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!

What makes a Chaos Space Marines player?[edit]

Spikes, Rage, and feeling the Warp overtaking you. If you're playing CSM you long for the simple art of victory in the name of the Dark Gods. Or, possibly, the God-Emperor. Or being Space-Batmen. Or getting shit done to prove your Granddad wrong. Or you're a neckbeard. Or force your opponent to accept the Dark Gods into their lives. Or spilling milk for the Khorne Flakes and frothing with pure RAEG. Or you want to trip balls, blast death metal and sit on dicks. Or be space pirates in the most literal sense. You may also mean to give your friends a big hug of black-death, or you could just be a giant nerd looking to get revenge on those handsome Viking Chads who beat you up one summer. But those are separate armies now.


From a Modelling Standpoint:

  • This is a faction that rewards creativity and experimentation with kit-bashing and converting, especially by twisting loyalist models into those blessed by the power of the warp.
  • Despite what some people may say, odds are you will likely not have to completely sacrifice your soul, spleen, and wallet in equal measure. CSM's can be one of the cheaper factions to build an army with, since usually about 80% of whats on a Loyalist sprue can be used as long as you put spikes on it or cut the eagles off (remember that skulls are a universal fashion accessory).
  • Chaos Space Marines have a variety of options and synergies depending on your allegiance and Legion / Warband. You can construct a wide array of forces with many different themes, such as pure Renegade Astartes, combinations with Chaos Daemons, alliances with Chaos Titans, favours between Traitor Questoris (Renegade Knights) or just siding with Renegades & Heretics (Traitor Guard).
  • With 8th, Games Workshop has decided to emphasize the Imperium vs. Chaos conflict as the dominant plot line. This has come with some major releases for the Thousand Sons and Death Guard. Including 2 Primarchs. Mean-whilst the Black Legion, Emperor's Children and World Eaters are also extremely likely to get new releases; meaning that Chaos Space Marines will almost have as many codexes to pick from as the loyalists do.

From a Gaming Standpoint:

  • This is a viciously aggressive army and you can often overwhelm an opponent in a heartbeat, whether it be in shooting, psychic power, or melee.
  • Chaos Space Marines have historically wielded a great deal of psychic power due to being Chaos and all. This remains very true in 8th and the army has a considerable psychic toolbox to draw from. The Codex discipline is one of the most varied, adaptable, and outright powerful disciplines in the game, and other allied factions bring pretty decent power as well. Unless you're fighting a dedicated all-psychic army like the Grey Knights, you'll dominate the psychic phase if you so choose.
  • 7th Edition players may remember how useless elite troops and cult units were. Oh how the times have changed; Chosen, cult troops, and Havocs have all seen major buffs, now ranging from useable to excellent. Even the once-laughable Possessed are now...just aggressively mediocre and outclassed by most other units in their slot. Some things never change that much.
  • Daemon Engines have seen major buffs across the board. Though most still haven't shaken off the 4+ to hit "because daemon" meme, the stratagems do go a long way to making them dangerous.
  • The new Boon table is strictly optional! Meaning you can reduce the random aspects of the army to a minimum. Even then most of the results on it are really good. Even becoming a Daemon Prince is not a nerf now, and you can now choose the character that will be affected instead of rolling for any victorious challenger.
  • Death to the False Emperor! - The new Universal Special Rule, replacing Veterans of the Long War which is now a stratagem. It generates extra attacks in melee for a traditionally choppy-oriented army, whilst simultaneously ending the old complaint of "Chaos is just Loyalists without ATSKNF and shiny toys!". Rip and Tear!!! (And, unlike old VotLW, you don't have to pay for it.)


From a Modelling Standpoint:

  • Most of the infantry kits available don't actually contain all the weapons options that are in the codex. If you want to play WYSIWYG you're in for a huge hit to the wallet on other kits. Things such as lascannons, power weapons, and combi-weapons are practically non-existent across the range; or mis-sized and shaped because of scaling differences between kits.
  • Chaos has among the most dated models in the Citadel range. The worst offenders are: Havocs (Mono-posed), Noise Marines (made from a regular CSM kit and an atrocious finecast upgrade sprue), and Bikers (highly dated sculpt.) That said, the upcoming Shadowspear boxed set will provide an entirely new bunch of sculpts and Abaddon has been confirmed to be receiving a new model as well.
    • Special mention for the Berzerker kit for being especially terrible with no power fist and dated looking bolt pistols and backpacks. For some reason they also all seem to wear black latex gloves too.
  • Outside of the Dark Vengeance boxset, now OOP, there's no dedicated Chosen kit or Cultist Kit (besides blister boxes of 5 repeated sculpts that don't even have Cultist Champions.)
  • Many of the units that were good in previous editions got nerfed pretty badly in 8th, and most of the units that were shite back then are now beastly. You may have to make some changes to get your army functioning again.

From a Gaming Standpoint:

  • Loss of Fearless. Now everything runs away! Even the plague-ridden husks of the Death Guard, or the cursed automatons of the Thousand Sons will up and do one if things get to hot. However, morale checks are not really something you should normally concern yourself with as a CSM player unless you are fielding Legion strength squads of Marines (20+ models), or relying on Cultist spam.
  • Melta Bombs are gone now. Completely.
  • There are no ways to recycle or generate bonus Command Points outside of calling in aid specialists/relics from other armies (Thousand Sons, Daemons).
  • Chaos Boon table has been modified into a Stratagem, requires kill conditions to activate and costs CP to roll on it. It's easily forgotten about compared to its previous incarnation.
  • Very early codex release; and power creep seems to be still in effect. For example, the Chaos Space Marine Warlord traits Hatred Incarnate, Cold and Bitter, and Night Haunter's Curse are objectively worse equivalents to Warlord traits from other factions (such as Luck of the Laughing God for Harlequins, Immortal Pride for Necrons, and Diabolical Soothsayer for Drukhari), and it only gets worse when it comes to special rules (Dark Raiders and Terror Tactics are child's play compared to Rising Crescendo and Dance of Nightmares Made Flesh from the Thespian Mimes). Chapter Approved 2018 has addressed some of this problem with large changes to points. However crunch-wise CSM's can feel very lackluster at times compared to other armies with similar rules.
  • Most other factions have their Chapter Tactics EQs apply to their entire army, while Chaos Space Marines and Loyalist scum only get theirs on Infantry/Daemon Princes, Bikers and Dreadnoughts/Helbrutes; this makes mixing and matching detachments slightly harder to get the best trait mileage/CP out of your forces. It's also infuriating to see Flying Tanks Shooting Laser Beams being able to get -1 To Be Hit because of their sneaky fieldcraft, whilst your Metal Bawwkses belonging to The Infiltration Masters of the Galaxy can't.
  • Several keywords conflict with your Stratagems, Buff Auras and Abilities (eg. Daemon, Cavalry) meaning you can have things like a Jugger-Lord leading a World Eater army who is unable to use his legion trait.
  • 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.
  • Death to the False Emperor fits the fluff and is one of the strongest army-wide rules... but only when facing Imperials. Against any Xenos army or fellow Chaotics (though it does work against Fallen), it's utterly useless. Oh well...
  • Getting anything better than a 4++ takes some work and is not without sacrifices compared to other armies (i.e. Loyalists who can spam Storm Shields.)
  • In fact sometimes just getting across the board can take some work and forces you to point sink into one-trick transports.
  • You do not have nearly as many equipment, weapons or vehicles choices as other armies do, especially comparing yourself to Loyalists. This can lead to stale and repetitive lists.
  • You're going to need a lot of kits to make this army not boring. Combine that with the fact that quite a few kits are extremely dated and... well.
  • Many relics, stratagems, and psychic powers are either locked behind God-specific keywords or are reserved for Infantry, Bikers, and/or Helbrutes. This cripples tactical flexibility by a significant amount. You'll never be able to have a TZEENTCH unit get +1 to invulnerable saves and shooting twice or have a NURGLE unit be -1 to hit and fight again. Other armies don't seem to have this problem either, making it quite the inconvenience. Fury of Khorne, for example, lets a KHORNE INFANTRY unit pile in and fight again, while the Tyranid EQ and a few others can apply it to any unit.
  • You 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.
  • Though you can try; forming a static, unkillable gun line isn't really a practical possibility. Don't try playing Chaos Space Marines like you would a Loyalist army, it'll be an absolute trainwreck.

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?

