Warhammer 40,000/Tactics/Chaos Space Marines (9E)

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Chaos Space Marines - sorry, Freedom Fighters - are the main antagonists of the Warhammer 40,000 setting, with the Horus Heresy arguably being the most pivotal moment of the WH40K timeline (actually, that award goes to the war in heaven since it created Necrons, Eldars, Orks and the Chaos Gods). 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 (you know, the one with the text to speech device) worshippers to shreds. LET THE GALAXY BURN!

This is the current 9th Edition's Chaos Space Marine tactics. 8th Edition Tactics are here.

Why Play Chaos Space Marines?[edit]

The CSM have a lot going for them. A wide range of models - many of which being recent, fantastic and rich lore, spoiled for options when it comes to units, able to participate in every phase of the game, and rewarding synergy between CHAOS keyword units.

Chaos Marines want to be in the thick of it. Running up the board and slamming into the opposition to rip and tear the soft bodies of their enemies. It's a glorious and terrifying sight that is not for the faint of heart who don't want to see their frothing demon-worshiping psychopaths pumped full of artillery or bolter rounds. A necessary sacrifice to gain the attention of the dark gods and break the enemies' lines.

9th edition has had many positive impacts on the army as a whole. Namely the combination of smaller tables, shorter number of game rounds, and addition of new terrain rules make getting across the table much easier while also making every moment and death count. buying precious time for the greater glory of victory. Monstrous creatures and Vehicles being able to shoot into combat also breathes new life into units such as the defiler, a vintage daemon engine that still serves as a great beatstick/distraction carnifex.

CSM don't have many hyper competitive meta defining lists but that does not mean they struggle by any measure. The 9th Edition Codex has SERIOUSLY improved the power and versatility of Infantry, along with synergy that's been unheard of for this Army. there are few outright terrible choices. As long as you properly support your chosen units you will get shit done. Have a plan for everything you include.

Go forth, desecrate, and conquer!

Getting Started[edit]

Whether you are a fresh recruit to the ways of chaos or a grizzled veteran of the long war returning after a long absence, you will need the most up to date copy of the rules available. Gathered here is an ordered list of all of the books containing rules for this faction and why you might need them

  • Codex Chaos Space Marines, Version 2: Released in 2019, this books bundles in a-lot of the rules introduced in Vigilus Ablaze, If you have the hard-back it contains the most recent point costs taken from the 2018 Chapter Approved.
  • Warhammer Legends: A book of out-of-production models, including mounting HQs. Don't expect these to be actually playable, much less usable on most tables.
  • Imperial Armour Compendium & FAQ: Contains rules to all the fancy Forge World models.
  • Warzone Charadon Book 2: Book of Flame: An upcoming book that's already slated to have compiled all the traits for the various legions from the Psychic Awakening books as well as the other stuff from Psychic Awakening. Hopefully the 9E codex won't be far behind...
  • The 9E Codex is slated for release 2nd of July, 2022. Anyone reading this before then wanting to pick up CSM, hold onto your money for a few weeks. Its been out for 2 month but no-one updated this page. So BEHOLD!

Keep in mind that you're going to want to decide on your playstyle, informed by the units you want to use, and then finally you're going to have to choose a Legion or Renegade Chapter that your army's a part of. The various options can heavily benefit your playstyle

Faction Keywords[edit]

The main keywords you have to keep track of for Chaos Marines are TRAITORIS ASTARTES; <LEGION> which include all the units regarding a particular Legion or Warband.

However, do keep in mind that you can't give the DEATH GUARD, WORLD EATERS or THOUSAND SONS legion keyword since they're no longer part of the Codex. So you can't have DEATH GUARD bikes, and you can't have THOUSAND SONS Warptalons, for example.The fact that both legions now have their own subfactions to focus on just drives home this point further. If you're really desperate to emulate them, just go do it. Using this codex to emulate them isn't going to work since you can't make any of the cult marines into troops. You can however (probably) soup Chaos Marine unit's with there Legion codex's. That depends on if the various marks' of Chaos give the god keyword as a faction keyword. Alternately you could build a Heretic Astartes Detachment that was also a soup of the Various units that have that faction keyword. However in both case the Death Guard, Thousand Son and Presumably World Eaters unit's along with the generic Choas space marines would lose all there monofaction bonus and objective secured, while also locking you out of cultists.

On top of that, you also need to pay attention to the HERETIC ASTARTES (for your CSM), CULTISTS, DAEMONKIN (for the Possessed, Oblits and Warp Talons) and DAEMON ENGINE keywords.


It is worth pointing out that some of these sub armies are happy working along side there generic cousins: Death Guard for example don't have Deadly Pathogens turn off just by having allied detachment the way Sisters of Battle Acts of Faith turn off if not every unit in your army has the correct keyword. So if you must have Deathguard Bikers, just bring a detachment of bikers marked with Nurgle, and don't mention that the legion there actually using is not Death Guard.

Special Character Note

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

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

Marks of Chaos[edit]

The Marks were always a bit of a middle-spot between wargear and keywords for your forces, and this edition especially sees that. Now taking a mark doesn't only cost 15 points, but it also bumps up the unit's Power Level by 1 (which only matters for Strategic Reserves). Each grants you a passive bonus, a keyword that lets you benefit from various God-specific buffs (namely two Stratagems, a Spell all marked psykers automatically know, and one Prayer), and unlocks your Icon's main bonus - Icons are depressingly rare now. Marks only go on Core and Character units, which are mostly Infantry and Bikes, but a Dreadnought can get one too.

  • CHAOS UNDIVIDED: The default option. Offers nothing but a keyword to replace. Said keyword is only ever used to take a meh Daemon weapon and use one meh Stratagem, so not really an option at all.
  • KHORNE: +1 Strength in melee on the turn you charge, get charged, or heroically intervene. Going up from S4 to S5 is usually very nice. The God-Strats are moderately useful, though you can no longer fight twice with them.
    • You might've guessed this, but no, you can't put this mark on any PSYKERS you have. PRIESTS can take it, but nothing is stopping a Tzeentch-aligned Sorceror from buffing your Khornates.
    • RAW could mean that this strength bonus applies to melee weapons with preset strength characteristics.
  • NURGLE: Attacks against a marked unit with a Strength equal to or at least double the unit's Toughness are -1 to-wound, which slightly reduces the impact of handheld weapons like bolters, but also MEQ grinders like plasma, melta, and Battle/Demolisher Cannons. Nurgle Strats are great - becoming untargetable and/or getting Transhuman is nice for objective holders.
  • TZEENTCH: The first failed saving throw for a marked unit each turn deals 0 damage, letting you shrug off massive blows like lascannons and meltas. 'Each turn' means twice per round, your turn and enemy turn. The God-Strats are very situational.
    • If you want durability, go Nurgle. Savvy players will shoot you with boltgun equivalents to render the Mark useless, so the mark is only worth it with the accompanying Icon, or for Characters who can avoid being shot at.
  • SLAANESH: Marked units always fight first. Sounds quite abusable. The God-Strats are too fiddly for their own good.
    • In case you've forgotten, the EMPEROR'S CHILDREN must take this mark on any unit that can take it, which is quite costly.

Icons of Chaos[edit]

Only available to legionaries (which include noise marines and khorne berzerkers), chosen and bikes. If you're going through the effort of getting these units a mark you might as well spend the 5 points to give them an icon as well.

  • Icon of Chaos: This is what you buy when you get the Icon Keyword. +1 to combat attrition tests. Not worth it on its own, but when you buy a mark, it's automatically upgraded.
  • KHORNE: A unit with this Icon improves their melee weapon's AP by 1.
  • NURGLE: A unit with this Icon auto-wound on 6 to hit for ranged attacks.
  • TZEENTCH: A unit with this Icon improves their ranged weapon's AP by 1.
  • SLAANESH: A unit with this ICON gets +1 to hit in melee.

These can be put on any model in the unit, so put it on what you deem the most important, be it the Sergeant, heavy weapons gunner or the Balefire psyker.

Special Rules[edit]

As expected, Troops gain Objective Secured. That's right, even your cultists can cap points. Suck on that, you god-lovers.

  • Let The Galaxy Burn: Replaces DttFE and is now your Doctrine Equivalent. It gives you exploding sixes to hit (i.e. the equivalent of +1 BS/WS, as appropriate) with certain weapons during certain turns AND synergizes with flame weapons by giving you 2 additional hits on top of whatever you roll. Compared to Combat Doctrines, your Let the Galaxy Burn has more overlap between weapon types (Rapid Fire is active in Destruction and Massacre, while Assault is active in Massacre and Carnage)
    • You start the game with Wanton Destruction, letting Heavy, Rapid-Fire, and Grenade (why???) weapons score an extra hit on a nat 6 to hit.
    • At turn 2, you go to Wanton Massacre, letting Rapid-Fire, Assault, and Pistol weapons score an extra hit on a nat 6 to hit.
    • On either turn 3 or 4, you switch to Wanton Slaughter, letting Assault, Pistol, and Melee weapons score an extra hit on a nat 6 to hit.
      • Recapping, that's:
        • Flame Weapons: Turn 1 onward.
        • Grenade and Heavy: Turn 1.
        • Rapid Fire: Turns 1, 2, and optionally 3.
        • Assault and Pistol: Turn 2 onward.
        • Melee: Turn 3 or 4 onward, depending on when you ditch Rapid Fire.
        • Weapons that automatically hit which aren't Flame Weapons: never, so consider ditching these.
    • The additional hits with flame weapons is extra spicy lit considering the D2 on Baleflamers and other unique hellfire weapons. The benefit of exploding 6s to hit vs additional AP is debatable, as in the era of AoC, more AP is better than AP-1 and AP0, but quantity has a quality all on its own, especially when it acts like +1 skill.
      • Looking at it you can clearly see what you're supposed to do. On the first turn you plink away your heavy weapons and small arms, then on the second as the range closes your assault and pistol weapons get better while heavy weapons lose the buff, then when you ready you go to wanton carnage and let melee weapons get the buff instead of rapid fire.
  • Armour of Contempt: The Q2 2022 Balance Dataslate came ringing in again to show how much GW fucking LOVES Space Marines. Now any attacks against your army reduce their AP by 1, now absolutely forcing enemies to grab their AP2 guns. The only time this doesn't apply is if you already have a shield (though you don't exactly have any models who could) or any other AP reduction power.
    • Though there's no reason to take Rubrics in a standard Chaos Marine list, the restriction doesn't apply to "All is Dust" as that rule adds +1 to armor saves, not modify AP.
  • Champions of Chaos: The HQ restriction clause. Only one Daemon Prince, Chaos Lord and Dark Commune in a detachment.
  • Daemon Engine: You've got a lot of biomechanical monsters on your side. These beasts not only get a 5++ save, but they can also restore a wound once per round.
  • Daemon Weapon: Some weapons...aren't so happy being used by people. Each time the bearer fights, they must pass a Leadership test. If they fail, you have to pick between either d3 mortal wounds or not use the weapon for that phase to save your skin.
  • Malicious Volleys: 2nd Edition Returns. Any Heretic Astartes model using a Rapid Fire bolt weapon can take double the listed attacks (2 for Bolters, 4 for Combi-bolters, etc) if at least one of the following is true:
    • The target is in half range.
    • The model is Infantry that didn't move in the Movement Phase.
    • The firing model is a Terminator or Biker.
      • Opinion: This isn't the most powerful rule by any means, but it kindles some life into small arms fire as well as increasing the effective range of Terminator Combi-bolters. Compared to the Imperium, you don't have as many bolt weapon varieties and lack Hurricane Bolters or Bolt Rifles to make use of the rule. What you do have though is Rubric Marines - who will love this rule. It also indirectly increases marine survivability as it gives Marine Squads the option of being able to sit in cover or on an objective and still benefit from rapid firing. Take a few squads with bolters and a heavy bolter or two and post them up on an objective for some solid objective campers. You can also do the same with regular terminators, 10 termies with combi bolters now always put out 40 shots in the shooting phase. Paired with their Melee abilities this makes them one of the most versatile units in the entire game, able to deal with hordes and vehicles alike.
  • Mere Mortals: You can't take more cultists than you can anything else and your Dark Commune can't be the warlord. On top of that, they also can't benefit from your Legion traits, which is pretty fucked up considering the push they got. Similarly to the previous Chaos Codices, you have to bring a Core Troop, essentially making it illegal to play solely with the shiny new cultists on their own. It's probably so they can make you buy another book to get an Army of Renown that lets you do it, which makes this rule even more bitter to taste.
  • Martial Legacy: Relic unit rules for certain Forge World models. If your army is battle-forged, you must pay 1 additional CP for a detachment that includes a unit with this rule.

Warlord Traits[edit]

  1. Flames Of Spite: Re-rolls to wound and on a natural 6+ to wound 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 in position to gain additional attacks from LTGB.
  2. Unholy Fortitude: 5+++ FNP. Just about any warlord will benefit from this trait, which includes Cypher, who has this as his WT.
  3. Hatred Incarnate: You must re-roll all hit rolls in melee made by your Warlord, and any fight where the warlord charges or heroically intervenes grants a +1 to Strength and Attacks. 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. Otherwise just average.
  4. Lord of Terror: Enemy units within 6 inches must roll 2 dice for morale and use the highest result, and any who fail that count as being at half-strength for the following attrition check. 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 opponent discard the lowest die result is very good. Haarken Worldclaimer gets this, which works wonders for him.
  5. Eternal Vendetta: At the start of the game, mark one enemy unit. Any <Legion> Core or Character within 6" of the warlord can re-roll to wound this chosen enemy, which can help you reliably nail the worst of your enemy's forces. This is one of Abaddon's three WTs, and the only one from the core list.
  6. Gaze of the Gods: 4++ Invuln and the ability to act as if all three not-doctrines are active, which can lead to a lot of extra attacks going out on a good attack.

Psychic Powers[edit]

  1. Infernal Gaze: Warp Charge 5. Pick an enemy unit within 18" to have a staring contest with and roll 3 dice (6 if you rolled a 10+ to cast); 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. 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+ or plasma. You will be wasting the effect since a to hit roll of 1 always fails to hit, regardless of modifiers, while Plasma always overloads on a natural 1.
    • Let the Galaxy Burn took a lot of kick out of this power, as its perks now only trigger on a natural 6 to hit. Now all you can use this for is to guarantee that your cultists will hit on a reasonable roll and ignore the effects of cover.
  3. Diabolic Strength: Warp Charge 6. Targeted model, not unit, within 12" of the Psyker gains +2 to Strength and Attacks. Sadly, the best benefactors of this (the Daemon Prince and Helbrute) can no longer benefit from this, as the spell only works on <Legion> Infantry and unnameable beasts. That said, power fists and big chainaxes aren't exactly terrible places to throw this power on, nor is an unpredictable barrage of attacks from a gribbly mess.
  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 durable Deathstars like Stormshield Terminators OR 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 when it works, it WORKS.
  5. Gift of Chaos: Warp Charge 7. The closest enemy unit within 18" immediately suffers d3 mortal wounds. After that, roll a d6 for every enemy within 6" of that target; on a 4+, that unit takes 1 MW worth of splash damage. Honestly, all it has become is a blast-like version of Smite that does less damage and no longer spits out gribblies on a kill.
  6. Warptime: Warp Charge 6. Pick a friendly <Legion> Infantry or gribbly unit within 3"; that unit can immediately make a normal move. This however bars the unit from charging and they still count as advancing if they did that before you cast this spell. Generally something to use to nudge some legionaries closer to ideal dakka range.

These powers are unique to the Master of Possession. As you'd expect, they're all about powering up your daemonic units, which includes your Daemon Engines, although two of them are usable on any Cores. That's right, you can now make a Master of Possession your Helbrute's bestie.

  1. Warp Marked: Warp Charge 7. Mark one enemy within 18". Until your next turn, any <LEGION> DAEMONKIN/DAEMON ENGINE can add +1 to wound that enemy, which can help push them over the edge on hitting notably tanky things.
  2. Pact of Flesh: Warp Charge 5. Pick one <LEGION> DAEMONKIN/CORE/CHARACTER within 18". They regain 1d3 wounds then resurrect one missing model at full wounds. You can now cosplay a Chief Apothecary and resurrect 5W dudes for free.
  3. Cursed Earth: Warp Charge 7. Gives one <LEGION> DAEMONKIN/DAEMON ENGINE unit within 6" a flat 4++ Invuln. In addition, whenever an enemy charges them, roll a d6; On a 2+ the enemy takes a mortal wound, which increases to d3 on a 6. While the support bubble is gone, this does give an extra layer of protection against any aggressors.
  4. Possession: Warp Charge 6. Mark one enemy within 9" to haunt and roll a d6 (+1 if the psychic test was a 10+). If this roll beats the enemy's toughness, then one model in that unit immediately dies. If that unit's still around after that, you can deal d3 more mortal wounds. Against marines, this is a gamble for only two kills on average. Against anything else, this can lead to a pretty nifty way to break a few members of a squad, though you can't pick out who dies so as to fuck over special weapons.
  5. Infernal Power: Warp Charge 6. Pick one <LEGION> DAEMONKIN/DAEMON ENGINE within 18". This unit auto-wounds on a natural 6 to hit, which can stack with LtGB for some additionally cruel funtimes.
  6. Mutated Invigoration: Warp Charge 7. One friendly unit gains +1 to either Strength or Toughness for a bit of a flexible buff. If you roll a 10 on the psychic check and target a <LEGION> DAEMONKIN/DAEMON ENGINE unit, you can put this on both Strength and Toughness, giving extra melee power.

Now absolutely confirmed to work on any psykers. A psyker of Nurgle, Slaanesh, or Tzeentch must take their god's power on top of whatever else they know. All of these powers increase the durability of marked units in different ways. All of them are WC 6 and target a <DEITY> <LEGION> unit within 18", meaning all of them can be used on the psyker casting them.

  • SLAANESH - Delightful Agonies: Warp Charge 6. Targets a SLAANESH <Legion> unit within 18"; that unit gains a 5+++ FNP. Cast on your 10-man Terminator squad and drink your enemy's tears.
  • NURGLE Miasma of Pestilence: Warp Charge 6. A NURGLE <Legion> unit within 18" is protected by a cloud of flies and enemies targeting them suffer a -1 to hit. Flip off those +1 to-hit spammers.
  • TZEENTCH - Skeins of Fate: Warp Charge 6. A TZEENTCH <Legion> unit within 18" gets a 4++ save. Unlike last edition, this is now a flat invuln, meaning you can't do something dickish like slap this onto an LR Achilles for a super-tank.

Prayers to the Dark Gods[edit]

Have you even wanted your expensive (at least in terms of real world money) plastic models to pray to Satan?

There are 11 total prayers that dark apostles now have access to; 1 that every apostle has by default, 6 that you can choose from, and 1 prayer for each chaos god that are known in addition depending on the apostle's mark, if it has one. Each apostle can attempt to chant 1 prayer per battle round on a roll of a 3+ or a 2+ if there is at least one dark disciple nearby. Each prayer can only be attempted once per battle round.

  • Dark Zealotry: If this prayer is heard you can re-roll hit rolls in the fight phase for friendly <Legion> Core, Cultists or Character units within 6" of this priest.
    • A classic, always a good buff to have. Ironically, completely useless on Word Bearers. (Except cultists, who don't get the legion trait)
  1. Benediction of Darkness Friendly <Legion> Core, Cultists or Character units wholly within 6" gain light cover. This can give the Lord Discordant and Daemon Prince cover, helping them stay alive to reach melee. Getting free cover is pretty great in an Armour Of Contempt world, but be mindful that you have to be wholly within, so blobbing up your whole army will be a tight squeeze.
  2. Litany of Despair: Pick an enemy unit and roll 3D6. If this beats the unit's Leadership, then you can pick to either rob them of the ability to perform actions and cancel any in progress, or make them unable to fire overwatch/set to defend and fight last. Two situational effects in one prayer, with a decently reliable (except against custodes, or any army with a chaplain) trigger.
  3. Omen of Potency: Add 3 to this priest's attacks characteristic. In addition, the priest's non-relic melee weapons improve their AP by 2 for a smasher. BONK
  4. Warp-Sight Plea: Pick one friendly <Legion> Core, Cultists or Character unit within 6" of the priest. This unit re-rolls 1s to hit when shooting and ignores cover. Slightly better than a lord nearby, slightly worse than prescience. if you're playing Iron Warriors, definitely skip this.
  5. Soultearer Portent: Pick one friendly <Legion> Core, Cultists or Character unit within 6" of this priest. This unit gets +1 to wound in melee. A solid buff, letting anyone with more than 4 strength wound everything in the game on 4s. Also fire and forget, so you can stick this on raptors or a unit running off to go kill stuff.
  6. Illusory Supplication: Pick one <Legion> Core, Cultists or Character unit within 6" of the priest. This unit can't be hit on anything better than a 4+ and hit rolls against them can't be re-rolled. A very nice defensive buff to chuck on anything you think will be attacked. Most armies hit on 3s so this is at least -1 to hit and no rerolls for extra spice. Use this VS a custodes player to make them cry.
  • Blissful DevotionSlaanesh: If this prayer is heard, one <Legion> Slaanesh Core or Character unit can charge after advancing, which can help improve the threat range of some nearby aggressors they advanced alongside. A fantastic buff, put it on Abaddon or some other Slaanesh marked combat unit and rocket them up the board into your opponent's face.
  • Feculent BeseechmentNurgle: If this prayer is heard, one <Legion> Nurgle Core or Character within 6" gets +1 toughness. Mediocre, and kinda has anti synergy with the mark of nurgle, as both effects are effectively -1 to wound. However, this is decent if you're pumping something up from being 1 toughness down (ie legionaries vs heavy bolters), as it effectively becomes -2 to wound from pushing the toughness into range for the nurgle mark to kick in.
  • Mutating InvocationTzeentch: If this prayer is heard, the apostle gets his narthecium out and gives all <Legion> Tzeentch Core or Character units within 3" a 6+++ FNP for a bit of extra tankiness. Doesn't have much synergy with the mark, as the mark already turns the first failed save into damage 0. The range is, as it requires them to be practically next to the priest, although you can toe in several units. However there are better defensive prayers without the tzeentch pricing and keyword restriction.
  • Wrathful Entreaty Khorne: If this prayer is heard, one <Legion> Khorne Core or Character unit within 6" will count as being under all three not-Doctrines, granting them all the chances to score extra hits at any point in the game with any weapon. Pretty decent, allowing you to put havocs back into destruction, or a melee unit forward into slaughter.

Relics[edit]

We've got a great selection of relics for both killing and durability, as well as some decent utility ones.

Unlike previous editions, as long as your army is battle-forged you now get a single free relic and can pay CP to get 1 or 2 more. You can't give them to any named characters (as usual) and <Cultists> can only take a limited selection of relics, but any unit Champion can take a relic from a certain pool using the Trophies of the Long War stratagem. These are marked with *** in the list below.

God-specific Relics are restricted to characters with the appropriate <mark of chaos>. Daemon Weapons are a type of relic found in the codex that no longer replace a specific weapon but instead upgrades any existing weapon (except the legs on the helstalker). Each time the bearer fights, they must pass a Leadership test by rolling 2d6 and hoping to roll equal to or less than their Leadership. If they fail, you have to pick between either d3 mortal wounds or not using any Daemon Weapons for that phase to save your skin.

