girls aren't good at the job but they have been overshadowed, especially now that TEQs tend to have multiple wounds. They still have more attacks (and if you have a unit of 20 or more, you add 1 to their attack characteristic), higher speed and strike before anyone, which would make them great as a MSU... if only they weren't so frail! Instead, use them like you would Genestealers - send these girls to overwhelm some camping shits in cover. Daemonettes rely on getting into combat fast so be sure you buy an instrument and use your loci to get them into it.
    • Horrors of Tzeentch: Greatly changed from their previous incarnations, when a Horror is killed it splits into smaller horrors and also stays as part of the same unit. Unfortunately for matched play, the "new" horrors come out of your "reserved for summoning" points allotment, fully utilizing this increases the relative cost of Pink horrors by 120%, although its "summoning" is always a success. Thankfully those points don't have to be reserved just for Horrors and can can be used for other summoning purposes as well. While this does reduce the overall size of your force, you could easily use this to keep bodies in the unit on objectives or in high-threat positions. Similarly, the threat of having whatever your opponent kills in a charge splitting off might be enough to make them think twice about it.
      • Pink Horrors: (Note: This Unit had its Power Rating reduced by 1 in Codex: Chaos Marines 2.0) Expensive at full bore - 7 base, but 17 if you want to afford its blues, and 23 to afford full splitting, so it's just about never worth spending the necessary points on split, but if you want an Instrument for speed, taking 1 (without paying for split) to upgrade to Iridescent for free to carry it can be justified; never take an Icon unless you bring at least 7 Pinks, as the Icon can't bring back any other color, even though its shitty Morale immunity on a 1 will still work. Another interesting note, their guns are Strength "User" so if you park them next to a Herald their shooting jumps from up from 3 to 4. Given the way wounding works in 8th this can make a huge difference, more if you can find a way to bump it further to 5 (either cast Boon of change and hope for the best or bring a Mutalith to boost their Strength, or bring multiple, as their effects are cumulative).
      • Blue Horrors: Like a Pink Horror without the 'gun' and worse BS/WS, but also does not really cost anything either, at 5 points (8 if you want to be able to afford to split them). Not a good idea, don't use them unless hey come from Splitting Pink Horrors.
      • Brimstone Horrors: The cheapest troop choice chaos (or anyone) has access to, so useful for filling out big detachments with low points investment, otherwise they're not worth it as they die like mosquitos to a can of raid.
    • Plaguebearers of Nurgle: Slow but tough and okay in melee with their re-rolls to wound. If you want to hold the line, they are the right choice especially in packs of 20+ (so get 30 to keep the bonus for a while). Two or three blobs of 30 can flood the field and can be surprisingly (disgustingly) resilent and soak up a lot of fire and damage.

Elites[edit]

  • Chosen: The flexible elite, with everything it entails and with making CA2019 making them cheaper, they are all the more attractive Give them the gear to deal with a problem and they will do so beautifully, but these guys aren't cheap. Trouble with light infantry? give them Flamers and/or Combi-Flamers. 6d6 AUTO HITTING flamers shots. Armour problems? Take Plasma/Melta's, You can take 5 Combi-X and 1 X-gun. You want Light/Medium melee killers? Give any Chosen an additional melee weapon without replacing their bolter.Always take the Chainsword regardless of what you're doing with 'em, as there's literally no downside because it's free. Don't forget to give them a transport if you're going to send them off to beat face, and always remember the Veterans of the Long War stratagem as it makes them that much better!
    • Bolter Drill has made Chosen look more like...What Chaos Space Marines should be. Take two Squads of 5 with Combi-Bolters and Chainswords and share a Rhino Between them. This gives you a very cheap objective chaser with a Mobile Speed Bump to back then up. They can hold their own in Close Combat (as 16 Attacks per squad can cause a wound or two) and their shooting with VOTL can cause a lot of hurt onto enemy troop choices that stray too close.
    • If you're getting them in melee then consider making them Emperor's Children. The Chosen can be great offensively but are no tougher than ordinary marines, and this way they'll be guaranteed to attack unless they get charged, and they'll also get access to the Excess of Violence stratagem.
    • At 1 point more than a regular chaos space marine this means they are basically a 1 point upgrade that gives you +1 attack, +1 leadership and more power weapons at the cost of ObSec, but if you're using them in an aggressive strategy then that's not really a downside.
    • Chosen are one of the only non-HQ units in the codex that can take Thunder Hammers, at a slight discount of points too. With Hateful Assault now granting an extra attack, Hammer-Chosen could be a reasonably attractive choice. In a World Eaters detachment, a squad of Thunder Hammer kitted Chosen with an Icon of Wrath, gives you 25 Attacks on the charge. Hitting on 4's and wounding most things on 3+. Add in Veterans of the Long War and that's 2's for everything but a Knight which is 3's. At 160pts that's a deal most melee armies can't and won't want to turn down - Especially because they come with Bolt Pistols and Boltguns as standard and don't need to give them up.
    • With the new hateful assault rule these guys get 3 attacks each when they charge or get charged, this makes a unit of thunder hammer chosen absolutely terrifying in melee combat even a five man unit will get 16 thunder hammer attacks base, now consider veterans of the long war, prescience, soultearer portent, fury of khorne and a nearby lord that's now 32 attacks hitting on 3's re-rolling 1's and wounding a knight on 2+ at AP -3 and 3 damage each!
  • Chaos Terminators: Standard 2A, 2W, 2+, 5++ Termies. Tough and killy, now cost as much as their Loyalist counterparts at 23ppm. Unlike the Loyalists, Chaos Terminators take chainaxes as standard; making them cheaper overall before customisation. They're also slightly more versatile thanks to marks/powers and Icons. Taking Khornate Terminators and giving them an Icon of Wrath does still make Turn 2 Strikes an option, adding a Prescience will allow you to fire both parts of a combi-weapon and/or hit with power/chain fists without penalty! Want a termi-bomb? Take 10 Terminators with combi-plasma and chainaxes. Mark them with SLAANESH and teleport them in and activate Endless Cacophony for 40 shots S7/AP-3/D1 shots. Take a Chaos Lord or Daemon Prince for re-rolling 1's to hit, and Sorcerer or Daemon Prince for +1 to hit with Prescience. For maximum cheese use Veteran of the Long War for +1 to wound and overcharge the plasma for 40 shots S8/AP-3/D2! There are downsides to this however, despite their save and 2 wounds they die quick and they eat up points fast, so you're best suited to focus them on one specific task, and have them do it the second they show up (either after deep-striking or leaving their transport). Don't use them too early either, as your opponent will be too heavily screened and have much of their remaining army to wipe them. Send them in too late and you'll have lost too much from your opponents killy units or killed so much they wont make their points back. They're the kind of unit that you can build your army around as a sucker punch or late game wildcard - but don't expect them to do much if what they were built to kill has already been dealt with.
    • Consider: at 23 points per model (CA2019), terminators can take a Combi-Bolter (2pts) and a Chainaxe (1pt) for 26 points per model. This is a 130 point unit with a 2+/5++, 2 wounds a piece, 20 4/-/1 shots a turn and 13 5/-1/1 melee attacks, with deep strike. Consider what you can otherwise get at this price and it's difficult to match.
  • Dark Disciples: Buffers for your Dark Apostle and you don't want to go without them. Going from a 1/3 chance of failing a prayer to a 1/6 chance is a big deal, and even if you do fail it means your command point re-roll is much more likely to succeed. They're cheap, very hard to shoot (effectively being characters so long as they're near the Dark Apostle) and don't take up a FOC slot, so there's no excuse for skipping them if you want your zealots.
  • Fallen: Basically Chaos Chosen with the IMPERIUM keyword. Additional benefit is that they get to re-roll 1's in the Shooting phase if they didn't move in the Movement phase, and can never lose more than 1 model to a failed Morale test (presumably they rotate Commissar duty). Otherwise, they are identical to Chosen in both stats and options, but without benefits from Marks and Legion Traits. Outside of their specialist detachment, they can't use transports. In addition, again outside their specialist detachment, only Cypher buffs them. Fret not though, there is still one thing they are absolutely fantastic at: adding even more plasma into your army. Between Chosen and Fallen, you can technically field 36 Plasma Guns (assuming the 'Rule of Three' data sheet limitation and a few being Combi-Plasmas). Consider putting Cypher and Fallen Plasma-spam in a Vanguard Detachment and take the Vigilus Specialist Detachment. This then lets them be buffed by Sorcerers and take Rhinos. You can also give them melee weapons, but aside from Chainswords (they're free) you don't want to, there are better units for the role. Yes their re-roll works on their pistol even in close combat. No, it won't prevent them from being ripped apart.
  • Greater Possessed: A bigger, badder Possessed that comes in squads of up to 2 which then behave as individual units after deployment (like Dreadnought talons). Each one is a Character, and they've got 5s in Strength, Toughness, Wounds, and Attacks, making them a force to be reckoned with in battle. As an added bonus, they buff all DAEMON units that they share a Legion and Mark of Chaos with +1S (So bunch everything up in one cluster for the daemon buffs, then watch your opponent shoot you to death the entire game). Super-strong Maulerfiends anyone?
  • Helbrute: Given a new lease of life with its points drop in CA 2018. The Helbrute is one of the best Distraction Carnifexen Chaos can field for its price. Overall it's expendable, durable, and scary, in that order, as it takes a decent amount of applied firepower to be put down and doesn't degrade as it gets wounded. Can serve as a semi-mobile gun platform (make sure to keep a lord nearby for re-rolls) or it can be kitted out for melee to protect a back line from hard hitting deep-striking units (though the very things that you want it to fight will probably tear it multiple new assholes in no time). That being said it is possible to make this a very threatening harassing unit, as they do have good options, gain Legion traits and have their own stratagem.
    • For Ranged Builds: To start off, ditch the multi-melta; they're garbage for their points right now and everything else can outperform it in its own area, especially the lascannon, which does what the multi-melta does, but better. The reaper autocannon is now more reasonable with the points drop taken into account, whilst the twin heavy bolter remains the anti-infantry weapon of choice. The helbrute plasma cannon is now far better priced down to 16pts from 30pts, but still don't use it with the intention of harming the helbrute to trigger crazed; the chance of that happening when you fire the weapon is 2.7%, meaning you're better off just paying for something that will cause damage to the enemy rather than killing the helbrute faster. Missile Launchers also went down in price, making the versatility over stopping power trade-off more palatable. Kitted for range, a Helbrute can be potentially devastating if you roll up additional shots with Fire Frenzy. Finally, to round off the list, if you give them Mark of Slaanesh and make them Emperor's Children, you give it the ability to take a Doom Siren as a cheaper option to the Fist/Flamer combo. It can also swap out its Multi-Melta for two Blastmasters. This is an excellent choice if you want a purely ranged Helbrute; just slap a missile launcher on its other arm and abuse the shit out of Fire Frenzy (thanks Forge World's Forces of Chaos FAQ).
    • For Melee Builds: The default Helbrute Fist is still statistically better than the Helbrute Hammer, as it outperforms the hammer thanks to the -1 penalty to hit. The Power Scourge is also worth considering, being better against MEQs and lower compared to the fist. Helbrutes can also opt to bring two power scourges, allowing you to fulfill your dreams of turning your helbrutes into wacky octopus monsters or waving inflatable arm-flailing tube men (do this if you know you're up against T4 W2 models and watch them melt). Bring one in an Emperor's children Army for maximum hentai. Hateful Assault also applies to these guys, meaning they are now point for point a really nasty distraction carnifex.
      • Due to a hilariously poorly worded FAQ, every model in the game has a close combat weapon in addition to what you see on its datasheet, meaning Battering Onslaught only needs one datasheet melee weapon listed to trigger, so the second fist doesn't actually help you.
  • Khorne Berzerkers: One of, if not the biggest reasons you don't need to build your regular units for close combat (except maybe Hammer-Chosen) and now a whole point cheaper each in CA2019. As these guys are always going to kick their ass at it. Almost mandatory you take an Icon of Wrath for the charge re-rerolls. Advice is to ditch the pistols on your standard Zerkers as killing things with bullets makes charges harder; whilst a Chainaxe and Chainsword combo tends to get you more returns anyway. The Champion benefits greatly from a Power Fist (punching in at S10) and as long as you get your charge, you get to fight twice before anyone who didn't charge! Keep in mind however that they're no more durable than a normal CSM and so they need a transport to help them get where they need to go. In addition if they are charged they can all go down fast. That being said if you really want a Deathstar (and why not, since they're troops in a World Eaters list) then put 18 of them with Axe, Sword and Fist on the champ (or 3 5-man units, for maximum fistiness) into a Kharybdis assault claw, then join an Exalted Champion with A Talisman of Burning Blood and A Cheap Lord riding shotgun. Anything they hit, they'll run right over. Also work well as a shock-troop in Black Legions list without character support as using Let the Galaxy Burn allows them to re-roll to hit rolls of 1 for 1CP.
    • As per the FAQ, attacks from the bonus World Eater Legion trait only apply to the first activation in the fight phase. The true benefit behind Berzerkers is how they combine quantity and quality of attacks like no other unit when rocking Chainaxes!
    • RAW Hateful Assault adds its attack to both activations rather than the 'subsequent fight phase' as it lasts to the end of turn.
    • Since they count as troops for World eaters, they should be your primary choice in a World Eaters army; as taking them with the Legion tactic + Hateful Assault makes them damn right monstrous on a melee charge. Armed with the chainsword/chainaxe combo, a 10 man squad are basically getting 92 attacks on the charge (+1 for the Charge, +1 Hateful Assault, +1 with the Chainsword and then another round of attacks minus Butchers Nails due to Blood for the Blood God). This many attacks at strength 5/6 no less will make even Ork and Blood angels players think twice when getting into melee.
    • Hateful Assault now makes overkill even more of a problem. The issue being these guys are too damn good at killing! Simple remedy is to up your squad size and attempt to multi charge units, ideally from transports; when your pumping out 80 + or more S6 AP-1 attacks you need to make sure each one of those causes damage and doesn't simply get wasted. This also allows you to tie up enemies that are posted to shoot after falling back or something later on. Further, larger units can withstand more casualties, and you know these guys will receive A LOT of return fire.
    • Consider an underground party bus against gunlines like guard and tau. A termite assault drill can carry 12 models, 2 units of 5 berzerkers with icon each, a chaos lord and an exalted champion. each unit of can potentially charge a unit at their edge and so trap a neighbouring unit in combat. With the immense number of attacks being put out by the berzerkers you can potentially neuter a big chunk of enemy shootyness. Plus a big melta drill on tracks now close to enemy lines will force enemy to reassess their battle plan. Pricey but not as much of a gamble with 4 charge rolls, 2 of which get rerolls from icon of wrath.
    • Modeler's note: Don't use the old ugly (and now approaching dwarf-level short) Khorne Berzerker models. The new kit for Chaos Marines is glorious, all you need to really make them work as Berzerkers is get a hold of some Chainaxes and Khornate heads. Age of Sigmar Wrathmongers, Skullcrushers, or Blood Warriors are all excellent sources for the latter.
  • Mutilators: Outperformed offensively by Terminators and slow as fuck, Mutilators do have two advantages: The first is that like the Possessed they're Daemons, and so benefit from Daemonic units like Greater Daemons/Heralds as well as their Psychic Powers (you could also further buff them with Fabius Bile). The second is that they give a shitload of wounds, decent attacks, AP and Damage for their points value, especially considering they clock in at just over 100pts (Again Hateful Assault and Word Eaters helps here). They're not going to hit as <consistently> hard as a kitted out unit of termies but they also won't cost anywhere close to as much, and point-for-point they do very well for what they cost, just Deep-Strike them and treat them as backup for your main force or as a body guard for an expendable Choppy Lord. Use Veterans of the Long War to help them fuck up everything they bump into. Certain Legion Traits like Emperor's Children or Renegades to help their terrible mobility also do well in helping them get where they need to be and hit before the enemy, otherwise if you roll well on their S/AP/D you'll want to use the fight again stratagem through Mark of Khorne.
    • Stick them in a Land Raider with a Master of Possessions, Greater Possessed and Chaos Sorcerer in Termie Armor. Sure, it'll be a little expensive, but we're squeezing blood from a stone here.
    • After Gaining Hateful Assault and using Red Corsairs Renegade Trait this solves some of there mobility issues, these are cheap disposable deep striking distraction carnifex's
  • Noise Marines: These guys are so good, being one of the best ranged units you have with great mobility (as they can advance and still shoot) and good weapons; that might as well have AP-1 so long as you're shooting at anyone in cover. Even them dying isn't that much of a worry since they can shoot after they take a wound but before you remove them (even if they're killed in melee). On their own they're a strong reason for playing Emperor's Children, though despite their attacks, option for a Doom Siren, Stratagem, Icon of Excess and Legion Trait they're not going to be as good at close combat as Berzerkers, or other units like Chosen, not to mention choosing to enter combat like that means you lose you sonic blaster and racks the points you need to make back up significantly. You can also buff them with Psychic Powers, but that's just more points used on them instead of a squad of Berzerkers. They're not bad for the role, you're just not going to get nearly as much bang for your buck compared to just sticking with ranged builds for them and leaving the combat duty to units like Chosen/Terminators, especially since they're as likely as Berzerkers to get shot off the table or counter-charged, in which case their Legion Trait won't do shit.
    • Got a points drop in CA 2019. A squad of 10 with 2 Blastmasters will cost you 36 points less thanks to the cheaper bodies and Blastmasters.
    • Note: The rule that protects characters from being directly targeted specifically states it only applies to the shooting phase, so if you have Noise Marines die in the psychic or fight phases, Music of the Apocalypse will let you target characters regardless of nearby units! Also if you choose to take plasma on the Champion, then you can also supercharge it when he dies at no risk to himself.
  • Plague Marines: One of the more expensive options, the Plague Marines are tough as shit, but in a different way to the Rubric Marines. Rubrics hold up better against mass low Damage (which typically means low Strength) weapons, while the Plague Marines are better against high Strength, unless they also come with high AP and high damage like Overcharged plasma guns (and they're very marginally worse against non-charged plasma guns). They can also be built for melee, with good options that can have decent Damage and that boost your Strength (while allowing various re-rolls), and as such they're a good option if you want slightly weaker Berzerkers who aren't in danger of getting their shit kicked in if they are charged or shot.
  • Possessed: If you're getting these guys then remember a few things: they need a Master of Possession and a Greater Possessed to babysit them in order to bring out their full potential, and they can benefit from both the Malefic powers and any auras from Chaos Daemon characters. Thanks to their two wounds and Daemon save, they are actually about as tough as normal Plague Marines, even though they lack the Disgustingly Resilient rule. D3 attacks with what amounts to Power Axes is only slightly inferior (6/7) to a Plague Marine with a Bubotic Axe. In this comparison, the Possessed are cheaper and faster, deal almost as much damage, and can be affected by a Herald of Nurgle if you're willing to include one while lacking the ranged damage that plague marines can do. Small units of them are both cheap and effective, both as melee units and as distractions, and every round they take is not directed at your special weapons. If you're interested in mob killers though, then you're better off with Khorne Berzerkers and if you want just resilient ranged units, stick with the aforementioned Plague Marines. Possessed make an okay middle ground between the two if you want decent melee units that know how to take a punch. You can also give them the Mark of Slaanesh for Delightful Agonies if you want them to be even tougher (and then further benefit from something like Hysterical Frenzy).
  • Rubric Marines: An interesting choice and now cheaper thanks to CA 2019 making their inferno bolters free. They can cover numerous bases and so long as you keep them out of close combat (because no, your force weapons aren't likely to win the fight for you). Working best as objective campers by being difficult as shit to remove (for everything besides plasma/heavy weapons) - while being able to fire off armour-melting shots and maybe a mortal wound now and again. If you want to boost them, swap out the Sorceror's smite using the Chaos Familiar stratagem for something else. Warptime for example takes away their biggest downside and turns them into a threat the opponent can't ignore or avoid. Do note that if you do want just pure shooting and aren't worried about them sticking around, then you're better off with Noise Marines instead, and be careful with your Sorcerer casts. If he kills himself via perils he can take a couple of Rubrics with him.
    • with the updated bolter rules these guys can do some serious anti-infantry work at a decent range. Pop them on an object/cover in your deployment zone and give them a soulreaper and watch them mulch your enemy's troops.
    • Warpflamers got a 2pt reduction in CA2019. It's...something?


Forge World Elites

These units can be found in Imperial Armour and Imperial Armour Index: Chaos.

  • Chaos Decimator [Forge World]: The Decimator has essentially become an oddball Helbrute, It's weaker in melee against everything T5 and above (despite the extra attack) while better against everything T4 and lower, it's sort of better at range in that it has fantastic options, Butcher Cannons being a very notable one and has a fantastic debuff, although the Helbrute with Blastmasters has much better AP and being able to use Fire Frenzy, which the Decimator has no access to. It still has uses compared to the Helbrute though. As a Daemon Engine it can, for 2CP, ignore movement penalties to its heavy weapons and re-roll its to hits and wounds. Meanwhile the Soulburner petard is a downright fantastic anti-everything weapon and even the Mortal Wounds it causes to the Decimator aren't a concern since it can just naturally heal those off. You can even take two since you can only hurt yourself once per gun. The Butcher Cannons meant more for offensive lists as debuffing an enemy unit before engaging in them Melee can be much more valuable than just shooting them again. With a 5++ it should live long enough to affect the later turns of a game. Recommended that you skip the C-beam cannon though as the arm slot is better spent on another weapon. In short, take Decimators if you need Mortal Wounds, Leadership debuffs and durability without Warpsmiths/Hellwrights following them around, get Helbrutes for everything else. Can also theoretically benefit from the 2 Melee Weapons equipped ruling as per the 'Everyone has a Close Combat Weapon' if you decide to go Siege-Claw/Gun mode.
  • Hellforged Contemptor Dreadnought [Forge World]: The Contemptor remains as good as it ever was. It has a huge amount of options and can be kitted out to whatever role you want without much issue (especially since the FAQ lets it swap both fists for ranged weapons), even its degrading stats aren't a problem since it only gets a 4+ at absolute worst and you have many ways of buffing your army. Like the Decimator it can get a Butcher Cannon for a solid strength long range weapon and debuff, though its Soulburner isn't nearly as good. Use a Decimator if you want to spew out the Mortal Wounds, as there are other things the Contemptor can do better. The Twin Heavy Bolter remains cost effective, however the Kheres Assault Cannons may be a better choice overall when facing tougher elite infantry such as Custodes. Like the Decimator, give the finger to the C-beam Cannon as with the butcher cannon cost reduction in CA18, double butcher cannons are a very efficient loadout that can threaten most targets. Melee wise take the ChainClaw over the DeathClaw and a Shooting weapon. Similar to a Helbrute and the poorly worded FAQ you can still benefit from Dark Fury which requires 2 melee weapons to be equipped to gain the bonus).
  • Hellforged Predator [Forge World]: Confused to see this in the elites slot? So is everyone else! Anyway, it's a Predator that's an elite with some extra rules and guns. Standard Pred weapons with the ability to choose Flamestorm Cannon to fuck up those pesky Primaris Marines, Magna-melta Cannon, a super multi-melta and bad idea that won't make its points back, and C-beam cannon that should be skipped as it's not as good as a Lascannon no matter how FW try to sell it to you. Surprisingly this is one of the few models that have characteristics that improve as it takes damage, and as such you'd do well to choose something that allows it to close in while ignoring the modifiers to its BS, making the flamers shoe-ins for the role. The plasma destroyer can also work well for softening up a unit so that the Predator can finish them off itself, in turn allowing it to heal thanks to Machina Malifica.
    • Per the FAQ, you can't use the Kill Shot Stratagem with Hellforged Predators.
  • Hellforged Sicaran [Forge World]: An even bigger vehicle in the elites slot? No it's not the Slaanesh dust kicking in, this is real life. The Sicaran is still a beast at T7 W14 3+, but as always we take it for its main weapon, and its huge mobility lets it track down those flyers it was meant to shoot down (as well as get into combat so that it can eat people to heal). The Sicaran is one of those models that can actually do dual roles quite well since its boosted autocannons can cause damage to everything, and the choice of heavy bolters/lascannons allows you to fill in whichever other hole you're lacking, more anti-infantry for the former, more anti-armour for the latter.