How to counter Possible Cons:[edit]

  • Like most other armies in 8th Edition, viability of different units has mostly been equalised compared to 7th. Most unit choices are great options for their role, but there will likely only be a select few units that are game-changing at any given time (Berzerkers, Daemon Primarchs, Leviathan Dreadnoughts, etc.) depending on updates from FAQ and Chapter Approved. In other words, Chaos Space Marines are okay, but they're not a clear victor by any means.
  • If you play one of the less Chaotic legions, or are a master of green stuff, consider buying up some Horus Heresy line Mark III/IV Tacticals, Cataphractii Termies and Contemptors. Or just straight up buy Forge World units at a premium.
  • If you want to build a Traitor Legion army that isn't the up-to-date Death Guard or Thousand Sons (and not renegade Chapters like the Crimson Slaughter) Forge World has the goods. Most stuff on the site is outrageously priced but you can get a ton of mileage out of a couple simple (and relatively cheap) head swaps and weapon upgrades. Playing Night Lords? Grab a pack or two of Terror Squad Heads and maybe some Nostraman Chainglaives. Black Legion? The Sons of Horus helmet pack is awesome (and deliciously spiky!). Even some of the Loyalist Head Swaps are pretty awesome and can be used as well - the White Scars helmet pack comes to mind as looking amazing on Traitors with its sharp angles and Abbaddon-esque topknots. On the other hand the Blood Angels head swaps are, while cool as heck, a bit too obviously loyalist. So go wild! Or don't. But really, do.
  • As of current FAQ, the CHAOS keyword can no longer be used to build a battle-forged detachment. You can still ally with Daemons via the MARK OF CHAOS in a mono-god list, but you can no longer ally with anything you want (fuck you, Renegades, nobody loves you gits). HERETIC ASTARTES is still a valid faction keyword for anything power-armored and extra spiky.
    • That doesn't mean you can't have multiple Chaos factions in one army, it means you can't take a Brigade detachment to spam plasma Chosen squads and Daemon Engines while filling the troops slots with Renegades & Heretics pseudo-guardsmen. You can still take a Chaos army, just not a Chaos detachment.
  • Tabletop-wise, Chaos Space Marines are in a slight quagmire. Currently, Chaos Marines are considerably better than they were during 7th Edition pre-Traitor's Hate, but certainly not as good as when Traitor Legions came out. Currently, the biggest issues Chaos Marines face is power creep and lack of Legion Traits applying to non-Infantry/Helbrutes, with the current meta being a minor setback. As with most armies, building a list with the stronger units at your disposal and playing around them is the simplest way to build a good list. However, due to power creep, this is not enough, and fully competitive lists will generally require extensive Daemon allies and other outside help to fill the gaps at Tournaments.

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, 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. That doesn't mean you can't use PRODIGAL SONS though. Too bad the Prodigal Sons don't exist anymore. GW must hate fun.

Special Character Note[edit]

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.

Special Rules[edit]

  • 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 Strategum 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.
  • Bolter Discipline: (Beta Rule): We 2nd Edition now. Astartes and Heretic Astartes models using a Rapid Fire bolt weapon can take double the normal attacks (2 for bolters, 4 for storm bolters, etc) if at least one of the following is true:
    • target is in half range
    • if the model didn't move during the previous Movement Phase
    • if the firing model is a Terminator, Biker, Centurion or Vehicle

This isn't the most powerful rule by any means, but it gives bolters some breathing room, as well as increasing the effective range of Terminator Storm Bolters. Compared to the Imperium, you don't have AS many bolt weapon varieties, so not Hurricane Bolters or Bolt Rifles to make use of. Rubric Marines will love this rule, though. Scarab Occult Terminators will chew through most infantry with their inferno combis. Perhaps extra AP to Bolt Weapons (to a maximum) instead of extra shots could be a better fit, but we'll just have to see if this rule changes things for the better. This is a Beta rule, so it will change based on our feedback.

Legion Traits[edit]

  • Alpha Legion - 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, as enemy plasma and the like overheats on ones and twos should they decide to super-charge.
    • This is fantastic on anything, especially Helbrutes, and even better: Hellforged Dreadnoughts, are so durable and dangerous that they deserve a special shout-out with this. Hellforged Dreads take approximately 2 more BS2+/rerollable lascannon shots to put down with this, while Helbrutes take about 1 1/4 more, and the lot of them can be loaded out to pose very credible threats to anything getting within the 12" to try and deal with them.
    • This also works to counter overcharged plasma fire for the units that are most vulnerable to it like terminators.
    • Also amazing if you are playing a kind of gunline or artillery based army.
  • Black Legion - 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, plasmaguns and cultist autoguns) 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 Reroll 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.
    • Regardless of unit, this makes combi-flamers even better, as a BS 3+ model can advance and fire the flamer normally and still get a bolt shot out on a 5+, rather than losing out on the bolter portion entirely. On bikers, this makes your sergeant's inability to take a flamer instead of a combi-flamer (and his inability to drop his bike's combi-bolter) much less bad; he can now fire 3 5+ bolt shots rather than 0 after advancing, after having been forced to pay 4 points for those bolt rounds anyway. You'll also have a 3-man unit with LD 8 on the flamers, meaning your sergeant can just take no special weapons at all to be an ablative wound without running the unit into no longer being inherently immune to Morale checks for losses.
    • Sadly Black Legion can no longer have Chosen as troops, even with Abaddon.
  • Emperor's Children - 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. I don't think I need to tell you how amazing 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.
    • Per the new FAQ EMPEROR'S CHILDREN Noise Marines count as troops instead of Elites, allowing armies of them again.
  • Iron Warriors - 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 chapter tactics, which undoubtedly pisses the Iron Warriors off to no end.
    • Positive Opinions: As of Big FAQ #2, this trait will discourage your opponent from burning command points on the Prepared Positions Stratagem if you get first turn.
    • Negative Opinions: Very few tactics will rely on cover to this extent. Imperial Guard might be its biggest users but many IG strategies still don't utilize cover at all, and few other armies rely on it for anything. This trait will do nothing in maybe 80% of games, and it's unlikely to be a game changer even when it does apply. Like Imperial Fists, Iron Warriors are very niche.
  • Night Lords - 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!
    • Obviously meshes well with Icon of Despair, especially on Raptors which brings them to -3 Leadership. Chaos Spa-BLBBBGH and Plague Marines kitted out with an Icon and Plague Knives/Bubonic Axes become surprisingly lethal, especially when receiving the proper buffs.
  • Word Bearers - Profane Zeal: Units with this trait may reroll 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, woo-friggin'-hoo. Horrible.
    • Positive Opinions: On most units, this is a negligible upgrade. On cultists, however, it's a great upgrade, especially if you have a 40-man cultist squad serving as bubble wrap for a Dark Apostle and whatever retinue you take with him. Combo it with the new stratagem to bring the unit back at full strength, and your cheap cultists are suddenly seeing a lot of mileage. When you stop comparing it to what Loyalists have and start comparing it to the other Legion Traits, there is one thing that stands out: all the others are situational, requiring specific builds and strategies to use them to their fullest. This is the only Legion Trait that will always be useful at some point in every game, no matter what your army is or what you're doing with it. At the very least it reduces the number of instances where you have to decide whether an Icon Bearer or Weapon Specialist runs away
    • Negative Opinions: Even on Hordes this is still bad overall (though at least large squads get some benefit out of the trait, I suppose). Unless you roll a 4+ before you re-roll, you're more likely to lose more cultists when you re-roll than to lose less, so unless the unit will die if you don't re-roll (in which case you've already screwed up), you really shouldn't re-roll a 1-3. Even then, it's just unreliable. Something to note is that +1 is better than rerolls on a single D6, meaning the Black Legion Legion Trait is flat out better than this one. 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 Stratagem, Warlord Trait, or relic, don't take them. This is also the only Legion trait that can have a negative effect on your army, rolling worse on the re-roll and therefore losing more models
  • World Eaters - Butcher's Nails: When a unit with this trait successfully charges, you make make one additional attack with each model in the following fight phase. Essentially a return to the old charge bonus, 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.
    • Per the new FAQ WORLD EATERS Berzerkers count as troops instead of elites.
  • Renegade Chapters - Dark Raiders: Units with this trait may Advance and Charge in the same turn. YES. Bikers become ludicrously good, pretty much any assaulty list will benefit from this tactic. 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) makes you one of the fastest armies of 8E, which combines with the natural choppiness of Berzerkers, Raptors, and Possessed to make CSMs play like they always should have- powerful CC units that favor a balls-out, risky playstyle. Just remember: this tactic prevents you from using VotLW. Can also be an entertaining way to rush Helbrutes up the table.

Warlord Traits[edit]


  • Eternal Vendetta: Re-roll wounds in the fights phase against models with the ADEPTUS ASTARTES Keyword. Huron comes stock with this one. 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.
  • 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.
  • Unholy Fortitude: Add 1 to the wound characteristics and a 6+ to ignore wounds. An improved version of the main rulebook trait. Keep in mind that this is an additional save (like Feel No Pain in 7th.) 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.
  • 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.
  • 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?"

Legion Specific[edit]

Note: Any legion unique character must use the trait from their Legion! So Abaddon, for example, must use First Among Traitors.