  • The Black Mace***: Replaces a power maul, accursed crozius, or accursed weapon. Melee weapon with S+2 AP-2 D3. A little weaker to wound, but any damage this mace makes always spills over to other models in that unit, making it an incredible horde clearer. The only way your Dark Apostle can get a properly killy melee weapon outside of being a Word Bearer or praying real hard. An amazing solution to all your T6 or less problems, this beauty can do it all, whether that's smashing terminators into tins of beans or clearing out a horde like you're Sauron. Limited AP lets it down, but khornate champions with icons can get an extra point, and characters have enough attacks so that they'll always be getting some damage through.
  • Black Rune of Damnation***: Usable by cultists, but they shouldn't. This gives the entire unit a -1 to be wounded by attacks, an amazing durability buff that makes terminators or possessed downright unreasonably tough, and also has an 18" aura that forces enemy psykers to suffer perils when they roll any doubles on their psychic checks. Fantastic relic, pretty much an auto include on the champion of any unit that's intended to be durable.
  • Blade of the Relentless***: Replaces a power sword, daemon blade or accursed weapon. S+1 AP-4 D2 that gives an additional attack as well as a natural 6 to hit doing 2 flat mortals instead of continuing the attack sequence. Decent enough upgrade, not as good as the black mace at horde clearing or character killing but has amazing AP, boostable even higher with a khornate icon to make an AP-5 can opener.
  • Gorget of Eternal Hate: Makes Chaos Lords and MoEs into absolute units. +1 to armour saving throws, a 4++ invuln, and the ability to deal d3 mortal wounds on a 2+, or flat 3 on a 6+ to enemies within 3" upon death makes this a very tempting grab on anyone, especially since this can work on terminator lords and sorcerers to ignore shit like plasma guns that can get past even AoC. Put this on a lord discordant to make an incredibly tough monster that then smites everything in an area a mile wide when they finally do die.
  • The Inferno TomePriest only: You know one more prayer and every time you successfully make a prayer, the closest visible enemy within 18" takes d3 mortal wounds, letting you deal some off-turn damage while supporting your forces. Decent, but with no way to cast more than once if you're taking this it's somewhat mediocre.
  • Liber HereticusPsyker only:The bearer can cast one additional power per turn and improves the range of their powers by 6". Amazingly, there are no restrictions on this, so feel free to blast an 18" Death Hex on pesky Custodes, or sit in the backline and spam Smite safely. An incredible relic, letting you pop both your known spells and your god one each turn.
  • Mantle of Traitors: A support-based relic, providing re-rolls to hit in melee and a single-use ability to use an Epic Deed strat without spending RP. Its biggest buff is its ability to use the Lord of Chaos, Aspire to Glory, or Demagogue (Chaos Lord/Aspiring Champion re-rolls and the Apostle's leadership buff) abilities on any <Legion> Core unit on the board instead of relying on range. Somewhat situational. Note that the only relevant epic deeds in the core stratagems are the apostle's auto-passing out of phase and tzeentch psykers casting another/actioning and casting, so look at your legion and judge accordingly.
  • The Warp's Malice***: Replaces a bolt pistol. This is a super pistol bar none, with Pistol 2 (Pistol 4 if in Wanton Massacre or Wanton Slaughter) S5 AP-2 D2 with natural 6s to hit making those hits into 2 mortal wounds, as well as an extra 6" range. This makes your hero into a super-dakka marine, capable of gunning down quite a lot. Possibly the only good bolt pistol replacement in the whole game, and ironically still not good compared to the alternatives.
  • Ul’o’cca, The BlackDaemon Weapon: Any successful wound roll also causes 1 mortal wound in addition to any other damage. Since this can work on anything, this becomes a lot less of a liability because that 1 MW can be pretty easily scored, especially on a power fist or hammer. Pretty decent, essentially a better version of mastercrafting a weapon.
  • Talisman of Burning Blood: +1 Attack, scoring another attack each time the bearer kills a unit. ANY KILLS. PERMANENTLY. Feed this guy some MSU and then chuck him at a tank with all those extra attacks to bring that fucker down!
    • Oh, and there's an expanded 6" heroic intervention range. Cool if you bother with that.
  • Zaall, the WrathfulDaemon Weapon: Adds +d3 damage to any existing damage, which can be pretty devastating on the right weapon. Slap this on a Khornate Executions Master's axe and you can pretty easily murder any characters. Good on pretty much anything, but you particularly want it on a weapon with good chances to actually wound and penetrate. Daemon princes with d3+3 swords anyone?
  • Orb of Unlife: A single use acid grenade. On a hit, the unit takes d3 mortal wounds which improves to d3+3 mortal wounds when hitting a unit of 11+ models or under Wanton Destruction. Even better is that the survivors of this attack take a permanent -1 to Toughness for the rest of the game, leaving them exposed to a band of legionaries or cultists that'll shoot next. Pretty situational due to being a grenade, but good against giant tanks like knights or daemon primarchs.
  • G'holl'ax, the DecayedDaemon Weapon: Upgrades a weapon to auto-wound on any hit, and ignore any feel no pains or per phase wound locks. Extremely funny to wound titans with a chainsword. While saves are still an issue, you can use this to eliminate any issues with Strength, so power swords or anything with high ap is your friend. Also fantastic against transhuman. The best Daemon Weapon.
  • Intoxicating Elixir: Once per game, the bearer can drink this during the fight phase so they can gain +d3 attacks and limits them to only losing a maximum of 3 wounds in that phase. AKA Suicide Juice. Do something silly like get charged by a knight, drink your kool aid and laugh as they bounce off you, then hit them back. Because you're Slaanesh you also fight first on your turn, so you can get two rounds of combat in a row if you get charged.
  • Thaa’ris and Rhi’ol, The RapaciousDaemon Weapon: Upgrades 2 melee weapons of your choice. Each weapon gains +d3 attacks whenever they fight. If you want a light infantry shredding character then these aren't the worst choice around. The downside is that using two weapons means that you've gotta take your lumps if they bitch at you. Also has limited use on a Daemon Prince as it competes with the Intoxicating Elixir, and malefic talons (for the second weapon) aren't that good. Put these on a lord with two power fists and beat someone up.
  • Eye of Tzeentch: Psyker only. Add +1 to all psychic tests. In addition, rolling an unmodified 9+ for a cast makes it impossible to deny. Expanding the boost to all powers makes this a lot more conducive to pick, especially if you're planning on spamming powers out the ass. Compared to the Liber Hereticus, this is better for getting specific powers off but lets you cast less overall.
  • Q'd'ak, the BoundlessDaemon Weapon: Upgrades a weapon to negate any invulnerable saves against it. Decent, but a lot of our melee weapons lack AP anyway, so chances are you're only really reducing saves by 1 more than you normally would. Makes Clowns cry, though.

Stratagems[edit]

  • Daemonforge (1/2 CP): Select a DAEMON ENGINE in either the Shooting or Fight phase. Their WS and BS improve by +1 for the phase. Notably, it modifies your characteristic, not the roll, so it will stack with stuff like Prescience and the like. A Forgefiend can now 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. Costs 2 CP for TITANIC models.
  • Death to the False Emperor! (1 CP): Your TRAITORIS ASTARTES units can re-roll to hit enemy adeptus astartes or santic astartes unit in melee. Especially needed if you're carrying along something that can breach through AOC.
  • Fury of Khorne (1 CP): During the Fight phase, one KHORNE TRAITORIS ASTARTES unit will auto-wound on 6s to hit. It's a very clear step down from what last year gave you, but it's now much cheaper. Just remember, when LTGB activates, you only get one autowound, and you still need to roll to wound for that bonus hit.
  • Grandfather's Blessings (1/2 CP): Whenever a NURGLE TRAITORIS ASTARTES unit is attacked, they cannot be wounded on anything better than a 4+ (it interacts weirdly with the Mark itself - it discards unmodified rolls while the mark modifies them conditionally, so pay attention). This goes quite a way in making them tankier, especially if you hit one of the strike zones where your mark would take effect. Costs 2 CP for a unit with over 5 models, which is a bargain on Helbrutes and Termies.
  • Hatred Eternal (2 CP): At the end of a shooting or assault phase, one unit of Legionaries (that being the base CSM, no cult marines, no chosen, just the troops) can shoot or fight again. Ohhh, expect to abuse this with abandon.
  • Murderous Perfection (1 CP): Whenever a SLAANESH TRAITORIS ASTARTES unit fights or shoots, you can make one hit, wound or damage roll automatically count as a 6. Save it for power fists or a Dd6 gun that can potentially finish off a tank. Mark of Slaanesh is still legit on Havocs it seems.
  • Veterans of the Long War (2 CP): Select a TRAITORIS ASTARTES INFANTRY/biker unit when it's selected to attack in the Shooting or Fight phase. They add 1 to all their wound rolls for the rest of the phase, meaning that this will also stack on bonus hits from LtGB.
    • Hilarious on a unit of flamer Chosen, but this makes melta squads much more reliable against T8 targets, too.
    • Do not underestimate using this stratagem with mass bolters (and/or sonic blasters), especially against toughness 7 models. Having an S4 weapon wound a Predator on a 4+ is no small thing. And let's 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 Hatred Eternal, but you're also spending 4 CP on Troops, so you'd better make it worth it.
  • Wrath of the Chosen (1 CP): Select one unit of Chosen or Terminators during the shooting or fight phase. This unit adds +1 to hit for the rest of the phase.
  • Blasphemous Machines (1/2 CP): Pick one traitoris astartes machine spirit or traitoris astartes daemon engine with 10+ wounds during the Command phase. This unit will now count as having max wounds for the sake of any damage tracks, making it very handy for a kamikaze run for Maulerfiends, Helstalkers and Land Raiders. Costs 2 CP for titanic models.
    • While daemon engines are everywhere, machine spirit units are quite rare. In fact, only the vanilla Raider has it, from the looks of it. It might very well (and really should) change in the future, but we'll see.
  • Fell Prayers (2 CP): One priest who didn't pray that turn can automatically make a prayer without needing to roll. Very useful for a dark apostle emerging from their transport.
  • Fire Frenzy (1 CP): Use on an unengaged Helbrute unit that was hit during an opponent's shooting phase, regardless of whether or not it lost wounds. It may fire all its weapons but can only target the nearest visible enemy unit or the unit who hit it. Very nice when that tank in front of your multimelta/missile launcher 'brute really needs to die and can be cheesed to total a transport if your enemy tries to kill it before the transport could unload.
  • The Great Sorcerer (1 CP): Use at the end of your Psychic phase; a TZEENTCH TRAITORIS ASTARTES PSYKER can attempt to manifest one additional power or commit a psychic action after casting. Due to you normally knowing as many non-Smite powers as you can cast, this usually amounts to an extra Smite.
  • Aspiring Lord (1 CP): Mandatory "Bonus WT on new character" strat.
  • Gifts of Chaos (1 CP): Mandatory "Bonus Relic" strat, but you can give a marked character a second relic - as long as it isn't a daemon weapon and one of the relics replaces a weapon. This doesn't require you to only pick from the universal relics RAW, which can seriously ease your issues with decisions, especially for marked characters.
  • Trophies of the Long War (1 CP): Gives a sergeant a relic, and you've got a FUCK TON of relics to pick from, ranging from the various warbands and legions...
    • Hyper-Growth Bolts, Maelstrom's Bite, Ashen Axe, the Armour Diabolus, Viper's Spite, Icon of the Hydra Cult, Distortion, Armour of Abhorrence, Talons of the Night Terror, Claw of the Stygian Count, Spitespitter, Axe of the Forgemaster, Loyalty's Reward, Trophies of Slaughter, Black Mace, Warp's Malice, Blade of the Relentless, Black Rune of Damnation.
  • Contempt over Caution (1/2 CP): Select one Legion CORE unit in the shooting phase, until the end of the phase, that unit can do a Valhalla and shoot at enemies engaged in combat, so long as all the friendlies in engagement range are part of your LEGION. Every hit roll of 1, and you can't reroll any of your rolls, is resolved on your models. It costs 1CP if the enemy is engaged with Cultists, 2 CP if they're engaged with anything else.
    • Ironically, there won't be any friendly fire if you use flamers.
  • Excessive Cruelty (2 CP): Whenever an enemy falls back from fighting a SLAANESH TRAITORIS ASTARTES unit, you can either consolidate that unit 3" or shoot the runners, allowing them to continue their carnage after breaking a unit.
  • Unending Destruction (2 CP): Use this Stratagem in your Shooting phase. Select one TRAITORIS ASTARTES INFANTRY unit from your army (excluding CULTISTS units) that is performing an action. That unit can shoot this phase without that action failing.
  • Ritual offerings(1 CP): If you kill something with Cultists, they automatically pass Morale Tests and add 1 to their hit roll.
    • Is it really worth it to spend 1 CP to give you better Cultists? The only point to it is that it's actually possible to have too much CP due to Nephilim capping CP at 6 and giving you a CP every player's Command Phase, but there's still better options.
  • Scorn of Sorcery(1 CP): Use this Stratagem in your opponent’s Psychic phase, after a Psychic test is passed for an enemy PSYKER unit and after any Deny the Witch test is taken. If that enemy PSYKER unit is within 24" of any TRAITORIS ASTARTES KHORNE units from your army, roll one D6: on a 4+, that psychic power is denied.
    • The FUCK NERDS stratagem. Save it for when they try to do Psychic Actions for VP, since they won't be able to do it again until their next turn (and then you get to do it again). If anyone is dumb enough to take Warp Ritual, any Psyker within 6" of the center will probably be in range of this.
  • Shroud of Flies(3/2 CP): Use this Stratagem at the start of your opponent’s Shooting phase. Select one TRAITORIS ASTARTES NURGLE unit from your army. Until the end of the phase, each time an enemy model shoots, if that NURGLE unit is not the closest eligible target or within 12" of that model, then until that shooting is resolved, that model cannot target that NURGLE unit. If that NURGLE unit has the MONSTER, VEHICLE, TERMINATOR or BIKER keyword, this Stratagem costs 3CP; otherwise, it costs 2CP.
    • Abuse the shit out of this by putting it on someone on an objective.
  • Terrifying Phenomena (1 CP):Use this Stratagem at the start of the Morale phase. Select one enemy unit within 12" of a TRAITORIS ASTARTES CHAOS UNDIVIDED unit from your army. Until the end of the phase:
    • Your opponent cannot select that unit for the Insane Bravery Stratagem, and cannot use any rule that would allow them to re-roll a Morale test for that unit.
    • If that unit fails a Morale test, any action it is performing immediately fails.
  • Relentless Devastation (1 CP): Use this Stratagem in your Movement phase, when a TRAITORIS ASTARTES INFANTRY unit (excluding CULTISTS units) from your army makes a Normal Move or Advances. Until the end of your Shooting phase, provided that unit does not move again, it is considered to have Remained Stationary.
  • Tide of Traitors (1 CP): Use this Stratagem in your Command phase. Select one CULTISTS MOB unit from your army that is either within 6" of a battlefield edge or within 6" of your deployment zone. Up to D3+3 destroyed models can be added back to that unit. These returned models cannot be set up within Engagement Range of any enemy units, unless those enemy units are already within Engagement Range of that CULTISTS MOB unit. You can spam it now if you really want that blob to hold, although it is very unlikely the usual minsquad of objective-humpers will survive contact with any kind of firepower.
  • Vicious Descent (1 CP): When a JUMP PACK TRAITORIS ASTARTES (Read: Raptors and Warp Talons) charge, roll an additional d6 for each model in that squad that enters engagement range. Every roll that exceeds the target's Toughness scores a mortal wound. This gives you a good opening salvo against the damned 2W loyalists and can add even further to breaking a GEQ squad.
  • Warp-Born Foresight (2 CP): When an enemy arrives as reinforcements within 12" of a a TZEENTCH TRAITORIS ASTARTES unit, this unit can immediately shoot these interlopers, allowing you to foil deep-strike heavy armies.
  • Winds of the Warp (1 CP): One TRAITORIS ASTARTES BIKERS/JUMP PACK unit that either advanced or deep-striked in is -1 to shoot. Hit penalizers are always welcome, especially on units who like to drop into Rapid Fire range.
  • Daemon Shells (1 CP): When a TRAITORIS ASTARTES unit fires their bolt weapons, they improve their range by +6" and improve their AP by 1. Heavy Bolters become capable of actually breaching marine armor. Literally only worth it on Tzeentch Icon Bearers, because now you've got 30" AP2 bolters. Turns out Daemons can make you just as effective as Cawl's toys
  • Infernal Engine (1/2 CP): When an enemy shoots at one of your DAEMON ENGINE units, all incoming damage is reduced by 1. Costs 2 CP for TITANIC models. For extra fun, pop it on stuff that is already -1 to-hit, like Heldrakes and Smoking Defilers.
  • Skyshrike Missile (1 CP): When a Traitoris Astartes Infantry model shoots a missile launcher at an enemy AIRCRAFT unit, make a single hit roll with +1 to hit. If you hit, do 2d3 mortal wounds instead of rolling to wound. Really useful in case the opponent is packing Flyers, with jetpacks of all kinds no longer counting.
    • Important Note!: This only affects 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.
  • Smokescreen (1 CP): Unit with Smokescreen can become -1 to-hit in the shooting phase. Notably, Defilers still have smoke launchers.

Secondaries[edit]

Try to prioritize secondaries you know you can get before secondaries you might get and always be aware of what you're up against while choosing between all of them. Note that the various legions and warbands also have their own special objective as well.

  • Assassinate: Highly dependent on the list you're running. Psychic heavy armies have an easier time with this given their ability to spam Infernal Gaze (for targeted mortals), and an Alpha Legion character with the Warp's Malice and Headhunter wlt should be able to pretty reliably score this one. The issue is, somewhat obviously, that good screening can more or less make this impossible.
  • Bring it Down: If you've got plenty of anti-armor/monster this isn't a terrible take. The only caveat is if you're up against a horde of infantry this will be worth maybe 3-5 points, at best.
  • Rise to Glory CSM Exclusive: At the end of the battle round, score 2 victory points for each CHARACTER, MONSTER or VEHICLE model destroyed that battle round by a melee attack made by a TRAITORIS ASTARTES CHARACTER model from your army. If such a destroyed model had a Wounds characteristic of 10-19, score 1 additional victory point for destroying that model, or 2 additional victory points for destroying that model if it had a Wounds characteristic of 20 or more or it was the enemy WARLORD. You can score a maximum of 5 victory points per battle round from this secondary objective.
    • Each time a CHARACTER, MONSTER or VEHICLE model is destroyed by a melee attack made by a TRAITORIS ASTARTES CHARACTER model from your army, roll 2D6. If the result is less than the Wounds characteristic of the destroyed model, gain 1 Command point at the end of the phase.
    • Situational, because it requires that they were destroyed in melee, and by a Character.
  • Abhor the Witch: A Khorne army will take this no question, but it can be built towards with any legions with a little forethought. Not wildly recommended as the CSM psychic is generally very strong.
  • Psychic Interrogation: Score 3 points each time you pass a WC4 action within 24" of an enemy character. This is easy points against someone with weak psychic defenses like Tau or Necrons, especially with the decent range of the action. With the Great Sorceror stratagem, you won't even miss out on casts!
  • Psychic Ritual: Can be tricky, as you need to A) keep your psyker alive in the center and B) you need to keep the enemy out of the center for a majority of the game. Not impossible, especially against more ranged armies, but very difficult against close range armies since they'll be coming at you and naturally taking up space in the center.
  • Pierce the Veil: Complete a psychic action 2 times for 8 points or 4 times for 15 points if you can get within 6" of your opponent's battlefield edge and more than 6" away from any of their units. It's fine. A terminator sorcerer with some termy friends can drop down in the back line and start piercing that veil while weathering the inevitable storm of bullets coming at them on your opponent's next turn. Consider marking the terminators with Tzeentch and giving them Weavers for a 4++ to really squeeze out as much durability from them as you can.
  • No Prisoners: Maybe against Necrons since you can farm points off of the reanimation rolls, but otherwise The Long War is just better.
  • Grind Them Down: Kill more of them than they kill of you. This one is (in this anon's humble opinion) an absolute trap. You'd think it'd be as simple as hitting them hard and fast and trying to outlast them based on just having more value on the table, but we're such a glass cannon army that keeping our guys alive through the battle round only really happens if you're hiding out of LOS or your dice are rolling hot. Just take The Long War.
  • The Long WarCodex: You get 1 point for wiping a unit off of an objective or 2 points for taking an objective away from an opposing unit to a max of 3 per turn. This should be a go to pick against anything that isn't Knight shaped and even then it still isn't bad. If you're playing the objectives like you're supposed to, you'll be getting points from this and there's nothing your opponent can do about it. Unless they opt to stay off the objectives, but if that's happening you pretty much just win anyway.
  • Engage on All Fronts: Usually an auto-take, since you'll typically get some points just by virtue of playing the game. If you take Retrieve Nephilim Data, you'll take this too.

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  • Raise the Banners High: Has proven to be fairly efficient even with less horde options available. With Nephilim, this has gotten much better by giving double points in the final round. Even just holding two objectives over the course of the game is 12/15 points, good amount for relatively little effort.
  • Investigate Sites: It's fine. Keeping someone out of the center of the battlefield is simple enough and raptors/warp talons can get up there very handily. The issues arise when something tougher than you starts trying to deny the points. Anything dreadnought shaped, custodes, rival death guard, most hordes, most things in 9th to be honest. Huh.
  • Retrieve Nephilim Data (Nephilim 2022): One Infantry/Biker can attempt this action if they are 6" away from another table quarter; the unit rolls a D6, and if they roll equal or less the models in the unit (subtracting 1 from the roll if they're TROOPS), than the action succeeds. 4 points if done in 2 quarters, 8 points if done in 3, and 12 for the full battlefield.
    • Was previously the go-to along with domination, but a bit trickier now that you need to be 6" away from another quarter, so right in the middle of each quarter.
  • For the Dark GodsCSM exclusive: An Infantry/Biker unit from your army can attempt this action if they are within 3" of the center of the board and within a table quarter that hasn't been previously dedicated to a Chaos God. The action is completed at the end of the turn if the unit has ObSec, otherwise, it completes at the start of your next Command Phase.
    • A marked unit dedicates to their God, otherwise you can choose who you want to dedicate to. All marked units gain +2 LD when they're in a table quarter dedicated to their God.
    • 2 VP for 1 dedicated quarter, 5 VP for 2, 9 VP for 3, and 14 for all quarters.

Unit Analysis[edit]

HQ[edit]

  • Chaos Lord: Your vanilla leader. Lots of customization and a solid statline. Can be very cheap & effective considering what he can do, but is somewhat outclassed due to being unspecialised outside of being a beatstick. This guy is useful as a secondary HQ for his aura, which lets you re-roll every 1 to hit in a 6" bubble for friendly <LEGION> CORE units. You can keep this guy around Chosen/Havocs or even Helbrutes to make use of his aura. Also a fantastic beatstick, with a whopping 6 attacks, the most on a standard character in the whole game, and a selection of excellent melee weapons and relics.

Honestly, kinda obsolete compared to his terminator brothers. At the very least, you get to pick up some different weapons. By default, you get a Thunder hammer, the only one in the damn book, for some serious smashing power, but this makes him cost as much as his termie brother. They only get their stock Plasma pistol or a Bolt pistol for guns. Can dual wield Power fists if you want to make a silly beatstick with the Slaanesh Daemon weapon; is otherwise only really useful if kept super cheap because you can't afford termie armour.

  • Legends not only allows you to reclaim your combi-weapon, but also restores access to your Jump pack. This kinda bites because not everyone will accept Legends, crippling your availability.

This is your heavy-duty Chaos Lord, the one you will want if you're bringing a lord. 7W and a 2+/4++ makes him tanky, but pick your targets. For weapon upgrades you get your choice of Combi-gun (or a Lightning claw), and in the other hand a Power weapon, fist, claw or stock Exalted (D2) Power axe. He is the only dude in the book who still kept his Lightning claws, if you're a fan of those. Take a Combi-melta for big game, and whatever relic melee weapon of your choice.

Tough and fast. The extra wound and toughness are nice, and the Sigil grants him decent protection. Throw him alongside some fellow bikers if you really want to make it hurt.

Before we get into these, all of these options are Legends, and are thus unsupported by new codices. Though they all have the DAEMON keyword, they lack the new DAEMONKIN keyword that the new CSM buffs rely on. It also means that when the Daemon codex comes out, they're likely not going to have the cross-faction synergy that they got you in 8E.