Dedicated Transport[edit]

  • Chaos Rhino - The Pimp Wagon. At 70 points, you need to be careful not to go overboard with these. Now that they're basically assault vehicles (Note that you can't disembark from a vehicle after it has moved) so they're a great way to get your close combat troops stuck in. The Havoc launcher is great, take it especially as its now just 6pts! Rhinos are durable enough that it requires a lot of firepower to take down, and alone are not large enough of a threat that opponents will really want shoot at it especially if you pop smoke the first turn it moves (as per the FAQ you can do this after advancing as well), allowing it to get away with fielding extra gear like the havoc launcher and/or other weapons (though make sure you don't cross the threshhold of making it a notable threat by giving it something like a melta, as that'll get it killed). Keep in mind too that even if you don't plan on driving upfield with CSM's in them, they can still protect your (expensive) infantry quite reliably from turn 1 shenanigans, in addition to providing fire-support and cover for your guys later on. If you choose to keep it basic then make sure it does the only thing it can do once it delivers its passengers: Annoy the Ever-living Fuck out of Your Opponent. Park it on an objective and deny it for as long as possible. Charge it into melee to soak overwatch/deny the enemy their shooting. Hide your other units behind it for cover. The instant your opponent becomes irritated enough to shoot it, it has already gone above and beyond for its points. Cheese on.
  • Terrax-Pattern Termite Assault Drill [Forge World] - It's a giant 134 point drill that can carry up to 12 <LEGION> infantry. The Subterranean Assault ability lets you put this (and its payload) into reserve and Deep Strike, and the guys inside can disembark on the same turn this thing shows up. The real selling points on this are that its Toughness 8 with 10 Wounds and has a mean melee weapon in the form of its drill. Mathhammer'd out and at top profile, the drill will do 6 damage against a Knight. Additionally, if you don't kill something with a drill after melee, you roll a D6 and on 2+ it takes a mortal wound, then a 3+, then a 4+, etc, until you fail, doing 2.5 MWs on average after attacks. It won't kill a Knight, but it has a pretty good chance at killing light vehicles.

Flyer[edit]

  • Heldrake: AKA the Helturkey. No Hard to Hit, no Airborne, but that's not necessarily a bad thing, it still has Infernal Regeneration and it's robust, but not unkillable, and arguably better than later 7th Edition because due to loss of facing it's now a turret weapon again. A price drop in CA 2018 meant that it may see the field more often than previous builds. For weapons skip the gun for the Baleflamer, being a Daemon Engine the Heldrake has a terrible BS of 4+, and with the Hades Autocannon being a Heavy weapon it will hit on a 5+ if you move so it's just a terrible idea because you'll want to move. Other than shooting, the Heldrake can be used effectively in melee. Yes, melee. 4 attacks, WS 3+, S7 AP -1 Dd3 claws, with a +1 to hit against <FLY>. This makes the Heldrake the best anti-<FLY> Flyer in the game, itself being unit with <FLY> means it can charge something and then fall back while still melting faces with daemonic fire. This also makes it a supreme backfield nuisance or tool to shut down an opponents heavy guns for a turn. It can even assassinate the odd out of place character by using Daemon Forge (though it will probably fail against any TEQ unit). Keep in mind the bonus to hit also applies to Jump-Packs and Jet-Bike units and that it can also be charged by units that don't have fly, so watch the fuck out for anything that could kick its shit in (try to perch it on buildings or terrain if you can to mitigate this).
    • The lack of Aircraft rules cuts both ways. It can be charged by ground units, but it can also be used to pin down enemy units as they cannot fall back through its base like they can with Aircraft. Similarly, Knights and other Super-Heavy Walkers cannot fall back across it; watch your opponent flip the table when he realizes cannot Fall Back with his Castellan through any of your units pinning it in combat because they all have weird keywords.


Eyrine Cults (AKA Forge World Flyers)

  • Hell Blade [Forge World]: Courtesy of the Dark Mechanicus's warped minds comes one of the better anti-flyer units in the game. With a 18"-60" movement that doesn't degrade as you take damage, a funky rule that allows it to pivot up to 90 degrees at the beginning AND end of each movement phase, as well as its heavier weapons you will be hunting enemy flyers in style. If you think a Heldrake's not going to do it (or you want something that can't be charged by ground troops) then you might as well go with the Hell Blade. It's also cheaper than a Heldrake now as of CA 2018 at 130 points with Helstorm cannons.
  • Hell Talon [Forge World]: Nearly twice the cost as a Hell Blade as of CA 2018, meaning now the choice between Hell Blade and Hell Talon is an actual decision again. It's appropriate to think of the Hell Talon as a flying predator or actual flying version of the Heldrake, trading its split focus between air and ground to become a pure flyer/bomber. The helstorm cannon is mandatory (you technically can swap it, but you'll never want to) as are its twin lascannons so you might as well learn to like 'em. As for its bombs, Pyrax are best if you want to go after infantry mobs, though Warp-pulse bombs can also do you well if you have plans on further debuffing their leadership (if you're playing Night Lords for example) and are about to fight them in close combat soon (or even if you don't want to get shot, as its debuff applies to all hit rolls). Baletalon shatter charges are outright better against vehicles and monsters than Warp-pulse bombs, despite both sharing a similar bonus, but you already have good weapons that deal a lot of wounds so only take them if you expect a tone of monsters/tanks/buildings.
  • Storm Eagle Gunship [Forge World]: 285 points stock (274 at its cheapest, 358 with maximum firepower) of the best transport flyer Chaos has to offer. Ever want to ram 20 Berzerkers 45" into your enemy's face? Now you can. It's durable and has good firepower, and should be kitted out to deal with whatever its passengers struggle with. Carrying Havocs with anti-armour? Take weapons to deal with groups. Carrying Berzerkers? Take anti-armour. As soon as it drops off its passengers it can go deal with those threats. If you want overlap in both roles, having both transport and carried unit taking on the same type of enemy, then you should re-think your game plan, if the unit can't make it and do their job on their own, then the Storm Eagle shouldn't be carrying them. There is also something to be said for shooting a cheap screen blocking something juicy the Berzerkers want to charge, as they can threaten almost any target in the game. Storm Eagle has to get them there and into position.
  • Fire Raptor Gunship [Forge World]: Choose two Quad Heavy Bolters and two Twin Lascannons, and your Fire Raptor will happily delete a ten man Tactical Squad per turn or an Imperial Knight in two. Very expensive at **432** points, but while it lives, it destroys while needing dedicated firepower to remove in turn. Put Prescience on it to really get the most out of being your enemy's Priority Number 1. Want to go even further? Grab yourself a Nurgle Sorcerer, throw Mark of Nurgle on this bad boy, then use Miasma of Pestilence to make it even harder to hit. Dark Apostle can pray for an additional -1 to hit.
  • Xiphon Interceptor [Forge World]: Another solid anti-air option. Like the Hell Blade, it has +1 to hit against <FLY> units, hitting on a 2+ against them at full wounds. It looks cheap from its points value, but once you tack on the two twin lascannons and the Soulstalker missile launcher it is well over 200 points. Unfortunately it's not going to be as efficient at its job as the Hell Blade/Heldrake are, and can be skipped in favour of those, especially since the Hell Blade doesn't degrade, and the Helldrake's degradations are negligible until its last 3 wounds (and the dragon regenerates wounds).

Fast Attack[edit]

  • Chaos Bikers: T5, 2 Wounds and 14" Move lets them pull off tricky movement and kite most things around the board. With a drop in price in CA 2018 to both the Bikers and Weapons these guys are pretty good at filling the hole left in any army. Need anti-horde? Take Flamers and move+advance 20" to unleash auto-hitting hellfire on the Greenskins. Need anti-armour? Take melta, have the option to move+advance and still fire, and force your opponent to split their shooting between these guys and your other heavy hitters. Plasma is also a good all-rounder options but works best with HQ support. Don't charge with them or gear them for assault or you're trolling as they can become easily bogged down. If you must go into melee swapping their pistols for chain-swords is the best option and has no points cost. A good general use for these guys is to take three units at MSU of 3, give the champion combi-melta/plasma/flamer and the other two melta/plasma/flamer and treat all nine like a sort of really fast glass-cannon. Run up the board and unleash hell with all their guns and always keep the combi-bolter when adding special weapons to up your shooting. Should easily make their points back, and against light infantry charging after unloading a powerful flamer/combi-bolter salvo isn't the worst idea.
    • Boosted like all Marines by Bolter Drill. A squad of 5 Bikers with A Combi-Flamer and Flamers gives you 20 Bolter Shots and 3D6 Auto-Hitting Flamer Shots for less than 150pts. Tack in a Lord and Veterans of the Long War and melt entire conscript or boy squads in a single round of shooting.
    • A biker with a combi-bolter and a chainsword is 25 points. Compared to 2 Chaos Space Marines with bolters, you get the same number of wounds, the same number of attacks, a higher toughness, a 14" move and the same number of shots rapid-firing, which you can do at 24" while moving unlike a Marine. Plus on top of this you can add a plasma gun for the same price as a Marine, without having to replace your basic gun. All for a point cheaper than those two Marines.
  • Chaos Raptors: Your Assault Marines EQ, but with spooky masks. Useful for tactical disruption and for applying special weapon fire to vulnerable targets (arm them with meltas for sneak-shots at back line vehicles or plasmas for MEQs) however if you want to use raptors as dedicated CC units, you will be quite disappointed. Raptors are surprisingly different from Loyalist scum, unlike Assault Marines the Raptors can take 2 Special Weapons PLUS a combi-weapon, with special melee weapons only available for the Champion. Making Clear what their intended role is. If you want to be dirty, take 2 5-man Raptor squads with 2 plasma guns and a Combi-Plasma on the champs and deep strike in with a Combi-Plasma Jump-Pack Lord. With precision deep-strike to get in rapid-fire range and the lord's aura to reroll 1's, the amount of overcharged plasma you put out will make your opponent Groan, while also being substantially cheaper than Combi-Plasma Terminators. They can do melee with Mark of Khorne and Icon of Wrath, they can land a turn 1 charge, though their melee is only helpful if you're playing certain Legions and even then they're better at deep-striking near vulnerable shooty units and charging them. If you don't want to deep-strike to use plasma, or still want melta's/flamers, then use Warptime and slingshot them across the board.
    • You can now make deep-striking raptors attacks (shooting and melee) reroll for one command point. If you also mark them as Slaanesh you can make them shoot twice and still reroll. Set up just within 12 inches and LET FLY ALL GUNS! With overcharging plasma you can safely deal 12 wounds of damage to a squad of meq, or around 8 to a Toughness 7 vehicle before you boost your wounding.
    • These guys as night lords in the host raptorial are unbelievably good, they get a 5" 3d6 charge out of deepstrike and for 1 CP tie up a unit a turn, so long as it isn't a vehicle and doesn't have a minimum move characteristic (like an aircraft). Against armies like tau this can be a game changing combo as they rely on only a few units shooting to do all their damage and their units are completely incompetent in combat so your raptors can just sit their pinning two riptides for the whole game.
  • Chaos Spawn: An old, dead meme and now dedicated meatshield. These are the guys (or things?) you want in front because of their higher Movement, higher Toughness, higher Wounds and okay combat ability. If you're footslogging anything or want anti-smite bubblewrap then these are your... something. They can do decent in close combat, but they're not great at it since they cost similarly to Terminators who're likely going to outperform it, but if your opponent's coming at you to use Smite (or if they manage to live through the shooting/smite spam as they walk up) there's not much harm in charging in. You might as well get a bit more out of them before they go down, and even if your opponent doesn't target them they can tie up ranged units quite well (and with some lucky rolls, even manage to kill them). Be sure to laugh if you manage to tie up something like a Broadside because there were more threatening/pricier targets for the enemy to be shooting at. Also as Super-Heavy Walkers (i.e. Imperial Knights) can only fall back over Infantry and Swarms you can use Spawn to tarpit them for a turn or two whilst something that can actually kill them moves in closer.
    • With point changes you can get 5 for 100pt. With it's deceptive toughness and decent mobility there are worse things to choose to draw fire or fill out a brigade.
  • Warp Talons: Lightning claws will guarantee they will mess shit up, especially as they prevent overwatch if they charge on the turn they deep strike (a blessing against Tau). If done to warlords or other prized units, it's downright cheesy and a 10 man unit at 190pts as of CA 2019 can tie up alot of your opponents army assuming they survive the retaliation in melee. 5+ invuln is also nice (even more so when boosted to 4+ with Cursed Earth), though not as nice as it used to be before the age of AP modifiers. That said, that 9" charge is no more likely for them than it is for everything else and they can't take Icons because claws don't let you grip flag poles very well. Keep in mind Warp Talons have the DAEMON keyword - when combined with the mark of chaos, this allows them to benefit from the auras of like-marked chaos daemon characters (ie. Daemonic Loci and Buffs) well as the auras of Greater Possessed and Malefic powers. A fun, cheeky little strategy that showcases this is giving a squad of Warp talons the mark of Khorne so that when you've pulled off the charge you can use the fury of Khorne stratagem to give them another round of RIP AND TEAR and having an allied Herald of Khorne nearby gives you two rounds of power axe attacks that re-roll wounds.
    • Your going to want these guys in a host raptorial just to get that +2 to charge out of deepstrike, it doesn't sound big but this makes a huge difference to your chances of getting that charge off particularly considering that you can reroll your charge when you come down.


Forge World Fast Attack

As with elites. Found in Imperial Armour and Imperial Armour Index: Chaos.

  • Blood Slaughterer of Khorne [Forge World]: THE best melee walker for its points, the Blood Slaughterer is a blender on spiky legs. Expect it to attract a lot of firepower, so much that its Infernal Regeneration is not going to be enough, especially if it scuttles halfway across the board. Using Warptime on it is a must if you want to get into combat turn 1, otherwise DO NOT try to get it all the way to the enemy in only one turn, have it come at the enemy with at least a few other units, preferably alongside something like Warpsmith/Hellwright to repair some of the damage it's going to take. Going up alone's going to put you in range of everything, possibly rapid-fire range of several units and you don't want it weathering that much firepower. Once you get to the enemy however, go nuts as there isn't anything that it's bad at killing and both loadouts are good depending on what you're fighting (harpoon for vehicles/monsters, which also helps make the charge, blades for everyone else).
    • This almost goes without saying, but take this with a (or multiple) Lord Disco in a Soulforged Pack. Adding two to your move characteristic and having the assault after advancing strategem makes your threat range 18"+2d6" (+2 if you land a harpoon). Add in warptime to go faster than a Heldrake on speed.
  • Greater Blight Drone [Forge World]: The big drone's weapons combined with it's movement make this unit pretty dangerous, though it's a pricey unit to field so it should be. Unlike the Blood Slaughterer you do want this to go alone and make it to the enemy as fast as possible (made easier thanks to Carrion Haunter, making it so that you don't even need Warptime), as its Bile Maw needs to be somewhat close and it has a much higher chance to explode when it dies. Fortunately T7, an invuln and regenerating wounds should mean that won't be anytime soon.
  • Hellforged Dreadclaw Drop Pod [Forge World]: For the price of almost two Spiky Metal Bawkses you can get yourself a Flying Spiky Metal Bawks... that functions more like a mobile drop pod. However, true to its FW origin, it also packs a shopping list of confusing features. Transport-wise it can haul Raptors and Termies (herp-de-derp Obliterators count as one model each due to wording) or even a Dread/Decimator (thanks FAQ, making it the only viable delivery vector for our choppy walkers). It zips around with flat movement of 15" and FLY, meaning that damage doesn't slow it down and it ignores terrain. Zoom-zoom! It packs a surprisingly good melee weapon (that sadly deteriorates) and it can also burn nearby fuckers with its jet wash, though that's more of a mulligan for before you eat people to heal yourself. Something to remember is that since its move doesn't degrade it can be used to deep-strike, drop off its payload and then fly over to whoever else you want to shuttle around, or charge a ranged unit way in the backfield who really doesn't want to be in combat with anything. Just like a Rhino, so long as it's annoying the shit out of your opponent it's doing its job.
  • Hellforged Kharybdis Assault Claw [Forge World]: Dreadclaw not have enough spikes? Ever wanted to field a model that weighs as much as its point cost? Well here you go! Expensive (in every way), tough and somewhat shooty, the Kharybdis is one of those that can really piss off your opponent provided you deep-strike it in, unload however many Berzerkers you took, and get that immediate charge before they were able to react before whisking the thing 15" away next turn to burn and shoot more shit. It's no wonder it was hit with a points hike since it really does justify it, though if you just want it for its troop capacity and are worried about it getting destroyed, you'll be better off with a Storm Eagle.

Heavy Support[edit]

  • Chaos Land Raider: The Big One. The Iron Beast of Unholy Destruction. It's the Land Raider, and the logical choice for adding something HUEG to your army that can blow shit up and bring your big boys along for the fun. Functionally identical to the Loyalist Land Raider Phobos, though this one can take Combi-weapons and a Havoc Launcher instead of a Multi-Melta. Fast (for its size) and its durability is fantastic, ESPECIALLY once you put Delightful Agonies or Miasma of Pestilence on it, making it an infuriating task to destroy. Note that while this can take a Combi-plasma, supercharging it will result in it possibly killing itself in one go. Don't do it, man. Got even cheaper in CA 2019 at 180pts before wargear meaning they are no longer eating as many points in an army before.
  • Chaos Predator: It does Predator things, split fire has buffed it A LOT. In comparison with Havocs: the Predator is more durable at T7, has more wounds, said wounds can be healed by a Warpsmith, is immune to Morale, has access to two very relevant stratagems and moves twice as fast without needing an expensive transport to be able to do so. The Havocs have more flexible weapon options, can hide and use cover easier, benefit from Legion Traits, do better in melee, aren't as vulnerable to D6 damage weaponry and don't have degrading shooting stats when they lose wounds. Some people like tanks, some people like boots on the ground, but if you're going with tanks there are two major roles that a Predator can fill. Anti-tank, or anti-infantry (or to a lesser degree, both). For the anti-tank role, you can grab a las-pred armed with 4 lascannons. You can give it a Combi-X of your choice and/or a havoc launcher if you have the spare points (especially now that havoc launchers are cheaper). It is also totally fine as is without them too. For the anti-infantry role, you can have the Dakka-pred armed with the much improved "Predator Autocannon" and two Heavy Bolter sponsons. Unlike the las-pred you are definitely going to want to spring for a Combi-X and Havoc Launcher, as it still ends up being cheaper anyway. You can also choose to do a mix and match of both by picking one of each layout (Heavy Bolters with a Lascannon turret mainly) and shooting each weapons at whatever its best optimised for. That said, mix N' matching is generally still a bad idea. If you split your fire each round it usually means that you're not killing stuff fast enough, or at the very least slower than if you had specialised the Predator into anti-tank or anti-infantry.
    • Finds itself competing in a clogged heavy support role between Mauler Fiends, Havocs, Defilers and Land Raiders. Still it remains an attractive choice if you can't think what to put into a list.
  • Chaos Vindicator: Stuck in a bit of a niche killing very heavy infantry and monsters, far from useless however. T5 infantry and below are going to suffer, and vehicles are going to take a beating from that much firepower (make sure to focus on Vehicles/Monsters first). Benefits from Combi-Weapons and Havoc Launcher quite well, in particular a combi-melta supplements the Vindicator's anti-vehicle firepower nicely letting it drive forward and tanking light-arms shots effectively (being T8). Take it if you want something to spearhead a vehicular assault; the close range firepower will serve you well. Extra points if you give it Delightful Agonies or Miasma of Pestilence to make it absorb even more fire. With the Codex: Space Marines updates, we got an erratum that changes the demolisher cannons to d6 shots. It's a nice change, but d6 is so swingy that you can't rely on it.
  • Defiler: Here's the deal, Deffy is exactly what you expect him to be, he's a big, stompy, killy daemon engine that will inevitably draw in a lot of enemy fire because of how dangerous he is. Well priced, he can be incredibly destructive and how you run him really depends on what you like doing. Replacing his flamers and auto-cannon for a Havoc Launcher and Twin Las-Cannon can ruin some vehicle's day - just make sure to use Prescience, Blasphemous Machines and Daemon Forge on him if you do. Otherwise keep him cheap by bring a Defiler Scourge and Autocannon and run him up the board, in which case Deffy gets 4 STR 16 AP-3 D6 damage AND 3 STR 12 AP-2 D3 attacks plus a +1 of either of these thanks to Hateful Assault in Melee, something very few units could EVER dream of at such a cheap price (<150pts), Then there's Daemonforge on top of that. However, regardless of how you build him, he will inevitably attract quite a bit of... Attention from your opponent, intentionally or not. Meaning theres a good chance he MIGHT die before it gets into melee, Though you can off-set this with Miasma of Pestilence, Delightful Agonies, or Weaver of Fates combined with Smoke Launchers. Take 2, and arm them with Scourges, and watch whatever units they charge be deleted from existence. Also pairs well with drawing shots away from your (cheaper) Shooty Hellbrutes and can pretty much solo-protect a back-line from intruders.
  • Forgefiend: The Dakkafiend, comes standard with 2 Hades Autocannons and a Reinforced Jaw, but that jaw can and should be replaced by an ectoplasm cannon whilst a nearby Lord and Warpsmith counter-attack any deepstrikers. Received a nice little points drop on both the unit and its weapons. Due to this the Autocannons should stay, as they cost the same as the plasma but deal more shots at higher Strength. For Plasma spam you've got Chosen and Fallen for that anyway. Bring a pack of 2 of these things and watch them output a ridiculous amount of firepower on a target making sure your Warp-Infused Grease-Monkeys are nearby to tend to them. They work best when buffed by things like Prescience and Daemon Forge stratagem as their BS is only 4+ and it gets really shitty when it degrades. Abaddon's also a hell of a buff for them, though you should only use him with them when you're doing the strategy of marching him across the field and have his aura only buff the Forge-fiends while they're in it (don't have them follow him).
  • Havocs: Now come only in squads of 5 with an improved Toughness of 5 which, make no mistake, does not make up at all for the loss of extra bodies. They must take 4 heavy weapons, and treat Heavy Bolters and Lascannons as the default loadout. In addition, they can move and fire heavy weapons with no penalties to Hit, drastically enhancing their mobility.
    • Autocannons were once the generalist weapon, it's now outshone by the Reaper Chaincannon. The biggest problem is that you may find that although you hit often, especially if buffed by prescience, wound often, the majority of damage can be negated through saves, and unlike the Chaincannon it doesn't have the high volume of fire to make up for this deficiency. All that aside, regular Chaos Marines can take them now too so if you still want them, get them there instead.
      • They could actually be a really decent choice over Reaper Chaincannon, if this tool is used in the right place. Reaper Chaincannon is H8, 24" S5, AP -1 at a cost of 20, D1. Autocannon is H2, 48", S7, AP -1, D2 at a cost of 10. Reaper Chaincannon will always outperform Autocannon against hordes with low toughness, armor, and HP (Standards MEQs). But Autocannons, will be more versatile, with his S7, could be really good against Eldars-like (thanks to Strength>=Toughnessx2), any vehicles with Toughness<=6, and also they could damage easier Doomsday Arks that could negate lascannons with their Quantum Shielding, plus they could kill Primaris at longer range, with only one hit. Buffed the right way, they could do their job really well, being actually 70 point cheaper than a Dakka-pred, and 40 points cheaper than Reaper Chaincannons Havocs.
    • Heavy Bolters and Reaper Chaincannon fit into they same niche; the Reaper Chaincannon offers nearly triple the shots while having 12" less range and they both shred infantry. The downside of course is that Chaincannons are twice as expensive, and losing one hurts. Since you don't have extra bodies in the unit anymore, consider using one or two Heavy Bolters with the Chaincannons if you want to just go after Infantry and removing those before the Chaincannons to be a little more points-efficient. Strictly speaking though the Chaincannons will outclass almost every other weapon (except the Lascannon and against armoured targets). Consider sticking a unit or 2 of Chaincannon armed havocs in a Termite assault drill with a Chaos Lord or Sorcerer against tau or guard and watch a gunline turn to fine red mist. Iron Warriors legion trait means there's nowhere for them to hide too.
    • Missile Launchers are now the most flexible weapon, they're almost as good as the Lascannon against heavy targets, but not that useless against everything else especially with the points drop in CA 2018. This is the weapon you want in smaller games, when you don't know your opponent or you want just one Havoc squad to fire support your army and want to move on on other stuff. The perfect "what if" weapon. Do note that if you know what your opponent's bringing then it's actually the least appealing option as Lascannons outperform it against armour, Heavy Bolters outperform it against Infantry, though you might want to keep at least one hanging around if flyers are giving you a hard time, simply because the Flakk Missile stratagem is a thing.
    • Lascannons are absolutely terrifying against heavy targets. It does one job but it does it well, absolutely useless against everything else (except Monster/Character Killing, but nobody's dumb enough to let you shoot them).
  • Maulerfiend: The Choppafiend, fast and capable of cracking open any tank it comes in contact with especially with its drop in points as per CA 2018 and another in CA 2019. Make sure to swap for the lasher tendrils, as although the Magma cutter's nice your degrading stats and base of 4A you want to pick up extra attacks where you can, especially since they have decent AP and Damage (and Daemonforge affects them too). Like the Forgefiends they work better in pairs and tag-teaming a target or threatening elite infantry who can't fight them effectively hand to hand. Make sure to get them across the field fast (Warptime helps) as they will draw a shitload of attention from anyone who doesn't want their tanks ripped open.
  • Obliterators: Chaos Space Marine - CA 2019 confirms that they are 90pts each now. Your Randumb gunners. While the weapon's profile is random, it's biased towards targeting high Toughness, multi-Wound models, so basically vehicles, monsters, elite infantry, as even with the points drop their weapons are just not point efficient against hordes of infantry. The short range basically means that they have to deep-strike to be effective, which isn't really a mark against them since its far enough away to avoid Counter-Deepstrike stratagems like Auspex Scan. You can also choose a bullshit method of delivery like certain Forge World transports because they forgot to make sure that Obliterators take up more than one space. If you really want to up their shooting, make them Slaanesh so that you can use a Stratagem to fire twice, preferably after dropping them in right near a very expensive unit. Other than that, don't charge them in, they're not meant for combat despite their termie-like durability, their A3 and S5, it's a waste of their guns which can always do more and their stats should be seen as more of deterrent for enemy units thinking about charging them. Also keep in mind that they are Daemons, so they can be buffed by Daemon Characters and their psychic powers. Keep in mind though that if what you want is special weapon spam, you should go Chosen over these guys and Havocs do the ranged game better, Obliterators are best used as a really shooty bomb that appears out of nowhere.
    • Another option to consider with Obliterators is to give them Mark of Nurgle and ally in a detachment of Feculent Gnarlmaws. The Magic-Trees can be deployed across the battle-field to areas you may want to deepstrike to. Drop in the Obliterators and laugh as your opponent struggles to remove them with anything but the heaviest anti-tank fire.
    • With Shadowspear, their guns are now Assault 6, and their statline is boosted to T5 and W4. They also get a new melee weapon in the form of Crushing Fists (S+1 AP-1 D3 D). However it seems they are going to be going up in points cost, but this can be slightly offset by Obliterators being able to deploy in units of 1-3 like they could back in 7th edition.
  • Venomcrawler: The new Daemon Engine on the block. Unusual in that its ranged weapons are also affected by the damage table, so it's a good thing they have an improved Daemonforge that also regenerate wounds when it gets a kill in the Fight Phase. Benefits from sticking around a Master of Possession, since the MoP adds 1 to his summoning rolls if he's within 6" of it. Also, both his guns and his melee attack proc off his innate S value, meaning any buffs to his S (such as the greater possessed) will buff his shooting and his close combat. Despite being the squishiest of the daemon engines in terms of wounds. The crawler makes up for this by being as fast as a maulerfiend, and having assault weapons. Meaning you can keep the crawler moving or advancing up the board and not suffer the same accuracy penalties that the other daemon engines do.