  • Alpha Legion - 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.
  • Black Legion - 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.
  • Emperor's Children - 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. Lucius comes stock with this.
  • Iron Warriors - 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.
  • Night Lords - 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.
  • Word Bearers - The Voice of Lorgar: Add 3" to the range of any aura abilities 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.
  • World Eaters - Slaughterborn: Add 1 to your Warlord's Attacks and Strength characteristics each time he slays an enemy CHARACTER, MONSTER, or TITANIC model. Kharn comes stock with this one, which means that he can be even more devastating if he has the chance to build up momentum.



  • 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.
  • Gifts of Chaos (1 or 3 CP): Your standard extra artefact stratagem. 1 CP gets you 1 extra or 2 extra for 3 CP.
  • 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, but ultimately useless. Pick the right mark before the game starts and you won't need to waste valuable command points.
    • Useful for giving a unit a Mark and an Icon of Vengeance.
    • Alternative view: Do not underestimate this one. It helps to react on the opponents army by giving you in someway flexibility or to counter something you did not expect. For example, if you see after the deployment something that should be killed by shooting, give a nearby shooting unit the Mark of Slaanesh. Or the Mark of Khorne. Or, if it is likely that you will lose models from a key unit, give it the Mark of Nurgle and let them regain lost models.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • Veteran 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.
  • 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!
  • 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.
  • 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 disciple. 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.

God 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. What's that? 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!
    • No but seriously, 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 effecting) but focus on Havocs, Obliterators, and the aforementioned termies.
    • Special Note for Obliterators: Use this on the unit that rolled the highest S/AP/D as you don't get to re-reoll again.
  • 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.

Legion Specific[edit]

  • Alpha Legion - Forward Operatives (1CP): Infiltrate, use when you set up during deployment and an Alpha Legion Infantry unit of your choice can be placed on the on the first battle round (but before the first turn begins) anywhere on the battlefield, so long as they're 9" away from any enemy models.
  • Iron Warriors - 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.
  • Black Legion - Let the Galaxy Burn (1CP): 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 failed hits instead. Just like the Ultramarines' Chapter Tactic, but just as useful too. Also keep in mind that you can totally take a 20 man squad to make the most of this Stratagem.
  • Night Lords - 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). Similar to the Eldar Lightning Fast Reflexes, can give save your Daemon Prince of Nurgle with Miasma of Pestilence from AT-Fire.
  • Emperor's Children - 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. These bonus Attacks cannot generate further attacks. 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.
  • Word Bearers - Dark Pact (1CP): Use this stratagem when a WORD BEARER 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.
  • World Eaters - 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.

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.

Psychic Powers[edit]

Keep in mind that you may choose or roll on the tables below!

Dark Hereticus[edit]

  1. Infernal Gaze (Warp Charge 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.
  2. Warptime (Warp Charge 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. Still fantastic.
    • Note: For quite some time, the FAQ stated that units coming from reserves were viable targets of this power. This has since been changed in direct contradiction to what the three previous FAQs have stated ( Index:Chaos Version Update 1.4 pg.3 ).
  3. Prescience (Warp Charge 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.
    • 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...)
    • Prevents supercharged plasma guns from overheating since any 1 becomes a 2 (as per Designers' Commentary). This is also fluffy, as they think "whoops, better not do that", thus preventing their grisly and untimely death.
    • 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.
  4. Death Hex (Warp Charge 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.
  5. Diabolic Strength (Warp Charge 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 sizable hole in any tank. Laugh maniacally when the Helbrute gets crazed and can fight twice in the same fight fase...
  6. Gift of Chaos (Warp Charge 6): Targets an enemy model within 6 inches. Roll a die. If you roll higher than the model's toughness, it suffers d3+3 mortal wounds. If a Character is slain, add a Chaos Spa.... err, an unnameable beast to your army. RAW this states it targets an enemy model, but also RAW mortal wounds roll over, so it can and will hurt multi-model units if you roll well.
    • 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 enemies 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 workers you'll have a FREE wonderful ball of weird 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.
    • NOTE: This is only effective against low toughness characters, so don't expect it to work on Space Marines or Orks. But against factions with important buffer characters or expensive low toughness models it can shine.
    • No use against Marines or Orks? Having a 1/3 chance(5 or 6) of instantly murdering a Captain or Warboss (WOT ZOGGIN GIT SAID WARBOSSES WERE ONLY TOUGHNESS 4?) sounds pretty damn worth a try. Plus, there's nothing more brutally, cruelly, dickishly satisfying than watching your opponents honorable Captain, Warboss, Farseer, or even named characters devolve into a heap of screeching, flailing, chaos-infused flesh.
    • Don't you dare try this on Tyranid HQs though. You will fail miserably.
    • FAQ states that you must pay for your new pet with reinforcement points. Still not bad if you manage to pull it off and kill a character with it, sucks if you have to pay the points for a Chaos Spawn that you'll never use. Then again, the same logic can be applied to summoning rolls and OHSITAAGHLAGFLBAFRAG...


A psyker of Nurgle, Slaanesh, or Tzeentch may substitute their god power for one of the powers they already know. All of these powers increase the durability of marked units in different ways. Note that all of them can be used on the psyker casting them.

  • Nurgle - Miasma of Pestilence (Warp Charge 6): A NURGLE unit within 18" is protected by a cloud of flies and enemies targeting them suffer a -1 to hit. Finally not Death Guard-exclusive anymore. Not bad for Alpha Legion and Night Lord psykers, or just to flip off Plasma spammers.
  • Slaanesh - Delightful Agonies (Warp Charge 6): Targets a SLAANESH 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. You will struggle to contain your heretical laughter at your opponent's unending, ineffectual misery.
  • Tzeentch - Weaver of Fates (Warp Charge 6): A TZEENTCH 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.
    • 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.

Chaos Armory[edit]

Ranged Weapons[edit]