    • Chaos Lord on Juggernaut (Legends): Slow for a mounted Chaos Lord, with only 8" movement, but you're 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 UMWR of 6, even for the 3 mount attacks. Statistically, he kills most HQs in a single activation. They can no longer take Thunder Hammers per the newest BIG FAQ (AKA BIG FAQYOU).
    • Chaos Lord on Disc (Legends): The only mount that does not boost the statline of the Chaos Lord, instead you get 12" movement and the fly keyword, as well as a weak single attack from the mount itself. There's nothing he can do that a Chaos Lord with a Jump Pack can't, aside from getting killed easier by Grey Knights.
    • Chaos Lord on Palanquin (Legends): The slowest of the Chaos Lords. You'll go at par with the Terminator Lords, with the big difference being you can't teleport onto the field. T5 and 6 wounds, like the Bike Lord, and some negligible extra attacks from the Nurglings. Fairly cheap, which makes him a decently tough lynchpin for a gunline, as he can buff the Plague Marines while intercepting any melee threats.
    • Chaos Lord on Steed of Slaanesh (Legends): The (in)famous Chaos Lord on Steed of Slaanesh has lost all his tactical advantages in the new edition, but he's still pretty good. 12" movement and he can re-roll to 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 and shoot without penalties. Give him some brutal melee weapons to take advantage of the extra attack.
  • Dark Apostle: The generic buffer of choice. Although his stats and gear are nothing to write home about, he has a variety of abilities that are a great force multiplier. Demagogue helps with the Ld issues cultists have to worry about, while Prayers can offer significant buffs, but only to cores and characters. His God-Prayers now affect others instead of only himself. Nowadays, he's best used as a lynchpin for a Core squad of objective-holders defensively or even footslog with them across the board. If you're playing Word Bearers he can do both with a relic.
    • He is now hoisted with his two cultist caddies by default, which cements him as a defensive anchor - you can't just shove him in a transport with your assault squad anymore. And he has no delivery vectors on his own, unlike loyalist Chaplains.
  • Dark Commune: The new Cultist HQ, here to cosplay as Nazgûl act as a “utility” HQ. While remaining just as squishy as cultists and with lacking strength, their main use is being a consolidated Priest, Psyker and buffer, with a 6" bubble that not only gives cultists a crappy Leadership buff but also a re-roll on 1s to hit. Absolutely costly for such flimsy heroes? Fuck Yes. It's also able to carry out multiple roles at a higher cost than a Dark Apostle or Sorcerer without the usefulness. Their selection of prayers and spells is half of what a typical model has, and can’t be a Warlord if you have a single <Heretic Astartes> character. You’re better off getting an Apostle if you want to have any good prayers or Sorcerers for spellcasting. If you want prayers get an apostle, if you want spells get a balefire tome.
  • Daemon Prince: The literal melee monster HQ. Will absolutely smash anything it gets into combat with. 8 wounds means he still benefits from "Look out, Sir!", so plan accordingly. It's almost always the correct choice to buy him wings, given he has no other delivery vectors, and a DP not in melee is 145 pts of relatively dead weight; you will also have to either get him a flying goon squad or Warptime. You have to shell out for a Mark of Chaos, which alters the DP's statblock - Khorne DPs gain +1 S and A, while the others become Psykers, giving them access to a big toolbox of pretty scary spells. Sadly, you only get to cast one spell per turn now, so make your choice count.
    • Note on Daemon Weapons: DPs with their D3 pokers are the best wielders of Daemon Weapons, so bear in mind that if you strap one onto your DP, each time you fight you have a 1/12 chance of the weapon getting uppity. You are a demon hitting people on the head with another demon.
    • Mark of Khorne: You become S8 base and S9 when charging/charged/intervening, as well as A7, which means you're just here to zip forward and smash things, so pack your wings and a sword to guarantee you can get into melee on your own terms. Khorne's Daemon Weapon is pretty damn ok on a Hellforged Sword, but look at the other gods before making a choice like that - Khorne's big thing is dealing a lot of damage, but the other gods have their own tempting options.
    • Mark of Tzeentch: Offers you limited protection against artillery, although you're not here to get shot with artillery. Your mandatory psychic power ups your own shitty melee invuln to 4++; or you can hand it out to your goonsquad, which is usually more value. And it is hard to cast too. Tzeentch Daemon Weapon does work very well on a Hellforged Sword given its AP, but you could just take and cast Death Hex instead, so only do it if you really want Warptime.
    • Mark of Nurgle: Those rare S6 and S12+ weapons suffer -1 to wound you, which is meh, and your mandatory power is -1 to be hit, which is very nice provided the enemy isn't already suffering -1 to hit and isn't immune to modifiers (like when firing Overwatch). And then there's the gem, Nurgle's Daemon Weapon, which is the best in the codex, automatically wounding on hit and denying all wound denial, slapped on a guy rocking six attacks with AP-3 and D3. Take Death Hex, cast it, and enjoy ruining the day of those named assholes who thought they can't take more than X Wounds per phase. Wipe the floor with Nightbringer. Challenge Girlyman to a cage match. Tip over a Knight. Poke your head in a Bastion like it's The Shining. Daemonically humiliate any other HQ in the game. Have all the fun, take the cake and eat it too, just make sure you charge them first, or they will tear you seven new assholes.
    • Mark of Slaanesh: ASF, and your mandatory power is a 5+++, which you can also hand out to anyone nearby, and it is the easiest to cast. FnP is the most reliable of the mandatory powers and works on all sorts of things, like the MWs from a Daemon Weapon getting uppity. You can put Slaanesh's Daemon Weapon on a Sword DP for an acceptable, if largely wasted, blender (or just go Khorne, you know), or grab the Intoxicating Elixir and another relic weapon to be a denying asshole.
    • Note on Weapons: In the age of Armor of Contempt, dual talons aren't gonna do so hot against space marines and at that point the axe only drops marines to a 4+, the sword to a 5+, so just grab the sword and go get 'em.
  • Exalted Champion: Hey, remember that one guy who was an auto-pick for any melee list with his 'Shred Everything' aura and 'I Hate Characters' passive? Well, forget him, he's dead and gone now. In his boots is a gimped Marine Lieutenant with no options. And I mean none. Ironically he's the only non-termie HQ who still has a Combi-melta (or any Combi-gun really), so there's that. He also packs a D2 Power Axe for all that's worth against Loyalists. Oh, and he costs like a Lord but has no Invuln. Solid design GW.
    • Legends does implement all the missing combat options, including Lightning claws and Cypher-style twin-pistols. You are still crap though.
  • Lord Discordant: Hands (and Mechatendrils) down the biggest rapetrain in the codex, the Disco lord is nothing but hype, and though they reigned in his (frankly absurd) amount of abilities and weapons from 8E, all of it was a net benefit to the Disco Lord. Also, even though he's a "Lord", you can take more than one Disco Lord in a detachment.
    • 9W is a massive upgrade because he can now benefit from character protection. 6A base with his chain glaive S+2(6) ap3 D2 and +1 to wound on the charge, plus 4 more mount attacks S6 (not user, just flat six) AP2 D2, and finally his tentacles for 4 S4 AP0 D1 attacks. All of these attacks are improved by the Technovirus injector, which makes any melee attacks against Vehicles +1 Dam. Built right, he can fuck a Knight really badly, and some builds will let him survive the counterattack.
    • He's still got the Baleflamer, which you'll always take over the autocannon. He also still has the magmacutter, but you'll always want the injector.
    • In your Command phase, he can corrupt machine spirits within 9", and can do it twice if he's killed a vehicle in this game:
      • If it corrupts an enemy model, roll a number of D6 equal to the Wounds characteristic of that model: for each 6, that model's unit suffers 1 mortal wound (to a maximum of 6 mortal wounds).
      • If it corrupts a friendly model, until the start of your next Command phase, each time that model makes a melee attack, add 1 to that attack's hit roll.
    • Builds:
      • Nurgle- The Tough Discolord. Give him a mark and the black rune of damnation. The Rune, besides it fuck Psykers aura, gives a permanent -1 to wound, which stacks with the situational Mark of Nurgle. When he's hit by a S6 or a S12+ attack (such as from the Vehicles he's fighting), they'll be at -2 to wound. Without other modifiers, you're looking at a Disco Lord with pseudo transhuman. You dont have to give him the Unholy Fortitude WT, but it helps.
      • Slaanesh - Might actually be the best god for the Discolord, because they give Discolords a lot of flexibility. While fight first is always fun, you have two great relics to choose from: The Slaaneshi Daemon weapon gives you +D3 attacks on two weapons, which can go on the Glaive and the Tendrils. Give him the Flames of Spite WT and he gets to reroll the wounds for all those attacks, while also throwing out a MW on a Six.
      • You can also give it the Intoxicating Elixir instead. When activated, it gives +D3 attacks AND the ability to take only 3 W in that fight phase. While it's only a one phase boost, the Intoxicating Elixir plus Fight First means that it could get charged by a Knight and it'd survive while still being able to do some hurt in return. Give it the WT to halve all incoming damage or the 5++++ FNP, and pop a strat for -1 Dam, and you wont even have to use the Elixir until you really, really need to
  • Master of Possession: New Age Sorcerer that uses daemon-flavoured Malefic discipline over vanilla Dark Hereticus. Comes with a 5+ invulnerable save and slaps nearby Psykers with an extra MW when they Peril, which comboes with his staff causing Perils on hit. He can also stab friendlies for a +2 to cast. As of the newest codex, this guy is now more versatile, being able to support non-daemons as well. His stats are nothing to write home about (he is literally a Sorc with a bunch of stuff tacked on), but his unique discipline allows all kinds of fun shenanigans, like resurrecting 90pts Obliterators for free, and/or playing a spotter for them. Daemons are all around this book, and there are tons of combinations you can try, so go wild!
    • Note that he can deal d3 mortal wounds to any <Infantry> units, except Cultists for some reasons, so he can be given a +2 to Malefic Discipline tests. While this seems somewhat useful, a Venomcrawler can apply a +1 to psychic tests without hurting your own army. They do stack, however, and if you gave him the Eye of Tzeentch, that's +4 to cast and any cast of 9+ is undeniable.
    • He has (sigh) no mobility options, so give him the Liber Hereticus to make his spells less reliant on range while also letting him cast three times.
  • Sorcerer: Pretty standard. You cast two powers and deny two, stats are in line with the rest of your warriors and... that's it, really. With the lack of any native invulnerable save, it makes one wonder if GW's trying to phase out the humble Sorcerer for something more...

While his stats are pretty much the same as ever, the humble power armor Sorcerer lost ALL his loadout options. All you get is a goddamn Bolt pistol and Force staff. While loss of guns on this guy is negligible, he also lost the mothfucking Jump pack, so gone are the days of him supporting anything fast-moving. If you're taking him, you might wanna reconsider for...

  • Legends allows you to restore some manner of versatility to the Sorcerer, giving back your Combi-weapons, Force weapons and the Jump pack.

Heavy-duty Sorcerer. Note that this guy costs slightly more than the vanilla one, but where mobility isn't a concern, is overall better investment. Termi-Sorcerer's come with +1W, and more importantly, a 5++ save as standard, just remember to wear a helmet. You can make him a second-line fighter, using a combination of wargear and psychic powers, but don't bother. His stock equipment is a Combi-Bolter and Force Staff, which is something, but his main value comes from being able to Deepstrike with other guys and support them with buffs, traits, and well-timed Smites to the face.

  • The Termie sorcerer is also the only one who can take a Familiar for some security on one psychic test.

Tough and fast. The extra wound and toughness are nice, but again this guy has no invulnerable save. If you don't plan to use his speed for keeping him safe, you may as well choose another option.

  • The one thing this variant has over any other type of Sorcerer is mobility. The ability to zip 20" across the board and still cast psychic powers can drastically improve the viability of shorter-range psychic powers like Warptime or Prescience.

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 from the Daemon detachment.

  • Sorcerer on Disc (Legends): Ironically, the god of magic's mount is actually the worst mount to throw on a sorcerer. Without an invulnerable save or any stat buffs over the basic sorcerer, all you're paying for is the speed boost. If you REALLY want a disc, go play Thousand Sons.
  • Sorcerer on Palanquin (Legends): Unlike the Chaos Lord, being slow is not as big of a deal for a Sorcerer, so this may be a good option since it's cheaper than giving him Terminator Armour. Fun fact: because he has the NURGLE DAEMON keywords, any units he wipes out counts toward the Tally of Pestilence for Epidemius.
  • Sorcerer on Steed of Slaanesh (Legends): Extra attack and the ability to advance and charge are not good selling points for a Sorcerer's mount. Yes, force weapons are mean, but you don't want this guy in melee if you can avoid it. Yes, it gives you an extra wound and more mobility, but so does the Bike. In smaller games, where you can't afford many HQs, this guy may be useful as a jack-of-all-trades.
  • Warpsmith: Swiss army knife man with a pimping new model! For 10pts less than a Techmarine with similar loadout you get +1W, +2A, +1Ld. That includes a Hand flamer, an Inferno pistol, a Plasma pistol (any of which you're unlikely to ever fire), 2+ Save for his Artificer Power armour, a Fancy Power axe, and Naughty tentacles for some extra melee pokes. All this kit lets him hold his own against small squads of MEQs bully in CC things that don't know how to fight, in the unlikely scenario you ever get into said CC. Read, he can maybe shoo away cheap Deepstrikers from the tank he's been assigned to support. He has (sigh, say it with me) no mobility options, so he's usually stuck wherever you deployed him. With so much kit for what you pay, he can slot in pretty much anywhere and contribute, though it can often be hard to determine where he'll add the most. Or you could just let him do his damn job and have him repair your vehicles for d3 lost wounds each turn and give them +1 to hit with ranged attacks only (If you're looking to buff melee attacks, take a look at Lord Discordant instead), in an edition that's largely stripped that sort of bonus away from them. Alternatively, he can ride shotgun in a Land Raider that, once it deposits whatever it was carrying, he can then repair and ride off in to go sit on objectives. Don't overlook this guy. The only wargear option Warpsmith has is switching Exalted Power Axe to Thunder Hammer if you're feeling saucy. Combi-weapons have been thrown into Legends...
    • Using Legends to give him a combi-melta makes him an exceptionally dangerous against tanks at short ranges. A pair of meltaguns at close range will wreck virtually anything short of super-heavies. It's also worth noting that the meltagun's bonus damage works against anything, meaning you can char-broil enemy Characters that might be squaring off for a fight.

Warhammer Legends[edit]

This section covers HQ units that were included in the 8th Edition Index but did not receive a new entry in the 2019 codex, and an honorable mention from years long past. These units have gained the Angels of Death special rule through FAQ. Both of them have now been moved into Warhammer Legends, where they remain playable in every game mode.

  • Chaos Hellwright[Forge World]: Added to Warhammer Legends: Imperial Armour. A better Warpsmith for all intents and purposes with +1 strength, +1 toughness, and +1 wound when compared to the standard CSM counterpart, though he has better weapon options. Like the soul-burner pistol that shoots two mortal wounds, Voidcutter (S8 AP-4 D3 Assault 1 8"), flamer, mechatendrils and an S+1 AP-3 D2 axe. On top of healing a wound per turn, he now has 5++ that subtracts 1 from to-hit rolls against him and an aura that grants +1 attacks and Ld to friendly legion vehicles. He costs a fair bit more, but given the better statline and 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]: Added to Warhammer Legends: Forgeworld. All the same options as above with the inclusion an extra gun and boosted statline. That's more toughness and wounds plus the warpfire lance (16" heavy 2 S6 AP-3 Dd6). If you really only want one Hellwright and he's likely to be targeted and/or you have points to spare, you'll want him on the Abeyant. The Abeyant is also valuable for escorting melee-focused daemon engines into the fight, as it allows the Hellwright to move at their full 8 inches and not have to run his ass up. Thanks to the mortal wounds his pistol spits out and the improved damage of his axe, he's also much more able to make a valuable contribution once it's time to get stuck in.

Special Characters[edit]

Note that any special characters belonging to a specific legion/renegade chapter can be found in their own Legion section, this is merely for any AGENT OF CHAOS heroes. More info about Abaddon or Bile can be found in their Legion tabs.

  • Abaddon: Will become a SUPREME COMMANDER and AGENT OF CHAOS, allowing him to be souped with any Legion and any CHAOS faction without breaking monofaction bonuses. For more info, check the Black Legion section. Keep in mind, the rules stipulate he only gets his Legion Trait if every unit in his army is Black Legion.
    • Another thing to keep in mind is that if he's given Warlord Traits, quite a few of those traits will specify <LEGION>, so they'll all be useless when bringing him with the other Legions.
  • Cypher: Cypher is the last of the Fallen... at least in the CSM codex. He not longer has the Imperium keyword, making him entirely exclusive to Chaos. Stat-wise Cypher has an extra wound, +2 attacks, but lost an inch of movement. Weapons wise he's for some reason gained frag and krak grenades, but his pistols have seen impressive boosts. Plasma pistol makes and extra shot at Pistol 3, but his bolt pistol has been risen to staggering Pistol 6 with an increased range to 18". His abilities have likewise been updated. He lost Lord Cypher (since there are no Fallen for him to lead) and No-one's Puppet. Blazing Weapon remains the same with its advance and fallback and still shoot. Mysterious Protection has been reworked, still retains the 4+ invuln but now instead of denying victory points, hit rolls of 1-3 always fail against him. As for new abilities, Cypher is NOFOS if he's in the same detachment with a Chaos Lord. Escape can put him in Reserves once per game for free after the shooting or fight phase (taking a page from Sly Marbo's book, I see). His tastiest ability is that he has a chance to deny your opponent from generating command points from anything that isn't the Battleforged Bonus from the core rulebook like Adept of the Codex or Precognition, just to shit on any Ultramarine's parade.
  • Fabius Bile: Old Fabulous has his own not-Legion he can field called Creations of Bile, and he has an entry in that section. One thing to not about Fabius is that he doesn't get his own Legion Trait since he has the Agent of Chaos keyword, which overrides his Creations of Bile keyword. This falls in line with the Silent King's FAQ and his lore, I guess, but it sucks. Abaddon, however, is exempt from this specifically.
  • Zhufor The Impaler (Legends)[Forge World]: Another Dual-Legion character, this time as a WORLD EATER / SKULLTAKER. His re-roll aura only buffs Skulltakers, which means that while you can take him in a World Eaters list, you ought to take him in a Skulltakers list. At 120 points he's a solid HQ choice, and Zhufor will tear his way through any 2-wound units and most of the generic characters he comes across. Comes with a Named Power Fist and Power Axe, the fist being the same as a standard power fist, whilst the Axe goes from AP-2/D2 to AP-4/D3 on rolls of 6+ against characters. He's also quite durable, boasting 7 wounds and a 2+/4++. Uniquely, he also has the ability to deny a Psychic Power, which gives him more mileage in a World Eaters list as a psychic deny option (on top of your stratagem and relics). Not to mention, he also has the ability to deep strike, preventing him from having to run a marathon. Add onto this that he also forces an opponent to add 1 to their Leadership rolls whilst within 6 inches. As far as Khorne-aligned Terminator Lords go, he's an almost automatic preference, as for comparison purposes, a Khorne Chaos Lord with Power Axe (which is less AP and Damage) and a Power fist (which he loses his bolter for), comes to 109 points.
    • GW have yet to clarify if Zhufor's ability causes a Daemon Banner "Reality Blink" to fail. RAW, Reality Blink occurs on a roll of 1, however as you add one (rather than subtract from the opponent's leadership like all similar abilities), that result becomes 2 as per the order of modifier priority. Until FAQed, this means that Zhufor is so scary that he actually stops daemons coming out of the warp to fight him.

Troops[edit]

  • Accursed Cultists: So 9E saw a whole new set of models for the cultists, and one of them just happened to be the mutant rabble, who never really had an actual model outside the old Forge World line. If you're expecting anything stronger than a mere cultist, don't - T4 doesn't mean shit when you have a barely-there 6+ save with 6+++ FNP and the inability to take transports doesn't help either. Instead, you take them because it's almost impossible to get rid of these fuckers. Each turn gives them the ability to resurrect flat 3 mutants. Also annoying is their 6" bubble of -1 Leadership also makes them a bit of a drag on an enemy already harassed by someone actually capable of killing them.
    • Accompanying the mutants are Accursed Cultist Torments, bloated and hyper-mutated abominations who act as bigger walls with 3 wounds, and you can rez one each turn instead of the mutants. Their offensive prowess is far more appreciable with 2d3 AP-2 D2 attacks, which can get past the era of Armour of Contempt.
  • Cultist Mob: Took a one-point price hike in 9th Edition. Cultists can now be set for melee or range with no changes in points, though unlike Legionaries, you achieve the same damage from shooting as getting into combat without being punched back. In honesty, don't bother running them as melee as other units are always going to be much better at it. The unit is also pretty much calling out to be ranged too, since Cultists have access to special range weapons but not special melee weapons. As far as these choices go, Flamers make them a bit more reliable when up close, while Heavy Stubbers are a cheap upgrade if you plan to camp objectives or push out enemy Deepstrikes with them. New to this edition is the Grenade Launcher, giving them something high-powered with AP-1 but held back by its swingy d3 damage. As a GEQ, unit they come with alot of problems: first they're T3, 6+ save means that they die, frequently and often, (though AOC, which technically applies to these guys because they weren't excluded from it, helps with AP-1); whilst the current cover systems guarantees that anything larger than a MSU is going to struggle to get the benefit. Also, more are going to run away the moment they start dropping, as with their terrible Ld of 5 (6 with the Champion) you shall find them wanting, especially if they are left alone somewhere without support. It's not all negatives however; Cultists easily snowball into a real threat when under the various buffs that other Chaos units can provide; and especially synergize well with Dark Apostles who fix their low leadership. This can be improved further with them acting as a bodyguard to a Cold and Heartless Iron Warriors unit with their strat. You can then also use prayers to give the unit to only be hit on a 4-6, reroll 1's to Hit with Shooting and the benefit of light cover. A Sorcerer or Mindwitch nearby can throw on Prescience. It can be annoying for your opponent to efficently get rid of them without blast weapons and even then, if they do commit such firepower, it's just cheap Cultists anyway which can come back on a table edge at full strength for 2 CP.
    • Blobs and hordes took a hit in 9th Edition, so huge cultist bombs will require serious micro-management, especially with unit coherency.
    • Cultists will receive a new lease on life, at least in CSM armies. With a Dark Communion to gather basic buffs to a squad, a Firebrand to fight back against even MEQs, and 2 kinds of accursed cultists to utilize; there are tons of possibilities for aspiring players. Then again, they will also be hit with the new Mere Mortals rule which limits how many of these units you can take in a detachment, so build carefully.
  • Legionaries: Legionaries, as they're now called, are now thrice the price of a mob cultist. For that, you now receive, well, a lot: with 2 wounds and a staggering 3 attacks per model (so you'll always have more punches than bolt shots) along with power armour and bolt weapons. They are stronger, tougher, and more accurate up close and at range and they get a slew of new options, like equipping a guy with a Heavy Chainaxe, putting a Daemon Blade on your champ, and making one guy a psyker with a Balefire Tome. Critically, you cannot substitute cultists for CSM unless you load up on elites and heavy support, but expect to pay a premium there; comparatively, Legionaries are a cost-effective all-rounder CORE choice versus Raptors, Chosen, Havocs, Bikers, or Terminators. If you're looking for a solid melee Troops choice, this is it: a chainsword-wielding legionary may not make much of a dent in an opponent's armour of contempt, but pumping out 4 attacks per dude will eventually wear them down. Add in some specialist melee weapons and you will chew through most things with relative ease. Keep in mind though that unlike the last editions of this book, you are now capped at a maximum of 10 legionaries per squad, so if you were hoping to build a legionary bomb in this edition, sorry!
    • They are now the only unit in the codex that's able to Shoot/Fight again with a stratagem, and at 2CP, it is steep, but it's a nice trick to have in your backpocket. Imagine the look on your opponent's face when they charge your 10-man squad of Slaaneshi Legionaries only to have them fight first then fight again.
    • Tzeentch boys with an Icon have better heavy weapons because of the extra pip of AP, but Khornates get S5 and AP2 chainswords. Slaaneshi boys with icons get to hit on 2s/3s with their Heavy Chainaxes/Power Fists.
    • Most builds tend to be based around MSU squads with an optional Tome/Heavy Weapon or Fist on sergeant if kitted for melee with the relevant marks. Full sized units work best kitted for melee (given the new caps on special weapons) if you take Khorne and chainswords, a fist on the champion, optional heavy chainaxe if you can spare the points. There’s also an argument to be made for going Slaanesh, taking a tome instead of a chainaxe for psychic shenanigans at the cost of extra strength and AP.
  • Traitor Guardsmen Squad: What we wanted was a whole Codex, but we'll have to settle for this for now: the rank-and-file from the Kill Team Moroch boxset. They're only slightly better than cultists with a standard Ld 6, 7 with the Sergeant, and lack any rules for any of the Kill Team squad specialists, but have pretty much all the options of loyalist guardsmen. One top of the flamer and grenade launcher that the Cultists could already buy, you can also purchase a meltagun and plasma gun (serious suicide unit weapons here) as well as a sniper rifle in case you seriously think that you can rely on cultists to act as snipers. For the Sergeant, he has the standard range of auto, bolt, and plasma options for pistols and chain or power for swords. Or, he can sacrifice melee power entirely for a boltgun, which you should, these guys aren't any good in CC anyways.
    • Sharing the Cultists keyword, Guardsmen can be buffed by anything that would also buff Cultists, and you can also grab a Vox-Caster as well at no cost, robbing a cultist of a different gun but allowing the Renegade Enforcer's special rule to apply anywhere within 24" of that not-Commissar.