Forge World Heavy Support

  • Chaos Vindicator Laser Destroyer (See Forge World FAQ): Rather lazily copied over from the Space Marine entry, so it's amusingly the only thing in the Chaos Astartes roster that can take a Storm Bolter and a Hunter-Killer Missile. Otherwise, it comes with the Laser Volley Cannon, a Heavy 2 D3 Lascannon with a foot less range, but with the option for overcharging it to a ruthless S10 AP-5 D6 statline that can shoot twice, but at the risk of dealing 3 Mortal Wounds back onto it on To-Hit rolls of 1. It also gains the Infernal Hunger melee weapon and the Machina Malefica ability, as well as the HELLFORGED keyword. So ultimately, you're getting a much better deal than the loyalists, as your tank destroyer can start eating Guardsmen if they stray too close.
  • Hellforged Deredeo Dreadnought [Forge World]: Chaos finally got the Dorito Dreadnought! A lot of people have wanted this for a while and rightfully so, it kicks ass. The Butcher Cannon Array and Ectoplasma Battery are in direct competition with each other, and against MEQ's and better they both do almost the same amount of damage, but the Butcher Cannon is still a better option because aside from higher range you also get the benefit of knocking down the opponent's leadership making it the better choice overall. Skip the Malignatas Saker, while it's likely to wound your shots are too low and damage is too unpredicatable. The Greater Havoc Launcher is a good choice as you can battle it out, than hide behind a rock when you have low wounds (and/or are waiting to be repaired) to stay relevant, but it also competes with the Hellfire Veil. If you've got a few backline units such as Havocs, skip the launcher and get the veil, it'll provide a much greater benefit to you as they can handle what the launcher was going to shoot anyway, but if you've already gotten something like a Noctolith Crown then feel free to go for the launcher as the saves won't stack. Finally, remember the cool ranch upgrade is better than the nacho cheese one.
  • Hellforged Leviathan Dreadnought [Forge World]: Whatever was sacrificed in the name of Chaos to make these available... it was worth it. This super dreadnought is a monster and priced very well for what it does. Since all FW Dreadnoughts received the 'Helbrute' keyword this bad boy can be buffed by your legion traits - Emperor's Children always fights first comes to mind (thanks FAQ). As for valid weapon options all are nasty and downright deadly in the right circumstances but are very expensive on an already expensive model. Butcher Cannon arrays are the most well rounded but the AP-1 can really detract from the potential damage. The Grav option is good against large groups of infantry but are often a waste of points since the only 40k infantry that come in 20+ models are often cheap as chips and individually poor target choices. Soulburner is good anti-tank but has a short range and leviathan's are slow. Often the Leviathan Dread is a brilliant distraction unit, but unless you have a foolproof way of getting it into combat quickly he's unlikely to really make his points back. Place him at the front of your army in the middle and use him to make your opponent sweat whilst havocs and obliterators pop heavier targets.
  • Hellforged Land Raider Achilles [Forge World]: Your land raider on steroids with 2 twin multi-meltas and a massive soulburner bombard that has a range of 48" with 2D3 shots. Not only is it capable of dealing massive damage and mortal wounds, it has an inbuilt 4++ which can be buffed to a 3++ if you give it Mark of Tzeentch and cast the spell off. You WILL lose friends playing it this way as you shouldn't have to be reminded how much of a pain in the ass a land raider with a 3++ is to get rid of. The only downsides are its increased cost and very limited transport capacity (6 infantry models). Put Chosen in it rocking plasma spam and send them off to kill heavier infantry while you deal with vehicles/whatever survives them (meltas for vehicles, soulburner for survivors).
    • As of the Current FAQ the Achilles does not have Daemonic Machine Spirit like the vanilla Land Raider, meaning it will suffer penalties for moving and shooting. This particularly sucks ass since your soulburner is heavy, so try to find a way to put Prescience on it if you can, or use Blasphemous Machines to remove this penalty.
  • Hellforged Land Raider Proteus [Forge World]: For a bit more points you get a LR with some fantastic additional abilities. Standard loadout but boosted combat ability and regen, its Phylactery is good if you're going Night Lords or want to further debuff a unit hit by a butcher cannon, as well as making your opponent want to deep-strike their anti-armour outside of rapid-fire/melta range. Definitely worth considering if you want to travel somewhere with a unit like Chosen without worry of them being taken out by assholes who drop down and overcharge plasma into your ass. Also note that since its melee is boosted, it does better with assault units or other units who need to get in close as that allows it to get a charge off itself, hopefully heal from the damage and continue being a massive pain in your opponent's ass. Make sure to grab a havoc launcher, otherwise its default loadout is pretty good.
    • As of the current FAQ, the Proteus does not have Daemonic Machine Spirit like the Vanilla Land Raider, meaning it will suffer penalties for moving and shooting. You can use Blasphemous Machines to remove this if you want/need to, sucks you need a CP to do it.
  • Hellforged Rapier Battery [Forge World]: You will likely take these for the cheap Laser Destroyer and blow enemy vehicles apart (a trio of them can royally fuck up a Knight), though C-beam cannon's good as an all-comers choice and the quad heavy bolter's good against infantry blobs. It can also eat people in melee, but given its statline and purpose, you should do everything you can to prevent that from happening. Lastly never forget to have some sort of aura affecting it, missing with its heavier shots is devastating.
    • Note that Daemon Unleashed cannot actually trigger, as of the current FAQ, as it triggers on Crewmen in the same unit being slain, and its unit has no Crewmen in it; hence, none can be slain to trigger the ability. Also note that Death Guard and Thousand Sons cannot take these, as of the current FAQ.
      • Note as well that due to the FAQ, because the Crewmen are a seperate unit the rapiers cannot actually be fired at all, as they need a Crewman in they're unit to do so.
  • Hellforged Scorpius [Forge World]: Chaos finally gets a, somewhat expensive (points and monetary), Whirlwind. The Scorpius Multi-Launcher is your main investment here allowing you to lob 3D3 Str 6 AP-2 D2 shots into the fray without needing LOS. Upgrades come in the form of an additional combi-weapon and a Havoc Launcher - but you aren't going to do that since you want it hiding all game and standing still - As doing so lets you fire the Multi-Launcher a Second Time. Like the other Hellforged it has a boosted melee ability, though you really don't want it there as staying still to fire twice at targets is way better, just get a Warpsmith/Hellwright if you want/need to repair it, and save the infernal hunger for if enemy units stray too close to you.
    • For modelling purposes a Whirlwind with a third party turret should be fine for most opponents.
  • Hellforged Sicaran Venator [Forge World]: The Venator trades the regular Sicaran's quantity of anti-skimmer shots for vehicle annihilation; it has a Malignatas Beam Laser, which is AP-5, Damage 2D6 and you roll 3d6 vs the target's Ld to wound. It has Undying Hatred, which lets it roll a 4th dice (discarding the lowest) to the Malignatas wound roll if it kills any model. Often seen in games without the sponson options and for good reason, you're paying for one of the best medium anti-tank weapons in the game, there's no need to sink more points into this tank.
  • Plague Hulk of Nurgle [Forge World]: Want a worse but tougher Defiler who doesn't heal himself? You found him! Unfortunately, you're getting the short end of the stick in that deal, as while he's going to punch the crap out of enemy armor and do decently against other targets, the Defiler is (tiny) head and shoulders above him in terms of damage output. It can also be summoned, but with 12 PR it's not going to happen reliably (outside of a Master of Possession casting Incursion), and now that the Defiler's points are lower, the hulk's simply not going to give as good a return on investment. As of April 2019, this guy now packs the <LEGION> & DAEMON ENGINE keywords, so it has plenty of native synergy with Warpsmiths and Daemonkin units, and can now utilize the Daemonforge Stratagem and benefit from those linked to the Soulforged Specialist Detachment.

Fortification[edit]

  • Noctilith Crown: Good for providing backfield protection to your own dudes, in case you didn't want to invest in a Deredeo's Hellfire Veil, and that's its main function. Sure it can help you get your psychic powers off, though it's possible you're going to be out of its range a lot of the time given the range of most of your abilities unless you want to keep using Prescience (which isn't a bad choice). Do be aware that it's not invincible as it can be shot and destroyed, though given its toughness it's still going to take quite a bit of firepower or a unit getting into close combat with it. If you're going to use it then you're going to want to move your Havocs and any other backfield units a little further away from it come turns 2 and 3, nothing's going to suck more than seeing it get destroyed, having it explode, and then watching as it wipes out the units it was protecting. A final note: Be aware that all buffs work on Chaos units in general, not just your own, so in a Chaos vs. Chaos game you will give your opponent an advantage too.
    • A Noctilith Crown can be used in place of a Dark Apostle to provide your backline campers (i.e. Havocs) with a 5+ invulnerable save instead of having a Dark Apostle back there.

Lords of War[edit]

  • Hades Diabolus (Open Play Only): Make-A-Raider rule exclusive to Open Play that allows you to pimp yo big spiky ride (almost) as you see fit. The example given in Chapter Approved 2017 shifts its Twin Heavy Bolter onto extra sponsons in order to instead mount a Reaper Autocannon, making it slightly more shooty at the cost of 5 transport capacity. Yes, you can make a legit Chaos Terminus Ultra with this rule. No, you can't bring it to a normal game. Figures.
  • Khorne Lord of Skulls: Depending on how good you want the hand and cock cannons to be, KLOS runs from either 400 points or 479 points as of CA 2019. The guns are better for the more expensive version, but you want KLOS in close combat and even though he has a tank instead of legs he can't shoot his cannons if a Rhino nudges him. Like the Kytan, he can SMASH and SLASH with his enormous axe and as he actually gains attacks when low on wounds he throws out 24 slash attacks if below 7 wounds. At only 4 more wounds than a Knight, you might think he's not worth the points but the 5+ invulnerable save in the Fight phase really makes up for any lack of wounds. Be aware that while he gets more attacks as he's hurt, he also gets slower so make sure that he's at least somewhat protected/hidden/guarded in the first turn, as there's nothing sadder than having 8 attacks and not being able to use any of them. Use your CP re-rolls to get him in combat; you paid for him so you had better use him. If you want to get rid of the goofy look, consider using a Kytan Ravager as a proxy (forge world even states on its page that its designed to echo the LoS).
  • Kytan Ravager [Forge World]: The Kytan is a good alternative to a Renegade Knight but has the Heretic Astartes and <Legion> keywords so you can target him with Warptime and Prescience, not to mention Diabolic Strength. Has less wounds than a Knight but his invulnerable and regen helps mitigate that a bit, and his Legion keyword means that unlike knights a Warpsmith/Hellwright can repair him mid-fight. His SMASH helps make sure that other big hitters and characters go down fast. Like the Brass Scorpion it can shoot while in combat, so you really want to get it in there fast so you can get to CLEAVING LOYALIST FILTH. Keep in mind he also benefits from the Daemonforge stratagem, re-roll all hits and wounds for 1 CP!? YES PLEASE.
  • Greater Brass Scorpion of Khorne [Forge World]: Still a beast capable of bringing a ton of pain and handling most things, including hordes (thanks to its ability to shoot whilst in combat), and like most such things, it's very durable thanks to its Invulnerable, Regen, and Runes, ensuring that anyone who thinks to whittle it down via Smite will be reconsidering their plan. Even before combat its shooting is capable of putting any type of unit on its ass. In combat the scorpion attacks with a fuckton of high strength, high AP, high damage, and can dish out a nice dose of flamer attacks. With a 3D6 charge range and 12" base movement, deploy this daddy last and right at the front, with a first turn charge as your opponent watches in absolute horror as you send a nuke scuttling towards his line. Do keep your eye on it though as, with the changes to rules and only 20 wounds, this unit can reliably be brought down in a turn or two (first turn charge is the key). This Metal Murder Scorpion is expensive (FAQ 2018 took it up to a whopping 650pts) and at its points cost you need to make sure you smash your enemies with it immediately or you may be better off with a Defiler, a Forgefiend and a Maulerfiend for the same cost. A shame you can't use Warptime on it.
    • Note that its Runes rule, which causes Psykers trying to cause mortal wounds to it to Perils on any double, even post-FAQ, is still so badly worded that it takes some interpretation to let it work on Smite - and it won't work, period, on any psychic power that lets the caster choose the target. This is because all powers in the game that choose a target do so after manifesting, which is the only time it's possible to Perils. Because Smite's target is forced, it's possible at manifest time to determine if the Scorpion will be the target, so Runes presumably will work, but remember, the way 8E is broadly built is that every discipline has 1-2 powers in it that do fewer mortal wounds than Smite does in exchange for letting the psyker choose the target, so Runes won't work - you can only use it to make psykers Perils more often when you know during the cast that the scorpion will be the target.
  • Hellforged Spartan Assault Tank [Forge World]: Your super LR sadly got moved to the LOW slot, however it's not letting that get it down! Very likely to deliver the payload unless your opponent's using other Forge World models against you (in which case, you better be Word Bearers because you're going to need to pray (very literally, to have a 5++ from the prayer)). Despite being an impressive delivery system, don't fill it with expensive models like Terminators, you're likely to lose several thanks to In the Belly of the Beast (Berzerkers are still a good choice). Try not to put characters in it either, losing them instantly like that can really gimp your gameplan. For ranged weapons, keep the quad lascannons, the laser destroyer won't put out the same amount of damage. The heavy bolters are also a good thing to keep, if you want to deal damage up close then you have the CSM's you're carrying to do that for you, and you can then charge it in to use Infernal Hunger once you drop them off (pick a different target than the one the payload's chopping at). Never leave it in combat either, always make sure to pull it out, then shoot and charge again. The havoc launcher's also cheap and useful, so make sure to get that too. The final thing to keep in mind is that if you want something capable of delivering expensive squads with characters without this much risk, you'll be better served with a Kharybdis.
  • Hellforged Cerberus Heavy Destroyer [Forge World]: This thing is expensive but nasty. So on top of the rules we've seen for the other Hellforged tanks, it's even more durable and thanks to Steel Behemoth it can always shoot or charge even when falling back but enough of that, let's talk about that FUCKHUEG gun sticking out of the front of it. Wounding on Leadership instead of Toughness means on average you're going to wound EVERYTHING IN THE GAME and deal an absolute minimum of 5 damage per wound, nasty. Use it to nuke Land Raiders, other units as heavy as it, monsters, etc. It costs a lot of points (and works beautifully with any Night Lords units) and you need to make those back fast as it's going to attract a lot of firepower. Put it within an aura re-roll (especially while it still has 2+ BS) and avoid shooting models less than 150 points if you can. It can take heavy bolters and lascannons but it doesn't need either, and that just add numerous points you still have to make back. The havoc launcher's dirt cheap as well as useful, so you might as well grab that. Like most of the tanks, don't try to use Infernal Hunger unless the opponent comes to you, your wounds should be healed off by a Warpsmith/Hellwright, not by driving up to munch on people so that you get exposed to more weapons, which is more likely to get you killed than healed.
  • Hellforged Typhon Heavy Siege Tank [Forge World]: Your tank for when you absolutely need 1 unit dead, and also one of the few vehicle units with a BS of 2+ (before it degrades anyway). Put it within an aura and laugh as its cannon becomes great against everything, especially Terminators/Primaris. That being said you still want to make its points back, so don't go shooting something like a unit of conscripts or even regular guard squads, find the priciest/deadliest thing within range and unload. To help it in that endeavour, get lascannons, you're already putting so many points into it that you might as well go all the way, and never try to drive it up to use Infernal Hunger. Its ideal range is 48" and moving not only drops that, but it opens you up to return fire/charges from units who can actually take you on. Ignore the WS improvements from the damage chart, as well as Machina Malifica and only use it in melee if a unit ends up coming to you.
  • Hellforged Fellblade [Forge World]: Incredibly expensive, even more so due to the Chapter Approved points hike it got, but still the Baneblade's exponentially meaner cousin. The two shot types and multiple sponsons allow the Hellforged to fulfill multiple roles, which it does quite well, being essentially anti-everything. Keep the quad lascannons and keep the twin heavy bolters, the other options aren't going to help you nearly as much and always get a havoc launcher. All-in all, keep this beast at around 36"-48" range to get the most use out of its weapons (don't worry too much about the demolisher not being in range) and make sure to have a re-roll aura on it, as you don't want to miss those crucial AE shells when they're going to make a difference. Good take for non-apocalypse games, just don't expect to have room for any other expensive units. Too bad its best range is well out of Eternal Hunger range since its WS actually gets better as it loses wounds.
  • Hellforged Falchion [Forge World]: Incredibly expensive and at first glance it would look to be one of the best units in the game for deleting titanic targets, but there's one major fucking problem: It has the Titanic keyword. If you take on a Titan with this thing then its macro weapons will tear this thing a new asshole and all you'll be left with is regret. So Titans are out, but smaller targets are good then right? NOPE, the Falchion overkill to an extreme degree for anything smaller, and you're not likely to make your points back before it's shot down (especially since it has no invuln).
  • Hellforged Mastodon [Forge World]: Have you ever wanted to transport 40 Marines at once while trashing flyers and generally being nigh-indestructible? Then the Mastodon is the LoW for you! With 30 wounds and a 5+ void shield, the Mastodon is a fucking tough nut to crack, made even more so if it somehow gets into the 6" range for its siege melta array's reroll to kick in.
  • Thunderhawk Gunship [Forge World]:
  • Sokar Pattern Stormbird Gunship [Forge World]: Pretty much the largest flyer/transport/model Forge World offers next to titans. Damn expensive in points and tangible money alike, it can ferry the entire army onto the battlefield. Has like 8 lascannons, a host of various missiles and bombs, void shields, and a few heavy bolters here and there for flavor. The void shields can extend and overlap nearby troops 8" away that jumped out if it has hovered. Has 40 wounds, T9, a 5++ after the void shields.
  • Chaos Warhound Scout Titan [Forge World]: The smallest Titan option, still clocking in at 1500 2000 points (though all weapons options are free.) Finally lives up to its "scout" name by being able to move a ludicrous twenty-four inches when at full wounds, though it has a little more limited weapon selection than its bigger brothers, between the turbo-laser destructor, Titan plasma blastgun, inferno gun, and Vulcan mega-bolter you can set it up to target just about anything.
  • Chaos Reaver Battle Titan [Forge World]: The medium class of titans. It's a 4000 points (weapons are free) model, with an impressive statline, and some awesome weapons, the Melta especially makes short work of anything close enough. But the biggest factor here is that all of its arm weapons have THE MACRO RULE! This is important, as it means that whenever you fire at Titanic units, the D is doubled! This is insane with weapons like the Volcano canon or melta canon. This model can kick ass like no other... well, except for the one below.
  • Chaos Warlord Battle Titan [Forge World]: A beast at 6000 points (weapons are still free, so yay) The Warlord has a statline unlike anything in the game with T16 S16 and a whooping 70 wounds! That's on top of its ridiculous protection against everything, as well as all the weapon options which are pretty impressive, being capable of knocking out any other model in the game in a single shooting phase. One of the best ones is the sunfury plasma annihilator, in addition to its pretty impressive damage output the possibility to hit units you didn't shoot at can wipe out Astra Militarum/Tau parking lots, massed assaults or wipe out characters hiding around the (the more models in the original unit, the better as it spreads out its radius). Whatever you go with, the Warlord is ridiculously powerful, and very hard to kill.

Legions And Renegades[edit]

Here we go, the main thing that gives the Chaos Space Marines their character and, depending on which Legion you go with, radically alters their playstyles. Everyone has their own favourite group and way of playstyle, so pick your traitors and try to find what synergizes best with their traits, relics and stratagems.

Do note that Renegades, while having several powerful traits, are unable to use the Veterans of the Long War Stratagem. This is important as the Stratagem is one of the best ways to deal with higher Toughness enemies.

Also note that any character unique to a Legion (or Renegade warband) must use their own Legion's/Warband's Warlord Trait.

Emperor's Children[edit]

EmperorsChildren.jpg

In the grim darkness of the far future, there is only debaucherous insanity.

Thematically the Emperor's Children are worshippers of Slaanesh who seek excess and perfection in all its forms, and they'll do anything they can to achieve both.

Crunchwise the Emperor's Children have a unique troops choice, much like the World Eaters, though they're more effective at shooting than close combat. This defiantly not because of a lack of CC abilities, as their own Legion has plenty. Slaanesh is has more appealing to gunline then swords, but having both is not away too much to ask. New content has truly blessed this Legion as well, Slaanesh has heard your pleas! Thankfully Slaanesh Daemons have the Contorted Epitome, so the only ways your opponent can leave combat are with wet pants or in a body bag.