  • Autocannon - Ol' reliable is still quite solid, sitting at S7 Heavy 2 AP-1 D2 with a 48" range. Your Havocs get to move and shoot with only a -1 penalty now. As of CA 2018 these have fallen down to 10pts. Iron Within!
  • Autogun - Now standard on Cultists, S3 D1 Rapid Fire with a 24" range. Pew pew.
  • Autopistol - The other cultist option, a S3 D1 12" pistol. Pew.
  • Baleflamer - D6 S6 AP-2 D2 auto-hits at 18 inches, so roughly the same as Torrent range. Allows you to avoid the Heldrake's mediocre ballistic skill. Now that the Codex cut its cost in half, pretty much an auto-buy.
  • Battle cannon - The former classic pie plate now rocks a Heavy D6 S8 AP-2 Damage D3 profile. Since you will likely only have one of these, namely on your centrepiece Defiler, consider focusing your command rerolls onto its D6 shots.
  • Blastmaster - Can be fired in varied frequency (36" Assault d6 S4 AP-1 D1) or single frequency (48" Heavy d3 S8 AP-2 D3). It ignores cover, of course. Now a bit cheaper at 20(!) points and still awesome, as it goes very well with the new "split fire for everyone" rules.
  • Blight launcher - Available exclusively to Plague Marines, looks like a corrupted version of the grenade launcher used by Grave Wardens. It's 24" Assault 2 S6 AP-2 Damage D3 with the added benefit of rerolling to wound rolls of 1. A fantastic gun that can threaten both infantry and vehicles and can still be used after advancing, so it can threaten enemy units from turn 1.
  • Bolt pistol - BLAM! Your standard sidearm for most troops. Boltgun profile with halved range and Pistol 1 instead of Rapid Fire.
    • REMEMBER: Don't forget to have your marines in close combat fire these in the shooting phase, especially if you're running them with Bolters instead of Chainswords. It's easy as shit to forget, and you won't get anything else out of them if you have a Bolter, but the extra shots can seriously turn the tide against melee glass cannons (Wyches, Harlequins) or clear chaff faster(Guardsmen, Boyz).
  • Boltgun - The standard 40k infantry weapon, simple as ever with S4 Rapid Fire 1 and a 24" range. Now AP-0, which kinda sucks.
    • AP-0 is pretty sad, but these can bring some serious carnage to light/medium infantry in rapid fire range, and unlike in 7th, rapid fire does not stop you from charging. This is just as aggressive a weapon option as a Chainsword for that reason. BLAM them to paste, then GET IN THERE AND FIGHT, MAGGOT!!
  • Combi-weapons - All are bolters with another weapon strapped on. Under the new ruleset, you can use the other weapon as many times as you want. You can even fire both, though you take a -1 BS penalty if you do so. All of these cost precisely the same as the special weapon + 2 points. Allows your unit Champions to actually contribute to the shooting.
    • Combi-bolter - Literally 2 bolters in one, gaining Rapid Fire 2 rather than 1. Note this doesn't have any -1 BS penalty for firing it.
      • God-tier Dakka right here. 5 of these on 1 5-man Terminator squad can yield 20 shots immediately for only 10 pts. Worth thinking about if you don't want your termies to break your budget.
    • Combi-flamer - Being a combi-weapon means it can fire both modes in the same phase, but at -1 to hit (as noted.) The flamer automatically hits. You work it out. Fantastic because you lose nothing over the bolter, but simply gain a lot of shots once you're in flamer range.
      • Pretty pointless on deep striking Terminators, but awesome otherwise.
    • Combi-melta - The combi with the most different weapons. The melta is the star of the show, so just think it as that plus some anti-infantry ability. It's worth firing both parts against MEQ out of cover and lighter, but for its point cost you really need to point it at bigger stuff.
    • Combi-plasma - Can be fired safely, or overcharged; the latter of which should never be done on most units without the ability to reroll 1s somehow. The bolter part actually does less work than on a combi-melta, it doesn't do anything the plasma gun can't. A plasma gun that hits light infantry harder.
      • NOTE: You should NEVER shoot both halves of combi-plasma on overcharge! Even with the ability to re-roll 1's. (This is because the re-roll is done BEFORE modifier to the roll are made, turning all of your 2's into 1's after the fact, thus slaying the model outright.)
  • Daemongore cannon - Heavy D6, 3 damage flat, -2 AP. It's a Lord of Skulls weapon, and has the potential for great or terrible damage.
  • Demolisher cannon - In a bit of a bad spot: with only d3 shots (d6 against 10+ model units) and a very random d6 damage, this gun doesn't have enough shots to go after heavy infantry or consistent enough damage to hunt vehicles.
  • Got updated to d6 shots to 5+ model units, so it can hunt infantry better. Nearly any other anti-tank weapon does d6 damage, so this gun can work very well. Just think of it as a d3/d6 shot Lascannon.
  • Doom siren - Not nearly as good as it once was, as it no longer ignores power armor saves. However, it is only 10 points with S5 AP-2 at Assault D6 now, so still an auto-include on a Noise Champion.
  • Ectoplasma cannon - Heavy D3, S7, -3 AP, D3 damage. Considering Forgefiends can have three of these babies and don't immediately kill themselves on a single 1 to hit, these are plenty scary. That said, the Hades Autocannons are probably better.
  • Flamer - Short ranged but solid weapon. No AP, and no longer ignores cover. Still good against hordes, but since you do D6 hits no matter how big the target unit, you could end up scorching a single target something fierce. Or scoring fewer hits than a Bolter.
  • Fleshmetal guns - The new, skubtastic and orky, Obliterator weapons. 24" Assault 4, S:6+D3 AP:-(D3) D:D3 (roll separately for each before picking the target). Me gun wants ta shoot da big gitz taday!
  • Gorestorm cannon - You better roll high for the number of shots to justify the points you spent on this. On the other hand, a high roll can shred heavy infantry with ease, with 2 damage and AP-2. Another Lord of Skulls option.
  • Hades autocannon - 36" Heavy 4 S8 AP-1 D2, higher range, strength and average damage than the Ectoplasma cannons at the cost of lower AP.
  • Hades gatling cannon - Heavy 12 S8 AP-2, and 2 damage. 48". Ouch. Another Lord of Skulls option. Who said Khorne only likes close combat?
  • Havoc launcher - It's a frag only missile launcher at +1 strength. A bit expensive and unreliable, but it makes your Rhinos into something resembling a battle tank.
  • Heavy bolter - Three shots with S5, AP-1 and great range. Worth taking...in fact, they're a steal.
  • Heavy flamer - It's a flamer with +1S and AP-1. See Flamer.
  • Heavy stubber - Only 4 points, marginally useful for an objective-camping or deepstrike meatshield cultist squad.
  • Helbrute plasma cannon - 36" Heavy D3 S8 AP-3 D2, each hit roll of 1 causes a mortal wound after all other shots have been resolved (as opposed to being slain outright). Great against TEQ targets. If you're looking for a dedicated anti-tank role, you'll find that its better to take the twin lascannon for the Helbrute . While more expensive the twin lascannon option has longer range, consistent 2 shots and higher damage of Dd6. One caveat is that the self inflicting mortal wounds gets you a free Crazed roll at the end of the phase, potentially letting shoot again, but it is inconsistent. Despite this it is still a excellent choice.
  • Ichor cannon - 48" Heavy D6 S7 AP-4 Damage D3, it's an option for the Lord of Skulls, not much else to it.
  • Inferno bolt pistol - An AP-2 bolt pistol that is a 1-point buy for Exalted Sorcerers and Aspiring Sorcerers.
  • Inferno boltgun - The Rubrics' standard gun, an AP-2 bolter. Costs 2 points and is exclusive to them. Solid option to point at expensive infantry.
  • Lascannon - 48" Heavy 1 S9 AP-3 D6, probably one of the strongest heavy weapons in 8th ed with the chance to output a redonkulous amount of damage with really high AP. That said, you'll fume for every damage roll of 1 you make.
  • Magma cutter - Interestingly, Magma cutters have now become a 6" Pistol 1 at S8 AP-4 D3, meaning they have a tiny bit of range and can be used while your Maulerfiends are munching on tasty vehicles.
  • Meltagun - 12" Assault 1 S8 AP-4 D6. If the target is within half range roll 2 dice when inflicting damage and discard the lowest result. Meltas are definitely still good, though it's debatable if they are as strong as Lascannons and Missile launchers.
  • Missile launcher - So good. Choose between Heavy D6 S4 AP0 D1 and Heavy 1 S8 AP-2 Damage D6 both at 48" range, best to stock up now cause these things are gonna be everywhere.
  • Multi-melta - It's a Meltagun with double the range 24" same profile as above. Also heavy.
  • Plague Belcher - Another new gun for the Plague Marines, this is a normal Flamer, with the key differences being the 9" range as opposed to the 8" of a normal Flamer, which makes it drastically better as a charge deterrent (particularly against deep strikers), and it rerolls 1s To Wound. Interesting option, but slightly more expensive than a normal Flamer.
  • Plague Spewer - To the Heavy Flamer what the Plague Belcher is to the Flamer, so 9" range and rerolling 1s to wound. A Heavy weapon, so you can't advance and shoot with it. It's also prohibitively expensive at 19 points.
  • Plasma gun - Choose between regular 24" rapid fire 1 S7 AP-3 D1 or SUPERCHARGE it to get +1 strength and damage but on a hit roll of 1 the bearer dies. You feelin' lucky, punk?
  • Plasma pistol - Same as the Plasma gun except 12" Pistol 1 instead of 24" Rapid Fire 1. Also has the ability to SUPERCHARGE for extra strength and damage but with the same risk of instant death. Since you can use them in melee and they're only 7 points, they might finally be worth taking now.
  • Predator autocannon - Thankfully much improved. Similar to the Autocannon except Heavy 2D3 and an extra 1 Damage. That means on average double the fire rate and triple the total damage. Comes stock on the Predator but can be swapped for the (also improved) Twin lascannon.
  • Reaper autocannon - 36" heavy 4 S7 AP-1 D1, Deffy comes stock with one of these, usually used after the Battle cannon to try and pick off any survivors. Note the reaper version of the autocannon only does 1 damage per wound and is really just a glorified 4 shot heavy bolter given how the strength and toughness chart works in this edition.
  • Shotgun - 12" assault 2 S3 AP0 D1, if the target is within half range it gets +1 strength. Carried only by cultist champions.
  • Skullhurler - 60" Heavy D6 S9 AP-3 Damage D3, when attacking units with 10 or more models it becomes heavy 2D6. Another weapon for the Lord of Skulls.
  • Sonic blaster - An Assault 3 Bolter that ignores cover bonuses. Only 4 points, a direct upgrade to Bolters, and excellent for turning up the volume on loyalist filth. Exclusive to Noise Marines. Let's reiterate: 24", Assault 3. Turn 1 you advance and you can already unleash a fuckload of shots at the opponent. Kill it with death metal.
  • Soulreaper cannon - Exclusive to Rubric Marines and Scarab Occult Terminators, This bad boy is a 24" Heavy 4 S5 AP-3 D1 dakka cannon. Since the only two units that can bring it ignore the penalties to moving and shooting with heavy weapons, it's essentially a shorter range, higher AP heavy bolter that you can run up the field to your heart's content. For just 5 points more than a Heavy Bolter, it's also a steal.
  • Twin heavy bolter - 36" Heavy 6 S5 AP-1 D1. Mathematically, twice as good as the (already good) regular heavy bolter for less than twice the price.
  • Twin heavy flamer - Still has some of the issues of the standard flamer, but the extra dakka (2d6 hits) does come a long way to upping the horde mulching potential for these.
  • Twin lascannon - Take 1 Lascannon and double-up on them, Heavy 2 instead of Heavy 1 but otherwise identical to regular lascannons.
  • Warp bolter - The Daemon Prince decided to grab his gat, essentially a buffed up bolter at 24" Assault 2 S4 AP-1 D2. This exists because of that cool picture. You know the one. A good gun, considering that DPs hit on a 2+.
  • Warpflame pistol - Flamer Pistol with massive AP, meaning you can inflict a bunch of auto-hits even in melee. Don't leave home without one on your Aspiring Sorcerer. Can help bail your expensive Rubrics out of melee.
  • Warpflamer - An AP-2 Flamer exclusive to Rubric Marines. The last word in overwatch scenarios.