Elites[edit]

  • Slaves to Darkness: This is where your Rubric, Plague, and Berzerkers went. Each of their datasheets are available wherever their Legion’s rules are. In order to take them, you must buy their Mark, but they do not benefit from your Legion trait despite getting your Legion keyword and CORE, so they benefit from auras and the like. Best thing is that they gain Let the Galaxy Burn even though their parent legion doesn’t (this is best on Rubrics).

Walking Dustbins led by a Mage, who enchants their weapons to be AP-2. Unlike their brothers who’ve stayed loyal to Prospero, they can only use the Hereticus Discipline, but are still otherwise full psykers. They are tanky, but in a different way from Plague Marines: whereas Plague Marines are toughness 5, and treat S5 and 10+ weapons as if they were weaker, Rubrics get +1 to their armor against D1 weapons, which stacks with AoC, giving you 2+ Save against bolters that ignores AP1 (ironically, their AP-2 bolters are wasted when shooting at other Rubrics), and the first failed save for the unit each turn is coerced to D0. Benefit greatly from Let the Galaxy Burn, as you now have D6+2 S4 AP-2 autohitting flamer shots at only 3 pts more, which means every model in the unit should be packing a flame weapon.

  • Sadly, the Icon of Flame they can buy from their own codex does NOT confer the ICON Keyword, so no lulzy AP-3 bolters. In fact, the Icon does nothing whatsoever since you can't field an all-TSons army using the CSM codex, so never buy it.

Walking pus-sacks that are too oblivious to pain to die. T5 and their Mark means that these guys will shrug heavy bolters like they’re nothing and fair a little bit better against Demolishers than their DG brothers. Speaking of, since you’re using the Death Guard datasheet and points values, all of your weapon options are free (because that's how GW balances things these days)

  • Plague Marines under Undivided can benefit from CSM stratagems, like Grandfather’s Blessing, which gives them Transhuman. It’s a bit overkill, though, because the Mark already makes S5 wound on 5s, and S10+ wound on 3s rather than 2s, and the stratagem can be applied to anything with the Nurgle keyword. Cloud of Flies, though, can make them untargetable, which is a lot better when you’re throwing Cultists at the enemy and parking Nurglites on an objective.
  • Plague Belchers and Spewers aren't flame weapons but automatically hit, so they gain no benefit at all from Let the Galaxy Burn.

Take the 8E Noise Marines And crank it up to 11. All Noise Marines come with boltguns (which you'll obviously be replacing with the Sonic Blaster (Assault 3 S4 AP-1 D1), pistols, and the Mark of Slaanesh for fight-first. One guy can take the Blastmaster, for either an Assault 6 S5 AP-3 d1 (Varied Frequency) or 48" Heavy 3 s8 ap-3 3D. The Champion can take the sonic blaster, a doom siren (12" Assault D6 S5 AP-1 autohits), and one weapon from the Melee Weapons chart.

  • What makes Sonic Weapons so good now is that whenever a Sonic Weapon is shooting at something within half-range, you get to add 1 to the Damage Characteristic, making your Blastmaster and Sonic Blasters all the more potent, and giving you lots of incentive to get close. Thus, Noise Marines will be advancing for most of the game.
  • Doom Sirens aren't flame weapons but automatically hit, so they gain no benefit at all from Let the Galaxy Burn.
    • Sonic Blasters are Assault weapons, meaning Noise Marines are on the very short list of units you can field where every model has an Assault weapon for benefiting from Let the Galaxy Burn on every turn after the first.

Completely wiped off the codex. Instead, the datasheet is exclusive to an issue of White Dwarf. Same problems with the chosen: weapon choices are removed in favor of a generic profile that limits what they can fight, and have plentiful attacks should they enter combat. Unfortunately, the units have no agency against ranged fire still, so their best defense would be within a transport such as a Terrax Drill or Rhino to get them closer to the fray.

  • Chaos Terminators: The 9E codex that Chaos Players waited 2 years for rewards their patience with...whatever this is. 3W 3A, each Terminator is armed with a combi-bolter and an "Accursed Weapon," which is a power sword that gives you +1A. All of your customization is now very limited.
    • One Terminator can swap his combi-bolter for a Reaper Autocannon or Heavy Flamer (you'll pick the flamer every time).
    • Another can switch his for a combi-plasma.
    • ...but up to two guys can swap theirs for combi-meltas, and another two guys can do combi-flamers (so you can have all combiweapons, just not all of the same type, and only combi-plasma once for some reason).
    • One guy (and only one guy, so fuck you in particular if you built lightning claw termies) can quit guns entirely and take an extra accursed weapons for +2 power sword attacks, but can't dual-wield Fists and Swords.
    • Three Guys can replace their swords with Power Fists.
    • And one guy can replace his sword with a Chainfist.
    • In effect, you can take a smorgasboard of combi-weapons and have 4-5 attacks with your accursed weapons, but only ever have 4 chainfist attacks at most (well, base; better fish for those 6s). The Traitor Legions, who are supposed to have the freedom to not be bound by some pencil pusher's book, have more limited (and convoluted) weapon options than the Loyalists; one can hope that all Champions can take a wider variety of weapons. Even the nerds get at least master-crafted/force swords for that sweet, sweet damage 2. In terms of meta, it appears Games Workshop attempted to curb the effectiveness and prevalence of termicide bombs, forcing you to choose a wide array of weapons instead of spamming combi-plasma, melta, or flamers. However, their gimping pales in comparison with what they did to...
  • Chosen: GW really hated how no one took Legionaries in 8E, so their solution was kneecapping Chosen. They've got 3 wounds, which is great, and can take Chaos Icons for the Keyword and gain more from Marks (and +1 to combat attrition, I guess, but you have Ld 10 anyway). But, as with Chaos Terminators, all you get is your boltgun, a bolt pistol, and all your melee weapons are now Accursed Weapons and that's it, unless the Champion have their own separate armory Champion has no separate armory and shares options with rest of the Chosen unit. At least the accursed weapon gives you 4/5 attacks base.
    • For every 5 models in this unit (so double this at max): you can take two plasma pistols over bolt pistols, and two guys (who can be the same guys, if you're feeling stupid) can strap on a combi-weapon to their bolters. One guy can dual wield “accursed weapons” (and a pistol) for maximum failure, and one can wield a bolter-and-power fist and a pistol for substantially less failure. One model in the entire unit (no scaling per 5) can take a Chaos Icon for a fully functional Mark of Chaos. After 2 years and a new kit chock full of weaponry and choices, and this is what we have to play with?
    • Should this unit destroy another unit, they count as having Wanton Destruction, Massacre, and Slaughter for the rest of the game.
  • Fallen: Completely missing from the codex despite Cypher being included. Maybe if you shelled for the White Dwarf you would have some rules
  • Helbrute: No more penalties to move and shoot! The Helbrute is one of the best Distraction Carnifexes Chaos can field for its price. It's expendable, durable, and scary, 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 (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. If you have the CP for it, you should strongly consider a Chaos Contemptor Dread, which will outperform your Helbrute at ranged no matter what.
    • For Ranged Builds: To start off, CONSIDER the multi-melta; they're significantly better for their points right now with their improved rate of fire and lack of move penalty. Lascannons have much longer range and higher strength, but are expensive and best paired with the Scourge or Missile Launcher. 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. Missile Launchers also went down in price, making the versatility over stopping power trade-off more palatable.
    • For Melee Builds: The default Helbrute Fist is still statistically better than the Helbrute Hammer, as it outperforms the hammer thanks to the -1 penalty to hit. The Power Scourge is also worth considering, being better against MEQs and lower compared to the fist. Helbrutes can also opt to bring two power scourges, allowing you to fulfill your dreams of turning your helbrutes into wacky octopus monsters or waving inflatable arm-flailing tube men (do this if you know you're up against T4 W2 models and watch them melt). Bring one in an Emperor's Children Army for maximum hentai. Hateful Assault applies to these guys, meaning they are now a really nasty, yet cheap, distraction carnifex.
    • Hey guess what? 9th edition brought back marks for your Chaos Dreadnought Helbrute - remember when that was a thing? Obvious stand-outs are Tzeentch or Nurgle as they buff the survivability of the brute. Mark of Tzeentch is way better considering it allows you to ignore the damage from the first unsaved hit, which is amazing considering the amount of anti-tank punishment Helbrutes attract. MoN meanwhile requires a hit of at least S14 to only dial down the to-wound roll from 2+ to 3+, which isn't terribly common and doesn't prevent any damage. Marks of Khorne or Slaanesh are both okay for CC Brutes, but the MoK is more for Brutes with two Fists while the MoS is for a more flexible loadout.
  • Master of Execution: Similar to Exalted Champions, he is meant to be a character killer. Has a greater heroic intervention range of 6" if there are any enemy characters within 6" and can re-roll all wound rolls when fighting them. His Axe of Dismemberment is basically a power-fist without the penalty to hit and on a 6 to wound those hits are considered MWs.
    • A Slaanesh Master of Execution with the Intoxicating Elixir will become somewhat a formidable threat. First, good luck killing him that phase he uses it, as he'll only take three wounds. Second, that axe is making an additional d3 attacks, which only increases his odds of shitting out mortal wounds.
    • Now cheaper and more efficient along with rhinos, now even more attractive as a character hunter especially with all the factions getting cuts to their characters as well.
  • Mutilators: Are now gone. If you bought the old models, you’re shit outta luck. Might as well run them as Counts as Obliterators.
  • Possessed: With 3 wounds, 5 attacks at S5 -2 AP dealing 2 damage a pop, this new squad of glow-up marines will rip and tear with more raw damage than the Chosen or Terminators above. They may not be able to shred TEQs in the era of Armour of Contempt (not even with MoP help) but the sheer volume of attacks and damage output will see Possessed overwhelm almost anything in close combat - and on top of that, will also subtract a leadership from whatever they slam into. They don't need a Master of Possession as much as they did in 8th edition to pull out their potential and now that they have a 9" move, they will quickly leave him behind. However, the new spells from the MoP can jack them up with either a 4++ save, auto-wounding hit rolls of 6, an increase in their strength and/or toughness, respawn whole models lost or even a free +1 to wound against a specific target. Overall, anyone running their these models, old or new (or you kitbashed your own like many have in the past), will be happy to see this unit become more powerful than they were before, now with a little more independence.
  • Gellerpox Infected: Kill Team Annual 2022 brought back these zombie mutants as a special unit available only to the Death Guard and other Nurgle-aligned marine detachments as not-quite Agents of Chaos. This unit in particular is split between the S4 T4 mutants with frags and AP-1 melee weapons and the three Nightmare Hulks, each toting S5 and 5 wounds and wielding even meaner melee weapons, with one of them also getting an S4 AP-1 gut-flamer as well. This alongside the old 5+ FNP save makes these guys a touch more effective than the poxwalkers the Death Guard use, but those zombies are far more numerous. Also an issue is that the Elites Slot has always been rather overcrowded for Chaos between Termies, Dreads, and special characters as well.
    • Mutoid Vermin: The hordes of chittering insects and cyber-Nurglings are their own separate unit, but they won't take up a slot if you also took the Gellerpox. Naturally, these swarms are utterly pathetic and only get a 6+ save and 6+ FNP to protect them, but you can resurrect d3 of the buggers each Command phase, making them more of a hassle to get rid of.
  • Traitor Enforcer: The evil Commissar and his pet Ogryn are a separate unit from the rest of the traitor guardsmen from the Kill Team Moroch box. The Commissar gets his power fist and a 5++ Invuln as well as the ability to force one squad of Traitor Guardsmen within 6" (and ONLY the guardsmen, meaning he's useless to your normie cultists and muties) that fails their morale check to auto-pass any attrition checks they need to make (effectively making this a non-Commissarial *BLAM* because one model already fled from bombing the morale check).
    • Taking the Ogryn is a costly option, but it gives you quite a lot besides a big beefy dude. Not only do all attacks target him first, any hits must roll to wound against the Ogryn's Toughness and he degrades the AP of any attacks hitting him by 1, making him the ultimate meatslab. He's also pretty good in combat, as he has an S+! AP-1 D2 maul he can use for most fights and a single swipe from his AP-2 D3 mutant claw in case you really needed one more dead marine.
  • 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. As a Daemon Engine, it can spend to CP to re-roll its hits and wounds. For the weapon options, the Soulburner Petard is a downright fantastic anti-everything weapon, and even the Mortal Wounds it causes to the Decimator aren't a concern since it can just naturally heal those off. You can even take two since you can only hurt yourself once per gun. The Butcher Cannons no longer provides a leadership debuff, now it's just a vanilla gun similar to an autocannon. It's not a bad weapon by any means, but the other options are much better. The conversion beamer is a viable option now that space marines have 2 and 3 wound units everywhere. Long range, flat 3+ damage is hard to come by. Finally, the storm laser is pure anti-GEQ. In short, take Decimators if you need Mortal Wounds, and durability without Warpsmiths/Hellwrights following them around, get Helbrutes for everything else.
    • Also, remember that its +1D Heavy Flamer is a flame weapon, so Let the Galaxy Burn turns it into 5.5 shots on average with D2. Still not as awesome as Soulburner Petard (unless you've gone down your wound track), but still something to remember.
    • A general note on all non-superheavy Daemon Engines: While robust and toting huge guns, their dreadful WS and BS effectively make them CP sinks, so if you expect ANY meaningful damage from the things, prepare to spam Daemonforge and Blasphemous Machines or get a Master of Possession to babysit.
  • Chaos Contemptor Dreadnought [Forge World] [Martial Legacy]: 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 lets it swap both fists for ranged weapons. 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. Melee wise take the ChainFist over the combat weapon and a Shooting weapon.
    • Now that heavy bolters are D2 they have to be the default option you compare against. Decent range, good (non-variable) rate of fire, and a solid strength means that it will do work against any target short of Space Marine dreadnaughts with their -1D effect. If you have a specific target in mind, specialize, but you can't go too far wrong with this workhorse.
  • Chaos Deredeo Dreadnought [Forge World] [Martial Legacy]: Chaos finally got the Dorito Dreadnought! A lot of people have wanted this for a while and rightfully so, it kicks ass. is A copy and past of the marine version with the inclusion benefiting from Chaos markets and legion bonuses.
  • Chaos Leviathan Dreadnought [Forge World] [Martial Legacy]: 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 'Dreadnought' keyword this bad boy can be buffed by your legion traits - Emperor's Children always fights first comes to mind. As for valid weapon options, all are nasty and downright deadly in the right circumstances but are very expensive on an already expensive model. 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.
    • Weapon choices have changed with the new FW Compendium. Gone are the days of the Butcher Cannon and Hellflamer, but on the bright side our leviathan is finally on par with the loyalist one (in fact other than keywords they are exact copypastes of each other). Every weapon option on the leviathan is free except for Storm Cannons (10 pts per), Cyclonic Melta Lances (20 pts per) and Hunter Killer Missiles (5 pts per). Storm Cannons are now just 4 autocannons glued together, the cyclonic melta lance gives you d6 S9 melta shots at 18" (which at the 20 pt premium really makes this option not that attractive). The Grav Flux bombard is probably the best choice for a ranged weapon, delivering 2d3 S8 -3 D2 shots at 24" range that get upped to D3 when targeting anything with a 3+ save or better. The melee weapon options are both decent, coming free with a built in melta gun; the claw gives you another attack at S14 -3 D3 while the siege drill gives you an extra AP and a whopping 2d3 dmg that increases to flat 6 when hitting a vehicle. Finally for the carapace guns you have a choice between two heavy flamers and two volkite calivers (both free), the volkite is the more interesting choice, giving you 4 shots at S5 0AP 2dmg with the potential to do mortal wounds on 6's to wound. Then the hunter killer missiles are a one use only S10 krak missile, which are nice to own if you have pts to spare but aren't mandatory by any means.

Dedicated Transport[edit]

  • Chaos Rhino - The Workhorse is back, and now cheaper thanks to GW realising that loyalists rock 20+ different transport options (including Forgeworld) compared to the Chaos half-dozen or so (including Forgeworld). Rhinos are basically assault vehicles now, though you can't disembark from a vehicle after it has moved. They are durable enough that it requires a commitment of firepower to take down, but alone are not enough of a threat to qualify as a Distraction Carnifex; especially if you pop smoke the first turn it moves or advances. When it comes to loading up on extra gear like the Havoc Launcher and/or other weapons make sure you don't cross the threshhold of making it a notable threat. Keep in mind that even if you don't plan on driving upfield with them, they can still protect your (expensive) infantry quite reliably from turn 1 shenanigans, moving on to providing fire-support and mobile cover later on. After the Rhino has dropped its cargo, make sure it does the thing its best at: Annoying the Ever-living Fuck out of Your Opponent. Achieve this by Parking it on an objective and deny it for as long as possible, or charge it into melee to soak overwatch/deny the enemy their shooting. Alternatively 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.
  • Chaos Terrax-Pattern Termite Assault Drill [Forge World] - It's a giant 180 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 14 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. It won't kill a Knight, but it has a pretty good chance at killing light vehicles. Don't forget this thing has FIVE Melta guns on it, so if you're planning on charging that knight, you can potentially knock it down a few wounds before ramming the drill into it's knees to bring down the beast!

Flyer[edit]

  • Heldrake: AKA the Helturkey. As of the Sons codex is an official weirdo plane with all the ups and downs (including being able to Deepstrike from Strategic reserves and bugger off the table edge if things look south), except it is explicitly permitted to charge and eat other Aircraft while remaining Hard to Hit. Its stats now also degrade closer to a vanilla plane, which means it always retains its 5 attacks (yes that's one extra now). Its dreaded Baleflamer is now Assault 2D3 instead of Assault D6, and Hades autocannon grew a point of AP, both costing the same now. The claws are D2 and D4 against other Aircraft, which is respectable. Its +1 to-hit against Fly now affects all attacks it does, not just melee. Hover Jet is also there in case you want your metal dragon to score objectives and/or eat people. All that fiery goodness for +15 points to the old one. The rest is unchanged, including its Daemonic 5++ and Regeneration on top of 12 wounds, making the Helturkey very fast, tough, versatile, and incredibly unpleasant to face. Also, the Vector Strike from editions past is back in Stratagem form for some decent extra MWs. It's a good time to be a metal daemon dragon.
  • 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 at 130 points with Helstorm cannons.
  • Hell Talon [Forge World]: Nearly twice the cost as a Hell Blade, meaning the choice between Hell Blade and Hell Talon is an actual decision again (for the wrong reasons). It's appropriate to think of the Hell Talon as a flying predator or actual flying version of the Heldrake, trading its split focus between air and ground to become a pure flyer/bomber. The helstorm cannon is mandatory (you technically can swap it, but you'll never want to) as are its twin lascannons 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 to debuffing their leadership (if you're playing Night Lords for example) or even if you don't want to get shot at, 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 ton of monsters/tanks/buildings.
  • Chaos Storm Eagle Gunship [Forge World] [Martial Legacy]: Eye-wateringly priced to be the best transport flyer Chaos has to offer; allowing you to ram 20 Berzerkers 45" into your enemy's face. It's durable, 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 or spend a couple of turns ferrying units around to hard to reach objectives. Don't overlap roles if you can; as if the unit it drops off can't do their job on their own, then the Storm Eagle shouldn't be carrying them.
  • Chaos Fire Raptor Gunship [Forge World] [Martial Legacy]: Choose two Quad Heavy Bolters and two Twin Lascannons and your Fire Raptor will happily delete a ten man Tactical Squad per turn or an Imperial Knight in two. Very expensive but while it lives, it destroys while needing dedicated firepower to remove in turn. Put Prescience on it to really get the most out of being your enemy's Priority Number 1. Want to go even further? Grab yourself a Nurgle Sorcerer, throw Mark of Nurgle on this bad boy, then use Miasma of Pestilence to make it even harder to hit. Dark Apostle can pray for an additional -1 to hit.
  • Chaos Xiphon Interceptor [Forge World] [Martial Legacy]: 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 W3 M14 and benefitting greatly from the nerfs to Chosen and Terminators, Chaos Bikers can be a fast and surprisingly tough special weapon delivery unit, with bonus flexibility from Marks.
    • Can take Icon and Marks, so are quite flexible. Tzeentch for making flamers AP-1, Khorne for S+1 and AP-2 chainswords
    • Best taken MSU (unless you're Red Corsairs) and kitted out with combi+chainsword. LTGB makes flamers extra spicy, guaranteeing theyre always doing at least 3 shots each.
    • DAMN good as Red Corsairs, and are actually competing with VenomCrawlers for your Fast Attack slots (being the Biker-themed traitors after all). While crawlers are fast daemon engines that blend any type of infantry and are strong enough to threaten vehicles, these guys make great objective stealers and can tough out counterattacks. Red Corsairs count as 2 models on an objective, so gear them to kill enemy troops and seize their objectives for an easy 3 VP via the Long War Stratagem
  • 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). Raptors are surprisingly different Assault Marines as they 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-Melta Jump Lord. With precision deep-strike to get in rapid-fire range and the lord's aura to reroll 1s, the amount of overcharged plasma you put out will make your opponent Groan while also being substantially cheaper than Combi-Plasma Terminators Jump lords are dead because fuck all 13 people who played Night Lords I guess. They can do melee with the Mark of Khorne and an Icon of Wrath, 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 meltas/flamers, then use Warptime and slingshot them across the board.
    • You can now make deep-striking raptor attacks (shooting and melee) re-roll for one command point. If you also mark them as Slaanesh you can make them shoot twice and still re-roll. Set up just within 12 inches and LET FLY ALL GUNS! With overcharging plasma you can unsafely deal 12 damage (8 of which will hit) per squad to a squad of MEQ, or around 8 to a Toughness 7 vehicle before you boost your wounding.
    • These guys as night lords in the host raptorial are unbelievably good, even though all Vigilus Formations now cannot be used in 9th Edition. They get a 5" 3d6 charge out of deepstrike and for 1 CP tie up a unit a turn, so long as it isn't a vehicle and doesn't have a minimum move characteristic (like an aircraft). Against armies like tau this can be a game changing combo as they rely on only a few units shooting to do all their damage and their units are completely incompetent in combat so your raptors can just sit there pinning two riptides for the whole game.
  • Chaos Spawn "NOOOOOOOOOBLRLSD" *BLAM*: A legendary meme and now dedicated meatshield. These are the guys (or things?) you want in front because of their higher Movement, higher Toughness, higher (and regenerating) 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. What they can do is soak Overwatch or Smite so 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 while something that can actually kill them moves in closer.
    • With point changes you can get 5 for 125pt. With its deceptive toughness and decent mobility, there are worse things to use to draw fire or fill out a brigade.
    • Mutated beyond reason keeps them from performing actions, and unfortunately they're not Infantry, so no secondaries.
  • Warp Talons: Got major points increase for 9th, and their no overwatch gimmick is now a roll-off with your opponent if you're engagement range of one of their units. If you win, that unit cannot fall back. Gimmicks aside, the 5++ invuln (even moreso when boosted to 4++ with Cursed Earth) is not as nice as it used to be before the age of AP modifiers. In addition, they lack the {W40Kkeyword|CORE}} keyword, so the buffs they get are limited to whatever a Master of Possession can provide. All that being said, they do have an incredible 5 attacks, 6 on the Champ, so a minimum size unit is pumping out 26 attacks on the charge, which should make mincemeat of guardsmen, and put a sizeable dent in marine equivalents. Couple that with the buffs to the Malefic discipline and a nearby Master of Possession, and you have a unit that can put a suprising amount of hurt on things that might not see it coming.
    • Creations of Bile put them up to S5 so they can wound most infantry on 3+ and most vehicles on a 5+. Combine this with the re-roll to wound on the claws to let them threaten any target, but you still want to focus on infantry as they are only D1 each.
    • Interestingly they benefit from the Emperor's Children stratagem Honor the Prince for a guaranteed 6" on your charge as well as the Black Legion stratagem Tip of the Spear, which lets them re-roll charges. Consider running them in either of those detachments if you wish to deep strike them.
    • Right, so you're gonna compare these guys to Possessed considering they're the exact same price and attacks per model and basically do the same thing - the issue is in how they do it. Comparatively, Possessed will win out: they're more durable with 3 wounds each and their attacks drop 2 damage per hit. Talons trade that in for a slightly faster M, deep-striking, an easier time wounding, and that gimmicky no-fallback rule.
  • Venomcrawler: Oh hey, look who got reshuffled into Fast Attack? Now cheaper, costing as much as a basic helbrute, with 9W and thus a non degrading profile. Despite being the squishiest of the daemon engines in terms of wounds, the crawler makes up for this with its speed and utility. Gives friendly psykers +1 to cast in an aura, so with its speed it's an excellent backfield screen against deepstrikes, as it's got a big ol' base, as well as decently ranged guns and the speed to run up the board once your opponent has deployed their reserves. Be careful not to put your opponent in a position to think this is the biggest threat on the table, it surely can be but if you do it will immediately die. And when it inevitably does the fact it explodes on a 5+ can be a liability or a boon depending on how close it made it to the enemy. Definitely one of our best fast attacks.
  • Blood Slaughterer[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 firepowers, so much that its Infernal Regeneration is not going to be enough, especially if it scuttles halfway across the board. Using Warptime on it is a must if you want to get into combat turn 1, otherwise DO NOT try to get it all the way to the enemy in only one turn, have it come at the enemy with at least a few other units, preferably alongside something like Warpsmith/Hellwright to repair some of the damage it's going to take. Going up alone's going to put you in range of everything, possibly rapid-fire range of several units and you don't want it weathering that much firepower. Once you get to the enemy, however, go nuts as there isn't anything that it's bad at killing and both loadouts are good depending on what you're fighting (harpoon for vehicles/monsters, which also helps make the charge, blades for everyone else).
    • This almost goes without saying, but take this with a (or multiple) Lord Disco in a Soulforged Pack. Adding two to your move characteristic and having the assault after advancing stratagem makes your threat range 18"+2d6" (+2 if you land a harpoon). Add in warptime to go faster than a Heldrake on speed.
  • Greater Blight Drone [Forge World]: The big drone's weapons combined with its movement make this unit pretty dangerous, though it's a pricey unit to field. 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, all the benefits of being a Daemon Engine, plus Sickly Resistance being a 5+ FNP rather than the Death Guard's damage reduction should mean that this won't be anytime soon.
  • 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 who cost 2 slots each or even Obliterators, who count as 3, or even a Dread/Decimator (thanks FAQ, making it the only viable delivery vector for our choppy walkers), which counts as 10. 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.