  • Legion Trait: Flawless Perfection: Units with this trait always fight first in the Fight Phase, even if they didn't charge. If the enemy has units that have charged, or have a similar ability, then alternate choosing units to fight with, starting with the player whose turn is taking place. You shouldn't need to be told how useless this is. Beware Howling Banshees, Slaanesh Daemon in-fighting, or just units that have charged - that means the controlling player (that means the opponent) will be able to nominate their first unit to strike before yours (this will mean trouble if a Genestealers swarm or Ork Boyz get that charge first). On the flip side, it can deter mass charges, and also means you circumvent all other fight phase activations afterward, and your engaged units strike first! On another note, it affects every round of melee combat, so combats that go beyond one phase will always give you at least one definitive advantage, with all your units swinging first, even in an enemy's turn.
    • EMPEROR'S CHILDREN Noise Marines count as troops instead of Elites, allowing armies of them again.
    • All units must be Slaanesh Marked if they can be.
  • Warlord Traits
    • Faultless Duelist: At the start of the fight phase, roll a d3. Subtract that number from the attack characteristics of enemy models while they are within 1" of your warlord.
    • Glutton for Punishment: All hits against the Warlord reduce the damage dealt by 1 (minimum 1). Makes you a bit more likely to survive your IMPERIAL FISTING, but durability isn't why you picked this legion.
    • Intoxicating Musk: -1 to hit to penalty for enemies within 3". Faultless Duelist will pretty much always be better.
    • Loathsome Grace: When a charge roll is made, you can re-roll a die. If you charge or perform a heroic intervention, the warlord gains +1 strength and attack for the rest of the fight phase.
    • Stimulated by Pain: Gain 1 attack for each wound suffered, up to a maximum of 3. If you heal any wounds, you lose the associated bonus attacks. Meh on most footslogging characters, but can turn a demon prince into (even more) of a murder machine.
    • Unbound Arrogance: Use during the fight phase. Each player secretly chooses 1, 2, or 3. If the numbers match, nothing happens. If they don't, you add the number you choose to your warlord's attacks. As one of the few traits in the game that can fuck you over, you really shouldn't be picking this one. Like, at all.
  • Stratagems
    • Combat Elixirs (2CP): Time to dig into the Deldar's drug stash! Use before the game start to grant one EMPEROR'S CHILDREN unit that isn't a vehicle or a cultist one of the following boosts: +1 to A, T, or S, or +2 to M. Since you can pick which you want, you can definitely do some tailoring to keep up with plasma spam or to hasten your killing sprees.
    • Cruel Duelists (1CP): Use during the fight phase. Select one EMPEROR'S CHILDREN unit that is not a vehicle or a cultist. Any unmodified wound roll of 6 is resolved at AP-3.
    • Excess of Violence (1CP): Use this stratagem before an EMPEROR'S CHILDREN INFANTRY unit attacks in the fight phase. Each time a model in that unit slays an enemy model, it can immediately make another hit roll using the same weapon at the same target. Interestingly, the updated stratagem in Psychic Awakening - Faith Fury removes the line preventing the bonus attacks from generating further attacks. Activate the stratagem on a unit of Power Fist armed Terminators, Thunder Hammer armed Chosen, or Warp Talons and wipe out entire hordes. When attacking an IMPERIUM unit, you get this on top of Death to the False Emperor, which practically guarantees a wipe on anything but the toughest units.
    • Excruciating Frequencies(1CP): Use during the shooting phase; targets one EMPEROR'S CHILDREN Noise Marine unit. Until the end of the phase, Blastmasters, Sonic Blasters, and Doom Sirens gain +1 S and D. TIME TO MAKE THINGS EVEN LOUDER. Possibly one of the best middle fingers you can give to a Primaris army now, and as an added bonus shuts down All is Dust for Rubric Marines. Also buffs up a Blastmaster’s single frequency profile to Lascannon strength and more than half of its top damage on a good roll. Complement with your choice of eardrum-violating music while you roll FOR SLAANESH. A 20-man, 2-Blastmaster unit with this, Endless Cacophony, and Veterans of the Long War will usually kill more than a Knight.
    • Honour the Prince (1CP): Use during the charge phase after rolling for a charge with a EMPEROR'S CHILDREN SLAANESH unit. You can change one of the dice rolled to a 6. Combine with some of the new charge re-roll tools, like the Raiment Repulsive, to make charges all but certain on the turn you deepstrike. Use it in a raptorial host for overkill.
    • Incessant Disdain (1CP): Use during the enemy charge phase. Pick an EMPEROR'S CHILDREN CHARACTER. They can perform a 6" Heroic Intervention so long as it finishes within 1" of an enemy character.
    • Tactical Perfection (1CP): Redeploy one EMPEROR'S CHILDREN unit.
  • Relics
    • Armour of Abhorrence: No Overwatch against the bearer. If a morale test is failed by an enemy unit within 6", one additional model flees. Morale part is meh, but shutting off overwatch is very fucking nice if you're going up against tau or other factions that don't want to be charged.
      • This is one of the only ways to shut down overwatch with chaos, if your army relies on charging assault troops or daemon engines you should really consider finding some way to get this relic into your list.
      • When combined with a unit of night lords raptors you can charge into the heart of a gunline army without overwatch and prevent them from falling back, this can be a game winning strategy against armies like tau and guard and surprisingly cheap in points to pull off.
    • Blissgiver: Replaces a model's Bolt Pistol for a Lash with a 6" range. It's Assault D6, but can fire in melee and into melee with S:User and AP-1. Also, if you wound a character with it, you get a 1/6 chance of dealing D3 Mortal Wounds. Fantastic to add some more damage in melee and if you're an ass, you can just stand behind your meatshields and poke the enemy with it. Also, since it replace a pistol with an assault weapon, that means you can fire it together with another weapons (like a Combi-flamer) for some nice little extra firepower. For fun you can have a Lord on Bike, which include a Combi-Bolter, and giving him Combi-flamer and Blissgiver. Or, for something actually supported directly in the codex, a Warpsmith, to go with their flamer and meltagun, and because it just needed one more tentacular appendage.
    • Distortion: "Mirror blade in my hand, who's the prettiest in all the land." Replaces a power sword or force sword. Strength User, -4 ap, 1D3 damage. At the beginning of the fight phase, the bearer can look into the blade. the weapon becomes x2 strength, but you suffer a -1 to hit. (All the benefit of a powerfist, but none of the cost.)
    • Endless Grin: When an enemy takes a morale test for a unit within 6" of the bearer, they must roll an additional dice, and you decide which one to be discarded. also, -1 leadership for enemy models within 6"
    • Raiment Repulsive: The bearer can re-roll all hit, wound, and charge rolls. Well holy shit, this is broken as balls. Sure, he still has the same saves as before, but once you're in combat, the other thing might as well lay down and die.
    • The Fatal Sonancy: 12" Assault 1d6 S6 AP-2 D1, auto hits, ignores cover. A slightly stronger Doom Siren for your lord, who couldn't get it before. Give him a thunderhammer and make Lord Commander Eidolon, 40k edition. Put it on a Warpsmith with a combiplasma for a Swiss Army knife with an answer for anything within 12”, even if one of those answers is SCREAMING LOUDLY.
    • Remnant of Maraviglia: PRIEST models only. 1/battle, instead of chanting a prayer, they can use this relic. An EMPEROR'S CHILDREN unit within 6" can re-roll wound rolls until the end of the round. Drastically better than a Space Marines lieutenant. Be sure to combine this with the havocs or noise marines you were going to doubletap with anyway.
  • Unique Units
    • Lucius the Eternal: Slaanesh's favorite boy toy is back and with some neat tricks. Lucius is cheap as shit for what he offers; so long as you get him into combat with the right unit, he's almost always going to make his points back. Either by killing something in combat or causing a number of mortal wounds to whatever killed him before they fully finish him off. As with all characters who have 5 wounds or fewer, watch the fuck out for snipers (he's going to be a prime target) and keep him screened, otherwise feel free to get him into combat wherever you want as he only gets stronger with every wound he takes, being able to deal 12 attacks at full power, before counting DttFE, as he can get 8 normally, +2 for attacking a character, +2 for "firing" his lash (don't try to roll them all at once, the lash doesn't benefit from DttFE). Keep in mind though that he's not Khârn, you can't charge anything you want and expect it to die but if you keep him relegated to units/characters around his own points cost to 50 points above it, he'll find it easy to come out on top.
      • Thanks to his cost reduction it's worth considering him for buff duty, likely with Noise Marines or by hanging around Helbrutes armed with blastmasters and missile launchers (especially if you're using Fire Frenzy). Sure a normal Chaos Lord can buff units as well, but Lucius easily outperforms Emperor's Children lords in melee while only costing a little more, something worth considering if you're worried the enemy will come to you instead of it being the other way around.
    • Sonic Dreadnought: This is a Helbrute, but is technically a distinct datasheet named Sonic Dreadnought; you can take 2 Blastmasters on its multimelta arm, and you can give it a Doom Siren.
  • Tactics

Here are some tactics that work better for Emperor's Children than any other Legion.

  • Phoenix Guard 2.0: This involves Deep Striking in a Terminator Sorcerer and pulling some shenanigans. You'll be using Terminators with Lightning Claws, everyone will need Mark of Slaanesh, and the Sorcerer will also need to know Delightful Agonies. You'll also want to run them as Emperor's Children specifically. On Turn 2, Deep Strike these (preferably behind) something that's especially scary and cast Delightful Agonies on them. Now your opponent has to make a painful choice on their turn - fall back away from your Terminators but closer to whatever else you have running towards the enemy, or get in combat with an extremely durable opponent that will also get to swing first thanks to the EC Legion Tactics.
    • Alternative Opinion: Tremendous waste of points; just bring Terminators with Combi-Plasmas or Combi-Bolters, as well as chain axes. Will do a far better job. If you’re a fan of Lightning Claws check this out:
  • The Perfect Strike: Take some raptors or warp talons and a lord or sorcerer with a jump pack and put them into a host raptorial specialist detachment. Give the HQ the host raptorial warlord trait to get +2 to charge's within 6" of him And use Honor the prince if necessary to turn one of your charge dice into a 6. Congratulations, you have a deep striking unit that cannot fail its charge without some kind of external negative charge modifier. For absolute perfection, charge multi charge with a unit of warp talons to completely turn off multiple units overwatch (Perfect for a certain loyalist Chapter we have a history with that just got a buff to their overwatch) and slap the raiment repulsive on the warlord to give them full hit, wound and charge rerolls.

Iron Warriors[edit]

IronWarriors.png

In the grim darkness of the far future, there is only bitter hate.

Thematically, the Iron Warriors are known as some of the greatest siege lords in the Galaxy. They are renowned for their unmatched alliance with the Cult of Destruction (Obliterators and Mutilators), their methodically planned campaigns of conquest, and their ability to break through and conquer any defended location, from a Bunker on a hill to an entire Fortress World.

Crunch wise, they have been MASSIVELY improved from earlier in this Edition. The Iron Warriors‘ Legion Trait is useful in the current meta with everyone and their dog getting the benefits of cover in the open, and also have a great selection of Warlord Traits and some EXTRA flavorful Stratagems that make their traditional playstyle much more powerful. Not the most viable of all the Legions, but certainly has potential for some hilariously powerful army builds. They have synergy with shooting, Obliterators, Vehicles, and not dying.

  • Legion Trait: Siege Lords: Enemy units attacked by units with this trait do not receive the benefit to their saving throws for being in cover. In addition, you can re-roll any failed wound rolls for units with this tactic when they are targeting a BUILDING. In other words, this is identical to the Imperial Fist's old chapter tactics, which undoubtedly pisses the Iron Warriors off to no end. On the plus side, you get to give the middle finger to the Prepared Positions Stratagem when you get first to turn, and ubiquity of taking cover Paractaly having -1AP.
  • Warlord Traits
    • Bastion: When resolving an attack made by a weapon with an AP of -1 against an IRON WARRIORS unit within 6" that is in cover, the AP is reduced to 0. Kinda gimmicky, but the Dour Duty Stratagem can make this pretty awesome. Still, a tough sell.
    • Cold and Bitter: Friendly IRON WARRIORS units within 6" of the Warlord auto-pass Morale tests. That's a lot of Cultist blobs that won't be running away.
    • Daemonsmith: When resolving an attack made by an IRON WARRIORS Daemon Engine or Cult of Destruction unit within 6", unmodified hit rolls of 6 cause an additional hit. Forgefiends, Obliterators, and Defilers will be gracious for the exploding dice, and the Lord of Skulls will become nothing short of Destruction Incarnate.
    • Iron Without: 5+++ FNP. Great for a Lord Discordant or a Smash Prince.
    • Siege Master: A guarantee that your heavy weapons will leave their mark. Iron Warriors Vehicles and Havocs within 6" of the warlord re-roll wound rolls of 1.
    • Stoic Advance: IRON WARRIORS units within 6" ignore the penalty for moving and firing heavy weapons. Keep in mind this is all units, not just infantry. Turns any of your heavy weapon marines into havocs and saves you CP if you have any nearby vehicles or daemon engines that are carrying heavy weapons and need to reposition. A Lord Discordant escorting Forgefiends for 8" movement AND Ballistic Skill 3+ in coming Shooting Phase? Oh yes.
  • Stratagems
    • Bitter Enmity (1CP): Grr, we hate Imperial Fists. One unit can reroll hit and wound rolls in melee when targeting them.
    • Cannon Fodder (2CP): Use during your opponents shooting phase. select one IRON WARRIORS infantry unit and oneIRON WARRIORS Cultist unit wholly within 6" of it. Until the end of that phase, enemy units can't target that unit so long as the cultists are visible. Very similar to the cloud of flies for the death guard except for a bit worse because you have the stigma of needing every cultist to be wholly within 6" of the selected unit. Which can be hard if you're trying to protect a small infantry unit with a big blob of cultists. But can be a bit easier if used to protect a large group with a bigger group of cultists.
    • Dour Duty (1CP): Use during your opponent's shooting phase or doing your charge phase. When any IRON WARRIORS unit is chosen as the target of an attack, the AP of the enemy's gun gets worse by 1.
    • Iron Within, Iron Without (1CP): Use this stratagem when an IRON WARRIORS unit loses a wound. Until the end of the phase, each time said unit loses a wound, they roll a die; on a 6 the wound is ignored. Best used on a centerpiece tank, say a Land Raider or a Typhon Heavy Siege Tank.
    • Methodical Annihilation (1CP): Use when selecting an IRON WARRIORS unit to shoot with. Either re-roll the damage rolls, or re-roll any or all of the dice used to determine the type characteristic. The former works best on high damage weapons like lascannons, while the latter helps maximize the output of blast weapons and flamers, rerolling their number of shots.
    • Rampant Techno-virus (1CP): Use during the shooting or fight phase when you select an IRON WARRIORS Obliterators or Mutilators unit to attack. Until the end of the phase, you can re-roll any or all of the dice used for that unit's fleshmetal guns or fleshmetal weapons. Against heavier targets, this is very roughly as good a multiplier as re-rolling 1s to hit and wound, and it will stack; the lighter the target, the less useful it is - for example, the benefit against T3/5+ (GEQ) is negligible.
    • Tank Hunters (1CP): Use during the shooting or fight phase. Choose one IRON WARRIORS unit (not cultists!) and one enemy vehicle. The Iron Warriors can re-roll wound rolls against the target.
    • Unholy Vigor (1CP): Pick an Iron Warriors Vehicle. It regains 3 wounds. Combine with a Warpsmith's healing ability and use on a daemon engine to restore between 5-7 wounds per turn. That's enough to bring almost any vehicle from its lowest health bracket to its highest one, all before the end of your movement phase.
  • Relics
    • Axe of the Forge Master: Replaces a power axe or Daemon Axe. +3 strength, -3 ap, 2 damage. against vehicles, an unmodified roll of 5+ deals d3 mortal wounds in addition to any other damage.
    • Cranium Malevolous: Use instead of shooting. Roll a dice for every enemy vehicle within 9"; on a 4+, they take d3 mortal wounds. on a 6+, they take 3 mortal wounds. Alas, poor Yorick, I knew his EMP blasts well.
    • Fleshmetal Exoskeleton: Grants a 2+ armour save and allows the user to regenerate a wound at the start of a turn. Perfect for a Daemon Prince, since they can't normally upgrade their armour saves.
    • Insidium: The bearer gains the Daemon keyword if he does not already have it and adds 1 to their strength, toughness, and wounds. I can see the Smash Lords and Princes coming from a mile away.
    • Siege Breaker Mace: Replaces a Power Maul or a Cursed Crozius. Comes with two profiles.
      • Swing: S+2 AP-2 D2
      • Smash: Sx2 AP-3 D1d6, can only make max of 2 attacks when smashing. When rolling for damage, roll twice and drop the lowest. Combined with Prayers, this gives the fluff AND crunch to add a Dark Apostle to your list.
    • Spitespitter: Replaces a combibolter. Rapidfire 2, 5 Strength, -3 AP, d3 damage. Pretty much a Plasma Gun with double the shots. Awesome.
    • Techno-venomous Mechadendrites: Warpsmiths only, 4 additional attacks which cause mortal wounds if they hit, but you can't generate additional attacks for those 4.
  • Tactics

Here are some tactics for use with an iron warriors army.

  • Daemon engine spearhead, take a soulforged pack with 3 defilers, 3 maulerfiends and two lords discordant, an air wing detachment with 3 helldrakes and a supreme command detachment with a sorcerer, a dark apostle and two warpsmiths. Give one warpsmith or lord discordant the Stoic Advance warlord trait, give your sorcerer the prescience and warptime psychic powers. The apostle should have the cursed earth power. You now have an army of 9 daemon engines most of which will have 4++, with the ability to advance and charge one of them in the same turn (after moving twice with warp time) and 1 unit every shooting phase can re'roll wounds against 1 enemy vehicle, which is very handy on defilers. All your daemon engines are healing 1 wound per turn base, for 1 cp though you can give 1 daemon engine a extra 3 wounds back on top of this, finally your warpsmith can heal d3 wounds in addition every turn for an average of 6 wounds back per turn, enjoy your opponents reaction as your maulerfiend goes straight from 1 wound to its top bracket in one turn.


Night Lords[edit]

NightLords.jpg

In the grim darkness of the far future, terror is the ultimate weapon.

Thematically the Night Lords are the scary Marines, appearing from carefully planned ambushes to strike when their targets least expect and terrorizing their foes by skinning their victims and strapping them to their armour.

Crunchwise the Night lords are a fairly flexible choice, with base leadership reduction and tools that seem oriented toward tactical advantage they have a lot of room to experiment with different strategies, if you don't rely solely on their capability to reduce enemy Ld you will find it quite rewarding to experiment with different gods buffs and choices to hunt down your enemy with the Ld reduction as nice added sting to his losses.

As of Faith and Fury they have expanded their Tactical and debuff choices, they now reward bullying and breaking your opponent through coordinated strikes that are that much more harrowing to withstand due to their expanded Tactical and Combat stratagems, their heroes can also become surprisingly terrifying whether you tooled and used them to bully weaker units or torpedo them towards an essential lynchpin that will either stop buffing his army or get in an unexpectedly bloody scuffle with a model that simply shouldn't have that many attacks nor the ability to get into combat that easily.

  • Legion Trait: Terror Tactics: Enemy units must subtract one from their leadership for each unit with this trait within 6", up to a maximum of -3. Can be extremely powerful if you can get overlapping leadership penalties and then start causing deaths. GW themselves recommend three units of Night Lords, one with an icon of despair, at least one of which is a unit of Raptors, to provide a -5 hit to leadership before casualties even start getting counted, practically guaranteeing more models lost to failed morale checks. With the release of the Chaos Knights Index, you can take a Renegade Knight as your warlord, give it the Traitor’s Mark for even more Ld. reduction (-1 at 12”, -2 at 6”.) FUN! Too bad a generic Stratagem completely nullifies its effects, but on the plus side even -3 Ld will force your enemy to waste CP.
  • Warlord Traits:
    • Night Haunter's Curse: Once per battle round, you can re-roll one hit roll, wound roll, damage roll, Advance roll, charge roll, or saving roll made for your Warlord. Damn, that's a lot of possible rerolls. More importantly, that means you don't need to spend as many CP for said rerolls.
    • One Piece at a Time: The warlord can charge in a turn that they fell back and any attacks made with melee weapons against the warlord are -1 to hit. Holy Christ that's good.
    • Murderous Reputation: Unmodified hit rolls of 6 by the warlord inflict a mortal wound in addition to any other damage. Better than Flames of Spite? Not a chance. Flames of Spite can be modified to 4+ mortal wounds. If you want mortal wounds for shooting, go with Daemon Shells stratagem.
    • Killing Fury: Add D3 attacks to the warlord in a turn that they charge, were charged, or heroically intervened until the end of the fight phase. Combo this with our Hit and Run stratagem for some really dirty fighting.
    • One With The Shadows: when wholly on or in terrain, +1 to saving throw (not Invulnerable saves). In addition, whilst this model is wholly on or in terrain, +1 to invulnerable saves (max of 3+). Basically while in terrain you get +2 for cover bonus and +1 to invulns. Become one with the Sneak Force.
    • Dirty Fighter: If there are more friendly models within 3″ of the warlord than enemy models, add 1 to wound rolls for the warlords melee weapons. Gang up on small units and RIP AND TEAR. Pack the high AP, cause RAW this still counts vehicles as 1 model unlike something like the Crimson Fists chapter tactic, which counts them as 5+ models, stack with VotLW to wound anything in the game on at least a 4.
  • Stratagems:
    • In Midnight Clad (1CP): Use this stratagem whenever a NIGHT LORDS INFANTRY unit is targeted by a shooting attack. Until the end of the phase, all enemy units firing at this unit must subtract 1 from their to-hit rolls. As GW has noted, since this Stratagem is declared only after you're targeted, it's a clever way to turn the tables on units that like to use overcharged plasma weapons (e.g. Hellblasters). Alas, does not work on Daemon Princes, as they aren't infantry.
    • We Have Come For You! (1CP): At the start of the opponent's Movement Phase, one Night Lords unit that isn't a vehicle forbids any models within 1" from falling back (Unless they're a vehicle or Titanic, or with a minimum move characteristic). Pull this on some cowed guardsmen or fire warriors and rest assured with the knowledge that you have another turn to turn the rest of that unit into chunky salsa. Extra value against Fly units, as these tend to shoot the crap out of you after falling back, and "Hit & Run" assholes who rely on cycle-charging to always fight you first. Failing that, you are still in melee and thus can't be shot by everyone else, damn this thing is great! Better yet, as it doesn't specify Jump units either, use this to lock down ANY Tau battlesuit, from a coldstar commander all the way to a broadside, as they're all considered either infantry or monsters, and watch the fear form in real time.
    • Vox Scream (2CP): Use at the end of the movement phase, select an enemy model within 18″ of a Night Lords unit. until the start of your next movement phase, enemy units cannot be affected by the affected units aura abilities. For maximum fun use it to turn off a certain big blue smurfs numerous aura abilities and watch Girlyman's gunline crumble.
    • Prey on the Weak (1CP): Use in the shooting or fight phase, select a Night Lords unit. Until the end of that phase, when targeting a unit with a lower Ld characteristic than the selected unit, add 1 to hit rolls. While it's obviously intended for Raptors and other melee hitters, it can work wonders at range provided you play it right. Most units in the game (including vehicles) will normally tie you for Ld, so break the tie with a veritable pile of tools Chaos has. Both Terror Tactics and Icon of Despair are 6" auras and thus work at range (although just charging in generally accomplishes more than boltering shit). An Icon of Vengeance works as long as you don't misplace the champ (sadly Havocs can no longer take it). Chosen and Termies are inherently Ld9, so take the enemies on a tour to Plasma Town. The catch on this stratagem is fun and pretty much nonexistent.
    • Hit and Run (1CP): Use in charge phase, select a Night Lords unit, that unit can charge even if they fell back. So you get to fight them first and with +1A from Hateful Assault to boot. Once again, extra value for Fly units, who'll also get to shoot before getting stuck in again. Or you can simply hop that guardsman blob and pounce on the valuable thing they were screening - nobody told you have to fall back towards your table edge, right?
    • From the Night (1CP): Use at start of Charge phase, select one Night Lords infantry unit entirely on or in terrain, until the end of the turn, add 2 to charge rolls, and +1 to hit in Combat. Would've been handy if half the terrain types didn't impede charges...
    • Raptor Strike (1CP): Use in charge phase, select one Night Lords Jump pack unit that was set up as reinforcements this turn, roll 3D6 for that unit's charge roll. Makes that Host Raptorial charge all but a foregone conclusion. In fact, that's your pocket Host Raptorial on demand.
    • Flay Them Alive (1CP): Use in the Fight phase, when a unit is destroyed from a Night Lords unit. Until the end of the turn, when a morale test is taken for enemy units within 12″ of that unit, your opponent rolls and additional D6 and you can choose which to discard.
  • Relics:
    • Claws of the Black Hunt: Replaces a pair of lightning claws; with S+1, AP-3, and D3 damage on top of the bonuses inherent to double lightning claws, these combine the horde-shredding ability of LCs with the AP and damage of a Force Sword.
    • Vox Daemonicus: Infantry model only. Enemies within 6" of the bearer all reduce their auras down to 1" and blocks anyone from deep-striking within 12" of him. Though you might scoff at the aura-nerf, do remember: You're not fighting in a vacuum. If you have your warlord supported with some other guys, you could shut down a potential pain in the ass aura and leave your buddies to rip their buddies to bits.
    • Stormbolt Plate: Infantry model only, gain a 2+ save and always count as being in cover. Solo Jump Lords appreciate it.
    • Flayer: Power Sword model only. S+1, AP-3, D2. Each model destroyed by an attack with this weapon counts as 2 for morale. Makes even Primaris marines quiver in fear.
    • Talons of the Night Terror: Model with the Fly keyword only. S+1, AP-1, D1. When the model with this weapon fights, it gains D3 additional attacks or D6 if it charged or made a heroic intervention. Your horde-mulching Lightning Feet, only worth it when stacked with other charge shenanigans, albeit barely so.
    • Scourging Chains: Improve the AP of the bearers melee weapon's by 1. And -1 attack (to a minimum of 1) for enemy models within 1″ of the bearer.
    • Misery of the Meek: Once per battle: at the start of the Movement phase, the bearer regains D6 lost wounds and gains D3 extra attacks until the start of your next turn.
  • Tactics: Here are some tactics that work much better for Night Lords than in any other Legion.
    • Ave Dominus Nox: Relies on Night Lord legion leadership bomb. 2 squads raptors with special weapons, maybe a Contemptor with twin butcher cannon. See that lovely big squad of custodians, or their jetbikes...Just get your 2 raptors within 3" to be -5 leadership for them, that's before causing any wounds with the contemptor for another-1 leadership, and if you manage kill one with let's say, raptors melta gun, that's-7 leadership during morale, you don't even need get into close combat. Unless the opponent rolls a 2, or uses 2cp, it's a guaranteed fail. Even more painful with the Flayer relic and/or the Flay them Alive Stratagem. If you'd prefer to kill enemies outright, Prey on the Weak can help with that too.
    • Undivided Horror Cult: Tired of Night Lords always being characterised as Khornates? Time to make the ultimate fear list. Take at least a Night Lord HQ, a unit of Raptors with an Icon of Despair, and a Contemptor, Decimator, Leviathan, or Deredeo with a Butcher Cannon or two. This will result in a -3 to leadership at 6", -4 at 3" (icon), and -5 at 1" (Raptors), and an additional -2 for whatever you wounded with your Butcher Cannon(s).
      • It is possible to further drop morale through some other means. The easiest option is likely Chaos Spawn, since each unit causes -1 LD. Another is a Chaos Lord with the Lord of Terror Trait, or allying in Haarken Worldclaimer. Other means include Hell Talons with Warp-pulse Bombs, Noxious Blightbringers (one possibly with the Dolorous Knell relic), Be'lakor, Samus, and/or a Nurgle Herald with the Entropic Knell for an additional -1 Leadership each. Malefic Lords with Creeping Terror can contribute a nice -1d3 Leadership, and if you are facing IMPERIUM enemies, some Renegade Command Squads with Banners of the Apostate can toss in another -1. The recently added Vulgrar and his Nightmare Hulks are able to join in on this party too.
      • Zhufor, Sloppity Bilepipers, the Ogryn Beast Handler's Hounds, and a few units of Furies are great additions to this, as they remove additional models when enemies fail their Morale tests, instead of piling on yet more, possibly redundant, Leadership penalties. An Aspect of Death Khorne Daemon Warlord can also help with this.
      • Even Tzeentch can get on this! A Thousand Sons Sorcerer with Treason of Tzeentch combines beautifully with all this, and he can even bring some Mutaliths with him, just in case you need a bit more.
      • If you really want to go big or go home, Zarakynel and Cacophonic Choir can help bring an average of 7 Mortal Wounds to units in the debuff zone; you can even give her Phantasmagoria to really grind the salt in. This all adds up to -14 (16 with Zarakynel) Leadership, meaning everything within 6" will be Leadership 0. Maybe bring along a Slaaneshi Herald with the Forbidden Eye to shut down any bothersome auras?
      • Renegade Knights can also get in on the action with their Traitor's Mark Relic, which hits everything within 12" with -1, and everything within 6" with -2. Tack it onto a Knight Atropus, which adds an additional -1! And if you want to be really mean, take a Cerberus Heavy Destroyer and have fun auto-wounding every tank. (Average 50 wounds on everything with at least 8 wounds. See that tank, I don't either). And while we're at it, let's just mention that the Chaos Warlord Titan also inflicts another -2, not that you'll be able to afford to run anything else alongside it.
        • Arguably, Chaos has so many options for shredding Leadership, it's almost possible to over commit to the gimmick. Leadership scores can only be forced down to 1 at a minimum, which can result in a lot of wasted rules. Be sure to spread your army out so that you aren't having identical rules overlap each other!
        • Alternative Opinion: It's a lot of work just to try and force casualties on the enemy when you could just try and destroy the units instead of relying upon morale shenanigans. To fully exploit this strategy also requires multiple detachments, which can create a cumbersome army. In the case of some armies, like Tau, there's a high chance your whole leadership bomb will simply be ignored by a lucky roll of 6.
    • Raptorial alpha strike: This ones kind of self-explanatory really, take a host raptorial with one 5 man unit of warp talons and a 15 man unit of raptors and of course a chaos lord in a jump pack (any weapons are fine on this guy but don't go overboard he's not here for his damage output) give him the TIP OF THE CLAW warlord trait for +2 to the charges of your raptors and warp talons on the turn they come down, ideally your warp talons should deepstrike into cover so they can benefit from FROM THE NIGHT at 1CP for an additional +2 to charge for a 5" re-rollable charge out of deepstrike with no overwatch permitted, once your talons have made their charge just charge your raptors into the largest possible concentration of enemy units, then in the next movement phase play WE HAVE COME FOR YOU for 1cp and keep a massive portion of the enemy gunline pinned in combat. This entire combo only costs about 450pts and allows you to tarpit a vast amount of your opponents army for several turns as your other units move in for the kill.
    • Key take away(s) You need leadership debuffs acting as a supplement, not an initial means to remove models/units. Focus on killing and destroying models with usual chaos heavy hitters (aka the majority of the elites section), then allow for poor morale to increase overall damage. Further, you must tread the fine line between overkill and maiming your enemy. If you kill units outright, there is nothing left to scare and your army is essentially playing without a legion tactic. Further, you need to plan around army wide leadership protections (Mob rule, commissars, ignoring morale tests, certain psychic powers, etc.). This means you usually need to find ways to kill certain characters, which can be hard without dedicated snipers. Few armies can combine fluff and crunch this well, however, this is not a beginners army.