Melee Weapons[edit]

  • Brutal assault weapon - Cultist melee weapon that gives them an additional close combat attack; free sidegrade to make classic choppy cultists.
  • Bubotic axe - Plague Marine Power axe but with Plague Weapon (reroll 1s to wound). Brings in the boo-boo.
  • Chainaxe - They're back, baby. S+1 AP-1, and cost just 1 point on both Berzerkers and unit Champions. Unfortunately don't confer extra attacks like Chainswords, but hey, quality over quantity. Double hey, hold onto that Chainsword because you still get its 1 additional attack on top of your Chainaxe attacks, making your Berzerkers extra killy while giving up their ranged weapons. You don't need your opponent removing models from the front to deny your charge anyways.
  • Chainfist - Powerfist with a heavy duty Chainsword strapped onto it. It has 1 better AP, and it has a fixed damage of 2. Now an ABSOLUTE STEAL at 11 pts. THANK YOU CHAPTER APPROVED '18!!
  • Chainsword - Now a bit more than just a close combat weapon, gives an additional attack using its profile if you have one on you. Not bad for dual wielding. If you have two, you do indeed get two extra attacks.
  • Daemon jaws - The dino-head of the Forgefiend if you don't have the Plasma-Head. AP-1, D2.
  • Daemonic axe - Standard DP's Axe. -1 to hit, S+1 AP-3 D3.
  • Defiler claws - Deffy doesn't suffer -1 to hit when he gives you d6 wounds to the face.
  • Defiler scourge - Deffy DOES get 3 extra attacks with this if he's got one. This will get you 3x S12 AP-2 3Dam on top of his 3 claw attacks.
  • Disc of Tzeentch's blades - 1 additional S4 attack.
  • Flail of Corruption - Plague Marine Baby Rattle with d3 to-hit rolls per attack, S+2, AP-2, D2, Plague Weapon, and any excess damage it causes rolls over. Legitimately nasty.
  • Fleshmetal weapon - Much like Fleshmetal guns, these are S:User+d3 AP:-d3 D:d3. Skubtastic
  • Force weapons - Effectively the same as a power weapon but with d3 damage. And all that without having to forego using other powers.
  • Great cleaver of Khorne - A Lord of Skulls doesn't have Titanic Feet because he doesn't have Titanic Legs (he is too Metal for legs). He has a choice of Smash - Sx2, AP-4, D6 OR Slash - S-, AP-2, D:d3 but 3x the attacks. Use Slash if you are wounding on a 2+ with it.
  • Great plague cleaver - Plague Marine Big Choppa Power Fist with D:d6 and Plague Weapon tacked on for 3pts extra.
  • Helbrute fist - Sx2 AP-3 D3 just like a Thunder Hammer, but you don't have -1 to hit.
  • Helbrute hammer - The other Helbrute option, Sx2 AP-4 and d6 damage, but imposes a -1 to hit penalty. Overall, the fist is much more reliable.
  • Heldrake claws - S:User with AP-1 and d3 damage and +1 to hit against flyers. You have to take them on your 'drakes. Use them to shred through some hapless character in the enemy backline.
  • Hellforged sword - Daemon Prince weapon with AP-2 and 3 damage.
  • Hideous mutations - The Chaos Spawn's weapon. Very respectable at AP-2 and 2 damage.
  • Juggernaut's bladed horn - Gives the Juggernaut-mounted Lord 3 extra attacks at S5 AP-1 D1.
  • Lasher tendrils - The Maulerfiend's other option. Gives 6 extra attacks at AP-2 D2 to shred your way through any infantry you encounter.
  • Lightning claws - Finally giving us a reason to double up on these, lightning claws now give an extra attack if you hold one in each hand. Order a pair today and get a 50% discount on the second one!
  • Mace of contagion - Plague Marine Power maul with Plague Weapon and flat 3 damage, but -1 to hit.
  • Malefic talons - The Daemon Prince's default weaponry. You'll always take these because they're cheap, strike at AP-2 D2, and give three extra attacks if you have a pair.
  • Maulerfiend fists - Powerfist without the -1 to hit and with a flat 3 damage.
  • Mechatendrils - Gives the Warpsmith two extra basic melee attacks.
  • Palanquin of Nurgle's Nurglings' claws and teeth - you get d6 extra close combat attacks at S2, rerolling wound rolls of 1.
  • Plague knife - Plague Marine stock CCW with Plague Weapon. Next.
  • Plaguesword - Plague Champion can take one for rerolls to wound.
  • Power scourge - Grants 3 additional attacks with this weapon, which hit at AP-2 and 2 damage. Helbrute with a Power Fist + Power Scourge? 5 Fist attacks, 3 Scourge attacks.
    • Can now take two of these, so go all whacky waving inflatable arm flailing tube man on your enemies with 11 attacks.
  • Power weapons - Got a general reshuffling this edition, with each option getting changed to make it generally more balanced.
    • Power maul - Packs a punch in general, but is especially effective against GEQs, these also do well against armies like Harlequins who have an army-wide invulnerable save yet are still terribly squishy.
    • Power axe - Lost the unwieldy rule and is all the better for it, even if these are slightly more expensive than the other 2. These are now a jack of all trades and make a good fit for "take all comers" armies.
    • Power sword - Focused entirely on armour penetration, these are good at facing MEQs and completely strip armour from GEQs, however these become a terrible choice against invulnerable saves.
    • Power fist - Lost the unwieldy rule like the axe, however it has a -1 to hit now. However it still packs a solid punch of d3 damage. Helbrute Power Fist ignores the -1 to hit and does a flat 3 damage per swing. Note that the -1 to hit makes DTTFE impossible for the bearer without Prescience, First Among Traitors, or Icon of Excess.
  • Steed of Slaanesh's lashing tongue - gives the Steed Slaanesh Lord two extra attacks at S4 D1.


  • Blight grenade - Frag Grenade that rerolls 1s To Wound. Cements your Plague Marines' role as close range firefight specialists.
  • Frag grenade - 6" Grenade D6 Str3 AP0 1D, replaces one gun- or pistol shot in a unit. Actually quite useful.
  • Krak grenade - 6" Grenade 1 Str6 AP-1 d3D, always better than the bolt pistol/gun shot it replaces.


Icons now cost 5 or 10 points, and with the new wound allocation rules you'll get your buffs for much longer as the bearers can't be sniped out.

  • Icon of Despair - NURGLE units only. Enemy units with models within 6" (as of the new Codex) of a unit with this icon are at -1 Leadership. A big improvement from last edition, this is actually worth taking now. Get an enemy unit surrounded by this and a Noxious Blightbringer and they'll get -2 to their Leadership (-3 for PSYKER units like Grey Knights). This will make even the Primaris Marines run away screaming.
  • Icon of Excess - SLAANESH units only. The Death to the False Emperor rule now triggers on a 5+ rather than a 6+. Situational, but good on melee units that are fighting anything with the IMPERIUM. Casting Prescience on a unit with this means it triggers on a 4+. Have fun.
  • Icon of Flame - TZEENTCH units only. At the start of the psychic phase, roll a d6; on a 6, the closest enemy unit within 12" takes a mortal wound. Not amazing, over the course of a 6-turn game you'll cause 1 mortal wound assuming enemies were within 12" for the entire game.
    • Now 5 pts, making it considerably better than before. Make a Tzeentch-based Renegade chapter with MSU and watch the fireworks.
  • Icon of Wrath - KHORNE units only. Reroll ANY charge rolls, not just failed ones, this can help if you succeed on the charge but want to go for a higher roll to pile in more models. Cheap, cheerful, and simple, and a near auto-take on any melee-oriented unit (which is most of them, you're playing Khorne.)
  • Icon of Vengeance - Cannot be taken by marked units. Adds 1 to the Leadership of all models in a unit, giving your basic Marines LD9 with a Champion. Stacks with the Black Legion Tactic, if you want to show up Ultrasmurfs in terms of Leadership.
    • Now 5 pts, making it essentially an auto-include for basically any undivided units that can take it.


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 one guy. Also, because they mostly replace weapons, you can't give most of them to Daemon Princes (or Sorcerers.)


  • The Black Mace: Replaces a power maul. Melee weapon with Strength +3, AP-2, 2 damage. Roll a d6 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. The only option a Dark Apostle has of actually wielding something worthwhile.
  • THE MURDER SWORD: Replaces a power sword. Melee weapon with Strength +1, AP-4, 1 damage. At the start of the first turn, name an enemy character. THE MURDER SWORD activates and all of your successful 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 wound rolls, so extremely impressive against high Toughness enemy characters, such as VEHICLE or MONSTER characters.