Heavy Support[edit]

  • Chaos Land Raider: The Big One. The Iron Beast of Unholy Destruction. It's the Land Raider, and the logical choice for adding something HUEG to your army that can blow shit up and bring your big boys along for the fun. Somehow, they made a land raider good. Well, sorta. You're paying 265 points for something whose max output is being a DISTRACTION CARNIFEX that refuses to die, so you're going to have to build a list around such a big investment and make it worth it.
    • Now a whopping T9, with a 2+ save supported by armour of contempt. Can carry 10 guys, with possessed and terminators taking 2 slots each. Now has Soulshatter Lascannons that hit for d6+2 damage, making it actually somewhat threatening. Take it in Iron Warriors and give it -1 to wound, making meltas wound on 6s, lascannons on 5s, and railguns on 4s. This thing properly supported is not worth the effort to kill, so fill it with your favourite melee blender and just push it up the board tanking everything.
  • Chaos Predator: This is your tank. Got a big buff for 9th, making it maybe viable. 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 2 brand new soulshatter lascannons, for 2 d6+2 shots on top of the sponson-mounted bog-standard ones to blow tanks apart. You can give it a Combi-X of your choice and/or a havoc launcher if you have the spare points. 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. 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 a bad idea because spliting your fire each round 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.
    • Predators compete in a clogged heavy support role between Mauler Fiends, Havocs, Defilers and Land Raiders, but remain 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. Seems the warpsmiths have been tinkering with their shells because it now hits for a nasty d3+3 damage, as well as having -4 AP. 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. Its main gun has "Blast" which can be quite useful against hordes while still threatening tougher units, this also has great syngergy with Iron Warriors' Methodical annihilation to reroll a damage roll, count enemy squads as twice the size for blast, and shoot in combat. Definitely pay up for a siege shield, getting a 2+ save makes you far more durable vs anti tank weapons.
  • Defiler: This is a big, stompy, killy daemon engine that will inevitably draw enemy fire because of how threatening it is. They can be pretty destructive for their cost (which went up some 20pts in the transition). What we've got now is a solid block of wounds protected by a 5++, regeneration, and Smoke launchers (yes, it is the only daemon engine to rock smokes), festooned with various now accurate guns, and punchy to boot (A5 now). Daemonforge strat is now changed to hit on 2s, and good riddance, because daemon engines can now hit shit without being glorified spiky CP sinks. Its array of guns can threaten armour, infantry, and anything in between, and even stock it is surprisingly menacing, particularly with its D3 howitzer. For melee it can get extra tentacles, although they grew in price and do less damage now. A backline anchor or a close assault vehicle, big metal crab here can do it all in style.
    • Because Defilers don't have bases, any part of the model can be used to measure distances. This is especially important in melee, where you can actually attack from your claws. This (depending on the pose of your model) can mean that you can actually reach support characters behind units. Don't forget that you can only attack units you declared a charge against if you're charging though.
  • Forgefiend: The Dakkafiend, now given a lease on life in 9th edition, turning a frankly garbage dinobot into a competent fire support platform, with a hefty price hike in the process. This here daemon engine is reasonably tough and comes with two flavours of gun: buff Hades autocannons (now with full range and an extra point of AP) and Ectoplasma cannons (with extra range and flat D3 Blast), one of which can replace the damn thing's face. Is that metal or what. Said upgrade is not strictly necessary since both guns have different range bands and Strength, making them suited for different targets. Still, Dakkafiend is a convenient source of heavy plasma cannons (that never get hot), which have their niche, while Hades are just souped-up autocannons that need no introduction. Just keep that thing away from melee, and it will happily gun medium-sized shit down for you.
  • Havocs: Now come only in squads of 5 with an improved Toughness of 5 which, make no mistake, does not make up at all for the loss of extra bodies. They must take 4 heavy weapons, and treat Heavy Bolters and Lascannons as the default loadout. In addition, they can move and fire heavy weapons with no penalties to Hit, drastically enhancing their mobility.
    • They are T5 because they have fight other marines to get their heavy weapons and it shows. Against bolter fire or the like. This sounds great until you run into a proper Guard gun line, which doesn't care about the difference between T4 & T5.
    • Havoc Autocannons The cheap and direct option with a bonus AP compared to the standard model, Havoc Autocannons are solid for their 48 inch range, decent str and 2 damage a piece shots. They wont outright kill a big unit or vehicle but it will repeatedly punch holes into it from a safe distance. Great for pissing off primaris and sniping overextending troops off objectives. Yup, chaos snipers wield autocannons
    • Heavy Bolters Competes with the Autocannon, but unlike the Loyalist Autocannon, doesn't invalidate it. You gain 1 shot, but lose range, AP, and S. Where the Autocannon is the MEQ-killing Sniper, the Heavy Bolter provides suppressing fire. 12 shots at S5 AP-1 D2 is tempting, but you're only going to be scoring exploding 6s in the first turn and most players will try to avoid giving you LOS/Range in the first turn. Very situational.
    • Reaper Chaincannon 24" 8 Shots S5 AP-1 D1, Reaper Chaincannons are statistically your best option for killing most types of infantry, but is really ham-strung by its middling range and the fact that it's only D1. Just like the Heavy Bolters, 8-32 S5 shots is amazing for proccing LTGB, but you have to be within 24" to make the most out of it, and AoC really made it inefficient against MEQ. This is probably better on Legionaries because the 24" overlaps with their bolters, and you're not really going to feel that -1 to hit when you've got 8 shots. Havocs should spend their points on long-ranged weapons.
    • 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. This is the weapon you want in smaller games, when you don't know your opponent or you want just one Havoc squad to fire support your army and want to move on on other stuff. The perfect "what if" weapon. Do note that if you know what your opponent's bringing then it's actually the least appealing option as Lascannons outperform it against armour, Heavy Bolters outperform it against Infantry, though you might want to keep at least one hanging around if flyers are giving you a hard time, simply because the Flakk Missile stratagem is a thing.
    • Lascannons are decent against heavy targets, monsters, and overextended characters. It does its job very well but isn't point efficient against other targets.
  • Maulerfiend: The Choppafiend, fast and capable of cracking open any tank it comes in contact with, now vastly improved for the same price. With WS3+ and 6A at S7x2 AP-3 Dd3+3, this thing is a freaking turbocharged can-opener that will eat light vehicles for breakfast. Said 6A also don't degrade now. For kit it's got Magma cutters, which are a pair of full-on inferno pistols (except Assault, not that it matters much, all vehicles shoot in melee now), or Lasher tendrils, which still grant a huge pile of extra attacks albeit at D1 and cost extra. You basically choose between straight up more damage to your intended targets and chaff-clearing potential in case you get bogged down on the way there. Both choices are very solid for such a cheap and vicious unit. Oh, and it ignores Charge penalties now because why not.
  • Obliterators: The big and shooty boys are back, and are no longer Randumb! 5" move, but they can still deepstrike, and have 5 wounds and 4 attacks at Sx2(10) AP-3 D3. But that's not why you take them, you take them for all the Fleshmetal guns they have, which now have 3 profiles, with something for every occasion:
    • Warphail: 24" Heavy D6 + 9 S5 AP-1 D1 attacks for mulching GEQs and Boyz.
    • Ruinous Salvo: 24" Heavy D3+3 autocannon-ish shots (S7 AP-2 D2), the D2 being excellent for taking out marines and the extra pip of AP for AOC.
    • Focused Malice: 24" Heavy D3 S9 AP-3 D4, which is pretty good for breaking vehicles when it gets through.
    • Obliterators also get Big Guns Never Tire but with a different name (Unrelenting Firepower), letting them shoot in melee or on the move as if they were vehicles.
    • Because of their <Daemonkin> keyword, they can benefit from a Master of Possession. Apply Warp Marked on an enemy to guarantee a 2+ to wound or even bring back a destroyed 90 point model for free if the squad still exists. Overall, a very solid unit when you want something shot off the board, regardless of what it is.
    • If you're wondering where Mutilators went, don't bother, hardly anybody took them, they were just a waste of a heavy slot. Obliterators now do the jobs of both. Plus you have Maulerfiends to round out your detachment regardless.
  • Chaos Vindicator Laser Destroyer [Forge World]: This bad boy cannibalizes tanks. You should almost always supercharge the Laser Volley Cannon because the odds of rolling a 1 is small and a single MW (that happens after shooting) is peanuts. For the same reason, don't be afraid to move this vehicle around.
  • Chaos Land Raider Achilles [Forge World] [Martial Legacy]: 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.
  • Chaos Land Raider Proteus [Forge World] [Martial Legacy]: 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.
  • Chaos Rapier Battery [Forge World]: You will likely take these for the cheap Laser Destroyer and blow enemy vehicles apart (a trio of them can royally fuck up a Knight). The quad heavy bolter's good against infantry blobs, and the graviton cannon will fuck up marines. All the weapons it can carry are good, but what you gain in point saving you lose in durability. These have stats on par with a generic character but without Look Out Sir, so keep them well hid. Lastly never forget to have some sort of aura affecting it, missing with its heavier shots is devastating.
  • Chaos Scorpius [Forge World] [Martial Legacy]: Chaos finally gets a, somewhat expensive (points and monetary), Whirlwind. The Scorpius Multi-Launcher is your main investment here allowing you to lob 3D3 Str 6 AP-2 D2 shots into the fray without needing LOS. Upgrades come in the form of an additional combi-weapon and a Havoc Launcher - but you aren't going to do that since you want it hiding all game and standing still - As doing so lets you fire the Multi-Launcher a Second Time. Like the other Hellforged it has a boosted melee ability, though you really don't want it there as staying still to fire twice at targets is way better, just get a Warpsmith/Hellwright if you want/need to repair it, and save the infernal hunger for if enemy units stray too close to you.
    • For modelling purposes a Whirlwind with a third party turret should be fine for most opponents.
  • Chaos Sicaran Battle Tank [Forge World] [Martial Legacy]: a Series of Relic tanks, having an improved rhino-land raider-hybrid chassis with 14W and 2+Sv. The downside is they all have Martial Legacy. In addition to its main gun and a single Heavy Bolter, you can grab 2 sponson-mounted Heavy Bolters or 2 Lascannons, a hunter-killer missile, and a pintle-mounted Storm Bolter, if you crave more dakka. The Sicaran Battle Tank has lost its anti-skimmer special rules and got nothing in return, meaning its essentially a souped-up predator. Comparatively you get an improved statline, and on the main cannon you get max shots and a better pip of AP (fuck you Salamanders). Whether those are worth the extra points cost and CP will be up to you.
  • Chaos Sicaran Venator [Forge World] [Martial Legacy]: The Venator will rape explode any vehicle it looks at. Of the sponson options, go with the Lascannons. They have the same range and want to shoot the same targets as the main cannon, which will assist with securing utter deletion of your enemies. Unfortunately this tank is extremely similar to the Vindicator Laser Destroyer, which is arguably the better vehicle. Field the Venator if you can afford to buy the sponsons, can make good use of the better range, and want to bring a vehicle with a much bigger cock cooler design.
  • Chaos Sicaran Punisher [Forge World] [Martial Legacy]: The draw is the Punisher Rotary Cannon- 18 S6 Ap-1 D1 shots guaranteed to make any hordes within 36" hate life. Enjoy making Orks and Tyranids cry.
  • Chaos Sicaran Arcus: Another Sicaran variant, acting like a bigger Whirlwind Scorpius, this one is armed with a multi-launcher. 48" Heavy 2d6 with S6 AP-1 D2 Blast and ignores LOS. if your taking an Arcus over a Scorpius, your trying to make the most out of that 1 CP and heavy slot buy butting sponsion weapon on it.
  • Chaos Sicaran Omega: Its Omega Plasma Array has two modes; in its normal mode, which is 36" Heavy 6 S8 Ap -3 D2 and gain +1S & D on overcharge but a MW on 1s to hit. Being a threat to TEU and vehicles while the Venator is pure vehicles and titanic units.
  • Chaos Predator (legends)[Forge World]: It's a Predator with some extra rules and guns. Standard Pred weapons with the ability to choose Flamestorm Cannon to bubbles up those pesky Primaris Marines, Magna-melta Cannon, a super multi-melta and bad idea that won't make its points back, and C-beam cannon that should be skipped as it's not as good as a Lascannon no matter how FW try to sell it to you. Surprisingly this is one of the few models that have characteristics that improve as it takes damage, and as such you'd do well to choose something that allows it to close in while ignoring the modifiers to its BS, making the flamers shoe-ins for the role. The plasma destroyer can also work well for softening up a unit so that the Predator can finish them off itself, in turn allowing it to heal thanks to Machina Malifica.
    • Per the FAQ, you can't use the Kill Shot Stratagem with Hellforged Predators.
    • A rather terrifying way to use this thing is with the Flamestorm Cannon, Two Heavy Flamers, and a Combi-flamer. T1, advance and pop smoke, warptime if you need to. T2, blaze away with your autohitting flame weapons, which don't give a damn about degrading accuracy, and charge for 5+D3 attacks as S6 AP-3, (with Hateful Assault and Rage-fueled Rampage). The more damage it takes, the more killy it is in melee, and since Hellforged models don't give a damn about spam like Relics do, spam two to three of these things (and become That Guy).

Fortification[edit]

  • Chaos Bastion: Found in CA2019, this thing now deserves an honourable mention. It's an Imperial Bastion with numbers filed off, except it trades a point of Save (largely irrelevant) for a point of Toughness... bringing it to frankly ludicrous T10, so for 200pts two squads can kick back in a fuckoff 20W TOWER OF POWER that bounces off lascannons like grot gunz and will require a superheavy to knock over before the game ends - all the toughness of an Aquila Strongpoint for half the price.
    • Fun fact, has the <CHAOS> keyword and as a result of which allows it to benefit from the 5++ aura from a nearby Noctilith Crown (see below) should you happen to place them together.
  • Noctilith Crown: Good for providing backfield protection to your own dudes, in case you didn't want to invest in a Deredeo's Hellfire Veil, and that's its main function. Sure it can help you get your psychic powers off, though it's possible you're going to be out of its range a lot of the time given the range of most of your abilities unless you want to keep using Prescience (which isn't a bad choice). Do be aware that it's not invincible as it can be shot and destroyed, though given its toughness it's still going to take quite a bit of firepower or a unit getting into close combat with it. If you're going to use it then you're going to want to move your Havocs and any other backfield units a little further away from it come turns 2 and 3, nothing's going to suck more than seeing it get destroyed, having it explode, and then watching as it wipes out the units it was protecting. A final note: Be aware that all buffs work on Chaos units in general, not just your own, so in a Chaos vs. Chaos game you will give your opponent an advantage too. Can be used in place of a Dark Apostle to provide your backline campers (i.e. Havocs) with a 5+ invulnerable.

Lords of War[edit]

  • Hades Diabolus (Open Play Only): Make-A-Raider rule exclusive to Open Play that allows you to pimp yo big spiky ride (almost) as you see fit. The example given in Chapter Approved 2017 shifts its Twin Heavy Bolter onto extra sponsons in order to instead mount a Reaper Autocannon, making it slightly more shooty at the cost of 5 transport capacity. Yes, you can make a legit Chaos Terminus Ultra with this rule. No, you can't bring it to a normal game. Figures.
  • Khorne Lord of Skulls: Depending on how good you want the hand and cock cannons to be, KLOS runs from either 400 points or 479 points as of CA 2019. The guns are better for the more expensive version, but you want KLOS in close combat and even though he has a tank instead of legs he can't shoot his cannons if a Rhino nudges him. Like the Kytan, he can SMASH and SLASH with his enormous axe and as he actually gains attacks when low on wounds he throws out 24 slash attacks if below 7 wounds. At only 4 more wounds than a Knight, you might think he's not worth the points but the 5+ invulnerable save in the Fight phase really makes up for any lack of wounds. Be aware that while he gets more attacks as he's hurt, he also gets slower so make sure that he's at least somewhat protected/hidden/guarded in the first turn, as there's nothing sadder than having 8 attacks and not being able to use any of them. Use your CP re-rolls to get him in combat; you paid for him so you had better use him. If you want to get rid of the goofy look, consider using a Kytan Ravager as a proxy (forge world even states on its page that its designed to echo the LoS).
    • Ichor cannon is the cheapest of the three torso guns and the only one with a range higher than 18". It can threaten light vehicles as well as small, elite units like Primaris marine aggressor. The 48" range and -4 ap are the real strengths of this gun.
    • The Daemongore and Gorestorm cannons are share similar stats but different roles. Both are 18" flamer weapons with a strength that matches the KLOS and flat damage. The Daemongore is better at taking chunks off vehicles with its 3 damage, while the Gorestorm is better against hordes.
    • Hades Gatling Cannon: The more expensive of the two arm options at 30 points more than the Skullhurler, the Hades is an Avenger Gatling Cannon, but better. +12" range, +2 strength. all for 4 points LESS than the Avenger. Admittedly, you have to buy a heavy flamer with the Avenger, so you technically have fewer shots. However, ask yourself if an extra d6 attacks at 8" is worth the trade off? probably not.
    • The Skullhurler is the cheaper arm option and the most likely to be seen on a bare bones KLOS. Its advantages are its 60" range, high strength, and bonus shots against units of 10 or more. Its weaknesses are its random shots and 1d3 damage, making it a poor vehicle killer.
  • 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. As a VEHICLE it can shoot while in combat, so you really want to get it in there fast so you can get to CLEAVING LOYALIST FILTH. Keep in mind he also benefits from the Daemonforge stratagem, re-roll all hits and wounds for 1 CP!? YES PLEASE.
  • Greater Brass Scorpion of Khorne [Forge World]: Still a beast capable of bringing a ton of pain and handling most things, including hordes (thanks to its ability to shoot whilst in combat), and like most such things, it's very durable thanks to its Invulnerable, Regen, and Runes, ensuring that anyone who thinks to whittle it down via Smite will be reconsidering their plan. Even before combat its shooting is capable of putting any type of unit on its ass. In combat the scorpion attacks with a fuckton of high strength, high AP, high damage, and can dish out a nice dose of flamer attacks. With a 3D6 charge range and 12" base movement, deploy this daddy last and right at the front, with a first turn charge as your opponent watches in absolute horror as you send a nuke scuttling towards his line. Do keep your eye on it though as, with the changes to rules and only 20 wounds, this unit can reliably be brought down in a turn or two (first turn charge is the key). This Metal Murder Scorpion is expensive (FAQ 2018 took it up to a whopping 650pts) and at its points cost you need to make sure you smash your enemies with it immediately or you may be better off with a Defiler, a Forgefiend and a Maulerfiend for the same cost. A shame you can't use Warptime on it.
  • Rune was reworked be viable by not take mortal wounds from psychic abilites on a 4+ rather than causing perils on any doubles(and not working)
  • Hellforged Spartan Assault Tank [Forge World] [Martial Legacy]: Your super LR sadly got moved to the LOW slot, however it's not letting that get it down! Very likely to deliver the payload unless your opponent's using other Forge World models against you (in which case, you better be Word Bearers because you're going to need to pray (very literally, to have a 5++ from the prayer)). Despite being an impressive delivery system, don't fill it with expensive models like Terminators, you're likely to lose several thanks to In the Belly of the Beast (Berzerkers are still a good choice). Try not to put characters in it either, losing them instantly like that can really gimp your gameplan. For ranged weapons, keep the quad lascannons, the laser destroyer won't put out the same amount of damage. The heavy bolters are also a good thing to keep, if you want to deal damage up close then you have the CSM's you're carrying to do that for you, and you can then charge it in to use Infernal Hunger once you drop them off (pick a different target than the one the payload's chopping at). Never leave it in combat either, always make sure to pull it out, then shoot and charge again. The havoc launcher's also cheap and useful, so make sure to get that too. The final thing to keep in mind is that if you want something capable of delivering expensive squads with characters without this much risk, you'll be better served with a Kharybdis.
  • Hellforged Cerberus Heavy Destroyer [Forge World] [Martial Legacy]: This thing is expensive but nasty. So on top of the rules we've seen for the other Hellforged tanks, it's even more durable and thanks to Steel Behemoth it can always shoot or charge even when falling back but enough of that, let's talk about that FUCKHUEG gun sticking out of the front of it. Wounding on Leadership instead of Toughness means on average you're going to wound EVERYTHING IN THE GAME and deal an absolute minimum of 5 damage per wound, nasty. Use it to nuke Land Raiders, other units as heavy as it, monsters, etc. It costs a lot of points (and works beautifully with any Night Lords units) and you need to make those back fast as it's going to attract a lot of firepower. Put it within an aura re-roll (especially while it still has 2+ BS) and avoid shooting models less than 150 points if you can. It can take heavy bolters and lascannons but it doesn't need either, and that just add numerous points you still have to make back. The havoc launcher's dirt cheap as well as useful, so you might as well grab that. Like most of the tanks, don't try to use Infernal Hunger unless the opponent comes to you, your wounds should be healed off by a Warpsmith/Hellwright, not by driving up to munch on people so that you get exposed to more weapons, which is more likely to get you killed than healed.
  • Hellforged Typhon Heavy Siege Tank [Forge World] [Martial Legacy]: 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] [Martial Legacy]: The Baneblade's exponentially meaner cousin is now a quite reasonable 550 without bells and whistles. 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.
  • Hellforged Falchion [Forge World] [Martial Legacy]: 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] [Martial Legacy]: 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.
  • Sokar Pattern Stormbird Gunship [Forge World] [Martial Legacy]: 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.
  • Thunderhawk Gunship [Forge World]:
  • 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.