World Eaters[edit]

WorldEaters.png

In the grim darkness of the far future, there is only an eternity of carnage and slaughter.

Thematically the World Eaters are THE angry Marines, wanting little more than to close the distance and butcher their foes, just as Khorne prefers. Thankfully this is a role they fit into very well.

Crunchwise your Relics and Stratagems protect you from psychic threats, and everything else is geared toward throwing yourself at your enemy and chopping him down back to his base components. Your enemy will be both contemptuous of the simplicity and terrified of the effectiveness of the traits offered by this legion. This is amplified by your ability to take Berzerkers as troops, allowing you to really drown the opponent in attacks. If you want more nuance, partner up with another legion.

  • Legion Trait: Butcher's Nails: When a unit with this trait successfully charges, you make one additional attack with each model in the following fight phase. This often translates to 4 attacks per model, on top of being able to strike first, and, in several cases, being able to fight more than once. This obviously makes units like Warp Talons/ Raptors, Berzerkers, and Possessed much better. This applies in only the first fight phase your units get, not extra ones such as those granted by your Berzerker's special rules or Stratagems (thanks FAQ).
    • All models must be marked by Khorne when possible. Of course, this means no sorcerers.
    • WORLD EATERS Berzerkers count as troops instead of elites.
  • Warlord Traits:
    • Slaughterborn: Add 1 to your Warlord's Attacks and Strength characteristics each time he slays an enemy CHARACTER, MONSTER, or TITANIC model.
    • Arch Slaughterer: At the start of the fight phase, your warlord gets D3 additional attacks if there are more enemies within 3" of them than friendly models. These extra attacks last until the end of the fight phase.
    • Disciple of Khorne:Your warlord can re-roll all hit and wound rolls when they're fighting an enemy character OR a unit with models that have 5 or more wounds. Not quite as sick as the Raiment Repulsive those EC prissies have, but you're going to ruin duels. On the plus side, it's a trait as opposed to eating a relic.
    • Violent Urgency: +1 to advance and charge rolls for friendly WORLD EATERS units within 6" of this warlord
    • True Berzerker: When resolving a melee attack against this model halve the damage rounding up.
    • Battle-Lust: The warlord can perform a 6" heroic intervention and moves 6" when doing so. Additionally, this warlord always fights first even if they didn't charge.
  • Stratagem:
    • Scorn of Sorcery (1CP): When an enemy psyker uses a power within 24" of a WORLD EATERS unit, roll a d6. On a 4+, the power is nullified. Identical to the Black Templars' Abhor the Witch stratagem, but no less effective against those pesky psykers.
    • Apoplectic Frenzy (1CP): use during deployment when you set up a WORLD EATERS INFANTRY. At the start of the first battle round but before the first turn begins that unit can move up to 9" but cannot this move within 9" of any enemy models.
    • SKULLS FOR THE SKULL THRONE (1CP): Use in the fight phase when an enemy character is destroyed with a melee weapon by a WORLD EATERS CHARACTER Gain D3 Command points. Gain CP for collecting skulls for Khorne. Because you gain D3 CP and it costs 1CP at worst nothing happens and at best you gain 2CP.
    • Red Butchers (2CP): use before the battle. select one WORLD EATERS CHAOS TERMINATORS unit from your army. That unit gains +1 strength and the "blood for the blood god" ability. You can only use this stratagem once. Grab one of those upgrade kits from Forge world and go RIP AND TEAR
    • KILL! MAIM! BURN! (1CP): Use in the fight phase before you consolidate with a WORLD EATERS unit. Until the end of that phase each model can move up to 6" when they consolidate instead of 3".
    • Wild Fury (1CP): Use in the fight phase when you select a WORLD EATERS unit to fight with. Until the end of the phase that unit's melee weapons AP is improved by 1.
    • Stoke the Nails (1CP): Use in the fight phase when a WORLD EATERS INFANTRY or WORLD EATERS BIKER unit that is not a CHAOS CULTIST is chosen to fight with. That units DttFE triggers against any enemy units, not just IMPERIUM units. Additionally when targetting IMPERIUM units DttFE triggers on 5+.
    • BLOOD FOR THE BLOOD GOD! (2CP): Use in the fight phase after an enemy unit is destroyed by a WORLD EATERS model. Until the start of your next turn all friendly WORLD EATERS units auto pass morale tests.
  • Relics:
    • Brass Collar of Bhorgaster: Allows the wearer to deny one psychic power per turn as if he was a psyker; if the power is successfully denied, the psyker immediately suffers Perils of the Warp. This combined with Scorn of Sorcery is bound to make psyker-heavy armies think twice before they begin unleashing their mindbullets or at least stay the hell away from the owner.
    • Crimson Killer: Model with a plasma pistol only. 12" Pistol 1 S9 AP-3 3 Damage and unmodified wound rolls of 4+ score a mortal wound in addition to normal damage.
    • Gorefather: Wait, WHAT? Apparently, ol' Angron felt merciful enough that he could part ways with his other chainaxe. And what a beast it is, S+2 AP-2 D3, with the -1 to hit compensated by having a 6 to wound immediately deal 3 mortal wounds instead of regular damage.
    • Banner of Rage: PRIEST model only. Once per battle at the start of the fight phase can unfurl the Banner of Rage. If they do friendly WORLD EATERS units within 6" get +1 attack.
    • Berserker Glaive: Model with power axe or axe of dismemberment only. S+1 AP-3 2 damage weapon that gives the bearer a 5+ FNP. Good replacement for a power axe, but not worth replacing the master of executions default axe.
    • Helm of Furore: INFANTRY model only. The bearer gainst +2 strength and if they are within 8" of any enemy units they MUST declare a charge.
    • Bloodhunger: When an enemy model is destroyed in the fight phase by a model with this relic roll a D6. On a 4+ the model with this relic regains up to 1 lost wound.
  • Unique Character: Khârn the Betrayer: Melee beatstick and swell guy, little else. Has one job and does it very well, running over practically everything in the entire game on the charge (unless they're a vehicle), he just needs a little help getting within charge distance now and again, so watch the fuck out for snipers and never send him off alone, he needs meat-shields to block that asshole with the Lascannon and there's none that combo better with him than World Eaters Berzerkers. His plasma pistol can also be of some use (oddly enough his re-roll thanks to his special rule Applies to guns but not his own Melee Attacks) but don't count on it being amazing. Likewise don't worry too much over his The Betrayer rule, the re-rolls he gives you and the damage he puts out will more than make up for a Berzerker or two that he beheads, though if you really don't want that, you can have a Berzerker unit in front of him, select them to attack, then select them again and pile in so that nobody's within 1" of Khârn, that way he can't hit any of his good friends.
    • If you want to give the finger to the lore and really want to kill vehicles with him, you can put Diabolic Strength on him and watch him tear Land Raiders in half.
    • Had a points drop in CA 2018 meaning him and Zhufor are Best Friends 4 Lyfe.
    • The key to using Khârn is stage management. As per the FAQ Blood for the Blood God happens during the charge-part of the fight phase. Position Khârn so he's within 1 inch of his charging Berzerker friends. Activate them first, then again using BFTBG before consolidating out of his Aura.
    • Again as per the FAQ, Khârn only gets his bonus World Eater Legion trait attack on his first activation in the fight phase.
  • Tactics: These are tactics that work best if you're using the World Eaters Legion.
    • Khornate Party Van: Get a Rhino, or better yet - a land raider. Put 8 Berzerkers with Chainaxes in it, put a power fist on the Sergeant for good measure as well. Also take power sword, so that you can produce yet even more attacks against those corpse-loving boot-licks. Add a Dark Apostle or better still Khârn for those magical re-rolls to hit. Finally add an Exalted Champion for those re-rolls to wound. The key to making this strategy work is making sure that your transport doesn't get blown up and all your dudes shot to bits before they reach the enemy. If you can avoid that... You get 14 S6, AP-1 attacks, hitting on 3s, re-rolling all misses and all failed wound rolls. And that's BEFORE the 3 re-rollable power fists, or the Chainswords go off or any of the actual characters go. In addition it doesn't factor Death to the False Emperor or Legions Traits, which become even more brutal with re-rollable attacks. You then get to do this TWICE. Just remember - if you are using Khârn as the source of your re-rolls - always activate the Zerkers before you activate him. Otherwise you may find your ranks somewhat diminished before they even start hurting the enemy.
      • The best part about this tactic is that if you take just the bare bones, like Khârn +9 berzerkers with axes in a rhino, it will cost you just under 400 points. You can isolate that into a separate World Eaters Patrol detachment (if you don't already play WE, otherwise just incorporate the buggers into your army as troops and a mandatory HQ), which gives them one extra melee attack on the charge per model per activation. Seeing as how they will activate TWICE... Do I really need to go on? It is dubious whether it will be very good in games of under 1000 points, as it takes up a huge chunk of your points pool.
      • The key to making this tactic work for you is to not let the party van get nuked before the guys inside can reach their destination. If you're using a land raider, that should be easier, as they are pretty tough now. If you use a rhino, try and set things up so that not all of the enemy's heavy weapons can target your party van. ALSO - USE SMOKE LAUNCHERS. NEVER FORGET THEM! Keep in mind that it takes approximately 3 lascannon wounds to smash a rhino - possibly two, with some luck and/or a command point re-roll. With that in mind, try to remain out of the line of sight of multiple units capable of dishing out d6s of damage. And if your rhino does blow up - try to make it blow up where its contents won't be shredded by gunfire afterwards. While this is not the squishiest spearhead, it can be savagely crippled by a mix of heavy anti-tank weapons (krak, lascannons) and anti-infantry weapons (heavy bolters, massed bolter fire).
      • If you really want to get the full strength of the unit in, consider a Drop Pod or Termite Assault Drill and deepstrike them turn 2 onwards.
      • Don't forget that re-rolls happen before modifiers. So, when you roll a 3 to hit with your power fist, that's a hit, so it doesn't get re-rolled. Then, you apply the modifier, making it a miss. I know. I know.
      • Who wants just some regular old party van? I want a flying party van! Go big or go home! Here's what you do: Kharybdis party bus, Dark Apostle, Exalted Champion, 18x Berzerkers equipped with Chainaxe + Chainswords and a Power Fist on the Champ. Oh, and make them a World Eaters Detachment. That gives you 51xS6 AP-1 attacks, 18xS5 attacks, 4xS10 Ap-3 Dd3 attacks, all attacking a second time, all re-rolling to hit and all re-rolling to wound. That's 146 attacks before the characters even swing! What's better is that the Kharybdis can charge in too! What good is a party bus if you can't crash it into the enemy from orbit?
      • Two Rhinos, each with 9 (or eight for you holy number purists) Berzerkers, a Dark Apostle and an Exalted Champion riding with them, and a Cultist screen, makes for a formidable double party van and yields 5CP. The deep insertion units that want to jump in and pop the Rhinos? Now they have a load of ObSec Cultists to get past.
      • Veterans of The Long War - Yeah, it sticks around in BOTH activations of the Berzerkers. And if that's not enough, you can give them an additional activation at the end of the combat phase, for 3 CP. RIP AND TEAR!

Word Bearers[edit]

WordBearers.jpg

In the grim darkness of the far future, there is only the laughter of thirsting Gods.

Thematically the Word Bearers are the truest "Legion" out of the Chaos Space Marines, managing to keep their shit together when the Heresy went bad and managing to regroup until they were once more a at Legion-strength, without having every member with delusions of grandeur leave to make his own warband. They love inciting the masses to rebel against those fools who can't see the truth and they're known to bring scores of Daemonic allies into battle.

Crunch-wise the Word Bearers have the weakest Legion Trait. Fortunately they aren't alone however, being the best choice if you wanna go deep into fully devoted territory be it spamming possessed and buffing them with characters or daemonic allies, whether devoted to one or all of the aspects of the primordial truth we recommend checking the Chaos Daemons tactica too. However, their new content has vastly increased their ability to function without the Chaos Daemon Codex, having gained a slew of powerful Buffing and Utility-based Relics and Stratagems, and top spot as the most powerful Psychic Legion of the Vanilla Chaos Legions. Too bad their Legion Trait is a liability.

  • Legion Trait: Profane Zeal: Units with this trait may re-roll failed Morale tests. Just like And They Shall Know No Fear, so you get something all Loyalist scum get for free with their Chapter Tactics. This doesn't mean you shouldn't take Word Bearers, because there is more to them than their Legion Trait, but if you don't intend on using their Stratagems, Warlord Traits, or Relics, don't take them.
  • Warlord Traits:
    • The Voice of Lorgar: Add 3" to the range of any aura abilities (as of the FAQ, this includes prayers) that the warlord has. Rooftop Havocs should be able to hear your Lord shouting at them to shoot straight, whilst covering a lot of ground. It's complete trash unless you drop it on a Dark Apostle to boost the range of his prayers.
    • Exalted Possession: This Warlord gains the POSSESSED and DAEMON keywords (if they don't already have them). Add 1 to the Strength and Attacks characteristics of the Warlord, and add 1" to this Warlord's Move characteristic. Note that this means they can be buffed by Greater Possessed, Masters of Possession, Daemonic Loci, and several Relics from the Daemon Codex.
    • Daemonic Whispers: If your army is Battle-forged, roll one d3 before the battle begins, you gain a number of additional Command Points equal to the result. Once per battle, if this Warlord is on the battlefield, you can re-roll a single hit roll, wound roll, damage roll or saving throw.
    • Master of the Union: Add 1 to the Attacks characteristic of models in friendly WORD BEARERS DAEMON units whilst their unit is within 6" of this Warlord.
    • Diabolist: When this Warlord would lose a wound, roll one D6, adding 3 to the result if that wound would be lost as the result of a mortal wound, on a 6+ that wound is not lost.
    • Sacrilegious Regeneration: Add 1 to this Warlord's Wounds characteristic. At the start of your turn, this Warlord regains up to D3 lost wounds.
  • Stratagems:
    • Dark Pact (1CP): Use this stratagem when a WORD BEARERS CHARACTER attempts to summon a unit of DAEMONS to the battlefield using a daemonic ritual. You can re-roll any of the dice used in the summoning roll, and your character will not suffer any mortal wounds for rolling doubles or triples. Considering how much cheaper Daemons have gotten, this makes summoning a lot more viable.
    • Malevolent Covenant (1CP): Use this Stratagem in your Psychic phase when a WORD BEARERS PSYKER unit from your army fails a Psychic test. This is autmatically manifested by that PSYKER unit at the minimum required warp charge value and without a double having been rolled, and cannot be resisted by a Deny the Witch attempt. After resovling the effects of the psychic power that PSYKER unit suffers 1 mortal wound.
    • Apostle of the Dark Council (1CP): Use this Stratagem before the battle. Select one WORD BEARERS PRIEST model from you army. It now knows one additional prayer from the Prayers to the Dark Gods and can chant one additional prayer at the start of the battle round, like the Loyalists' Master of Sanctity. You can only use this Stratagem once per battle.
    • Cursed Despoilers (2CP): Use this Stratagem after deployment but before the first battle round begins, if a WORD BEARERS unit from you army is on the battlefield. Select one terrain feature (other than a Fortification). Units entirely on or within that terrain feature do not gain the benefits of cover to their saving throws.
    • Revered Hosts (1 CP): Use this Stratagem in the Fight phase when a WORD BEARERS POSSESSED unit or WORD BEARERS GREATER POSSESSED unit from your army is chosen to fight with. Unit the end of the phase add 1 to the Damage characteristic of melee weapons models in that unit are equipped with.
    • Hexagrammatic Wards (1CP): Use this Stratagem in any phase after making a saving throw for a WORD BEARERS CHARACTER model from you army. Treat the result of that saving throw as 6. Each WORD BEARERS CHARACTER model from your army can only be the target of this Stratagem once per battle. A nifty alternative to the traditional Command re-roll.
    • Vengeance for Monarchia (1CP): Use this Stratagem in the fight phase when a WORD BEARERS unit from you army is chosen to fight with. Until the end of that phase, when resolving an attack made with a melee weapon by a model in that unit against an ULTRAMARINES unit, you can re-roll the hit roll and you can re-roll the wound roll.
  • Relic:
    • The Cursed Crozius: S+2, AP-2, and a flat 3 damage, replacing a power maul or accursed crozius. In addition, the bearer may re-roll failed wound rolls with the weapon in close combat when fighting against IMPERIUM units. An extremely powerful relic for one of the weakest Legions in the codex, there is almost no reason to skip over this as it's a great option and can dish out a shocking amount of pain. Put it on a Dark Apostle with the Omen of Potency and he'll be striking like a mini-Greater Daemon. Using Stratagems to allow him to strike twice can actually have him outperform Bloodthirsters, albeit at the cost of a shitload of CP.
    • Crown of the Blasphemer: Improve the invulnerable save of a model with this Relic by 1, to a maximum of 3+. Subtract 1 from the Leadership characteristic of models in enemy units whilst within 6" of this model.
    • Baleful Icon: When a charge roll is made for a charge declared against any friendly WORD BEARERS units within 6" of a model with this Relic, subtract 2 from the result.
    • Book of the Reviler: Model that is not a DAEMON only. Before the battle, a model with this Relic can read from the Book of the Reviler. If it does, randomly generate two Chaos Boons for that model from the table found in the Chaos Boon Stratagem, re-rolling Spawndom, Daemonhood, and duplicate results. Note that doing so does not cost any Command Points and an enemy CHARACTER, VEHICLE, or MONSTER model does not have to have been destroyed.
    • Malefic Tome: PSYKER model only. A model with this Relic knows one additional psychic power from their chosen discipline. When a Psychic test is taken for a model with this Relic, add 1 to the total.
    • Ashen Axe: Model with a chainaxe only. This Relic replaces a chainaxe and has the following profile - +1 Str, -2 AP, d3 Dmg. Enemy units with 1" of a model with this Relic cannot fallback unless they have the VEHICLE or TITANIC keywords, or have a minimum Move characteristic.
    • Epistle of Lorgar: PRIEST model only. When a model with this Relic chants a prayer, you can re-roll the dice to determine if that prayer is heard. Add 1 to the Leadership characteristic of models in friendly WORD BEARERS units whilst their unit is with 6" of this model.
  • Strategies: Despite their Legion Trait, Word Bearers have a very obvious playstyle of Daemons, Auras, buffing, and Morale. Daemons add an ABSURD level of complexity and variety to an Army list, and a Dark Apostle, Chaos Lord, or any Daemon Squad can be buffed out to truly insane proportions.
    • Allies From Beyond: The first is to take Masters of Possession and go heavier on the monsters/Daemons; if you use Dark Pact when using Incursion you can make their summoning extremely reliable, conjuring up max-sized Daemon units (seekers come to mind to make it much more likely you'll make the charge, or Bloodcrushers since they're just devastating on the charge and it's not too much harder to make) or the new Keeper of Secrets, thanks to having a low enough charge you'll get it the vast majority of the time. If you really want to boost your daemons then summon a Herald (preferably of Slaanesh) to boost all the Keeper's attacks to S7 (and sword to S9) to wound Marines on 2's while being able to crush vehicles. To boost the Greater Daemons even further (and give them a little extra protection when they're summoned in), make sure to take a Dark Apostle and use a Prayer, either to make them harder to hit or boost their damage in case you really feel like killing Knights. Don't forget to put The Cursed Crozius on The Dark Apostle either because it's just a genuinely great weapon. Even just from a support role the Keeper can help out if you already have Possessed or other Slaanesh in combat since they can almost immediately cast Hysterical Frenzy and give you an out-of-sequence close combat round (although you're better off doing this from a Herald if you just want to troll the enemy with that move). Don't worry about skipping out on Sorcerers, if you really want something like Warptime you can always use the Chaos Familiar Stratagem to give it to one of the Masters of Possession.
    • Little Lorgar: The second way to go about it is to use the Dark Apostle to hold the main line. With The Cursed Crozius he makes a very effective charge deterrent, since you can make him have 6 Strength 6 Ap-4 attacks that do 3 damage each, meaning he's effectively punching in at near the same weight class as a Greater Daemon (greater if you want to burn a lot of CP, 1 for beseeching and 3 for getting him to fight again, just in case you wanted to make Bloodthirsters look like pansies). Given the Voice of Lorgar and by using Illusory Supplication you can pretend you've got an army of Daemons by spreading that 5++ save around, which goes well with lots of Cultists and/or Havocs, especially since he fixes the former's morale issues. Naturally this works a lot better in smaller to mid point games than the really large ones, though he still provides a decent bubble there too.
    • Angry Little Lorgar: Khorne-Flavored Apostle with the Black Mace. Only D2, but More Str (9) and potential to deal Mortal Wounds on 6s.
    • Cursed Lord: Chaos Jump Lord with Cursed Crozius and Exalted Possession. Swinging for a flat 3 damage at S7 is nice and gets better with Revered Hosts. If you team up with a Nurgle Daemons DP with locus and Virulent Blessing you can be getting up to ludicrous levels of damage per unsaved wound. Probably better in theory hammer than on the tabletop.
    • Angry Possessed: Make your detachment a specialst Daemonkin Ritualists. Then give your warlord Master of the Union trait. Uses Vessels for the Neverborn (1 CP) and Revered Hosts (1 CP) stratagems. Congratulation, you've got a squad of Strength 6, Attack 2+D3, Damage 2 per models. You can go even further with a Greater Possessed, Master of Possession, Dark Apostle, Skull Altar, Skarbrand and/or Herald. They can become really brutal at full potential. And as they are very tough with HP 2 and Save 3+/5++, they are more durable than Berserks and can make hole in higher toughness. Add in a Field Commander with "Shepard of the True Faith" and now you're doing mortal wounds on top of your already massive damage output.