  • Axe of Blind Fury: Khorne only, replaces a model's power axe. S+3 AP-3 and d3 damage, 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. 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" kill reach. Which can be tricky. This is why AOBF is probably best utilized 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 - the power fist has a better chance to wound if it connects, but aside from the obvious decreased chance to hit, the -1 its modifier makes DTTFE impossible. 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: - Khorne only. 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.


  • Puscleaver: - Nurgle Only. A Power Sword that loses 1 point of AP for higher damage and the ability to wound non-vehicles on 2+ (and vehicles normally). Interesting, useful, and cheap.


  • Intoxicating Elixir: - Slaanesh only. Add 1 to the bearer's strength and attacks. Makes a killy Lord even killier. Combine with Diabolic Strength for best results (especially if you take this on a Daemon Prince and have him cast it on himself, just for the sake of excess.)


  • Eye of Tzeentch: - Tzeentch psykers only. Add 1 to to psychic test when manifesting smite, casting on a 4 and getting extra wounds on a 10.


  • Alpha Legion: 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!)
  • Black Legion: 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.
  • Emperor's Children: 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.
  • Iron Warriors: Fleshmetal Exoskeleton. Grants a 2+ armor 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 armor saves.
  • Night Lords: 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.
  • World Eaters: 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.
  • Word Bearers: The Cursed Crozius. S+2, AP-2, and a flat 3 damage, replacing a power maul. In addition, the bearer may reroll failed wound rolls with the weapon in close combat when fighting against IMPERIUM units. Lets your Dark Apostle reroll hits and wounds. Interesting on a damage monster.

Unit Analysis[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 let you reroll every 1 to hit in a 6" bubble. You can keep this guy around plasma Havocs, 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". 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!
  • 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. **As of CA 2018 dropped to 95pts before Wargear making him even more attractive. Cheap & Effective upgrades would either be a pair of lightning claws or combi-plasma w/ chainfist if you don't want to give up shooting (and is an especially killy combo for +22 pesos). You're still hitting on a 3 in CC with a fairly brutal CC weapon and reroll to-hits of 1 for both, making overcharging safer (but be careful if you decide to use both barrels as he can still roll a 1).
  • Chaos Lord on Bike: 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.
  • Dark Apostle: The Dark Apostle is one of the index' hidden gems that you might overlook at first (especially since he was at best a one-trick 'Fearless Cultists' pony in 7th ed), and a blessing for people wanting to play a Choppy army. He's one of the cheapest CSM HQ's, his stats and gear are nothing to write home about...but you're not taking him for his stats and gear. Oh, no, you're really not. He has not one but two command abilities that are quite insane when combined: "Demagogue" allow any unit with the same LEGION keyword as he has within 6" of him to use his Ld of 9 for any Ld test (which is the highest Ld score from the whole index save for some Special Characters) and "Dark Zealot" allow any unit with the same LEGION keyword as he has within 6" of him (including himself) to re-roll any failed to-hit roll in the fight phase (meaning your usually reroll dice rolls of 1's & 2's). Berzerkers, fighting twice and re-rolling all their misses; and with a better Ld in case something goes wrong to boot? Do you really need a Drawing? The Dark Apostle is Mini-Abby for players on a budget, and he fucking delivers in the name of the Dark Gods. His only drawback is that he has no mobility options, so make sure there's a place for him in a transport or a huge blob of infantry supporting him. Combined with Black Legion Legion Trait and Inspiring Leader (Rulebook) Warlord Trait, he comes with 11 Leadership. Which is awesome with huge packs of cultists.
  • 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.
  • 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 a lot more than the vanilla one, but if you fear for his safety this may be a good investment. Just remember to wear a helmet. You can make him decent in combat via a combination of wargear and psychic powers, but don't do it. Any buff and gear you can throw on him is far better off on another unit.
    • With CA 2018 dropping the costs of several CSM HQ's, Termi-Sorcerer's are overall a better choice compared to the stock variants as the +1W and 5++ they get for 12pts more gives them far greater mileage.
  • Sorcerer on Bike: 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, you may as well choose another option.
  • Chaos Lord/Sorcerer on Daemonic Mount: 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. In addition, characters on demonic mounts have the Cavalry keyword. This disqualifies them from many stratagems, psychic powers, and (most critically) legion traits overall as they are only applied to infantry, bikes, Daemon Princes, and helbrutes.
    • Chaos Lord on Juggernaut: 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.
    • Chaos Lord on Disc: 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 not getting his own Legion trait and getting killed easier by Grey Knights. SKIP.
    • Chaos Lord on Palanquin: 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, 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: 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: 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, in which case an Exalted is better.
    • Sorcerer on Palanquin: 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: 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.
  • Warpsmith: Another nice HQ that got drastically improved in the new edition. He packs a lot of heat in the form of a flamer and melta, while his power axe and mechatendrils make him solid in melee too. All of that with a solid 2+ armour and a fairly cheap price. His main role is to repair your vehicles, regaining d3 lost wounds on one at the end of the movement phase, but he can also curse the enemy ones (on a 2+ they suffer a mortal wound) which can be useful. With no mobility upgrades, this guy is best used defending your artillery and tanks by repairing them and aiding against deepstrikes. Alternatively, put him in the front and keep that Land Raider alive. Can also take a Combi-Weapon, so either take a Combi-Flamer for 2D6 auto-hits on Overwatch or a Combi-Melta to make sure that tank you point him at stays dead. Remember, you can either fire all your Pistols, or every other non-Pistol, non-Grenade and he can take plenty of those.
  • Exalted Champion: The Jam to the Bread of the Dark-Apostle. A new character option from the Chaos Codex. No model yet though any suitably kit-bashed model will do (The Aspiring Champion Vrosh Tattersoul from Dark Vengeance works well enough). Special rules include Aspire to Glory, which allows friendly units from the same legion to reroll failed to wound rolls in the fight phase, and For the Dark Gods, which allows him to re-roll failed to hit rolls for the champion when targeting an enemy character. He's basically a Dark Apostle with a different set of abilities, coming out to 6 points cheaper base, while trading one point of LD for a 4th attack. Instead of providing re-rolls to hit, he provides re-rolls to wound. If you're feeling really mean, keep a Dark-Apostle and an Exalted Champion next to your Berzerkers or Chosen armed with power weapons for re-rolls on hits and wounds.
    • Consider giving him The Murder Sword, it is a particular vile option. Because of the re-rolls to hits you are almost certainly going to immediately peel off 4 mortal wounds against the 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 hits & wounds will trigger. When attacking everything else with The Murder Sword hes still swinging 4 times with S5 AP-4 re-rolling to wound attacks. Bottom line is that things that he hits without invulnerable saves are going to feel it. If you're still worried about not finishing off your target, give him Khorne's mark and use Fury of Khorne to guarantee it.
    • Can be surprisingly dangerous to Elite infantry when given the Black Mace
  • 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; getting a voidcutter and soulburner pistol while losing the meltagun and bolt pistol. The Hellwright heals a wound on your turn start and gives all Hellforged (other Forge World Chaos relic vehicles) +1 to their attacks and leadership characteristics. 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 of the Warpfire Lance, a Heavy 2 S6 AP-3 weapon doing D6 damage and causing an additional hit on to wound rolls of 6+ (which can't generate further hits). The mount also adds +1 wounds and +3" movement to the Hellwright's profile, as well as a 5++ with the drawback that it can only advance D3" (but ignores the -1 penalty to its hit rolls for moving and firing heavy weapons). It can be transported in a transport (cool) and takes up 3 model spaces if you do so. All for a price increase of 45pts, take it if your hellwright is likely to be targeted and/or you have points to spare.
    • 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.

Special Characters[edit]

  • 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" reroll to hit rolls, and another that makes all Heretic Astartes immune to morale tests. Also, unlike most things in Terminator armor, 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).
    • 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 to mitigate their -1 to hit penalty 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 strategems 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 strategem that allows him to fight twice.
  • 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. 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.
  • 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 news 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 (technically this includes your opponent's) you can 'improve' an Infantry unit, though the bonus is random, as is the chance your dudes survive it. Best used on melee units, in particular multi-wound stuff that can survive any experimental issues. 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 due to having no <LEGION> keyword. Thanks, GW.
  • Lord Arkos [Forge World]: A Chaos Lord who has two sub-faction keywords: THE FAITHLESS or 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: 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 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.
  • 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 (unique in itself since CSMs normally don't get Thunder Hammers) 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 (i.e. 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.
    • He is, for all accounts, a cheap "Second" HQ choice with the ability to provide re-rolls to a Black Legion gun-line and dissuade Deep-Striker attacks. He's also a low-profile character that is easy to be forgotten by your opponent for bigger threats. No one really likes taking a thunder hammer to the face, but at the same time no one wants to dump excessive firepower through a screen into a 4++ character to get rid of said Hammer either.
  • 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 d3 D 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 and only then 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. 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.
  • Kharn: 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 Kharn, 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 Kharn is stage management. As per the FAQ Blood for the Blood God happens during the charge-part of the fight phase. Position Kharn so he's within 1 inch of his charging Berzerker friends. Activate them first, then again using BFTBG before consolidating out of his Aura.
  • Zhufor The Impaler [Forge World]: Solid in melee and scary to boot, Zhufor will tear his way through any 2-wound units and most generic characters he comes across. He's quite durable, boasting two more wounds, a 2+ save compared to Kharn, as well as having the ability to deny a Psychic Power (so that he's not fucked over by that new Navigator character, who can pick him out from behind an enemy unit). Not to mention he has the ability to deep-strike, preventing him from having to run a marathon if his transport's blown up at the start of the game (which if it's carrying Kharn, it very well could be).
  • Lucius the Eternal: Slaanesh's favourite 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 less, 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 Kharn, 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.