Legions And Renegades[edit]

Here we go, the main thing that gives the Chaos Space Marines their character and, depending on which Legion you go with, radically alters their playstyles. Everyone has their own favourite group and way of playstyle, so pick your traitors and try to find what synergizes best with their traits, relics and stratagems. However, because GW hates you (yes, you specifically), CSM are the only faction in the game that makes sense to have a build-your-subfaction, unlike Daemons or Harlequins, but can't field custom legion.

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

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

Alpha Legion[edit]

AlphaLegion.jpg

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

Thematically the Alpha Legion are known for their mastery of Deception, Covert Ops, Sabotage, and Information Warfare. May or may not be loyalist HERESY!

Crunchwise, the sons of the Hydra can throw a wrench in anyone's plans while maintaining board presence. While their offense isn't as overwhelming as the Iron Warriors or targeted like the Raven Guard, but they can definitely play the objective game well. When you want to control the board and minimize your own losses, take no substitutes.

  • Legion Trait: Hidden in Plain Sight: Your opponent must subtract 1 from their hit rolls when targeting units with this trait if they are more than 12" away or more than 18" if the ALPHA LEGION unit has 10+ wounds. In addition, if units with this trait fell back, they can still charge or perform actions. A good trait in general that works on everything, especially Helbrutes and Hellforged Dreadnoughts. Also decent if you are playing a kind of gunline or artillery-based army.
  • Secondary Objective: Infiltrate and Subvert: All Infantry units gain a unique action they can perform on an objective within 6" of the enemy DZ. If they survive that turn, you can subvert an objective on a 3+ (5+ if Cultists), making the enemy unable to cap them and making all actions near them fail. This is all a lot stronger than, say, the Black Legion's objective and scores more VP easily (3 VP normally, 4 VP if it's done fully within the enemy DZ), but this comes at the cost of location restrictions.
  • Warlord Traits:
    • I am Alpharius: In addition to this Warlord trait, your warlord generates a random universal CSM Warlord trait. If this warlord is slain, you may immediately select another ALPHA LEGION CHARACTER in your army to take their place and choose a Warlord trait for them (that isn't this one - the whack-a-mole nerf has come). If the mission you are playing grants victory points for slaying the enemy Warlord, your opponent will only achieve that objective if that second ALPHA LEGION CHARACTER in your army has been slain. Still just as adaptable, and it's always hilarious to see an enemy's attempt to Slay the Warlord fail, especially if they have to hoof it to someone on the other side of the battlefield.
    • Clandestine: When targeting this warlord, unmodified hit rolls of 1-3 fail. Plus, this warlord gains +1 save in cover.
    • Headhunter: The warlord can snipe characters with pistol & rapid fire weapons, re-roll wound rolls for these weapons, and to add a cherry on top, causes mortal wounds on unmodified 6s.
    • Master of Diversion: Right before the first turn begins, select up to 3 other ALPHA LEGION units and redeploy them following the usual deployment rules and/or get placed into strategic reserves. Lets you kind of bait out your opponen'ts deployment choices.
    • Cult Leader: Makes cultists slightly more dangerous! One pack of cultists within 9" of the warlord get +1 to hit and -1 AP in range and melee. Great for accursed cultists, pathetic on cultist mobs.
      • Best used in combination with Icon of the Hydra Cult to improve your (accursed) cultists.
    • Convert Control: One CORE unit within 6" can shoot and perform actions. In addition, this chosen unit gains obsec or count as double if they already had it.
  • Stratagems:
    • Conceal (2/3 CP): Select an Alpha Legion Infantry unit. Until the end of your opponent's shooting phase, that unit cannot be targeted unless it is the closest eligible target, or the shooter is within 12". Costs 3 CP for Power Levels over 9000 10+, 2 otherwise.
    • Deadly Ambush (2CP): Use in the reinforcements step. Select one enemy coming out of reserve, until the end of your next turn, all your units get +1 against them.
      • This isn't AUSPEX SCAN, you can't shoot at them right after Deep Strike, only having +1 to all attacks until your next turn (including OVerwatch).
      • This is a really subtle strat, which lets you turn the tables a bit on a deepstriking enemy. Not only are you hitting more accurately when you overwatch/fight back, but because it extends to your next turn, your counterattack will be brutal.
    • Coils of Deception (1CP): An Alpha Legion unit can fall back and shoot.
    • Forward Operatives (1CP): An Alpha Legion infantry unti can make a pre-game move, with the usual 9" away stipulation. You can use this strat twice in larger games, but not on the same unit.
    • Renascent Infiltration (1CP): An Alpha Legion infantry unit more than 6" away from an enemy unit can go back into strategic reserves. Unlike other strats, they don't need to be near an edge, just away from an enemy.
    • Sabotaged Armory (1-3 CP): It's Back! So long as you have an Alpha Legion unit on the battlefield, when an opponent rolls to explode, they just go boom. 1 CP if the wounds is 9 or less, 2 CP for 10-19 W, and a whole 3CP if it's any more than that.
    • Scrambled Coordinates (2CP): Used during the reinforcement step. Pick two Alpha Legion CORE units, the enemy cannot bring down reserves anywhere within 12" of either of them.
      • This really fucks with the opponent's plans, because you can pick two CORE units rather than just one. Deepstrike heavy armies like Grey Knights will have to sit on their asses for a turn because being outside of 12" means they can't charge.
    • Veiled Agenda (1CP): Revamped to actually work with the new rules. You don't reveal your secondaries to your opponent, but you still gotta write them down, and you don't reveal them until you score Victory Points/Experience Points for that secondary.
      • Want to fuck with your opponent's head? Take secondaries that require a tally, because RAW, you only score VP after the battle. Of course, lots of secondaries actually have that wording, but any secondary that requires you to perform an action also implies that you're announcing that you're performing it.
  • Relics:
    • Blade of the Hydra: Replaces a model's chainsword. With a profile of S+1 AP-2 and 1 damage, a solid close combat option, never mind the D3+3 instead of 1 extra attacks it gives you or, if you happen to be within 3" of enemy 6+ models, an extra 6 attacks instead.
      • Flames of Spite for rerolling wounds, failed or not, to try and procc those UM 6s. The extra MWs helps make up for it being only D1, too
    • Drakescale Plate: INFANTRY model only. Provides a 2+ armor save and when attacking a model with this relic, wound rolls of unmodified 1-3 always fail. Very good, but sadly cannot be taken by a Daemon Prince.
      • Stacks with Clandestine for a 0+ save in cover (it'll take -4 to affect your save, bc AoC and +2 from Clandestine and Cover, but all 1s still fail) and all hit rolls of 1-3 fail, but because it's INFANTRY only, isn't really an autotake combo.
    • Mindveil: A model with this relic rolls a D6 and adds the result to the model's move characteristic, also allowing them to move across other models and terrain as if they're not there - they can charge across other models other than buildings as if they're not there.
    • Hydra's Wail: Usable once per battle whenever your opponent uses a stratagem that isn't Command Re-roll. Your opponent must spend one extra CP to use that stratagem for the rest of the battle, which is a massive step up - especially for stuff like Transhuman Physiology that makes enemy marines tankier or on anything that can boost the effectiveness of weapons.
    • Viper's Bite: Replaces a bolt pistol. 18" Pistol 6 S4 AP-3 D1. This relic competes with the Hydra's Teeth for Headhunter warlords.
    • Hydra's Teeth: Model with a bolt weapon only. Each time they shoot, they can choose to use these rounds. The bolt weapon of the bearer only fires one shot but automatically hits. In addition, the bolt weapon's profile is improved in the following way: +2 S, -2, +2D, and ignore invulns.
      • As an example profile, giving this to a combi-bolter turns it into: 24" 1 autohit at S6 AP-2 Damage 3, ignore invulns.
      • combine with Headhunter for all that and snipe characters.
    • Icon of the Hydra Cult: Cultist units within 6" get dense cover (cultist characters can take this)
  • Special Characters
    • Arkos The Faithless (LEGENDS): A chaos lord with a combi-melta and an SUser AP-2 D3 weapon that improves wound rolls by one except against vehicles. He also has a 6" +1 to advance charge distances aura and can infiltrate 9" or more from enemy models. Instead of 4++ he has a 5++ that reduces to-hit rolls made against him by 1. Not bad for 120 pts.
  • Secondary: Infiltrate and Subvert (Shadow Operations) Any non-CHARACTER INFANTRY unit can attempt to perform this action if they are wholly within 6" of your opponent's deployment zone. This action begins at the end of your movement phase, and ends at the end of your next Command Phase. If you complete this action, and are within range of an objective, roll a D6 to see if you manage to subvert the objective. On a 5+ for Cultists, 3+ for any other unit, the subversion is successful and the enemy can never hold, control, or perform an action on said subverted objective.
    • Score 4vp if you were wholly within the enemy deployment zone, 3 VP if you were outside, or had models outside of it.
    • This is fucking annoying, but very Alpha Legion, and can be combined with your Veiled Agenda stratagem to really be a big FUCK YOU to your opponent. You will need to announce the action, but you won't need to reveal the full details of what you've done until after the action is completed (you score VP once it's been completed).
    • The wording is also pretty weird, for two reasons:
      • one, it's not tied to an objective, just a specific zone around your enemy's deployment zone. The subversion part only occurs if you just so happen to be within range of an objective.
      • and two, because unlike other secondaries, there's nothing about what happens if an opponent was on the objective as you subverted it.
  • Tactics: Here are some tactics that are better off being used in an Alpha Legion army than any other.
    • I Have No Save, This Is A Lie: Stupid name aside, here's a really annoying, if stupid, build you can pull that will make your friends despise you and your family disown you. Firstly you need something with a 2+ Save, I'll use a Lord Discordant for this example. Give them the Clandestine Warlord Trait so they can get an additional +1 to Armour Save Rolls in cover, on top of only being able to be hit on 4's at best as a neat sidegrade. Now he is a Vehicle so he can't get cover normally, we'll come back to this. Next, give them the Gorget of Eternal Hate, which will provide a nice if unnecessary 4++ Invuln and more importantly: Another natural +1 to Armour Save Rolls. If you're using a Termie Lord you should be fine there, but for a Lord Discordant you'll also want to take a Dark Apostle that has the Benediction of Darkness Litany, this is essential otherwise your Disco Lord won't get cover naturally and Clandestine would go to waste. And huzzah! You now have a Lord Discordant/Termie Lord/Termie Sorcerer/Warpsmith (if that's your thing) with an effective -1+ Save with Light Cover, combined with Armour of Contempt makes it so that the notion of a Meltagun bringing you down to your Invuln is completely laughable. Is it a complete meme that kinda falls apart as soon as it gets into melee? Yeah. Is it fun? Absolutely, but from experience I can say that your friends might want you hung, drawn and quartered after playing against it just once, I mean just you try shooting down a big scary techmarine on a daemon spider machine that practically has a 2++ Invuln against anything that isn't a Railgun all while it's coming to murder your cool new tank.

Black Legion[edit]

BlackLegionInsignia.png

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

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

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

  • Legion Trait: Black Crusaders: Units with this trait ignore all modifiers to Combat Attrition. In addition, they gain +1 to hit if they charged or they shoot the closest enemy. While combat attrition is...meh, the +1 to hit is a lot more useful and easily stacks with any re-roll buffs from your Chaos Lords and Daemon Princes. This harkens back a little to their origins as the shock attack forces of the Legiones and with the multitude of guns at your disposal it's hard to go wrong.
  • Secondary Objective: Despoil Dominions: All Infantry and Bikers gain a new action that lets them desecrate the objective they're on instead of shooting. Not only does this score VP (1 if it's in your DZ, 4 if it isn't), but any enemies near that objective also fail any actions they attempt on a 4+. Lucky you that your secondary actually lets you perform some (meager) effects on the enemy while still being able to fight.
  • Warlord Traits: As the poster-boys of the CSM, as well as the Imperium's main antagonists, the Black Legion have several traits they can choose from, which also work really well with their unique Stratagems.
    • Veteran Raider: In your Command phase, you can select one friendly BLACK LEGION CORE or BLACK LEGION CHARACTER unit within 6" of this WARLORD. Until the end of the turn, that unit is eligible to shoot and declare a charge in a turn in which it Fell Back.
    • Indomitable: All damage to your warlord is halved. Pairs very well with characters that are likely to draw heavy fire from your opponent. Looking at you, Lord Discordant.
      • Half damage is a rare feat nowadays, especially after it was removed from Helbrutes/Dreadnoughts in 8e. Stack relics like the Gorget of Eternal hate for some vicious tankiness.
    • Merciless Overseer: In your Command phase, you can select one friendly BLACK LEGION unit within 6" of this WARLORD. Until the start of your next Command phase, each time a model in that unit makes an attack, if your army is engaged in Wanton Destruction or Wanton Slaughter, that unit is considered to be engaged in Wanton Massacre for that attack instead.
    • Soul Eater: Each time this WARLORD makes a melee attack, you can re-roll the wound roll and Each time this WARLORD fights, after it has finished making its attacks, if one or more enemy models were destroyed by those attacks, this WARLORD regains up to D3 lost wounds.
      • You dont even have to kill the entire unit to benefit from this, so this can go great on anything, but is obviously best on something tough enough to survive fights with at least some wounds remaining.
    • Trusted Warleader: Roll every time you use a command point. On a 5+, it is refunded. A trait that can pay for itself, although it can't trigger successfully more than once per battle round.
    • Paragon of Hatred: Reroll charges for your warlord, and add one to their attacks when fighting, increasing to D3 when fighting IMPERIUM units. The extra attacks can be handy, but rerolling charges is critical for a character that wants to smash face, like termie lords, lord discordants and daemon princes.
  • Stratagems:
    • Heralds of Doom (2 CP): Use this in your command phase and pick a BLACK LEGION LEGIONARIES unit that's on the battlefield. Until your next command phase, they gain an aura that turns off any enemy unit's Objective Secured abilities. Good to use against blobs of ObSec enemies (like Orks) or if you're running MSU. That said, the 2 CP requirement makes this a rather niche choice, especially when compared to other options.
    • Vengeful Skies (3 CP): Used once per battle in your command phase, if any BLACK LEGION CHARACTER models are on the board. Place a marker anywhere on the battlefield, and then in your next command phase, place another marker anywhere within 12" of the first one and draw a straight line between them. Roll a d6 for each unit that line passes over or through, adding one to the roll if that unit contains 11 or more models, and subtracting one from the roll if that unit is a CHARACTER. On a 3+, those units suffer d3 mortal wounds and the markers are removed. Frankly terrible, the cost in CP is absurd and your opponent will do everything they can to avoid taking damage from this. Hard pass.
    • Unrelenting Onslaught (2 CP): Used in the movement phase, when you choose to move a BLACK LEGION unit. Until the start of your next movement phase, that unit ignores modifiers to their movement, advances and charges, and can shoot and charge if it fell back. Not too shabby, the movement buff is a welcome addition, but being able to shoot and charge after falling back stops your opponent from being able to tie up your units effectively.
    • Confluence of Traitors (1 CP): Use this in the command phase. Select one HERETIC ASTARTES unit, and then pick a Legion trait to give them until your next command phase. This opens up some interesting plays, and adds a great deal of flexibility to your army. Can be a clutch pick in some cases.
    • Bringers of Despair (2 CP): Use this at the start of your opponent's fight phase, when you have a unit of TERMINATORS within 3" of any enemy unit. They now are eligable to fight, they fight first, and they get an extra attack. Absolutely bananas, if you can convince your opponent to charge your block of 10 Terminators.
    • Tip of the Spear (2 CP): Reworked in the new codex. Used at the start of the charge phase. If you have no BLACK LEGION units within engagement range of any enemy units, you can select a BLACK LEGION CORE, DAEMONKIN, or CHARACTER unit that is closest to an enemy unit. Until the end of the turn, they can reroll charges, and if the enemy unit is within range of an objective marker or within their deployment zone, they get an extra point of AP. The extra point of AP is okay, but rerolling charges makes this amazing for things that rely on it, like any deepstrikers. Warp Talons and close combat Terminators will love this.
    • Lord of the Ezekarion (1CP): Give your warlord another warlord trait, unless your warlord is a daemon or named character. Pretty damn good, there's loads of deadly comboes you can pull off with this, with the only drawback being that it's limited to non-daemon HQs.
    • Hatred Unbound (2 CP): Use this when your warlord is on the field and your army is engaged in Wanton Destruction, Massacre or Slaughter. If so, then choose a BLACK LEGION CORE unit within 18" of your warlord. They can gain the benefit of all the Wanton abilities. Good if you have a unit nearby that likes to be in certain turns, like Havocs.
  • Relics: Yep, because why wouldn't they get a lot of them as well?
    • Loyalty's Reward: Use this on a model with a bolt weapon. When targeting models with the IMPERIUM keyword, successful hits score 1 mortal wound. If you target any other models, a successful wound scored 1 mortal wound instead. Very very meh.
    • Cloak of Conquest: Grants CORE and CHARACTER units within 6" Objective Secured Severely nerfed from the old codex, this now has the niche use of giving things like Terminators and Havocs ObSec, if you're not already using another ability to do so.
    • Ghorisvex's Teeth: Replaces a chainsword. AP-3 D2 that adds +3 attacks. The loss of the mortal wounds this weapon grants from the last edition has hurt the usability of this weapon, and the wealth of weapon relics that Chaos gets means that there will always be a better option.
    • Sightless Helm: This relic lets you ignore hit, weapon and ballistic skill modifiers, improves the AP of any attack made by 1, and lets you ignore an enemy unit's cover save. Can be used by cultists, but why would you? A nice little upgrade for something like a Lord Discordant, who has a wide variety of attacks that benefit from this.
    • Wrath of the Abyss: Essentially a thunder hammer with and extra point of AP and no -1 to hit. Not great, not terrible.
    • Trophies of Slaughter: Add 3" to the bearer's aura abilties, except for psychic powers, and force enemy units within 9" to subtract 1 from Combat Attrition tests. Has a few niche uses, notably with increasing a Master of Possession's Rites of Possession ability to 15", but there are better options out there.
    • Veilbreaker Plate: TERMINATOR models only. Reduce incoming AP by one, and once per game you may use the following ability. In your movement phase, if the model with this relic did not arrive via reinforcements, then you may move the bearer and one BLACK LEGION CORE unit within 3" more than 9" away from any enemy models, with both units moved this way within 6" of each other. Reducing incoming AP is utterly pointless on models that can take this in the era of Armor of Contempt, but the other ability is essentially the Necron relic Veil of Darkness, with all that it implies. You can drop a squad of melee Terminators or Legionaries in someone's face, and you can even pull a friendly unit out of a fight and drop them somewhere safe. An incredible pick and one that may be worth building around.

Unique Characters[edit]

Of course the Black Legion naturally have the most special characters, while the other Legions are struggling to get even one.

  • Abaddon the Despoiler: Abaddon, armless failure though he is, now at least has stats and rules worthy of the Warmaster name. Abaddon is now a SUPREME COMMANDER, and so he must be your Warlord (unless you're also bringing Magnus, Morty, or Angron); if he's your Warlord, he also gains the AGENT OF CHAOS keyword, meaning you can take him with other Legions or other CHAOS factions without breaking any monofaction bonuses. And for 300 points (significantly cheaper than the Primarchs) you're going to want to take him, because he buffs everyone: as Lord of the Traitor Legions he is able to let one friendly HERETIC ASTARTES CORE or CHARACTER re-roll hits (and wounds if they're BLACK LEGION), and he pushes all CHAOS CORE within 6" to add 1 to Charge rolls and re-roll hit rolls of 1, because why not let War Dogs join the fun.
    • WS/BS 2+ S6 8A T6 2+/4++ 9W means he's still able to cower behind his bodyguards. Not that he needs it, because the codex will give him figurative Plot Armor via The Mark of Chaos Ascendant and Dark Destiny : Dark Destiny means that he can never lose more than 3 wounds per phase; the Mark of Chaos Ascendant gives him four fucking abilities:
      1. +1 Strength in a turn he charges, was charged, or performed a Heroic Intervention.
      2. The first failed saving throw each turn does 0 damage.
      3. Attacks that are either at his T (so S6) or at least double (so S12) are at -1 to Wound, so 4s become 5s and 2s become 3s.
      4. And he fights first, because why not.
    • His weapons have also been similarly buffed: The Talon's gun half is now an Assault 4 Heavy Bolter, while the Choppy half is S6(7 if you charge) AP-4 D1, but you can make 2 hit rolls for every attack made with this weapon. But you probably won't ever be using that profile, not when Drachnyen no longer throws a bitch-fit every time Abaddon fails: Drachnyen no longer needs to roll to be used and is now S+3(9/10) AP-4 D3, with unmodified wound rolls of 6 doing 1d3 mortal wounds on top of any damage.
  • Haarken Worldclaimer: The Lord of Raptors has received a massive points increase, and with it, a stats boost. First, weapons, still can't use the Helspear in melee, but now its S7 AP-3 D3 and functions similarly to Mortarion's Lantern. Likewise his lightning claw has gotten mastercrafted (renamed to "Herald's Talon"), don't worry the extra attack and the loss of DttFE have been baked into his stats, bumping him up to A7. Alas, he's also the last relic from a bygone era as the ONLY Chaos character that can take a jump pack, meaning he'll easily leave every other character in the dust bar a daemon prince. Abilities wise, Haarken has a Chapter Master re-roll hits ability with an added caveat where if you select a Raptors unit in the Command Phase they can re-roll wound rolls as well. Likewise, as a Chaos Lord he finally has a normal reroll 1's to hit aura for Core units, something he sorely lacked in 8th. Head Taker lets him gain a permanent +1 to his attacks for every Character he's slain, which also adds an additional 6" to his Herald of the Apocalypse ability. HotA has a maximum range of 24" and causes an additional model to flee when a morale test is failed if an enemy unit is in range of him. Lastly, to top it all off, he has a 4++. Now, is he better? Hell yes he's better, but is he any good? Well, the thing is that he's pretty much just gotten better at doing what he already did, acting as a character killer and morale dropper, the issue with that is that usually those two things don't blend very well together. Since characters care little for morale and those units that actually do don't generate Haarken an additional attack or expand his debuff aura. The best way to use him probably would be with Raptors (duh), have them debuff the infantry with their -1 morale, while Haarken goes for the characters that are supporting them. Appropriate, given how the fluff depicts him.