Alpha Legion[edit]

AlphaLegion.jpg

In the grim darkness of the far future, there is no such thing as Truth.

Thematically the Alpha Legion are known for their mastery of Deception, Covert Ops, Sabotage, and Information Warfare.

Crunchwise they have a resemblance of that, but instead have many abilities to aid encirclement, outflanking, and messing with the opponent instead of being more stealthy than the Night Lords. Still, the to-hit penalties they inflict on opponents and the fact that this can be stacked with other effects give them a surprising amount of durability. It's one of the strongest army traits in the game, turning units like Leviathan Dreadnoughts into nigh-invincible murder machines. Their goodies do allot of things to annoy the opponent: warlord whack-a-mole, midgame redeployment, Deapstrike denial, Stratagems price hicks. Sons of the Hydra make great alley to any Chaos list to prevent enemies from playing tricks on you.

  • Legion Trait: Hidden in Plain Sight: Your opponent must subtract 1 from their hit rolls when targeting units with this trait if they are more than 12" away. This is insanely powerful and fantastic on anything, especially Helbrutes, and even better: Hellforged Dreadnoughts. Don't forget enemy plasma and the like overheats on ones and twos should they decide to super-charge, so running Termies is not as bad as it would normally be. Also amazing if you are playing a kind of gunline or artillery based army.
  • Warlord Traits:
    • I am Alpharius: In addition to this Warlord trait, your warlord generates a random universal CSM Warlord trait. If your warlord is slain, you may immediately select another ALPHA LEGION CHARACTER in your army to take their place and generate a Warlord trait for them (including this one). If the mission you are playing grants victory points for slaying the enemy Warlord, your opponent will only achieve that objective if all ALPHA LEGION CHARACTERS in your army have been slain. Adaptable, and it's always hilarious to see an enemy's attempt at Slay the Warlord to turn into a fucked up game of Whack-A-Mole.
    • Clandestine: -1 to hit the warlord.
    • Headhunter: The warlord can snipe characters and to add a cherry on top, causes mortal wounds on unmodified 6's.
    • Master of Diversion: At the start of the first battle round, before the first turn begins, select up to 3 other ALPHA LEGION units and redeploy them following the usual deployment rules. Let's you kind of bait out your opponents deployment choices.
    • Cult Leader: Makes cultists slightly more dangerous! Any Cultists within 6" of the warlord that roll a 6 to wound improves their weapons AP by -1.
    • Faceless Commander: Once per battle at the end of your movement phase you can remove the warlord from the battlefield and redeploy them within 3" of a friendly ALPHA LEGION INFANTRY unit and more than 9" away from enemy models.
  • Stratagems:
    • Forward Operatives (1CP): Use this Stratagem during deployment, when you set up an ALPHA LEGION INFANTRY unit from your army. At the start of the first battle round but before the first turn begins, you can move that unit up to 9". It cannot end this move within 9" of any enemy models. If both players have units that can move before the first turn begins, the player who is taking the first turn moves their units first. Each unit can only be selected for this Stratagem once per battle. It can, theoretically, help get a turn one charge off with something like a Berzerker blob squad, as in some standard deployments the distance between you and your opponent is between 12-24 inches. It can also be used to counter deploy to a degree, or even move your dudes onto an objective very early. Otherwise, pray you go first with this, as you'll find whatever advances this far forward is incredibly exposed and probably going to draw a lot of firepower.
      • You can't spam this onto the same unit, but because it's not used during a phase, you can spam it across multiple units. This'll get expensive fast if you use it on small units like buffing HQs, but it can be great for e.g. getting 3 units of chaincannon havocs into position, if you have the CP.
    • Conceal (2CP): Use at the start of the opponents shooting phase. pick one ALPHA LEGION INFANTRY unit. until the end of that phase enemy models can only target that unit if it's the closest visible target.
    • Sabotaged Armoury (1CP): Wanna see a tank go up in fireworks? If you trigger this as an enemy rolls to see if their tank blows, you add +3 to their roll and block them from re-rolling. Hope you got those bitches all in place.
    • Scrambled Coordinates (1CP): Use in your opponents movement phase, when an enemy unit is being set up as reinforcements but before it is placed on the battlefield. That unit must be set up more than 12" away from any ALPHA LEGION units in your army.
    • Renascent Infiltration (1CP): Use at the end of your movement phase. Select one ALPHA LEGION INFANTRY unit that is more than 3" away from any enemy models and did not arrive as reinforcements that turn. Remove that unit from the battlefield. At the end of your next movement phase set that unit up on the battlefield again more than 9" away from any enemy models.
    • Ambush (2CP): use in your opponents movement phase. After an enemy unit is set up as reinforcements, select one ALPHA LEGION unit from your army within 18" of that unit to shoot at that unit.
    • Feigned Threat (1CP): Use in your movement phase, when you fall back with an ALPHA LEGION unit it can still shoot this turn.
    • We are Alpharius (1CP): Use before the battle after nominating your warlord. Pick another ALPHA LEGION CHARACTER from your army that isn't your warlord and give that character a warlord trait. Very similar to the Black Legion's Council of traitors with more flexibility at the cost of only one additional WT instead of two.
  • Relics:
    • Blade of the Hydra: Replaces a model's chainsword. With a profile of S+1 AP-2 and a flat 2 damage, a solid close combat option, never mind the D3 instead of 1 extra attacks it gives you. Fun fact: this weapon is exactly the same as the loyalist Relic "Teeth of Terra." Coincidence? I think not!
    • Drakescale Plate: INFANTRY model only. Provides a 2+ armor save and a 5+ FNP against mortal wounds. Very good, but sadly cannot be taken by a DP.
    • Mindveil: at the start of your movement phase the model with this relic can roll 3D6 and the result becomes that model's move characteristic until end of turn. They can also move across other models and terrain as if they're not there, they can charge across other models other than buildings as if they're not there & the bearer can charge in a turn that they fell back.
    • Hydra's Wail: Once per battle at the start of the battle round if the bearer of this relic is on the battlefield. Until the end of the battle round when your opponent spends command points to use a stratagem roll a D6. On a 4+ your opponent must spend one extra CP to use that stratagem.
    • Viper's Bite: Replaces a combi-bolter. 24" Rapid fire 2 S5 AP-3 2 damage.
    • Hydra's Teeth: Model with a bolt weapon only. The bolt weapons of the bearer automatically hit, always wound on a 2+ unless targeting a VEHICLE or TITANIC in which case it wounds on a 6+. units also do not receive the benefit of cover to their save's against that bolt weapon.
    • Shadeblade: Model with power/force sword only. S+1 AP-3 D3 damage and attacks made against the bearer are at -1.
  • Tactics: Here are some tactics that are better off being used in an Alpha Legion army than any other.
    • And for my next magic trick...: Build yourself a Deathstar, get a Nurgle Sorcerer and a Dark Apostle. Now all you need to do is use Benediction of Darkness and Miasma of Pestilence on it. Congrats, most Imperial Guard now cannot hit you. Play at night to make most Space Marines unable to hit you.
    • Alpha Strike: Assuming your Berzerkers are 24" away from the enemy after deployment, Forward Operatives makes that 15". Your move makes that 9". A Sorcerer Lord on a bike can keep up with these guys, giving them Prescience and Warptime. Your Berzerkers now only have to make a 3" charge on turn 1. Don't forget Veterans of the Long War and Death to the False Emperor and to multi-charge everything in range if you'll survive the overwatch, cos you probably want three combat steps with these guys at this point. And, if your opponent goes first your Alpha Legion trait probably saves some Berzerker lives too.

Black Legion[edit]

BlackLegionInsignia.png

In the grim darkness of the far future, the Galaxy will burn.

Thematically the Black Legion are arguably the largest force of Chaos Space Marines, their exact size is unknown and they do not worship any singular entity. They are all united by one desire: to finish what Horus started and to tear down the Imperium, after all, united behind the Warmaster, how can you fail?

The Black Legion are easily the favourite Chaos Space Marines of Games Workshop, being the poster boys of the faction (even though they're not on the cover). This leads to them having rather basic options to allow them to fill practically any role you want. They also were the first to get expanded WTs, Stratagems, and Relics. While they aren't the most competitive it's hard to go wrong with them, as it should be for the "ordinary" Chaos Space Marines.

  • Legion Trait: Black Crusaders: Units with this trait add 1 to their Leadership characteristic. In addition, if a unit with this trait advanced, they treat all Rapid Fire weapons as Assault weapons. The Leadership buff is nice, allowing unmarked units with an Icon of Vengeance to reach LD10 (!), but unfortunately the other one is rather mediocre. It only comes into play on the few Rapid Fire weapons Chaos has (mostly bolters, combi-bolters, and plasma guns) and imposes a -1 penalty to hit, and you can't charge if you advanced. Best used in conjunction with a lord or Abaddon's re-roll hit aura to try and march larger blobs of CSM into rapid fire range faster, but otherwise very middle of the road.
    • Note: Chaos bikers can use this trait to move, advance, and still fire, although you'll get 2 shots out of each combi-bolter, not 4, regardless of range. Best used when you are trying to outflank or encircle an enemy unit.
  • Warlord Traits: As the poster-boys of the CSM, as well as the Imperium's main antagonists, the Black Legion have several traits they can choose from, which also work really well with their unique Stratagem.
    • Black-clad Brute: +1 to the Warlord's strength characteristic. In addition, he causes d3 mortal wounds on a 4+ to a unit he charges. Better than their relic for causing Mortal Wounds.
    • First Among Traitors: The Death to the False Emperor ability triggers on a 5+ instead of a 6+ for all models in friendly BLACK LEGION units within 6" of the Warlord. Unfortunately, due to the wording on the Icon of Excess and this rule (they both set it to a 5+ instead of giving a +1) you can only get exploding dice on a 4+ if you use Prescience. Abaddon has this.
    • Indomitable: All damage to your warlord is halved. Pairs very well with characters that are likely to draw heavy fire from your opponent. Looking at you, Lord Discordant.
    • Soul Eater: Each time your Warlord destroys an enemy unit, he regains d3 lost wounds. More likely to trigger after killing an enemy character, so put it on somebody that has something like a Thunder Hammer.
    • Trusted Warleader: Roll every time you use a command point. On a 5+, it is refunded. A trait that can pay for itself, although it can't trigger successfully more than once per battle round.
    • Veteran Raider: Friendly BLACK LEGION units within 6" of your warlord can declare a charge even if they fell back. Charging and getting to fight first so often makes you feel like a stronger Emperor's Children (or slightly weaker White Scars) - this is best used on a Jump Lord or Jump Sorcerer supporting Raptors, of course, since they'll be able to fall back, shoot, and charge.
  • Stratagems: Just like their Warlord Traits, the Black Legion have a lot more Stratagems than every other Legion/Renegade.
    • Council of Traitors (1 CP): Use before the battle if your warlord is a Chaos Lord, Daemon Prince, or Abbadon. Allows you to give a warlord trait to a Dark Apostle and Sorcerer in your army. Similar to the Dark Eldar Stratagem, but limited to only Black Legion. Make the Dark Apostle Trusted Warleader and it'll pay for itself (there are much better Sorcerer-unique traits the other can get). Pretty much always worth using in a black legion army as it gives you more options. The only downside to it is that warpsmiths are sadly left out of the council.
    • Chosen of the Pantheon (1 CP): Use at the beginning of your turn. Pick a Black Legion unit that is not marked. They gain all 4 marks until the start of the next turn. Mainly useful for using god specific stratagems, auras, or powers. And yes, you can use this to give a Sorcerer the Khorne keyword.
    • Legacy of Horus (1 CP): Use during the Morale Phase, add 1 to the Leadership of Chaos Marine units as long as they are within range of a Black Legion Unit. Useful whenever you find yourself heavily debuffed for LD across most of your army and are in a blob, otherwise just pay the extra point to ignore casualties.
    • Let the Galaxy Burn (1 CP): Use this stratagem whenever a BLACK LEGION BIKER or INFANTRY is selected to attack in the shooting or fight phases. You can re-roll all to-hit rolls of 1 for the unit. If it is a Chaos Space Marine unit, you re-roll all hits instead. Just like the Ultramarines' Chapter Tactic, but better - this is only the second such ability in the game (the first was Cawl) allowing you to re-roll any hits, not just failed ones. The distinction matters when dealing with negative modifiers to hit - if your CSM are facing -1 to hit, this strat will let you re-roll 3s, unlike the pleb Ultramarines strat, which would not. Also keep in mind that you can totally take a 20 man squad to make the most of this Stratagem.
    • Merciless Fighters (1 CP): Use on an infantry unit. If there are more models in the unit then there are enemy models within 3', then add 1 to that units attack characteristics. Oh hey, they remembered the Sons of Horus' 30k rules!
    • Relics of the Long War(1/3 CP): Chaos Marine copy-paste. The standard multi-relic stratagem.
    • Tip of the Spear (1 CP): At the start of the first shooting phase, re-roll failed hits for whichever of your units is closest to the enemy for that phase. If there's a tie, pick which one is affected.
    • World Killers (3 CP): Use at the beginning of a battle round. Turns off your opponents' objective secured (or equivalent) rule for the rest of the battle round. Perfect for unexpectedly seizing an objective at the last minute from a blob that thought it was in control.
  • Relics: Yep, because why wouldn't they get a lot of them as well?
    • Angelsbane: Replaces a Combi-Bolter. Becomes S5 AP-2 D2, which goes up to 3 if used against anything with the IMPERIUM keyword. Solidly shooty, pairs nicely with the Bolter Discipline beta rule, and with a bit of luck can even bring down a 3-wound Custodian or jack up a vehicle. Not bad at all.
    • Cloak of Conquest: Each time the bearer slays an enemy character, add 1 to the bearer's Strength, Attacks, and Leadership characteristic until the end of the battle. Useless for most of the battle, but on killy models such as certain Lords, Executioners, and Deamon Princes - The potential to become a complete monster in CC is undeniable. Stacks well with other traits like Black Clad Brute and the many other tactics to buff out a single model.
    • Ghorisvex's Teeth: Replaces a chainsword. -3 ap, 2 damage. +2 attacks. any time you roll a 6 to wound, the target takes a mortal wound in addition to normal damage. The lynchpin for the "Chainlord" build, put on a chaos lord with jump pack and give him the Flames of spite WL trait for 2 Mortal wounds on any wound roll of 6+, then pump up the wounding ability through Veterans, Prayers, psychic powers etc.
    • The Eye of Night: Once per game, in the shooting phase, the bearer of the Eye of Night can select a visible enemy vehicle. On a 2+, it takes d3 mortal wounds. Not terribly impressive, but at least it doesn't cost more than the guy carrying it anymore. Also avoids vehicle invuln saves. Fluff states this thing is supposed to be able to cause "massive power failure or catastrophic internal damage". But on the tabletop, this thing will tickle a vehicle once. Works quite well with a Jump Pack Sorcerer using smite and rocking demon shells, allowing you to zap a vehicle with 3D3 Mortal Wounds should the opportunity arise.
    • Sightless Helm: -1 Ballistic Skill, -1 AP on all your weapons (so ap -1 becomes ap -2). Has no affect on your ability to hit things in melee. Consider putting this on a Lord Discordant for maximum effect (who cares about BS when you have Baleflamer...)
    • Spineshiver Blade: Replaces a power sword. +1 strength. +d6 attacks each time the bearer attacks. Look, a daemon weapon that doesn't try to kill you.
    • Trophies of Slaughter: +1 leadership to allied Black Legion within 6" and -1 leadership to enemies within 6".
  • Specialist Detachment: Yep, the Black Legion even get their own Specialist Detachment. What don't they have? This only selects BLACK LEGION TERMINATOR units; you'll probably only have about 2-3 units dedicated to the BoD, as well as any Termie lord or Abby. So long as you pay 1 CP for the upgrade the following are available to you:
    • Warlord Trait: Chosen of the Warmaster: All BRINGERS OF DESPAIR units within 6" of your warlord re-roll 1s to hit. Slap this on a Chaos Lord, and this becomes re-rolling all failed hits, which you seriously want if you intend on accompanying a retinue of termies and making use of the Brutal Subjugation stratagem. Cheaper than the Space Marines Chapter Master upgrade which does the exact same thing but with fewer upsides.
    • Stratagems: There are two, both situational.
      • Brutal Subjugation (1 CP): During a fight phase, any models your BRINGERS OF DESPAIR units kill count as double for the upcoming morale phase. If you have a blendy pack of terminators or your lord up the front, this shouldn't be too hard to pull off. Chuck some Night Lords in there and this can get painful.
      • Chosen Enforcers (1 CP): Use when a friendly heretic astartes unit within 18" of a BRINGERS OF DESPAIR unit is required to take a morale test. That unit automatically passes the morale test. Much cheaper than Insane Bravery, so why not?
    • Relic: Foe Cleaver: Replaces a power axe, S+3 AP-2 D1d3, add 1 to hit rolls when targeting an IMPERIUM unit. Don't forget Death to the False Emperor.
  • Unique Characters: Of course the Black Legion naturally have the most special characters, while the other Legions are struggling to get even one.
    • Abaddon the Despoiler: The Warmaster himself, the guy /tg/ always jokes about for being an armless failure and who was a rare sight on the tabletop... Well, no more of the latter. So long as your plan involves closing the gap and tearing shit up you're going to find a use for him, and there's very few things in the game that can take him on and walk away fine. In addition to being a potent melee threat, he has two aura abilities: one that makes all Black Legion units within 6" re-roll all to hit rolls, and another that makes all Heretic Astartes immune to morale tests. Also, unlike most things in Terminator armour, he has a 6" rather than a 5" move. For this reason, as well as the fact that any transport he's in becomes the priority target for your opponent, consider teleporting him into battle, just don't forget that he has 6 attacks with his claw and an additional D6 attacks with his sword (which, if you roll a 1, will cause a MW on him instead of the extra sword attacks - he can still fight with the claw though). As of Vigilus Ablaze, his statline has grown to Custodes levels to make him nastier than ever before. S5 and T5 with 8 Wounds along with all the other jazz places him very solidly behind only Guilliman and then followed by new Calgar as far as Astartes based units are concerned.
      • If you plan on taking advantage of the 6" move (unlike most terminator 5" move) then walking him up behind a meatshield while in front of Havocs and using his re-roll on them is shockingly effective.
      • Note that his morale aura applies to units of any Legion within 12" of Abaddon, if you're mixing and matching he can prevent other Chaos units from running away.
      • It's a good idea to save at least one of the CP he gives you for a re-roll on Drach'nyen. You're either going to wish you had more than 2 attacks, or you want to prevent him from poking his eye out when you really need him to cut somebody in half.
      • Keep in mind that since he has all the chaos god's faction keywords, and can thus use any mark-specific stratagems or be targeted by mark-specific psychic powers. While not cheap in terms of CP or sorcerers, this can raise his threat level to apocalyptic proportions. Take special note of the Khornate stratagem that allows him to fight twice.
    • Obsidius Mallex [Blackstone Fortress]: A sort of half-way attempt between Loyalist Smash Captain and Black Legion Chaos Lord, Obsidius is the master of the Servants of the Abyss in the Blackstone Fortress game. He's basically a Chaos Lord statline with a Thunder Hammer and a Plasma Pistol. Like all the splat-game units, GW has made an effort to keep him "balanced" against other codex entries, meaning you're going to be paying out the ass for this combo. In doing so Obsidius comes out being more expensive than a Chaos Lord with a Power Fist and Pistol, and is more expensive than his Loyalist counterpart with the same loadout, whilst at the same time forgetting to bring his Frag and Krak grenades. The real limitation of Obsidius, however, is his lack of the Mark of Chaos keyword. Without it he cannot, RAW, use the stratagem Beseech the Chaos Gods to access any of the god-specific stratagems (e.g. Khornes Fight Twice) which would, in turn, actually go towards making him worth considering. Finally, thanks to the -1 From his Thunder Hammer, he can't proc Death to the False Emperor without a Prescience buff. Where he does shine is if you want to kill 5 to 6 wound targets or vehicles with a relatively inexpensive solo model.
      • Since the publishing of Vigilus Ablaze and Codex 2 Electric Boogaloo, regular Chaos Lords can take Thunder Hammers... and cost two fewer points? Seriously, never run Mallex as Mallex now.
      • However...For what ever reason or situation you find yourself wanting to run a foot-slogging chaos lord profile with a thunder hammer and you've got 3 already then Mallex is technically his own dataslate. Why you did this though no one will know or understand...
    • Haarken Worldclaimer [Vigilus Defiant]: Another Black Legion Lord like Mallex, only with a buff specifically for Raptors instead of everyone. At first it seems like he would be a potent force multiplier for any Raptor-heavy army, but sadly he really isn't. He doesn't have a gun (and therefore can't use the Daemon Shells stratagem), instead his Helspear acts as an Assault 1 12" S+1 AP-3 D1d3 weapon that he can't use in melee (and it wasn't fixed in errata). Note that his re-roll aura only works for Raptors (which he is) and but only for their melee weapons, meaning he doesn't even get to re-roll his Spear Throw, which explains why all the art around his reveal was his spear impaled in the ground having not hit anything or anyone. Would have been better if he buffed Warp-Talons as well as they are the ones who actually want to be in melee and would benefit the most from his buffs. At least his aura does let a re-roll of all failed hits rather than just hit rolls of 1, and it applies to all Legions instead of only the Black Legion. Night Lords players should consider taking him in a secondary detachment to put his 18" Ld debuff aura to work and if you're using a lot of raptors and not loading them up with plasma, then this guy actually isn't that bad a choice to bring.
  • Tactics: Here are some tactics that work better for Black Legion than any other Legion.
    • Black Clad Monster: Black Legion Dark Apostle + Black-clad Brute + Black Mace + Omen of Potency makes for a pretty nasty glass cannon. Sadly 4 wounds won't get you much if you don't keep him protected, but that S8 AP-4 2D Mortal Wound causing Mace will put in work.

Crimson Slaughter[edit]

CrimsonSlaughter.jpg

In the grim darkness of the far future, only the fury of battle can silence the dead.

Thematically the Crimson Slaughter are Marines cursed to hear those they've butchered. Despite their corruption originating from Khorne, they are an undivided Warband.

Crunchwise the Crimson Slaughter are schizophrenic and pretty mediocre. They want to blend the terror tactics of the Night Lords with the destructive capacity of the World Eaters but they don't really do it that well. Most of their benefits can be replicated and done better elsewhere. They do have a very good relic, but none of their traits really synergize with it very well.

  • Renegade Trait: A Moment's Peace: If a unit with this trait destroys an enemy unit, roll 1d6; on a 5+, you gain 1 CP. In addition, that unit auto passes Morale tests until the end of the turn.
    • Seems really good until you realize how hard it can be to completely destroy certain units, and the few times you'll roll this you might not even get the bonus CP. The morale bonus is worthless to characters who destroy units, and it only lasts till the end of the turn.
  • Warlord Trait: Maelstrom of Terror: Enemy units within 6" of the warlord suffer a -1 penalty to their leadership characteristic. The penalty becomes -2 and the aura expands to 9" after the warlord slays an enemy model.
    • Very easy to counter, and forces you to place your warlord in a vulnerable position. It can be okay with some Night Lord allies.
  • Stratagem: Terrifying Phenomena (2 CP): Pick a terrain feature within 12" of a CRIMSON SLAUGHTER unit. Enemy models within 3" of it suffer a -1 to hit.
    • Not bad by any means - could work really well when combined with some Alpha Legion allies and a Nurgle sorcerer.
  • Relic: Blade of the Relentless: +1S Power Sword. If you slay any enemy models, then this weapon will now wound automatically without needing to roll.
    • Could be ridiculous if you can get it to snowball, but you need to build a warlord around it.

Red Corsairs[edit]

RedCorsairs.jpg

In the grim darkness of the far future, there is nothing sweeter than revenge.

Thematically these are your pirate Marines, raiders who swoop in and take what they want with no fucks given. They are also one of the largest CSM forces, thanks in no small part to the fact that they'll accept any sad fuck who's ditched his original force in favour of something greater.

Crunchwise... hey kids, you want some CP? Red Corsairs are insanely good at getting CP, between their main trait, warlord trait, and special character no other faction in 40k (yet) can get cp so efficiently, just a simple 6 MSU CSM squads with an assortment of 4 HQs will net you a cool 16 CP to spend on just about anything. Suffice to say Red Corsairs are easily one of the strongest traits you can choose for your army.