  • Chaos Space Marines: Still struggling to find their place in most lists. CSM's are... okay. Fairly cheap and serve a purpose, but they are nothing special. Havocs still do the same but with easier access to weapons, so if you don't need troops take those instead. Worse than their loyalist counterparts unless you're actually fighting IMPERIUM forces (which for most people is likely) in which case they <may> be better, but even if you're not then at least their options are reasonably flexible. MSU's are better than a large unit, you're nowhere near as vulnerable to morale while still being able to get two special weapons (one in the unit, one on the champion). Get a few with combi-melta/flamer and a regular melta/flamer in a Rhino and they can reliably support your better killy stuff at either horde or armour killing or camping a point in cover with Obsec. Just make sure to bring either an Icon of Despair for when your other guys win combat, or an Icon of Vengeance to make sure you don't run away. Don't get the chainsword, it's trash, You can achieve the same damage output by rapid firing bolters instead of charging into combat and giving the enemy the chance to attack back, even if you want a melee legion and can tailor these guys for it a little there's still better units for the role. If you're really worried about their performance in close combat, make them Slaanesh and give the Champion a Power Fist. Combined with some form of aura re-roll he's likely to deal quite a bit of damage before his squad gets wiped out.
    • With the new beta rule Bolter Discipline, This gives marines an interesting choice 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.
  • Chaos Cultists: Your cheaper choice compared to Marines. Cultists can now be set for melee or range without paying extra points, though like the CSM's you achieve the same damage shooting as getting into combat so kitting them for combat's a bad idea when other units are always going to be much better at it (even before considering their awful Leadership). Pretty much calling out to be ranged units since Cultists have access to special guns but not special melee weapons. Flamers make them somewhat more reliable when up close, while Heavy Stubbers are a cheap and useful upgrade if you plan to camp objectives with them. They have some problems though, the cover systems guarantees that they are going to die, a lot. You are going to take 5+ at best against weapons with no AP and more are going to run away with their terrible Ld of 5 (6 with the Champion). You should solve this by giving them something like putting a Dark Apostle with them/getting Abaddon (who they work really well with) or spending CPs for their morale tests, though this last one's a bit of a waste unless you're on an objective. A full unit can actually outperform CSM's if you're going for pure shooting and aren't worried about Morale, a definite thing to consider if you take Abaddon since he removes their biggest weakness while allowing them to re-roll all their missed shots (and at BS4+, there's going to be a lot). Their stratagem is also fucking amazing and works wonders if they're maxed out.
    • CA 2018 increased the price of cultists but this was offset by most units in the codex going down in price anyway. This still makes them a better choice compared to CSM's if you want cheap CP and deep-strike screens.
  • Black Legionnaires [Blackstone Fortress]: A unit of Chaos Space Marines, but only two can be taken. Their bolters and bolt pistols with chainswords leaves them pretty lackluster, if versatile. These guys must take the BLACK LEGION keyword. Having a single unit of morale-immune Marines to sit back and hold objectives is somewhat appealing, especially considering the pair costs only 26 points, so if you play Black Legion or want to stick these guys in their own detachment with Mallex and some cultists, go for it.
    • Have the unique benefit of not taking up a force organisation slot in a detachment, meaning they can be used as a cheap deep-strike area denial unit or body guard for a back-line lord. Be careful though, at T4 3+ 1W they are a essentially a free victory point in games that use First Blood/Strike unless they are hiding somewhere.
  • Daemons: 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.
    • Bloodletters: Still the same glass cannons they've always been, they're an assault infantry unit that is very good at butchering multi-wound thickies 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. Deepstrike these guys next to an unsuspecting unit of Primaris Marines and engage trollface. Then cry as they all get shot down in overwatch.
    • 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: 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.
    • 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 an 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.


  • Chosen: The flexible elite, with everything it entails. 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, wholly in addition to the 4 special weapons as of the 2018 April FAQ! 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 alot 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.
    • With the 2018 chapter approved chosen are now only 1 point more than a regular chaos space marine meaning 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.
  • Chaos Terminators: Standard 2A, 2W, 2+, 5++ Termies. Tough and killy, now slightly cheaper thanks to CA 2018 but still cost more than loyalist terminators for some reason. Unlike the Loyalists, Chaos Terminators take power weapons as standard making them cheaper to customise, 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 power swords. 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, throw them in too early and your opponent will be both 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. 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.
    • With the bolter discipline beta rule, terminators get the benefit of rapid firing bolt weapons regardless of range or whether or not they've moved, this makes them much more versatile as they can sit on objectives and unload from the safety of cover, and they don't lose out on firepower if they are used to assassinate a key target and are then left too far away to get in another charge.
  • Fallen: Basically Chaos Chosen with the IMPERIUM keyword and costing 2 points less (and, notably, only 1 point more than vanilla Chaos Space Marines) PLUS 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 Marks and Legion Traits, so they can't use transports from either faction and the only HQ in your list who can buff them is Cypher, which ruins the idea of using them like how you'd use Chosen, but there is still one thing they are absolutely fantastic at: a plasma gunline. Plasma guns give them the extra range they need since they're stuck on foot, and if they don't move they can reroll 1s if they're supercharging them. This also makes them really good at hanging out in back with a Lascannon, as their one shot with it will only fail on a 2 without having to waste an HQ hanging out in back with them (and thanks to everyone having Split Fire now, you can do both with the same unit!) Cypher and Fallen-spam in a Vanguard Detachment is both an effective and cheap deal without needing any further additions to make it work. You can also give them melee weapons, but aside from Chainswords (they're free) you don't want to, there's 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.
  • Khorne Berzerkers: One of the biggest reasons you don't need to build your regular units for close combat, as these guys are always going to kick their ass at it. For starters take Icon of Wrath for the charge re-rerolls, ditch the pistols on your standard dudes since killing things with bullets makes charges harder. Go Chainaxe and Chainsword, you'll get way more mileage out of them that way. The Champion benefits greatly from a power fist (punching in at S10), and so 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, and 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 into a Kharybdis assault claw, then join an Exalted Champion with A Talisman of Burning Blood, as a Dark Apostle with Black Mace rides shotgun for a fantastic melee combo, 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.
    • Note: 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 makes them damn right monstrous in melee. Armed with the chainsaw/chainaxe combo, a 10 man squad are basically getting 82 attacks on the charge or 62 if you didn't (+1 for the charge, +1 with the chainsword and then X2 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.
  • Rubric Marines: An interesting choice and now cheaper thanks to CA 2018. They can cover numerous bases and so long as you keep them out of close combat (no, your force weapons aren't likely to win the fight for you). Working best as objective campers by being tough as shit to remove (for everything besides plasma/heavy weapons) while being able to fire off armour-melting shots and a mortal wound now and again. If you want to boost them then use the Chaos Familiar stratagem, 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 you Sorceror casts. If he kills himself via perils he can take a couple of Rubrics with him.
  • Plague Marines: One of the more expensive options, the Plague Marines are tough as shit, but in a different way to the Rubric Marines. Rubric's hold up better against mass low Damage (which typically means low Strength) weapons, while the Plague Marines are better against high Strength, high Damage weapons. 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.
  • 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 countercharged, in which case their Legion Trait won't do shit.
    • 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.
  • Possessed: Unremarkable, there's nothing they can do that Berzerkers/Noise Marines/Chosen/Terminators can't do better, with their only advantage being that they can be buffed by units like Greater Daemons/Heralds as well as their Psychic Powers, in case you wanted to play a mixed CSM/Daemon list, and even then they're still weaker than those aforementioned units. Making them useful requires so much investment that you might as well just skip them for something that isn't fucked when Snipers kill your buffers, and even those other units will serve you better with their Legion Trait bonuses.
    • Alternative Opinion: You might be tempted to skip past these blokes, but not so fast. 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. 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.
  • 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 with CA 2018. 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.
  • Helbrute: Given a new lease of life with its points drop in CA 2018. The Hellbrute is one of the Best Distraction Carnifex 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 their 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 Hellbrute can be potentially devastating if you roll up a 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: Even with the price drops of CA 2018, the default Helbrute Fist is still better than the Helbrute Hammer as it usually outperforms the hammer thanks to the -1 penalty to hit. The Power Scourge is also worth considering, being better against MEQ's and lower compared to the fist. With the April FAQ, Helbrutes can now bring two power scourges (now at a lower costs thanks to CA 2018), 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.
    • 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.
  • 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 phase. 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's 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 Hellbrute 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.
  • 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.
    • Note that it can take Combi-Plasma, and if it gets rolls that 1 it dies. This can actually be good for you as it allows you to charge the unit after they move, since nothing in the rules prevents this. Be sure to fire the Bolter half of the weapon, to make it overheat on 1’s or 2’s.
  • 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.