Tactics[edit]

Emperor's Children[edit]

EmperorsChildren.jpg

In the grim darkness of the far future, there will be only excess.

Thematically the Emperor's Children are worshippers of Slaanesh who seek excess and perfection in all its forms, and they'll do anything they can to achieve both; they have favored precise execution, coordination, and tactical superiority since their creation.

The Emperor's Children never have to worry about their accuracy, giving them great deal of mobility with firepower and melee.

Warlord traits, Stratagems and Relics help to put additional suffering and pain on anyone who tries to fight your men, while giving praise and prayer to the Prince of Excess.

  • Legion Trait: Flawless Perfection: Each time a model with this trait makes an attack, you can ignore any or all hit roll, Weapon Skill or Ballistic Skill modifiers (meaning Noise Marines have relatively little use for Doom Sirens). The second part of the trait adds a small but handy bonus to AP on unmodified 6s to wound, both on melee and ranged attacks.
    • Let's go over stuff you can ignore hit, BS and WS modifiers:
      • Swing Unwieldy melee weapons (Power Fists, Heavy Chainaxe, Helbrute Hammer and etc.) with great accuracy (2+ to hit if Unit can take Icon with Mark of Slaanesh).
      • Fire both guns with Combi-weapons.
      • Fire Vehicle Heavy weapons in melee.
      • Fire Heavy weapons after moving.
      • Fire Assault weapons after advancing.
      • Ignore Dense cover.
    • EMPEROR'S CHILDREN Noise Marines count as troops instead of Elites, allowing armies of them again.
    • All units must be Slaanesh Marked if they can be; all units must pay for the upgrade if available (Core and Characters); if a datasheet has the UNDIVIDED keyword but no option to buy the Mark, the mark replaces that keyword; if they don't have either option nor keyword, they simply add SLAANESH on their datasheet.
      • tl;dr everyone is slaanesh, all slaanesh stratagems are compatible with any unit. But only those with Mark of Chaos can benefit from the mark and icon perks. So your Daemonkin, Daemon Engines and Vehicles are out of luck for melee, but still have the Legion trait.
  • Secondary Objective: Adorn the Canvas Eclectic: You score 1 VP for each turn where any of the following: You control more objectives than the enemy, you killed more enemies in melee, you killed more enemies in ranged, and your character killed more enemy characters. Pretty cut and dry and plays to the aggressiveness of the EC, with a bonus perk of scoring an additional VP for each turn where you managed to score all of those conditions.
  • Warlord Traits:
    1. 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.
    • The new codex brought a second part to this trait, letting the warlord fight one last time when being brought down and in engagement range.
    1. Intoxicating Musk: -1 to hit to penalty for enemy units within 3". Faultless Duelist will pretty much always be better... But note that Musk affects units, not models, with all its consequences.
    2. Unbound Arrogance: Use during the fight phase. Each player secretly chooses 1, 2, or 3. If the numbers match, nothing happens. If they don't, you add the number you choose to your warlord's attacks. As one of the few traits in the game that can fuck you over, you really shouldn't be picking this one. Like, at all.
    3. Faultless Duelist: Re-roll all melee attack rolls AND subtract one from attacks of enemy models within engagement range.
    4. Glutton for Punishment: All hits against the Warlord reduce the damage dealt by 1 (minimum 1). Also lets the character ignore MW on 5+. Makes you a bit more likely to survive your IMPERIAL FISTING, but durability isn't why you picked this legion.
      • Only caveat is that this WT does not let Lords Discordant reduce damage by 1.
    1. Loathsome Grace: You can re-roll advances and charges for the warlord. Also adds +2M. May not only get your dude into combat faster, but lets your buff character keep up with its faster buff recipients, MoP with possessed as an example.
  • Stratagems
    • Combat Elixirs (2CP): Time to dig into the Deldar's drug stash! Pick a CORE or Character at the start of the fight phase, they add 1 to their S and their WS for the rest of the phase.
      • A step up from the last version, since you can apply it on any unit and it provides 2 buffs rather than just one.
    • Cruel Bladesmen (1CP): Pick a HERETIC ASTARTES unit, and all models in that unit increase their AP by 1
      • Specifically for fucking with Armor of Contempt, use this to get AP2 chainswords, or shred through saves with Accursed Weapons.
    • Excess of Violence (1CP): Used in the Command Phase if you're still in the Wanton Destruction/Massacre phase, one EMPEROR'S CHILDREN INFANTRY will now count as being in Wanton Slaughter.
    • Excruciating Frequencies (1CP): THINGS SHALL GET LOUD NOW! Pick a unit in the shooting phase, when they fire their sonic weapons, each UMWR of 6 deals a MW, to a max of 6. After they've fired their shots, pick one unit that was hit, they are now unable to OVERWATCH or SET TO DEFEND.
    • Honour the Prince (1CP): CORE or DAEMONKIN only. Usable in either the Movement or Charge Phase. If used in the movement phase, autoadvance 6". If in the charge phase, you roll D6+6 rather than 2 dice.
      • Ensures your Warp Talons can make the charge out of deepstrike, or lets your Noise Marines get in danger close for the +1 D on sonic weapons.
    • Incessant Disdain (1CP): Use during the enemy charge phase, during the Heroic Intervention step. A Core or DAEMONKIN can now Heroically Intervene or a Character may now Heroically Intervene 6" Horizontally and 5" vertically.
    • Death Ecstasy (1CP): Spank me harder, Daddy, you're going to make me explode on 6s Use this in the Fight phase, when a unit is the target of an attack. If the targeted unit hasn't made any of its attacks yet, do not remove any casualties; after the opponent has made their attacks, all destroyed models can fight before being removed from play.
      • Because all of your dudes are Emperor's Children, you're going to have pseudo-interrupt anyway. This is also just the Creation of Bile tactic.
    • Soporific Gaze (2CP): Use this stratagem at the start of the Fight Phase. Select one Emperor's Children Character then select one enemy unit within 3" of it. That enemy unit cannot fight until all of your eligible units have done so.
      • Fight Last is always great, and can cancel out Slaaneshi-type Fight Firsts.
  • Relics:
    • Armour of Abhorrence: Infantry only. Enemies within 3" cannot fall back on a 4+.
    • The Endless Grin: Gives an INFANTRY model a 6+++, and when the bearer is destroyed, roll a d6. On a 3+, he comes back with D3 wounds.
    • Distortion: Replaces a power, force, or accursed sword. It can either double your attacks at SU AP-2 D1 (garbage), or have a boosted profile with Sx2 AP-4 D2.
    • Raiment Revulsive: Gives the bearer an aura. Friendly units can perform an action and shoot, while enemy units cannot "start to perform" an action (so they can still finish their actions (because Slaanesh isn't about to blueball anyone)).
      • This can be given to Cultists, but why would you?
    • The Fatal Sonancy: At the end of the Movement Phase, select one visible enemy unit within 12". Roll 6d6, and for each 4+, the enemy unit suffers a Mortal Wound.
    • Remnant of Maraviglia: PRIEST only, gives them a once per game aura that adds +1 attack to all friendly models within 6".

Unique Units[edit]

  • Lucius the Eternal: S5 6W and 5A, he comes with a Doom Siren and a S:U AP3 D2 power sword. His Duellist's Pride ability has been changed and is triggered when there is an enemy with unmodified WS 3+ or better within Engagement Range: he gets 3 more attacks base, and any attack allocated to models with 3+ skill are resolved with +1 damage.
    • The Armor of Shrieking souls gives him a 4+ invuln, and if he is slain, roll 2d6. If it exceeds the LD of the attacker, they take D6 MWs, D3 MWs if you roll less.
  • Sonic DreadnoughtLegends: This is a Helbrute, but is technically a distinct datasheet named Sonic Dreadnought; you can take 2 Blastmasters on its multimelta arm, and you can give it a Doom Siren.
  • Tactics
    • The Chosen Perfectionists: Chosen with Combi-weapons and Power Fists, with Icon. Think about how to Transport them, maybe give a good Relic like Armour of Abhorrence to the Champion, add an Exalted Champ to give re-roll 1 to wound, Dark Apostle for Prayers, Sorcerer for psychic buffs, and you have unit of Chosen who fire both guns on Combi-weapons and hit on 3+ (2+ if you cast Prescience), once in Melee they will hit on 2+ with Power Fists and Accursed Weapons, Fights first and has 50/50 chance to deny Fall Back. Improve further from that with Terminators, here you likely just go with the Black Rune of Damnation for that -1 to wound, but have no access to Icon, so you hit on 3+ (2+ if you have Prescience) with 10 Combi-weapons (4 which hit automatically), 2 Accursed Weapons, 6 Power Fists and 2 Chainfists.

Iron Warriors[edit]

IronWarriors.png

In the grim darkness of the far future, there is only bitter hate and the thunder of big guns.

The Iron Warriors are among the greatest siege lords in the Galaxy: renowned an unmatched alliance with the Cult of Destruction (Obliterators and Mutilators), methodically planned campaigns of conquest, and their ability to break through and conquer any defended location, be it a Bunker on a hill or an entire Fortress World.

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

  • Legion Trait: Iron Within, Iron Without: Enemy units attacked by units with this trait do not receive the benefit of cover. Each time an attack is made against a unit with this trait, the wound roll cannot be re-rolled.
    • Not just Light Cover or Heavy Cover, but Dense Cover too, sick. With this trait you can have your entire army give the middle finger to Raven Guard, Hive Fleet Jormungandr and Blood Axes Orks for you completely unapologetically, and it also kills smaller but annoying setups such as the Vexilla Magnifica Praetor in Custodes, not to mention just generally ignoring cover from terrain which is never a downside
  • Secondary Objective: Masters of Demolition: Your enemy sets up three additional objectives over 9" away from each other and over 6" from any table edge, with only on being able to be placed within 6" of the enemy's DZ. Your Infantry units gain a special action that lets them spend a turn to demolish it, wiping them from the board and scoring you 4 VP (+3 more if this was within 6" of the enemy's DZ).
  • Warlord Traits
    • Architect of Destruction: One friendly IRON WARRIORS core or vehicle units within 6" of this Warlord count as in wanton destruction.
    • Daemonsmith: Choose one IRON WARRIORS Daemon Engine, IRON WARRIOR machine spirit or Cult of Destruction unit within 6", they gain +1 to hit.
    • Unyielding Mettle: +1 Toughness and 5+++ FNP for this Warlord. Great for a Lord Discordant or a Smash Prince.
    • Bastion: One core unit with in 6" of this warlord can hold steady or set to defend. In addition, they gain obsec or count as double if they already had it.
    • Siege Lord: A guarantee that your heavy weapons will leave their mark. Iron Warriors Vehicles and Iron Warrior core units within 6" of the warlord and attacking enemy vehicle units with strength 7+, gain +1 damage to their weapons.
      • Pretty worthless against armies with out vehicles, e.g. Tyranids, but great otherwise.
    • Implacable Taskmaster: IRON WARRIORS core units within 6" count as stationary if they made a normal move. Turns any of your heavy weapon marines and defilers into havocs and saves you CP.
  • Stratagems
    • Bitter Enmity (1CP): Grr, we hate Imperial Fists. One unit can reroll hit and wound rolls in melee when targeting them.
    • Dour Duty (1/2CP): Use during your opponent's shooting phase or doing your charge phase. When one IRON WARRIORS core infantry or daemon engine unit is chosen as the target of an attack, they gain minus one damage against them. Cost 2CP for 10+ Power Level units. Throw this on a Land Raider or Obliterator pack in cover and even the best Anti-Tank weapons will struggle to bring it down.
    • Cold Hearted Malignity (1CP): Use this stratagem when an IRON WARRIORS core unit is below half strength. Until the end of the game, they auto pass morale and gain +1 to hit.
    • Methodical Annihilation (1CP): Use when selecting an IRON WARRIORS unit to shoot with. When resolving that unit's attacks, reroll one damage roll. Each time a model in that unit makes an attack with a BLAST weapon, the target unit counts as double the number of models. If the selected Iron Warriors unit is a vehicle, it cna use BLAST weapons in engagement range, but suffers a mortal wound for each hit roll of 1.
      • All of these effects now apply, rather than having you choose one.
    • Spiteful Endurance (1CP): one Heretic Astartes gain 5+++ FNP.
    • Tank Destroyers (1CP): Use during the shooting or fight phase. Choose one IRON WARRIORS HERETIC ASTARTES (not cultists!) and one enemy vehicle. 6's to hit for the Iron Warriors auto-wound rolls against the target.
    • Unholy Vigor (2/3CP): Pick an Iron Warriors Vehicle. It gains minus one to wound against it. Cost 3 CP for titanic unit.
  • Relics
    • Axe of the Forge Master: Replaces a power axe or Daemon Axe. +3 strength, -3 AP, 2 damage, an unmodified roll of 6+ deals 1 mortal wound or 3 mortal wounds gainst vehicles in addition to any other damage.
    • Cranium Malevolous: When shooting, Roll a dice for every enemy vehicle within 9"; on a 4+, they take d3 mortal wounds and on a 6+, they take 3 mortal wounds. (Cultist characters can take.) Alas, poor Yorick, I knew his EMP blasts well.
    • Fleshmetal Exoskeleton: INFANTRY only. User gains -1 damage and after lost wounds from an attack, roll a d6, on a 4+ gain +d3 wounds regen.
      • Only the Chaos Lord in Terminator armor can make this work. He's the only INFANTRY model with the wounds and saves to make this worth it. A -1 dam won't save Exalted Champions or anyone else when the opponent's-smashlord-with-double-bone-harlequin-carress blenderfucks you, and you can't always rely on a 50% regen.
    • Insidium: For non Daemon infantry. The bearer gains the Daemon keyword and Daemonkin and adds 1 to their strength, toughness, and wounds.
      • In direct competition with Fleshmetal Exoskeleton, but both are limited by their INFANTRY only stipulation. This relic could make Exalted Champions and Masters of Execution better, since you're not really banking on them surviving a counter attack.
    • Siege Breaker Mace: Replaces a Power Maul, a Cursed Crozius, thunder hammer, or accursed weapon. S+2 AP-2 D2 super-power maul, and can make one additional Sx2 AP-3 Dd3+3 attack.
        • Always save the smash attack for last and never replace a thunder hammer with this.
    • Spitespitter: Replaces a combibolter or combi-weapon. Bolter half becomes Rapid-Fire 1, S5 AP-3 D2 or rapid fire 2 if you chose a combibolter. Pretty much a Combi-Stalker Bolt Rifle. Awesome.
    • Techno-venomous Mechadendrites: Warpsmiths only. Repairs 3 wounds with master of machines and attacks with mechadendrites cause 1 mortal wounds per hit.
  • Secondary: Masters of Demolition"
    • If you select this objective, during the resolve pre-battle abilities phase (so before the first round, but after deployment) your opponent must set up three objective markers anywhere on the battlefield, 9 inches away from each other and 6" away from an edge, and only one within their deployment zone (if an objective can't be placed within these rules, the marker is lost and you lose the potential VP). These count as a "demolition site" (i.e. a target for you and only you), and your INFANTRY units can perform an action when in range of the objective, provided there are no opponent models next to it. This action begins in the start of your Movement phase, and ends at the end of your turn.
      • The wording on this secondary is crucially important and stupid. Because it happens in the start of your movement phase, those dudes performing it should have been on the site already. Because it happens at the end of your turn, so long as you don't do anything else with those units, the action is successful. Once the action is completed, the Objective is removed.
    • Score 4 VP for each demolished target, with the Deployment objective counting as 7 VP.
      • Fucking brutal. 15 VP for a (sub!)faction secondary is pretty cool, even if there's the risk of it being an action, and those objective markers being placed by your opponent. Because these objectives are totally independent from the mission objective markers, your opponent needs to have someone babysit these objectives on top of the mission objectives they're already trying to capture. Your opponent is going to do whatever they can to place those objectives close to the objectives they're going to try to take, but that still works in your favor, because again, you can take secondaries that give you VP for seizing their objectives.
Tactics

Night Lords[edit]

NightLords.jpg

In the grim darkness of the far future, the weak shall fear the strong.

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

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

  • Legion Trait: Terror Tactics: Enemy units must subtract two from their leadership when a unit with this trait is within 9” and subtract 1 from combat attrition tests. No longer stacks with itself but can stack with the fearsome trait found on units such as raptors, possessed and the Daemon Prince. Additionally, whenever targeting a unit below half strength or below LD5 in melee you get +1 to wound.
    • Highly situational and downright useless against Custodes and Necrons. With the release of the Chaos Knights Codex, 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”.)
  • Secondary Objective: Sow the Seeds, Reap the Fear: Score 1 VP whenever the enemy fails an action, falls back, or fails in morale, all playing into your advantages. On top of that, whenever you wipe an enemy unit from the field, roll a 2d6; if you roll over that unit's Leadership, then you score an additional VP. Another really simple objective to carry out that works with your extreme Leadership penalties.
  • Warlord Traits:
    • Night Haunter's Curse: Once per turn, your warlord counts the result of one hit roll, wound roll, damage roll, Advance roll, charge roll, or saving roll, as a six. Damn, that's a lot of possible rerolls. Means you don't need to spend as many CP for said re-rolls.
      • You know how the SoB are the best army right now because of Miracle Dice? This gives you a tiny bit of that jank.
    • One Piece at a Time: -1 to CA if a unit suffers casualties from the warlord in melee, warlord can consolidate in any direction, even if in base contact with an enemy model, as long as it finishes within 3” of an enemy model.
    • Murderous Reputation: 6” bubble of nope to deny objective secured.
    • Can be crucial when you're dogpiling objectives with Raptors. A good way to use this is to actively seek out infantry performing actions near objectives. Denying an enemy VP is a legitimate tactic.
    • Killing Fury: Add D3 attacks to the warlord in a turn that they charge, were charged, or heroically intervened until the end of the fight phase. Now also confers wanton slaughter for any melee attack for the warlord when active.
    • Combo this with our Hit and Run stratagem for some really dirty fighting.
    • One With The Shadows: Ever wanted to pretend you’re in the Matrix? Now you can. Whenever targeted by an attack, shooting or melee, your opponent cannot re-roll hits, and suffers -1 to hit. Good for making that Disco Lord or Prince survive.
    • Dirty Fighter: Select one enemy unit within 3” of the warlord during your fight phase. It now fights last, behind your warlord and any other eligible units.
  • Stratagems:
    • In Midnight Clad (1CP): Use this stratagem whenever a non-CULTISTS 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. Alas, does not work on Daemon Princes, as they aren't infantry.
    • We Have Come For You! (2CP): At the start of the opponent's Movement Phase, one Night Lords CORE, DAEMONKIN or CHARACTER unit that isn't a vehicle forbids any models within engagement range from falling back (Unless they're a VEHICLE, Aircraft, or Titanic).
    • Pull this on some cowed guardsmen or fire warriors and rest assured with the knowledge that you have another turn to turn the rest of that unit into chunky salsa. Extra value against "Hit & Run" assholes who rely on cycle-charging to always fight you first. Failing that, you are still in melee and thus can't be shot by everyone else, damn this thing is great! Better yet, as it disregards Jump units, use this to lock down ANY Tau battlesuit, from a Coldstar commander all the way to a broadside, as they're all considered either infantry or monsters, and watch the fear form in real time. Got pricier with the new codex but still scary.
    • Vox Scream (2CP): Use at the end of the movement phase, select an enemy model within 12″ of a Night Lords unit. Until the start of your next movement phase, enemy units cannot be affected by the affected unit's aura abilities. For maximum fun use it to turn off a certain big blue smurf's numerous aura abilities and watch Girlyman's gunline crumble. This has become much bigger as more armies become dependent on auras. However can only be used once per battle.
    • Sound the Black Hunt (1CP): Use in the shooting or fight phase, select a Night Lords CORE, DAEMONKIN or CHARACTER unit. Until the end of that phase, when targeting a unit below starting strength or with a Ld characteristic of 6 or less, reroll ones to hit. When targeting a unit below half of it’s starting strength, or below Ld5, you reroll hits. Got a lot easier to pull off the former version of this at range since Terror Tactics got buffed to a 9” range. The second version will only really come into play if you’re fighting Orks or Guard, or using possessed, daemon princes, or raptors as they get -1Ld along with Terror Tactics.
    • Underhanded Scheming (1CP): Use in charge phase, select a Night Lords unit, that unit can charge even if they fell back. So you get to fight them first without the need to pay for a Slaanesh Mark. Or you can simply hop that guardsman blob and pounce on the valuable thing they were screening - nobody told you have to fall back towards your table edge, right?
    • From the Night (1/2CP): Use at reinforcements step of movement phase, select one Night Lords INFANTRY or BIKER unit, it can now be set up as if it were one turn higher than it actually is. Good for T1 Termie, Possessed, or the Night Lord's own Warp Talons/Raptors. Costs another CP if you’re using this for a DAEMONKIN unit, though.
    • It costs 2 CP, but bringing down Obliterators T1 when the Wanton Destruction phase is active isn't something other legions can do.
    • Screaming Skies (1CP): Use in movement phase, select one Night Lords Jump pack unit, remove it from the table, and re-deploy it next turn anywhere as long as it’s 9” away from any enemy models. For when you really need that Warp Talon blob on the other side of the table.
    • Flay Them Alive (1CP): Use in the Fight phase, when the enemy warlord is destroyed from a Night Lords unit in melee. Until the end of the game, the entire enemy army subtracts one from combat attrition tests. Straight up useless vs Marines so be careful.
  • Relics:
    • Claw of the Stygian Count: Replaces a single lightning claw, malefic talons or accursed weapons; they’re S+2, AP-3, and 2 damage on top of the bonuses inherent to double lightning claws. They also disregard any rules that prevent loss of wounds, like Ghaz’s or C’tan. Good on a Daemon Prince or Terminator Lord I guess, though it will struggle to complete with something like G’hollax.
    • Vox Daemonicus: Infantry model only. Enemies within 12" of the bearer rolls 2D6 when attempting to perform an action or psychic action, if it rolls higher than their ld, they fail said action. Also blocks anyone from deep-striking within 12" of the bearer.
    • Stormbolt Plate: Infantry model only. Can’t be targeted outside 12” unless the bearer is the closest model and always count as being in light cover.
    • Flayer: Replaces a power sword, accursed weapon or force sword. S+2, AP-3, D2. Each model destroyed by an attack with this weapon counts as two kills for the sake of morale. Makes even Primaris marines quiver in fear. Received an additional boost to strength in the new codex.
    • Talons of the Night Terror: Model with the Fly keyword only. So Daemon Prince exclusive. Every time you move or advance over an enemy unit roll a D6 (-1 if it’s a character), on a 2+ the unit takes D3 mortal wounds, if the bearer charges, on a 2+ you deal D3 mortal wounds to a single unit in engagement range. Just take G’hollax.
    • Scourging Chains: Improve the AP of the bearers melee weapons by 1. And -1 attack (to a minimum of 1) for enemy models within 1″ of the bearer.
    • Misery of the Meek: Once per battle at the start of any phase, the bearer regains up to 3 lost wounds and gains D3 extra attacks and 3” to their auras until the start of your next turn.
  • Tactics: Here are some tactics that work much better for Night Lords than in any other Legion.
    • It is possible to further drop morale through some other means. The easiest option is likely Chaos Spawn, since each unit causes -1 LD. Another is a Chaos Lord with the Lord of Terror Trait, or allying in Haarken Worldclaimer. Other means include Hell Talons with Warp-pulse Bombs, Noxious Blightbringers (one possibly with the Dolorous Knell relic), Be'lakor, Samus, and/or a Nurgle Herald with the Entropic Knell for an additional -1 Leadership each. Malefic Lords with Creeping Terror can contribute a nice -1d3 Leadership, and if you are facing IMPERIUM enemies, some Renegade Command Squads with Banners of the Apostate can toss in another -1. The recently added Vulgrar and his Nightmare Hulks are able to join in on this party too.
      • Zhufor, Sloppity Bilepipers, the Ogryn Beast Handler's Hounds, and a few units of Furies are great additions to this, as they remove additional models when enemies fail their Morale tests, instead of piling on yet more, possibly redundant, Leadership penalties. An Aspect of Death Khorne Daemon Warlord can also help with this.
      • Even Tzeentch can get on this! A Thousand Sons Sorcerer with Treason of Tzeentch combines beautifully with all this, and he can even bring some Mutaliths with him, just in case you need a bit more.
      • If you really want to go big or go home, Zarakynel and Cacophonic Choir can help bring an average of 7 Mortal Wounds to units in the debuff zone; you can even give her Phantasmagoria to really grind the salt in. This all adds up to -14 (16 with Zarakynel) Leadership, meaning everything within 6" will be Leadership 0. Maybe bring along a Slaaneshi Herald with the Forbidden Eye to shut down any bothersome auras?
      • Renegade Knights can also get in on the action with their Traitor's Mark Relic, which hits everything within 12" with -1, and everything within 6" with -2. Tack it onto a Knight Atrapos, 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! Also, with 9th changing the way casualties are taken when failing first morale tests, and then combat attrition tests (of which currently we have no way to cause extra failures), it is entirely possible to completely overdo the leadership bomb. 3 units of night lords raptors in melee will cause all but the bravest of units to fail.
        • Alternative Opinion: It's a lot of work just to try and force casualties on the enemy when you could just try and destroy the units instead of relying upon morale shenanigans. To fully exploit this strategy also requires multiple detachments, which can create a cumbersome army. In the case of some armies, like Tau, there's a high chance your whole leadership bomb will simply be ignored by a lucky roll of 6.
    • Death to the False Emperor Shenanigans: Take advantage of the new and improved Death to the False Emperor with either From the Night or Prey on the Weak. If you choose slaanesh, you can add an icon of excess to allow DTTFE to trigger on a 5+, and the +1 hit bonuses from either stratagem will give you exploding hit rolls on a 4+. Add in either raptors or lightning claw terminators as you see fit. Alternatively, just stick with Khorne and enjoy the more reliable double fighting options.
    • Little Sevatar: Take a Master of Executions, give him the Mark of Slaanesh, and the Killing Fury warlord trait. You have a character who always fights first at S7 AP-3 D2, who gains an additional D3 attacks (to a maximum of 9) on any turn he heroically intervenes, charges or is charged which always explode on 6’s as well as deal mortal wounds. He also re-rolls all wounds against characters. All this for 80pts and 1CP.
    • Daemon Warp-Fuckery: After the release of the 9th Edition Daemons codex, Night Lords have become probably one of the best CSM allies for Daemons, and vice versa (ironically, given their lore). The new Manifestation rule allows Daemons to teleport in anywhere Leadership" away, and since a single unit of Night Lords Raptors or Possessed reduce Leadership by 3, Daemons can pop up frighteningly (pun intended) close by. They can then use their own Leadership debuff aura to give a total of -4 Leadership, putting pretty much anything short of Necrons within range of Sound the Black Hunt and Terror Tactics. With both of these things online (which is clearly not hard to do), you can give even Word Bearers a run for their money in melee. Slaanesh in particular syngergises nicely with this, as Daemonettes can turn GEQs to a thin red mist, while the Soulstain Discipline gives you Phantasmagoria (roll 6D6, each 5+ gives a mortal wound and -1 Leadership until the start of your next Psychic Phase) and Cacophonic Choir (roll 3D6, unit suffers a mortal wound for every point it exceeds their Leadership to a maximum of 6).
    • Key take away(s) You need leadership debuffs acting as a supplement, not an initial means to remove models/units. Focus on killing and destroying models with usual chaos heavy hitters (aka the majority of the elites section), then allow for poor morale to increase overall damage. Further, you must tread the fine line between overkill and maiming your enemy. If you kill units outright, there is nothing left to scare and your army is essentially playing without a legion tactic. Further, you need to plan around army wide leadership protections (Mob rule, commissars, ignoring morale tests, certain psychic powers, etc.). This means you usually need to find ways to kill certain characters, which can be hard without dedicated snipers. Few armies can combine fluff and crunch this well, however, this is not a beginners army.