  • Renegade Trait: Raiders from the Maelstrom: Units with this trait may Advance and Charge in the same turn. In addition, if a detachment contains 3 or more units with this trait, that detachment's command benefits are increased by 1 CP. If that detachment contains 3 or more units of chaos space marines, the command benefits are increased by 3 CP. The former catch-all trait for the Renegade Chapters as a whole was already strong, and has been buffed even further for seemingly no reason, so make sure to take advantage of that by combining this with Warptime and Icons of Wrath (since you aren't playing a cult Legion there's no reason not to go multi-god) which makes you one of the fastest armies of 8E, and combines with the natural choppiness of Berzerkers, Raptors, and Possessed (while Bikers become ludicrously good) to make CSMs play like they always should have- powerful CC units that favour a balls-out, risky play style. Don't forget the Chaos Space Marine units, since even if they're all expendable MSUs you'll still get the bonus CP.
  • Warlord Trait: Reaver Lord: Your army can have one extra relic for free (as opposed to paying CP for it like anyone else). Still can't give two relics to the same character. In addition, each time your warlord slays an enemy character, add 1 to their number of attacks for the rest of the battle. As of Vigilus Ablaze, Huron gets this Warlord Trait instead of Eternal Vendetta.
  • Stratagem: More Where They Came From (3 CP): Tide of Traitors but for Chaos space Marines instead of cultists. Corsairs are asking for you to spam CSM, and you should always take a full 20 man squad with bolters and a tricked out champion. Since your CSM detachments generate their own command points, the second ~ 270 point squad you hurl onto the battlefield is essentially entirely free for both points and CP.
  • Relic: Maelstrom's Bite: Replaces a Combi-Melta. The Bolter part is boosted to Rapid Fire 3 AP-1 D2, and the Melta part is boosted to +1S (S9 total), making it a very bad idea for anything to be within 12" of it (24" with the bolter drill rules).
  • Unique Character: Huron Blackheart: Huron and his pirate parrot Hamadrya are now separate models that make up a single unit, and as long as the latter is alive Huron can attempt to manifest one additional psychic power. Aside from that he's a sort of a Sorcerer Lord with 1 extra attack, and who gives a command point if he's the warlord. Comes with the equivalent of a Fist, Axe, and Heavy Flamer. Of particular note is that the Hamadrya can be used to soak up a hit that could've killed him, although you don't want to give up his pet too early, as without it he's lost half of his psychic game. Also remember that any buffs that affect him will also affect the Hamadrya, even if it won't come up that often. Annoyingly, he is far weaker than his fluff and pre heresy counterparts, though he is almost half the price.
    • He is fairly well priced, though his lack of Terminator armor to deep strike along with no other options for increasing movement aside from Warptime means all he is really good for is baby sitting blobs of CSM. Luckily, Corsair CSM blobs are fairy potent and he works well marching up the board alongside them casting powers and increasing Dakka output. Once they crash into enemy lines he is a mid/upper tier beat stick who can get very dangerous for his cost under the right psychic powers/stratagems and after he kills a character.
    • Best not to make him your warlord, since Corsairs can garner so many CP his bonus 1 isn't all that valuable. Make someone else the warlord (Demon Prince/Termie Lord) and build them for a specific role.
  • Strategies: The Red Corsairs are very quick with a strong a very easy way to generate CP, naturally there are a few ways to take advantage of this.
    • Suicide Fire Bikers: Take an Outrider detachment with three squads of bikers, a Chaos Lord on a bike and a Sorcerer on a bike. Give the bikers flamers and chainswords, have the Lord take a combi-flamer and thunder hammer while the Sorcerer takes whatever is point efficient for your army. Give them the Red Corsairs trait and put them front and centre. Have the Sorcerer buff whichever squad needs it, run 'em, Advance 'em, hit them with 7D6 worth of FLAMES!! Then Charge 'em. They (should) kill most of anything that is willing to fire overwatch, and finish what's left of a horde army with plenty of chainsword BRRR-ing.
      • Note that while this works out well for deleting large hordes, you'll need something for the tougher units, like Berzerkers to follow behind them (especially if they're a separate detachment of World Eaters). Use the hammer and force weapon to full advantage and consider fists on the Sergeants to aid in busting multi wound models, also take Malestroms Bite on the Lord since you are getting so close.
  • Fun Tactics: These are fun tactics that work better for Red Corsairs than any other subfaction.
    • The 30/30/60/90 Build: What would you do if you had ~30 cp and an endless supply of dudes, and not just Cultists, but actual Marines, with gear?
      • Step 1: Take a Brigade. Fill it with Cultists, and other cheap Compulsory choices, seasoning to fit your meta. Wargear, Marks, and Legion traits don't matter that much at this point, but Tzeentch and Crimson Slaughter net tonnes of Command Point recursion and some defensive power.
      • Step 2: Take 2 Red Corsair Battalions. HQ's here don't matter too much, although you might shoehorn Blackheart in, if you wish. All that really matters is 6ish Chaos Space Marine squads with the Red Corsairs Legion trait.
      • Step 3: PROFIT!!!!! With this build, you're looking at 90 recyclable dudes, 60 of which are Cultists, 30 are CSMs, and 32 CP. With the right mix of powers, wargear, and units, you can get resilience, a decent range of support units, and all the flexibility you'd need to pilot this list.
    • Piratical 17: Thanks to the Red Corsairs Renegades trait, a detachment with 3 units that have the keyword CHAOS SPACE MARINES will receive a bonus of 3CP. The basic idea is to use a Battallion for 5CP + 3CP for this trait.
      • 315 Points - 2x Warp Smith (60 per); 3x Marines (65 per).
Remixing is encouraged to suit your needs. Adding heavy weapons or swapping a lord in for a smith will increase cost, but potentially get more mileage out of your CP detachment. Note that the smith becomes essentially pointless except as tax since it's locked to repairing RED CORSAIRS vehicles.
  • For something maybe useful, use a dark apostle and a daemon prince with wings. Give your CSM chainswords and a flamer. Enjoy your cp and use csm as budget assault units.

Brazen Beasts[edit]

BrazenBeasts.jpg

In the grim darkness of the far future, there is no armour that will withstand utter hate.

Thematically the Brazen Beasts are extremely zealous berzerker brutes who are known to entrap Daemons in machinery. Think Khorne-worshipping Iron Warriors and you're on the right track.

Crunchwise they won't throw out as many attacks as the World Eaters, but they will hit harder and their Warlords can snowball into being incredibly brutal killing machines, just in case your opponent was foolish enough to bring out the Techmarines and Apothecaries. Brazen Beasts can really be made around their warlords, even if you've lost most of your army so long as you've managed to buff them up enough you can still find yourself winning as they'll hard-carry the rest of your army through.

  • Renegade Trait: Rend the Foe: Each time a unit with this trait makes a melee wound roll of 6+ in a turn when the unit charged, was charged, or performed a heroic intervention, it is resolved at AP-4. Essentially turns your units into mini-genestealers. Note that the trait sets the AP of the attack, rather than improving it - so, for example, the trait has no effect at all on Chainfists. If you somehow got an AP-5 melee weapon into the army, the trait would actually worsen it. Best with low AP melee, especially chainswords.
    • All units must be Khorne marked if they are able to do so, and no fucking sorcerers allowed.
  • Warlord Trait: Carve the Runes: Each time your Warlord slays an enemy CHARACTER, their attacks and strength characteristics are increased by 2 until the end of the game. A stronger but more narrowly focused version of Slaughterborn.
  • Stratagem: Burning Daemonheart (1 CP): Use at the end of your fight phase. Pick an enemy unit within 1" of a BRAZEN BEASTS DAEMON ENGINE unit. Roll a die for that unit; on a 2-4, they take 1d3 mortal wounds, and on 5-6, they take 3.
  • Relic: Daemonflesh Plate: Bearer has a save of 2+. +1 movement, +1 attack. Like the Iron Warriors relic, but more choppy.

Flawless Host[edit]

FlawlessHost.png

In the grim darkness of the far future, the pure must eliminate those who are not.

Thematically the Flawless Host got caught up in inflating their own egos so much that they lost sight of everything else. In fact they're so caught up in making sure everyone knows how perfect they are that they don't even realize how corrupted they've become.

Crunchwise the Flawless Host are to everyone else what the Chaos Space Marines are to the Imperium. You effectively gain your Imperium bonus against everyone, while doubling it if you actually fight against Imperium. They're still not going to generate as many attacks as World Eaters, but then again you can have Psykers of all types and those dudes cannot.

  • Renegade Trait: Death to the Imperfect: Death to the False Emperor, but against everyone. This stacks with Death to the False Emperor, in which case you will get 2 additional attacks instead of 1. Not quite as good as the Base Emperor's Children trait, if you can't go first then you can lose more attacks than you'd gain for this trait, so if you don't want their Stratagem, Relic or WT then just go EC.
    • As of the FAQ all Flawless Host units must be Slaanesh marked if they are able to do so.
  • Warlord Trait: Ultimate Confidence: If your warlord gains bonus attacks from their legion trait, they may make 3 bonus attacks instead of 1. Turns your warlord into a blender and a Lord Discordant into a lawnmower (Remember, the Lord Discordant triggers the extra attacks on a 5+ because of his own aura).
  • Stratagem: We Cannot Fail (1 CP): pick a FLAWLESS HOST INFANTRY Unit in the fight phase. They can re-roll all their to hit rolls.
  • Relic: The Flawless Cloak: +1 A and add 3" to the user's aura abilities. Feel like a Word Bearer. The bonus aura isn't going to help much, especially since unlike the Voice of Lorgar trait, it wasn't FAQ'd to apply to prayers.
  • Tactics: Here are some tactics that work better for the Flawless Host than any other Traitors.
    • Swaggering Spiderbot: Take a Lord Discordant, throw the Ultimate Confidence trait and Intoxicating Elixir relic on him, then have a prince or sorcerer nearby to cast prescience on him. You now have a 160 pt model that can kill a knight in one fight phase. You get 5 S10 -2 2dmg attacks, 5 S8 -2 D1d3 dmg attacks and a 1 S9 -4 D1d3 dmg attack all of which proc 3 extra hit rolls on a 4+ (4 hit rolls if your target is imperial). Have fun.

The Purge[edit]

ThePurge.jpg

In the grim darkness of the far future, there will be nothing left.

Thematically the Purge are Marines convinced that the only way to save the galaxy is to erase all life in it and start over. In other words, they're neckbeards who liked it better before it went bad.

Crunchwise, while a bit underwhelming in the choices offered by their trait, if you play them as the vicious and methodical exterminators they're portrayed as in the lore, you'll find them quite efficient at butchering your enemies one unit at a time. They're also one of the best choices for competitive/tourney lists alongside a Thousand Sons, Death Guard, and/or Daemons detachment.

  • Renegade Trait: Bringers of Oblivion: You can re-roll hit rolls for attacks that target a unit that has lost one or more wounds this turn.
    • All Purge units must be Nurgle marked if they are able to do so.
    • Applies in both the Shooting and Fight phases, so set the ball rolling with Psykers in the Psychic phase, and always remember to start your shooting with guns that automatically hit, such as baleflamers, or guys who already have the ability to re-roll to hit, as they wouldn't notice the buff anyway and are slightly more likely to activate it.
  • Warlord Trait: The Blessed Mission: Your warlord can re-roll wound rolls of 1 and all damage rolls. Pairs well with high damage weapons that roll for damage, such as power fists and combi-meltas.
  • Stratagem: All Life Is Worthless (1 CP): In the shooting phase, a Purge unit not within 1" of enemy models can shoot enemy units within 1" of friendly units for that phase, but hit rolls of 1 hit the friendly unit instead. Hilarious when anything with a flamer uses this, and extremely powerful on Havoc Squads (especially with a character nearby to give the re-roll).
    • Great to use with poxwalkers with the "dead walk again" stratagem, any losses will be recuperated with interest.
    • Note that this Stratagem only specifies that the Shooting unit has to be a Purge unit, not the engaged unit, nor is it locked to Infantry or Biker units, so your Tanks, Daemon Engines, and Flyers can be used to support Allied assault units like Knights, Daemons, or other specialized assault units. Quite convenient for wrinkling out Smash Captains and the like, or tar pits (but only if you absolutely have to).
  • Relic: Orb of Unlife: Once per battle, you can throw the Orb instead of shooting, so it's a grenade. Pick a point on the battlefield up to 8" away. Roll 1d6 for each enemy unit within d6" of the target, adding -2 if the target is a vehicle. On a 4+, the unit takes 1d3 mortal wounds.

The Scourged[edit]

TheScourged.jpg

In the grim darkness of the far future, there will be only those with the wisdom to see the real path.

Thematically the Scourged are the prime example of being careful what you wish for. Having the ability to hear all spoken lies hasn't done them any favours, so of course they decided to sign up with the greatest liar in existence. Don't judge, we all make terrible life choices every now and again.

Crunchwise the Scourged excel at disrupting opponents that rely on powerful deep strikes or psychic powers. They also reward MSU with high strength, low volume of fire weapons such as melta.

  • Renegade Trait: Omniscient: You can re-roll one hit roll each time a unit shoots or fights, and always overwatch on a 5+. Note that the re-roll is once per unit, so you'll get more use out of it with MSU. Of course this is useless on auto-hitting weapons.
    • As of the FAQ all The Scourged units must be Tzeentch marked if they are able to do so.
  • Warlord Trait: Shattering Truth: At the start of each fight phase, you can pick an enemy unit within 3" of your warlord. That unit cannot be picked to fight with in the fight phase until all other units able to fight have done so. If the target unit has an ability that allows it to fight first, it instead fights as if it didn't have that ability. Can be used to fuck over really hard-hitting units if they're engaged by several units and would normally be able to be chosen after you've selected a few to attack, so just like their trait, works much better with MSU spam.
  • Stratagem: Prescience (2 CP): When an enemy deep strikes within 12" of a SCOURGED INFANTRY unit, that unit can make an out of phase shooting attack against the deep striker. Unlike most similar stratagems this one doesn't have a -1 to hit installed! Beautiful against GSC.
  • Relic: Book of Untruth: Anytime a psyker within 18" of the bearer successfully manifests a psychic power, roll a d6; on a 5+, cause a mortal wound. This effectively means a mortal wound once per 3 successful enemy casts - which is not going to hurt anyone, unless you are playing against Grey Knights or Thousand Sons.

Stratagems[edit]

  • Beseech the Chaos Gods (1 CP): Use at the start of your turn. Select a unit without a mark and they gain one. It's fluffy, and extremely situational and borderline useless unless you're trying some kind of desperate "GOTCHA!" Strategy on your opponent. Pick the right mark before the game starts and you won't need to waste valuable command points. Basically made even more redundant by the Black Legion ability to give All Four Marks to a single target.
  • Blasphemous Machines (1 CP): Use before a vehicle attacks in the shooting phase. Until the end of the phase, that vehicle can ignore the penalties for moving and firing heavy weapons or for advancing and firing assault weapons.
  • Chaos Boon (1 CP): The infamous boon table returns, now on 2d6 and triggered after a non-Daemon Prince CHARACTER kills any CHARACTER, VEHICLE, or MONSTER in the Fight phase. A single CHARACTER can benefit from it multiple times, and duplicates turn into 7. Interestingly, Matched Play explicitly does not interfere with your Character transforming; the only restriction is that the transformed unit has to keep the Mark it started with. Since all of these results are good on a Champion and you can pick and choose who activates this, this is far better than what it used to be.
    • 2: Spawndom. Replace your character with one of the gribbly things, set up within 6" of his former position.
    • 3: All of the character's ranged weapons get a 6" range boost.
    • 4: +3 M
    • 5: +1 S
    • 6: +1 A
    • 7: Pick any result other than Spawndom or Daemonhood.
    • 8: Enemies targeting this character in the fight phase get -1 to hit rolls.
    • 9: +1 to all saving throws.
    • 10: +1 T
    • 11: +1 W
    • 12: Daemonhood. As Spawndom, but replace the character with a Daemon Prince instead; it must share a Mark with the replaced character, if it had one. Note that the spawned Daemon Prince doesn't have any of the Boon buffs.
  • Chaos Familiar (1 CP):: Use at the start of your Psychic Phase; a HERETIC ASTARTES PSYKER can swap one power known for another from the Dark Hereticus discipline. Very situational, but it can be useful. As written, this allows you to swap Smite for an extra Dark Hereticus power. Can also be used for other Chaos Marine factions, assuming you have a full detachment of Heretic Astartes in your list. Think Mortarion with Warptime.
    • Can also be used on a Master of Possession: debatably useful, maybe, but it does allow you to benefit from the MoP's 5++ and debuff aura while also being the same points cost as a similarly-armed Sorcerer (and 1 PL cheaper, whenever that matters), while using something like Warptime or Prescience.
    • Very useful for reacting to your needs with your psychic phase. More useful for Thousand Sons but remember this one if you need it.
  • Daemonforge (1 CP): Select a DAEMON VEHICLE in either the Shooting or Assault phase. You can re-roll all failed to hit and to wound rolls for the rest of the phase. This almost fixes the problem that most daemon engines have, a.k.a. 4+ base to hit & only being able to equip heavy weapons. A Forgefiend can carry its own weight as long as it keeps eating those, and a Tendril Maulerfiend can do some serious punching. Also guarantees that your Kytan will fuck up whatever it charges.
  • Daemon Shells (1 CP): Instead of shooting normally with a bolter, bolt pistol, combi-bolter, or the boltgun end of a combi-weapon, you can use this stratagem. Make one roll to hit with no re-rolls allowed. If it hits, it does D3 mortal wounds. If you miss, your character takes d3 mortal wounds. Not great on a full strength model, but very useful if you need to finish off a wounded tank or push a unit down a level on the damage chart. You know who can use this? A Chaos Lord with a Bolt Pistol. Which he can fire in melee. And hits on 2+. Oh dear.
  • Fire Frenzy (1 CP): Use on a Helbrute unit that did not move this turn. It may fire all its weapons twice but can only target the nearest visible enemy unit. Very nice when used to shoot a blob with a Twin Heavy and Combi Bolter 'brute, or when that tank in front of your Twin Las 'brute really needs to die. Very VERY nice on a Sonic Dreadnaught with two Blastmasters, no matter what it's shooting at.
  • Flakk Missile (1 CP): When an Infantry model shoots a missile launcher at a unit with Fly, make a single hit roll with +1 to hit. If you hit, do D3 mortal wounds instead of rolling to wound. Really useful in case the opponent is packing Flyers. And something else: It works on any unit with Fly, so in case you don't like the look of those Vanguard Veterans flying at you, shoot 1-3 of them out of the sky.
    • Important Note!: This only effects a specific model, not the entire unit! So, while at first glance it might seem like an incentive to take Havocs with 4 Missile Launchers, you can only apply this to one of them. That isn't to say this stratagem is bad, far from it--just that you'll get just as much out of it by taking 1-2 Missile Launchers on your normal Chaos Marines as you would by taking 4 with Havocs.
  • Gifts of Chaos (1 or 3 CP): Your standard extra artefact stratagem. 1 CP gets you 1 extra or 2 extra for 3 CP.
  • Killshot (1 CP): (identical to the Space Marine version) Use in the shooting phase if a you have a Predator within 6" of 2 other Predators from the same Chapter. Add 1 to the wound rolls and damage for all of its attacks against Monsters and Vehicles.
    • Now only effects baseline Predators, not Hellforged ones. Probably hard to coordinate fire with a shrieking daemon, but it still sucks to not have.
  • Linebreaker Bombardment (1 CP): (identical to the Space Marine version) Use in the shooting phase if you have a Vindicator within 6" of 2 other Vindicators from the same Chapter. None of them can shoot their Demolisher Cannons. Instead, pick a spot within 24" of all three, and roll a D6 for each unit within 3", adding 1 if the unit has 10+ models and subtracting 1 if it's a Character. On a 4+, the unit takes 3D3 mortal wounds.
  • Tide of Traitors (2 CP): One use only. Use at the end of the movement phase. Pick a unit of Chaos Cultists and remove them from the battlefield. They then outflank, arriving within 6" of the edge of the battlefield, more than 9" from any enemy models, and at FULL STARTING STRENGTH!
  • Veterans of the Long War (1 CP): Select a HERETIC ASTARTES INFANTRY or BIKER unit. They add 1 to all their to wound rolls for the rest of the phase. Hilarious on a unit of flamer Chosen, but this makes melta squads much more reliable, too.
    • Do not underestimate using this stratagem with mass bolters (and/or sonic blasters), especially against toughness 7 models. Having a S4 weapon wound a Predator on a 4+ is no small thing. And lets not even talk about how utterly hideous this gets when paired with Khorne Berzerkers. Remember that this works until the end of the phase so it works with Endless Cacophony and other shoot/fight twice abilities.

Mark Specific[edit]

  • Endless Cacophony (2CP) [Mark of Slaanesh]: Use this stratagem at the end of your Shooting phase. Select a SLAANESH HERETIC ASTARTES INFANTRY or SLAANESH HERETIC ASTARTES BIKER unit. That unit can immediately shoot again. Is that a unit of 10 Slaanesh Terminators with combi-plasmas and a Chaos Lord dropping down and vaporising two units instantly with 40x S8 AP-3 D2 shots? I think it is!
    • This can be bonkers. Combined with prescience and/or VotLW you can absolutely OBLITERATE things. Prime targets for this combination is any large squads (because the math just works better the more models its affecting) but focus on Havocs, Obliterators, and the aforementioned Termies. Especially Havocs with Reaper Chaincannons (64 Heavy Bolter shots, anyone?), though be sure to ask your nearest Ork player for some extra dice.
    • Slaaneshi bikers can be extremely effective against backfield objective holders and can be used in combination with other units to table GSC and other deepstrike armies turn 1, using warptime they can move 28" then shoot twice with bolter discipline for 72 shots a turn and a 52" threat range.
  • Fury of Khorne (3CP) [Mark of Khorne]: Use this stratagem at the end of the Fight phase. Select a KHORNE HERETIC ASTARTES INFANTRY or KHORNE HERETIC ASTARTES BIKER unit - that unit can immediately fight again. Now you can give your basic Chaos Marines, Cultists, or Biker unit the Khorne Berzerker's gimmick. Speaking of which, use this on the Khorne Berzerkers to let them fight three times per phase and reap those skulls!
  • Grandfather's Blessing (2CP) [Mark of Nurgle]: Select a NURGLE HERETIC ASTARTES INFANTRY or BIKER unit. One model heals d3 wounds. If there are no wounded models in the unit, a single model that was slain earlier in the battle is returned to the unit with 1 wound.
  • Great Sorcerer (1CP) [Mark of Tzeentch]: Use at the end of your Psychic phase; a TZEENTCH HERETIC ASTARTES PSYKER can attempt to manifest one additional power.
    • This is the only one of the four compatible with non-infantry/biker models, such as Cavalry or Monster.

Specialist Detachments[edit]

Specialist Detachments are unique Detachments custom made for specific sub-factions and units which grant them access to additional Stratagems, Warlord Traits, and Artifacts. Converting a detachment into a Specialist Detachment costs 1 CP per Specialist Detachment.

Field Commander (1 CP): This stratagem bears special mention. For one command point, you can designate a character with a Specialist Detachment keyword and they gain the warlord trait associated with that detachment. Can't be used on named characters or to give your warlord a second warlord trait. Usefulness may vary. Extremely handy for combat/buff characters that are likely to get focused but you don't want your opponent scoring "Slay the Warlord", such as Host Raptorial HQ's and Soulforged Lord Discordants.

Cult of the Damned[edit]

Want a specialized detachment for cultist uprisings? Gather your units with the Dark Apostle, Dark Disciple, and Chaos Cultist keywords.

  • Warlord Trait: Exultant Preacher: Re-roll charge rolls for friendly Cult of the Damned units while they are within 6" of your warlord.
  • Stratagems:
    • Ritual Offerings (1 CP): Use this stratagem when an enemy model is destroyed by a Cult of the Damned Chaos Cultist unit in the fight phase. That cultist unit automatically passes morale tests FOR THE REST OF THE BATTLE. Even if it's something as small as 1 grot, if a cultist blob beats ANY model to death in combat they immediately grow balls of steel.
    • Chorus of the True Faith (1 CP): Add +1 to your Cult of the Damned Dark Apostle's prayer rolls for every Cult of the Damned Chaos Cultist unit within 6". While this is almost useless in bolstering your human hordes, it might give any marine units behind them a chance to be of use. You can pay the points for Dark Disciples and save yourself the CP, although this ability stacks with both them and itself - with 1 unit of cultists, 1 unit of cultists or dark disciples, and 1 CP, all Apostles within 6" of both units will automatically succeed on prayers.
  • Relic: The Inferno Tome: Gain a ranged weapon in the form of a flaming book, 8" Assault 1d6 S5 AP-1 D1d3, automatically hits. (Yes, it is in addition..!!)

Daemonkin Ritualists[edit]

Affects Dark Apostles, Dark Disciples, Masters of Possession, Possessed & greater possessed This detachment revolves around most daemon related units that Chaos space marines have access to.