  • 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).
  • 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. If you take it as part of a Thousand Sons detachment, you gain access to the Warpflame Gargoyles stratagem.
  • 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 helstrom 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]: 295 points of the best transport flier 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.
  • Fire Raptor Gunship [Forge World]: **As of chapter approved it's now 190 points!!** Choose Twin Avenger Bolt Cannon, 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 around 420 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.
  • 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 40 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.
  • 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.
  • 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 240pts can tie up alot of your opponents army assuming they survive the retaliation in melee. 5+ invuln is also nice, 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) as well as their psychic abilities. 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.
  • Chaos Spawn: An old, dead meme and now dedicated meatshield. These are the guys 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.
  • 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).
  • 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]

  • Obliterators: 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 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.
  • Havocs: Havocs are exactly like CSM, but can take more weapons. They cost the same too, so unless you need troops for some mobility and some extra command points, there is no reason to take CSM ever. They can take both Heavy and Special weapons, unlike Devastators, which is cool and you can mix them as you like and remember you can divide fire as you please (so if you got tricked into buying the absolutely hideous resin kit from GW, you can at least use it effectively). Heavy Bolters are very decent in the new edition. 3 shots at S5 and AP-1 means they can shred infantry. Very cheap, too at only 10 points each. Autocannons were once the generalist weapon, now it's fairly good against most Xenos transports and is one of the best weapons for taking care of Stormshield Terminators, a lot of characters (unlikely you'll get to shoot them though), and are decent against Bikes and Primaris. Still, the high strength/low penetration thing going on is really a hard sell in this new edition so you may find that although you hit often, especially if buffed by prescience, wound often, the majority of damage can be negated through saves. 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 Lascannon's 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. Lastly, the lascannon, 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).
    • Do note that you shouldn't bother with special weapons, as Chosen are going to be better with them, plain and simple. They can carry 5 to your 4, and that's a big difference even before we look at their other options and extra attack. There should never be a time when you want to take Havocs over Chosen for special weapon duty as you're only gimping yourself.
  • Chaos Land Raider: The Big One. The Fortnite Battle Bus. 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 it's 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 cheaper in CA 2018 meaning they are no longer eating as many points in an army before.
    • As of the current FAQ, this is the only Land Raider available to Chaos Space Marines that ignores penalties for moving and firing heavy weapons, as per Daemonic Machine Spirit. This makes heavy vehicle choice skew EVEN MORE in favour of the Vanilla Party Bus of Doom unless FAQ gives the others the same rule.
  • 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 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.
    • As of CA 2018 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.
  • 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).
  • 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. 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.
  • 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 as of CA 2018 and can be incredibly destructive. How you run him really depends on what you like. 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 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.
  • Chaos Vindicator Laser Destroyer (See Forge World FAQ):
  • Hellforged Rapier Battery[Forge World]: You will likely take these for that 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.
  • 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, and now that the Defiler's points are lower, the hulk's simply not going to give as good a return on investment.
  • 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 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 Scorpius[Forge World]: Chaos finally gets a Whirlwind! Scorpius Multi-Launcher is going to do work shooting targets you cannot see, it can also get a Havoc Launcher but you aren't going to do that since you want it hiding all game. 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.
  • Hellforged Sicaran[Forge World]: This bad boy is deceptively versatile. With a main cannon that suffers no hit penalty when targeting a flying unit, you can move, advance and shoot an Alaitoc hard to hit aircraft (with -2 to hit) on a 3+ when on your top profile. That's an average threat range of 65" to your 8 S7 Ap-1 D2 shots. Rolls of 6 to wound increase the AP to -3 good fun when putting the hurt into skimmers and flyers. Sponson options are Heavy Bolters or Lascannons. With the hull mounted HB as standard, sponson HBs create a nice fast DAKKA unit that let's you throw fistfulls of dice. Lascannons are a good option too, but remember only the Primary Autocannons have the +1 to hit units with the 'fly' keyword. With the Hellforged rule on low wounds it's always an option to throw your Sicaran into combat with and engage Trollface as it's WS is upped to 4+ and watch it bring down a few enemy infantry before going bye-bye
  • 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.
  • 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. A special note goes out to giving all friendly units within 6" a 5++ save (your Havocs and other backline shooters will thank you), making back its points even if it misses every single shot right there. When taking the Deredeo the most important thing to remember, is 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.

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 520 points or 620 points. 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: 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 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 fuck ton 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.
  • Hellforged Spartan Assault Tank: 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). 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: 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.

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. Failcast. (Exception of Kharn, Ahriman and the new Typhus.) 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. My suggestion for you is to steal heavy weapons from the devastators kits.

Recipe for Disaster, or 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, Harken Worldclaimer, and a NEW RAPTORS KIT!

  1. If you play Nurgle or Undivided, get Dark Imperium. Period, no if, and, 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 a set of Kataphrons, cut off the helicopter-looking-blades from the Bloatdrone, attach the treads and slap it on a 40mm base for an Obliterator (trust me, every one counts). 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). 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.
  3. 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 Obliterors, 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?)

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.

Notable Strategies[edit]

Khornate Party Bus[edit]

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 Kharn 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 Kharn 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 Kharn +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 or not 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 with +1A on the charge 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!

Cacophony Blitz[edit]

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 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.

Overwatch is SO Last Edition[edit]

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).

Phoenix Guard 2.0[edit]

Similar to the above, this involves Deep Striking in a Terminator Sorcerer and pulling Warptime shinanigans, but that's where the similarities end. You'll be using Terminators with Lightning Claws instead of Warp Talons, 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 1 (or turn 2 if you feel like gimping yourself with the beta rules for no real benefit), Deep Strike these in (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 stay in combat with an extremely durable opponent that will also get to swing first thanks to the EC Legion Tactics.

Forge World Fuckery[edit]

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.

Surprise Party[edit]

Take a 20 man zerker unit as well as a dark apostle and use the Alpha Legion stratagem to conceal them. You can then set them up 9" from the enemy, guaranteeing a charge if you get first turn. Also consider other cult troops for this role, plague marines or warpflamer rubric marines can provide a massive road block for your opponent. If you don't get the first turn, consider stringing out said road block to hamper enemy movement.

Fuck 40k, we play 30k... and we play it dirty!![edit]

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.

Allahu Alpha Strike[edit]

Grab yourself a Rhino with a Combi-plasma and a Jump Sorcerer or Terminator Sorcerer with Warp Time (note that only Chaos Space Marines can put a Combi-plasma on their Rhinos). Load that shit up with your scary dudes of choice. Move up 12", either follow with or deep strike your Sorcerer nearby and Warp Time for another 12". Pick a target and fire both of the parts of the Combi-plasma for -1 to hit (bonus points if your opponent has a -1 hit modifier on their dudes) and hope for a 1 your rolls; rapid fire also works since getting a 1 on two dice is a bit easier. Due to Combi-plasma just outright killing whatever rolled a 1 on hit, the rhino blows up and is destroyed, and your party of scary dudes pops out (hope for no or minimal casualties on your emergency disembark) and you enjoy your first turn charge.

  • For a very similar chance of getting the plasma shot to destroy the rhino, and a higher chance of reaching melee, take the Black Legion Trait, advance the rhino, the Combi plasma is now an assault 1 weapon, hitting on -1 as you advanced. If shooting at anything with a -1 to hit, anything but a 5 or 6 destroys the rhino and you moved an additional 1-6 inches as well. Plus, as you're black legion, you're guys are less likely to run away when a couple of them die in the explosion.


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.

Undivided Horror Cult[edit]

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 Icon of Despair and a Contemptor, Decimator, Leviathan or Deredeo with a Butcher Cannon or two. This will result in a -5 to the Leadership of anything within 6, actually it will mean -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 Renegade Chapter Chaos Lord with the Lord of Terror Trait. 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 further toss in another -1. The recently added Haarken, 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!

I feel something coming up...[edit]

Note: if you're playing with people using the Rule of Three, you're limited to three Decimators

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.

Warhammer 40,000 Tactics Articles
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