  • Warlord Trait: Shepherd of the True Faith: Each time you make an unmodified wound roll of 6 for an attack made with a melee weapon by a friendly Daemonkin Ritualists unit within 6" of your warlord, that attack inflicts a mortal wound on the target in addition to the normal damage. This could have been a decent trait, but because the wound rolls must be unmodified 6's you can't use stratagems like VotLW to increase you chances of getting mortal wounds. This has fun potential if you have the CP. Run a Black Mace Apostle with Voice of Lorgar, and follow-up with a MoP with this trait and the Hot Thick Rod Relic. Both have a nasty melee weapon that will cause mortal Wounds on 6's But again, this will cost 3 CP (Detachment, Field Commander, +1 Relic) so...arguably not worth it unless you have the CP or can farm it back.
    • This IS a decent trait if you play to the detachments strengths, and take plenty of possessed. Having them being buffed by a greater possessed and/or a MoP will make them ludicrous, especially if you use Vessels for the Neverborn on them as well.
  • Stratagems:
    • Vessels for the Neverborn (1 CP): At the start of the fight phase pick a Daemonkin Ritualists Daemon unit from your army that is within 6" of a friendly Daemonkin Ritualists Master of Possession add 1 to the strength and attacks characteristics of the models in the unit you picked until the end of the phase. Don't forget to have a Greater Possessed nearby to jack that unit's strength up further.
    • Souls of the Devoted (1 CP): use at the start of your movement phase. Pick a Daemonkin Ritualists Possessed unit from your army and a friendly Daemonkin Ritualists Character that is within 6" of that unit and roll a D3. the Possessed unit suffers a number of mortal wounds equal to the result and the Character regains a number of wounds equal to the result. Not exactly ideal to zap your expensive possessed units just to slightly heal a master of possessions, dark apostle, or greater possessed.
  • Relic: The Burning Rod: Replaces a force stave. Str +3, AP -1, d3 damage. At the end of the fight phase, pick an enemy unit within 1" of the bearer. They take a mortal wound. Who let Slaanesh name this relic?

Devastation Battery[edit]

Affects Chaos Lords, Warpsmiths, Havocs & Obliterators. This detachment is all about pure shooting power with a special focus in destroying vehicles and fortifications. Some have called this an anti-knight detachment due to its emphasis on destroying vehicles, Very similar to the Imperial fists Siegebreaker Cohort, but all around worse than it.

  • Ironically, despite being fluffy as fuck for bitter bois, it's also almost useless for them.
  • Warlord Trait: Armour Bane: All DEVASTATION BATTERY units within 6" of the Warlord re-roll 1s to wound when targeting VEHICLES.
  • Stratagem:
    • Wall-Breakers (1 CP): Use at the start of your shooting phase, pick a DEVASTATION BATTERY unit in your army and you can re-roll damage rolls for attacks made against BUILDINGS until the end of the phase. Very similar to the Iron Warriors trait, but arguably even more garbage.
    • Punishing Volley (1 CP):: Use at the end of your opponents first movement phase if you did not go first. Pick a DEVASTATION BATTERY unit from your army. That unit may shoot as if it were the shooting phase. Functionally, this gives you some ability to overcome the disadvantage of not going first, and can be used to squeeze out an extra bit of shooting against a crucial target advancing on your lines.
  • Relic: The Daemon's Eye: pick a friendly DEVASTATION BATTERY unit within 6" of the bearer, enemies do not gain the benefit of cover against them. Useless for the Iron Warriors.

Fallen Angels[edit]

An oddball detachment that allows stock csm Sorcerers and Chaos Rhinos that share a Vanguard Detachment with only Fallen Angel units to swap out their normal keywords for the IMPERIUM and FALLEN keywords; the Sorcerers also replace Death to the False Emperor with the Fallen Angels ability from their datasheet. This fixes the Fallen's problem with transports nicely, and gives them some psyker support too.

  • Warlord Trait: Agent of Discord: Technically this is exclusive to Cypher (and subsequently isn't actually a WT), but boy, it's a doozy. Enemies within 12" of Cypher can't benefit from any abilities that would allow them to gain, recycle, or refund CP. No WTs, no special rules, nothing at all. As an added bonus, having 10 or more friendly FALLEN ANGELS nearby boosts the aura's range to 18", which jumps to 24" if there's more than 20 of them so you can maximize the impact of your "no CP for you!" aura. This is guaranteed to give any army that bases its strategy on CP regeneration (especially the IG) a migraine.
  • Stratagems:
    • Without a Trace (1 CP): At the start of the enemy shooting phase, a FALLEN ANGEL unit entirely within or on a terrain feature subtracts 1 to hit from all shooting rolls targeting them.
    • Ancient Enmity (1 CP): When selecting a FALLEN ANGELS unit to fight, re-roll wounds against Dark Angels.
  • Relic: Caliban Steel Blade: Replaces a Force Sword. If the user makes a wound roll of 6+, it does d6 damage instead of d3 damage. This is crap, possibly the worst relic in the CSM codex, but you're still going to take it because due your sorcerer losing his mark and legion, and all of the universal chaos relics replacing weapons sorcerers can't have, this is the only relic Fallen sorcerers can take. Plus a sorcerer with this and diabolic strength is a pretty good combo, not the best but still fun to take. In addition this sword happens to combo well with the "Daemon-Bound Power" warlord trait, so there is that too.

Host Raptorial[edit]

Affects anyone wearing a JUMP PACK. When combined together, this allows you to create a raptor/warp talon bomb. Works well with lords as well as sorcerers.

  • Warlord Trait: The Tip of the Claw: Add 2 to charge rolls made for friendly Host Raptorial units while they are within 6" of your warlord. This is EXACTLY what Host Raptorial units need to increase the odds of successfully charging your opponent and make units like Warp Talons seem much more reliable.
  • Stratagems:
    • Terror Strike (1 CP): When an enemy unit is destroyed by a Host Raptorial unit, all other enemy units within 6" of any Host Raptorial unit take a -1 penalty to Ld until the end of the turn. In a Night Lords detachment with Haarken Worldclaimer allied in and a few Icons of Despair, this can stack up to a staggering -6 Ld penalty even before you begin factoring in other means of debuffing Ld. Looks good in isolation, but Chaos has so many sources of Leadership reduction that this is pretty much redundant. It shines better in smaller games where you can only have so many units to debuff the enemy with.
    • Vicious Descent (1 CP): When a Host Raptorial unit is set up via deep striking, it re-rolls all its attacks for that turn. Incredibly flimsy without access to The Tip of Claw warlord trait, and even then, you still need to pull off that charge after you land to benefit. But if you use Raptors for special weapon dakka you *can* make them reroll their shooting attacks. Mostly safe overcharging plasma, anyone? Season to taste with shooting twice. Black Legion can use this alongside their other reroll strategem for twin overcharging plas-raptor squads.
  • Relic: Chiropteran Wings: Roll a d6 for each enemy unit the bearer moves over during the movement or charge phase. on a 4+, the unit takes d3 mortal wounds. Put that boosted movement to good use.
    • I know what you're thinking. "OMG, these would be perfect with warptime". Except warptime happens in the psychic phase, and this relic only works in the movement and charge phases. Note that if you fall back with these wings, nothing stops you from flying over the unit to fall back from it.

Soulforged Pack[edit]

Your Daemonforge detachment, though all you select are Warpsmith (which includes Lords Discordant and Hellwrights) and Daemon Engine units.

  • Warlord Trait: Master of the Soulforge: Your Daemon Engines gain +2" of movement when within 6" of your warlord, which sadly means that you'll be needing either a Lord Discordant or Hellwright on Dark Abeyant to keep up. Forgefiends might feel a bit left out here with nothing to support their guns.
  • Stratagems:
    • Daemonforge Overdrive (1 CP): Use at the start of the fight phase, pick a Soulforged Pack Daemon Engine from your army. Double the number of wounds that model has remaining for the purposes of determining what its characteristics are in relation to its damage table until the end of the phase or until the model is reduced to 0 wounds. Cheap, and excellent to bring out that last bit of use from a Daemon Engine that's nearly dead. HOWEVER because it specifies that you use this at the start of the fight phase, this sadly does nothing to improve forgefiends and only really benefits the melee focused daemon engines.
    • Infernal Engines (1 CP): At the start of your charge phase pick a Soulforged Pack Daemon Engine from your army. That model can charge even if it advanced earlier in the turn. Really good but it only targets one Daemon Engine, so choose wisely. This gets alot more mileage if used on a Super Heavy like a Kytan Ravager or Lord of Skulls, when combined with warp time this practically guarantees a first turn change for any daemon engine.
  • Relic: Mechaserpents: Replaces Mechatendrils. Str +1, AP -1, 2 damage. Each time the bearer fights, they may make 1 additional attack with this weapon for each MODEL within 1” of the bearer. Obscene considering the large base of a Lord Discordant.

Tactical Objectives[edit]

11 - For the Dark Gods!
1 VP for destroying an enemy unit or making it fail a Morale test.
12 - Rise to Glory
1 VP if an enemy CHARACTER, VEHICLE, or MONSTER lost its last wound to a HERETIC ASTARTES CHARACTER.
13 - The Will of Chaos
Roll a d6 when generating this Tactical Objective and every turn afterwards. Get 1 VP for controlling the objective whose number matches your d6 result.
14 - The Warp is your Ally
1 VP for either manifesting a psychic power or successfully using a Daemonic Ritual that turn. d3 VP if you did both.
15 - Claim and Despoil
d3 VP if you claim an objective held from your opponent at the start of the turn.
16 - The Long War
1 VP for destroying an enemy unit. If it had the IMPERIUM keyword, it's d3 VP instead. Rises to 3 VP if 3 or more IMPERIUM units were destroyed, and d3+3 VP if 6 or more were destroyed.

Generic Notable Strategies[edit]

  • Cacophony Blitz: Take as many units of Obliterators as you like. Mark them all as Slaanesh. Take a terminator or jump pack Lord, a Sorcerer with Prescience or even Abaddon, to keep them company. Deepstrike ASAP depending on the target you want to chew through, you may need to pop Veterans of The Long War for good measure. Then proceed to tear anything below heavy infantry and/or light vehicles a new asshole FOR SLAANESH. Then, if anything is left standing anywhere near you, engage trollface and use Endless Cacophony to do another round of shooting with one unit of obliterators FOR SLAANESH. If you manage to clear most of the threats in the area (which you should), you can then charge your chaos lord and continue with the rape FOR SLAANESH. Don't worry about leaving him in the open - he is a throwaway piece with a 4++ after the first turn of shooting, and if your opponent concentrates on taking him down, this means he's diverting valuable firepower anyway from your shooty dudes. If he does, you can use them to blast again next turn. FOR SLAANESH!
    • Note - this tactic becomes downright brutal if you use a large unit of plasma terminators instead of obliterators. That yields 40 STR 8 shots, re-rolling 1s, hitting on twos or re-rolling all failed hits, then wounding everything on twos or threes. And each of those does 2 damage at AP-3. If you position your terminators optimally, you can ideally wipe TWO big targets in two consecutive volleys, then charge a third right of the bat and butcher it in melee in the fight phase. True, it does require quite a bit of setup, as well as costing about 800 of points to actually pull this off, not to mention 1-3 command points, but if you do manage to pull it off well, it will probably win you the game.
    • Note too that Veterans of the Long War gives +1 to wound rolls for the WHOLE shooting phase. This means BOTH rounds of shooting with Endless Cacophony.


  • Istvaan Chainsword Massacre: As of Vigilus Ablaze, Chaos Lords can take Thunder Hammers. This means that you can run your own traitorous smash captains (who are still sub-par compared to their loyalist equivalents). More interestingly, the new Black Legion chainsword relic, Ghorisvex's Teeth, can be taken by a Chaos Lord with a Jump Pack. Aside from a decent profile, it deals Mortal Wounds on a 6 to wound. Give him the Flames of Spite Warlord trait and hit him with Veterans of the Long War and what do you get? A Chaos Lord that can move 12", has a 4++, 6 attacks, hitting on 2s and rerolling 1s, wounds MEQs on 3s and GEQs on 2s, each wound is -3 AP 2D AND, because of the relic and warlord trait stacking, you deal 2 Mortal Wounds on every wound roll of a 5 or a 6. He can reasonably threaten T7 targets and absolutely flattens anything that is T3 and doesn't have a 4++. If you can hit him with the Dark Apostle's Soultearer Portent, it gets even crazier! The catch is that you are risking a lot by making him your warlord to get Flames of Spite and you are basically hoping he rolls one to three 5s or 6s to wound. He is only 93 points though!
    • Additionally, investing even more CP with Chosen of the Pantheon means you can give him a 3++ with Weaver of Fates and make him fight twice with the Khorne fight again strat. Of course at that point, you have invested 5 CP, warlord, and a relic. He better get some serious damage done.


  • DISTRACTION DEFFIEFEX: Take a Defiler with a Scourge and mark of SLAANESH, then place it on the edge of your deployment zone. Then, have a Terminator Sorcerer (or any nearby SLAANESH Psykers) cast Warptime along with Prescience and/or Delightful Agonies. You now have an obscenely tanky monstrosity in the face of the enemy that can delete any vehicle or monster in an instant with Daemonforge in the coming fight phase(with some luck on damage rolls, a Defiler with a Scourge+Prescience+Daemonforge can instantly destroy a Necron MONOLITH). You likely can't (and shouldn't) buff your Deffiefex like this every turn despite the absolute destruction it can bring; this is a scare tactic. The goal is to have your opponent make 1 of 2 painful choices, either A: Realize it's part of a distraction tactic and leave it alone to wreak their shit, or B: destroy it and save their ass for the moment, but at the cost of letting the rest of your army wreck their shit even harder.


  • Fuck 40k, we play 30k... and we play it dirty!!: The main difference in our troops department over loyalist scum is that we can take 2x heavy weapon instead just 1 on our CSM troops, if you plan to play a big footblob this can be a win-win situation; remember that only models that move get -1 penality to shoot with heavy weapons; this mean you can move all the units except that single models (as long it remain in cohesion). This allow you to bring heavy support stuff like lascannons OUT of heavy support and also help those so heavy support stuff to be buried by bodies (if you bring a 10 man squad, every 2x lascannon are hidden behind 8 bodies) and last but not least you get an objective holder (win-win-win situation). If you then add a morale controller (Iron Warrior warlord trait), then the enemy has to remove every single model by wounds for them reach the cool stuff you are hiding. The best use is to put the lascannon right in front of the unit then make the rest of the unit jump in front of 'em your next turn (you can decide what to remove from casualties, literaly where you want, so it dosen't matter where you put 'em). By doing this, you get a free extra unit movement/bolter range without getting any penalty for moving the lascannon. This allows you to have 3 heavy support slots free for additional firepower of mauler-raping machine or whatever you plan on doing with interesting heavy support units.


  • Forge World Fuckery: Take at least 2 Sonic Dreadnaughts each with a Doom Siren and two Fists with Heavy Flamers, and drop them in with Dreadclaws as the ultimate DISTRACTION CARNIFEX that can threaten absolutely anything on the table. To be the ultimate asshole about it, don't even use actual Forge World models for these units, as normal Helbrutes and Drop Pods with some extra bits attached will do the job just as well.


  • Have Command Points, Will Travel: If you need CP, but want them as cheap as possible to buy more interesting toys in other detachments, consider using a Renegade and Heretics Battalion. 2 Renegade Commanders, plus 3 Squads of Renegade Militia. This gives you 5 CP for 170pts allowing you to fit in more toys in other detachments. Considering the cheapest Battalion you can field from a codex is 2 Warpsmiths (120pts) and 30 Cultists (150) this saves you a flat 100pts for wargear or units elsewhere. The downside is H&R are basically worse guardsman, who have most value as a means of hiding on an objective, being meat shields or blocking deep-strikers in your back line. Chances are they aren't going to see out a game but such is the price of power. However since cultists can't take legion traits anyway the cost is largely mitigated.
  • Have CHEAPER Command Points, Will Die: You can use the Servants of the Abyss from the Blackstone Fortress line of sets to make a 100 point battalion of 2 Traitor Commissars, 2 units of Traitor Guardsmen, and a unit of Cultists of the Abyss. Keep in mind those squads are only 7 models though with terrible leadership, but you get it for cheaper than the Forge World stuff.


  • I feel something coming up...: This one's quite simple, actually. Just take a Vanguard detachment that is 4 chaos decimators with twin soulburner petards (210 points each), with a terminator sorcerer as HQ, and take a outrider detachment with four dreadclaw pods (130 points each), and a terminator sorcerer. Starting turn 2, you will be able to deepstrike everything in your opponents face and vomit 16D3 mortal wounds on him, and cast prescience on two decimators.
    • Do remember that if you're playing with the Rule of Three, you're limited to three Decimators in typical games.


  • Overwatch is SO Last Edition: About to charge into a sea of painful Overwatch, such as T'au, blob Guard, Shoota Boyz, or lots of flamers? On the turn you plan to do so, right behind them Deep Strike in a unit of Warp Talons, then charge with the Warp Talons before anything else. No Overwatch for anyone! Consider multiple small units and go for priority targets, hoping to get that 9 inch charge and saving a reroll. Don't expect them to last long or do much, but taking out 500+ pts of gunline can neuter your opponents strategy whilst the rest of the army moves into position. Do remember that this tactic isn't meant to be used solo as Warp Talons have no native re-roll, so combo them with other Daemons or just expect them to get shot off when the enemy pulls back (by then you should at least by in a good position).

Building Your Army[edit]

Well...good news bad news. A good number of our kits relating to the Khorne Daemonkin Codex from 7th are plastic, along with models from the new Death Guard and OVER 9000 Sons. Plus terminators, Daemon Prince, and the CSM kit. Bad news...want a special character? A few are failcast. Chosen? Prepare your bits box. You can use the Dark Vengeance chosen but they are mono-pose and all armed with cc weapons. Forge World upgrade kits are going the way of the dodo bird. So prepare your bits box. New plastic Havocs are out, kit comes just with 2 of most weapons, so feel free to steal from devstators to fill out, your mileage may vary.

How to Build a Big Army for Cheap[edit]

Luckily, since GW has decided that since we are the de facto bad guys of the setting, we're finally getting some goddamn attention. Hell yeah. Now, with the blessed Golden Age of Rountree having come around, we can build an entire army from starter sets. So prepare your anus for the Dark Gods, this is gonna be a bumpy ride. With Vigilus Defiant we got a new Black Legion Character, Haarken Worldclaimer, and Vigilus Ablaze is giving us new plastic kits for Abaddon, the Dark Apostle, regular Marines, Havocs, Terminators and Obliterators plus a bunch of entirely new stuff!

  1. If you play Nurgle or Undivided, get Dark Imperium. Period, no if and's or buts about it. You get some Plague Marines, which are one of our best Elites, a Chaos Lord in Terminator armor (Lord of Contagion), a Chaos Lord (Noxious Blightbringer), a Chaos Sorcerer (Malignant Plaguecaster) and 20 cultists (Poxwalkers). After that, grab Shadowspear (while it's still around). Next, snag a Rogue Trader Set (this shit is gold). Use a Start Collecting set kitbashed with the Slaves to Darkness Start Collecting set for 20 marines, plus a Helbrute, a Chaos Lord on Palanquin, and some riders for future conversions.
  2. For Khorne, not much thought is required - the Maelstrom of Gore is a good deal, but if you don't want to invest in it, Berzerkers are cheap anyway. Grab a set of the Start Collecting! Khorne Bloodbound for a decent Chaos Lord/Kharn, 10 Berzerkers, and 3 Bloodcrusher proxies (can also be used as Chaos Bikes if you pin a couple bolters together and glue it to the top of the Juggernaut, or give the rider a storm bolter hand). As always, a Start Collecting CSM set or two won't hurt. If you go for the AOS starter/Thunder and Blood, you can use the reavers as Cultists. Or cut their heads onto Stormcast Eternals and add spikes to taste. The Khorogath isn't a great Helbrute but does make an interesting Daemon Prince with a touch of Conversion work. If you go for the full starter, the Mighty Lord looks like a terminator lord a little already. Attach some extra pauldrons on the bloodsecrator and he can double as a metal-looking Dark Apostle.
  3. For Slaanesh use the same trick as with Nurgle, combine the Slaves to Darkness and the CSM kit to make twenty marines. Except now, those riders you get can be fielded as Seekers of Slaanesh and the Chariot as a Herald. Throwing in a Start Collecting! Daemons of Slaanesh kit will make your conversions look less like the perfection aspect of Slaanesh and more like the androgynous-horror aspect.
  4. Tzeentch is a little trickier. By kitbashing the Rubricae with the regular CSM and/or the MK III Marines, you'll make some interesting looking not-Thousand Sons. For a more loyalist-defector look, grab a box of horrors and some things which much not be named and use the huge number of extra bits to accessorize a Start Collecting! box.
  5. For Iron Warriors or similar tech-inspired armies, it's really easy to make your army look like they should. Get a Start Collecting! kit and an MK III squad and mix and max. Tartaros Terminators tend to look better than Cataphractii for a more mechanical look, and since we only get one type of terminator anyway, it doesn't matter. If you nagged a Betrayal at Calth or Burning of Prospero before they were taken off the shelf, you're already half way there.
  6. Night Lords are surprisingly underrepresented on the tabletop despite their popularity in the fluff, which is probably due to their ridiculous FW prices for their upgrade parts (which end up coming out looking like they're a really clean Batman) and the shitty quality of their GW models and bits. Luckily, we've been blessed with Warp Talons. $35 for a set of 5 sounds bad, but the bits, from heads to weapons, are very brooding and terrifying. Mix one set in with two sets of MK IV marines and you got Night Lords for 1/3 of the price of FW. If you play Chaos aligned Night Lords and have the Dark Imperium set (you should since you are playing Nurgle for those morale debuffs, right?), you can use the vents from your converted Foetid Bloatdrone to make an extra Raptor or two. Also look for Graveguard bits from AoS, cut them up and put on your marines and there you go.
  7. For Obliterators, grab some Easy-to-build Aggressors and any left over guns you like. Glue the weapons basically everywhere and add some green stuff. It doesn't even have to look amazing to mimic flesh-metal armor. Add horns to taste, and use your hobby knife to scratch up any areas that you don't add green stuff to. Left-over combi-weapon barrels anyone?
  8. Reaper Chaincannons only come in one per box, but good resin alternatives are being Sold on Etsy

Cultist Blobs[edit]

For any CSM army, you're going to need a metric fuckton of cultists, but unless you wanna get 10 sets of the 5-man cultist squad or happen to have three sets of the 20 man from extra DV sets from two years ago, you're going to have to convert a lot. Some ideas:

  1. Blackstone Fortress is a good start for cultists. You get 14 traitor guardsmen off the bat, plus four each of Negavolt Cultists and Beastmen. Both can be easily put onto 25mm bases, with a little overhang on a couple. Additionally, pop some Ghoul heads onto Ur-Ghul bodies for neat looking Gollum cultists (bonus points if you put the Ur-Ghul heads on Ghoul bodies for creepy looking Haemonculus abominations). Now you have 26 cultists. A good start, but we need MOAR.
  2. For a Tzeentchian army, grab the Kairic Acolytes set. Give them some extra bolters or lasguns for counts-as autoguns or laspistols and bolt pistols for pistols, now you have 20 more.
  3. For a Slaaneshi warband, slap some Sisters of Slaughter/Blood Sisters/Lifetakers heads on DEldar Wyches makes for perfect corrupted Eldar. Simple and super effective.
  4. Khorne warbands are also super easy - grab some Bloodreavers, slap them on 25mm bases, now you got 20 cultists.
  5. Nurgle is beyond blessed. For starters, remember that Rogue Trader box we told you to get? Anyway, the Vox Shamblers are ready-to-go cultists. Now use an extra Plaguebearer set (don't fucking lie to me, I know you have one) for the arms, which you can then proceed to attach onto Genestealer, IG or Fire Warrior bodies for infected militia. If you're desperate, Poxwalkers are always a good option.
  6. Dark Mechanicum (helpful for Iron Warriors) cultists can be made easily by mismatching Skitarii and Militarum Tempestus bits. A straight out of the box solution is the 30k Tech Thralls. You could also use some Electo-Priests (finally a good use for these fuckers!) plus some Negavolt Cultists on 25mm bases for a good looking crazed zealot look.
  7. Not enough Undivided for you? Good, well grab your chair and change your underwear because these fuckers are easy and relatively cheap. All you need is a Cawdor Gang and Empire Flagellants (you should have this kit anyway if you have ever touched INQ28). Most all the bits are compatible with some slight shaving, pinning and greenstuff for the Cawdor bodies (they're all snap-fit). Throw on some Chaos bits and you're good to go.
  8. Beastmen can be made simply by giving Gors Genestealer or IG bits.
  9. Potentially expensive, but the Necromunda Gangers can build very good cultists. Cawdor and Orlock especially, as the Orlocks have the most 'civilian' look, and the Cawdor gangers have a similar 'scum in rags' aesthetic of the Dark Vengeance cultist. The Orlock kit comes with enough guns to make 10 Shooty cultists off the bat (including a heavy stubber no less!), whereas two boxes of the Cawdor kit gives enough to make 10 and 10 of melee/ranged.
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