Word Bearers[edit]

WordBearers.jpg

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

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

Crunch-wise the Word Bearers have one of the best Legion Trait for a melee army, as well as improved durability and are the best choice if you wanna go deep into fully devoted territory be it spamming possessed and buffing them with characters or daemonic allies, whether devoted to one or all of the aspects of the primordial truth. We recommend checking the Chaos Daemons tactica too, at least until GW screws them over with their new codex. That is if geedubs didn't forget about them.

  • Legion Trait: Profane Zeal: Units with this trait may re-roll hit roll in melee if you charged, were charged, or performed a heroic intervention; in addition, you have a 5+++ save against mortal wounds.
  • Secondary Objective: Exalt the Dark Gods: Keep a tally for every time a WORD BEARERS INFANTRY unit completes a once-per-turn action, starting at the end of the Movement Phase while within 6" of the center of the battlefield. Psykers may attempt psychic powers without it interrupting the action. Said action finishes at the start of your next Command Phase if there is no enemy unit within 6" of the center of the battlefield, unless the action is performed by a WORD BEARERS ICON, WORD BEARERS DARK APOSTLE, or a WORD BEARERS MASTER OF POSSESSION causing it to finish at the end of your turn instead with the same requirement of no enemies. Do note that enemies don't prevent the action from starting, giving you ample time to remove these vile blasphemers at your leisure. At the end of the Battle you receive 2/4/9/15 Victory Points for 1/2/3/4 completed actions.
  • Warlord Traits:
    • The Voice of Lorgar: Add 3" to the range of any aura abilities (including prayers, excluding psychic auras) that the warlord has. Additionally if your prayers specify a range it's increased by 3". Rooftop Havocs should be able to hear your Lord shouting at them to shoot straight, whilst covering a lot of ground. It's complete trash unless you drop it on a Dark Apostle to boost the range of his prayers.
    • Exalted Possession: This Warlord gains the DAEMONKIN and DAEMON keywords (if they don't already have them). Add 1 to the Strength, Attacks, and Wounds characteristics of the Warlord, and add 2" to the Warlord's Move characteristic. Note that this means they can be buffed by Masters of Possession, Daemonic Loci, and several Relics from the Daemon Codex (for now). Most notably this allows the warlord to be affected by the Revered Hosts stratagem to re-roll the wound roll.
    • Daemonic Whispers: Every time your Warlord successfully chants a prayer, casts a psychic power, completes an action or an psychic action you roll a d6. If the value is higher than the current battle round you gain a command point. Every time. Pairs well with Exalt the Dark Gods
    • Master of the Union: Pick a friendly WORD BEARERS DAEMONKIN unit within 6" during your command phase; they gain +1 strength and their melee attacks increase their AP by 1.
    • Diabolist: Attacks against this Warlord can't have their wound roll re-rolled and any damage suffered is ignored on a 5+.
    • Hate-Fuelled Demagogue: During your command phase pick a friendly WORD BEARERS unit. If that unit is CULTISTS they gain Let the Galaxy Burn and are considered HERETIC ASTARTES for it. The unit counts as if in Wanton Slaughter if your army is either in Destruction or Massacre. Eh.
  • Stratagems:
    • Dark Pact (1CP): Use this stratagem when a WORD BEARERS CHARACTER is killed. He lives again on a roll of 4+ with d3 wounds remaining, as close as possible to his spot of shameful death and outside of engagement range. Limited to once per Character.
    • Malevolent Covenant (1CP/2CP): Use this Stratagem in your Psychic phase when a WORD BEARERS PSYKER unit from your army fails a Psychic test. You can let that PSYKER suffer a mortal wound to decrease the cost of this stratagem from 2CP to 1CP. Either way the psychic test is considered to be successful at the minimum required warp charge, not counting as a double, and turning un-deniable. Good for those spells that absolutely have to land.
    • Apostle of the Dark Council (1CP): Use this Stratagem before the battle, when mustering your army. Select one WORD BEARERS PRIEST model from you army. It gains +1 Leadership, and gains the Dark Council ability, letting it re-roll prayer rolls.
    • Cursed Despoilers (2CP): Pick a WORD BEARERS CORE or WORD BEARERS DAEMONKIN unit engaged in Wanton Massacre that is selected to shoot. When that unit shoots an enemy unit that is within 12" AND on an Objective, HERETIC ASTARTES models in that WORD BEARERS score extra hits for Massacre weapons on a 4+. Lots of hoops, but may be worth it when the time comes.
    • Fanatic Zealotry (1 CP): Pick one WORD BEARERS CULTISTS squad within 12" of a WORD BEARERS CHARACTER. The Cultists can re-roll their charge and melee hit rolls, improving their melee effectiveness.
    • Revered Hosts (2 CP): Use this Stratagem in the Fight phase when a WORD BEARERS DAEMON unit from your army is chosen to fight with. Until the end of the phase re-roll the wound roll for melee attacks for models in that unit.
    • Hexagrammic Wards (1CP): Use this Stratagem in any phase when an attack is allocated to a WORD BEARERS CHARACTER model from you army. Change the Damage of that Attack to 0. Usable once, unless it's a Strike Force or Onslaught sized game, then you may use it twice. A nifty alternative to the traditional Command re-roll.
    • Vengeance for Monarchia (1CP): Use this Stratagem in the fight phase when a WORD BEARERS unit from you army is chosen to fight with. Until the end of that phase, when resolving an attack made with a melee weapon by a HERETIC ASTARTES model in that unit against an ULTRAMARINES (or successor) unit, you can re-roll the hit roll and you can re-roll the wound roll.
  • Relics:
    • Crown of the Blasphemer: May be put on a CULTISTS model. Models in the bearers unit have a 4+ invulnerable save that once per battle, before a saving throw of your choosing, may be turned into a 3+ invulnerable save. Turns the Dark Commune from a complete waste of points into a waste of points and a relic.
    • Baleful Icon: WORD BEARERS model only. Said model gains a 6" Aura of no re-rolls for hit, wound, and damage rolls against friendly WORD BEARERS INFANTRY within it.
    • The Armour Diabolus: WORD BEARERS model only. The bearer has a 2+ Save. Additionally after any shooting or melee sequence targeting this model ends roll a d6 for each wound lost, the attacking unit suffers a mortal wound for every 4+ rolled. Should the bearer be destroyed by these attacks, roll one d6, causing d3 mortal wounds to the attacking unit on a 4+. Like the Suppurating Plate but less gross and more Black Metal.
    • Malefic Tome: PSYKER only. A model with this Relic knows one additional psychic power from one of the disciplines it has access to. When a Psychic test is taken for a model with this Relic, add 1 to the total.
    • Ashen Axe: Model with a power axe, exalted power axe, daemonic axe, axe of dismemberment or accursed weapon only (sheesh). This Relic replaces said weapon with S+2 AP-3 D2. If you destroy any enemy models with melee attacks using this weapon, roll 2d6 against the target units Ld, equal or exceeding result prevent the target unit from advancing, falling back, and being eligible to fight until every other eligible unit has fought in the fight phase for THE REST OF THE BATTLE.
    • Epistle of Lorgar: PRIEST model only. Said model knows one additional prayer and may additionally chant one more prayer it knows that hasn't been chanted yet
    • Eightfold-Cursed Crozius: WORD BEARERS model with accursed crozius, accursed weapon, or power maul only, replacing said weapon with a S+2 AP-2 D3 beatstick that auto wounds on any hit made by a PRIEST model that doesn't target a MONSTER or VEHICLE
  • Strategies: No longer the sub-faction with the worst trait in the entire game Word Bearers truly shine when laden with Daemonkin, Masters of Possession, Dark Apostles and ICON units.
    • Oops all Daemonkin: Almost every Force Org slot has the option to have a Daemonkin unit, these being Masters of Possesion, Possessed for Elites, Oblits for Heavy Support, Warp Talons for Fast Attack. As none of these have CORE they'll have to make due with merely being incredibly powerful instead of downright bonkers stupid broken. May as well max out MoPs to three, one of them being your Warlord and thus Master of the Union, taking every single Malefic spell there is because they're just that good. These three pricks then may try to saunter after the Possessed zooming ahead as to buff them, your Warp Talons harrassing anything that your possessed can't reach quickly, and your Obliterators dropping into your opponents back field, if possible, wreaking havoc there. Repeat until people don't want to play against you anymore or until Possessed and Oblierators catch some possibly well deserved price hikes. I guess you also kinda have to take some troops so they might as well be Legionaries so they can sit on your backfield objectives, maybe cast something, I don't know. Still miffed the Anointed didn't make it over from Kill Team along with the big axe and the tome.
    • Exalt the Command Points: Get yourself a Dark Apostle, make him Warlord, give him Daemonic Whispers, give him the Epistle of Lorgar, upgrade him with Apostle of the Dark Council, and charge him up the middle with a retinue of, preferably, Possessed doing your damnedest to clear out the middle as early as possible. For every prayer (which he can do two of, re-rolling if necessary) and successfull Exaltation (which he finishes at the end of the turn) you roll a d6, gaining a command point when the result is higher than the current turn. Meaning you have three opportunities to gain a command point, this will help ensure you won't be without CP when push comes to shove. Could also be a Master of Possesion honestly since spells also count for Daemonic Whispers and this one synergises with Possessed a lot better.

World Eaters[edit]

CONFIRMED FOR OUR OWN CODEX! SEEYA LATER, BLAND LEGION!

WorldEaters.png

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

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

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

  • Legion Trait: Butcher's Nails: When a unit with this trait successfully charges, or gets charged, you make one additional attack with each model in the following fight phase. This often translates to 4 attacks per model on the average Legionary, but this is World Eaters, you're taking Berzerkers, so for them that's 6 attacks per model. And since this now, for the time being till the new codex anyway, goes off when a Unit is charged, it means they can counterattack back pretty harshly too. Obviously this doesn't just apply to Berzerkers, so if you're running other Units you're looking for even more Melee, Chosen, Warp Talons and Possessed in particular, or you could always run even more Berzerkers. Hey, if it means more blood, then I won't judge
    • All models must be marked by Khorne when possible. Of course, this means no sorcerers.
    • WORLD EATERS Berzerkers count as troops instead of elites.
  • Warlord Traits:
    • Slaughterborn: Add 1 to your Warlord's Attacks and Strength characteristics each time he slays an enemy CHARACTER, MONSTER, or TITANIC model. YES KILL KNIGHTS!!!!
    • Arch Slaughterer: At the start of the fight phase, your warlord gets D3 additional attacks if there are more enemies within 3" of them than friendly models. These extra attacks last until the end of the fight phase.
    • Disciple of Khorne:Your warlord can re-roll all hit and wound rolls when they're fighting an enemy character OR a unit with models that have 5 or more wounds. Not quite as sick as the Raiment Revulsive those EC prissies have, but you're going to ruin duels. On the plus side, it's a trait as opposed to eating a relic.
    • Violent Urgency: +1 to advance and charge rolls for friendly WORLD EATERS units within 6" of this warlord
    • True Berzerker: When resolving a melee attack against this model halve the damage taken, rounding up.
    • Battle-Lust: The warlord can perform a 6" heroic intervention and moves 6" when doing so. Additionally, this warlord always fights first even if they didn't charge.
  • Stratagem:
    • Scorn of Sorcery (1CP): When an enemy psyker uses a power within 24" of a WORLD EATERS unit, roll a d6. On a 4+, the power is nullified. Identical to the Black Templars' Abhor the Witch stratagem, but no less effective against those pesky psykers
      • Note that this exact same Stratagem already exists in the CSM codex, literally the same name and everything, but it's been re-printed here as a World Eaters stratagem that works in pretty much the same way thanks to GW being lazy with the White Dwarf supplement. And because they have, in their infinite wisdom, failed to address this in an FAQ, it means you can technically use this Stratagem twice since they are separate Stratagems. I mean it'll eat CP, but if you hate Psykers just that much then here you go
    • Apoplectic Frenzy (1CP): use during deployment when you set up a WORLD EATERS INFANTRY. At the start of the first battle round but before the first turn begins that unit can move up to 9" but cannot this move within 9" of any enemy models.
    • SKULLS FOR THE SKULL THRONE (1CP): Use in the fight phase when an enemy character is destroyed with a melee weapon by a WORLD EATERS CHARACTER, gaining D3 Command Points. Gain CP for collecting skulls for Khorne. Because you gain D3 CP and it costs 1CP at worst nothing happens and at best you gain 2CP.
    • Red Butchers (2CP): Use once per game before the battle. select one WORLD EATERS CHAOS TERMINATORS unit from your army. That unit gains +1 strength and the "blood for the blood god" ability. Grab one of those upgrade kits from Forge world and go RIP AND TEAR
      • A note in the FAQ clarifies that yes, WORLD EATERS TERMINATORS CHARACTERS can be selected for this Stratagem. While significantly less impactful than a full unit and rather expensive in terms of CP, this can go some way to make a WORLD EATERS Smashfucker very very dangerous. Oh, and it does not specify no named Characters, so you could slap this on Zhufor if you really wanted.
    • KILL! MAIM! BURN! (1CP): Use in the fight phase before you consolidate with a WORLD EATERS unit. Until the end of that phase each model can move up to 6" when they consolidate instead of 3".
    • Wild Fury (1CP): Use in the fight phase when you select a WORLD EATERS unit to fight with. Until the end of the phase that unit's melee weapons AP is improved by 1.
    • Stoke the Nails (1CP): Use in the fight phase when a WORLD EATERS CORE unit is chosen to fight. Until the end of that phase, that Unit gains +1 to Strength and counts as being in Wanton Slaughter when attacking. Throw this on your Berzerkers and watch them grind down light vehicles and warsuits with relative ease. Combine with Wild Fury for heavier targets and anything with Armour of Contempt if you need it
    • BLOOD FOR THE BLOOD GOD! (2CP): Use in the fight phase after an enemy unit is destroyed by a WORLD EATERS model. Until the start of your next turn all friendly WORLD EATERS units auto pass morale tests.
  • Relics:
    • Brass Collar of Bhorgaster: Allows the wearer to deny one psychic power per turn as if he was a psyker; if the power is successfully denied, the psyker immediately suffers Perils of the Warp. This combined with Scorn of Sorcery is bound to make psyker-heavy armies think twice before they begin unleashing their mindbullets or at least stay the hell away from the owner.
    • Crimson Killer: Model with a plasma pistol only. 12" Pistol 1 S9 AP-3 3 Damage and unmodified wound rolls of 4+ score a mortal wound in addition to normal damage.
    • Gorefather: Wait, WHAT? Apparently, ol' Angron felt merciful enough that he could part ways with his other chainaxe, despite this same weapon having been shattered, and the parts buried on a planet that was glassed from orbit in the heresy. What a beast it is though, S+2 AP-2 D3, with the -1 to hit compensated by having a 6 to wound immediately deal 3 mortal wounds instead of regular damage.
    • Banner of Rage: PRIEST model only. Once per battle at the start of the fight phase can unfurl the Banner of Rage. If they do friendly WORLD EATERS units within 6" get +1 attack.
    • Berserker Glaive: Replaces a power axe or axe of dismemberment. S+2 AP-3 D2 weapon that gives the bearer a 5+ FNP. Good replacement for a power axe, but not worth replacing the master of execution's default axe.
    • Helm of Furore: INFANTRY model only. The bearer gains +2 strength and if they are within 8" of any enemy units they MUST declare a charge.
    • Bloodhunger: After the bearer fights, you roll an amount of dice equal to the models slain and regain a Wound for each roll of 5+, to a maximum of 6 regained Wounds. An unfortunate nerf, but not useless. Throw it on a Daemon Prince or Lord Discordant to keep them alive that little bit longer
  • Unique Character:
    • Khârn the Betrayer: Sadly, poor Kharn here is most likely gonna have to wait until the Codex for a better profile. Don't get me wrong, he's still a complete beast in melee, sporting 7 attacks at S7 AP-4 D2 on the charge or after getting charged and always hitting on 2's no matter what, can be chosen to fight a second time the same Fight Phase (albeit without his bonuses), gains the Slaughterborn Warlord Trait if he's selected as your Warlord, and now he can finally potentially re-roll his hit rolls, seems great, right? Well that's the thing, his drawbacks have gotten a little worse and he still has a lot of drawbacks. He really needs a transport otherwise you'll be stuck running him up the board with other Units at a pace that isn't really preferable, and keeping him safe is a tad bit difficult due to the balancing act of keeping him in Look Out, Sir range. On the one hand, he won't get shot at, but on the other hand you're risking dealing 2 Mortal Wounds to your own unit and killing off 5 or 6 attacks from that Unit for the rest of the game. But on the whole, he's not terrible, still very fun to throw at an Infantry unit and watch him blend away your problems. Here's hoping the new codex grants him some better ways to spill blood and gather skulls without dying quite as fast himself


  • Tactics: These are tactics that work best if you're using the World Eaters Legion.
    • Khornate Party Van: Get a Rhino, or better yet - a land raider. Put 8 Berzerkers with Chainaxes in it, put a power fist on the Sergeant for good measure as well. Also take power sword, so that you can produce yet even more attacks against those corpse-loving boot-licks. Add a Dark Apostle or better still Khârn for those magical re-rolls to hit. Finally add an Exalted Champion for those re-rolls to wound. The key to making this strategy work is making sure that your transport doesn't get blown up and all your dudes shot to bits before they reach the enemy. If you can avoid that... You get 14 S6, AP-1 attacks, hitting on 3s, re-rolling all misses and all failed wound rolls. And that's BEFORE the 3 re-rollable power fists, or the Chainswords go off or any of the actual characters go. In addition it doesn't factor Death to the False Emperor or Legions Traits, which become even more brutal with re-rollable attacks. You then get to do this TWICE. Just remember - if you are using Khârn as the source of your re-rolls - always activate the Zerkers before you activate him. Otherwise you may find your ranks somewhat diminished before they even start hurting the enemy.
      • The best part about this tactic is that if you take just the bare bones, like Khârn +9 berzerkers with axes in a rhino, it will cost you just under 400 points. You can isolate that into a separate World Eaters Patrol detachment (if you don't already play WE, otherwise just incorporate the buggers into your army as troops and a mandatory HQ), which gives them one extra melee attack on the charge per model per activation. Seeing as how they will activate TWICE... Do I really need to go on? It is dubious whether it will be very good in games of under 1000 points, as it takes up a huge chunk of your points pool.
      • The key to making this tactic work for you is to not let the party van get nuked before the guys inside can reach their destination. If you're using a land raider, that should be easier, as they are pretty tough now. If you use a rhino, try and set things up so that not all of the enemy's heavy weapons can target your party van. ALSO - USE SMOKE LAUNCHERS. NEVER FORGET THEM! Keep in mind that it takes approximately 3 lascannon wounds to smash a rhino - possibly two, with some luck and/or a command point re-roll. With that in mind, try to remain out of the line of sight of multiple units capable of dishing out d6s of damage. And if your rhino does blow up - try to make it blow up where its contents won't be shredded by gunfire afterwards. While this is not the squishiest spearhead, it can be savagely crippled by a mix of heavy anti-tank weapons (krak, lascannons) and anti-infantry weapons (heavy bolters, massed bolter fire).
      • If you really want to get the full strength of the unit in, consider a Drop Pod or Termite Assault Drill and deepstrike them turn 2 onwards.
      • Don't forget that re-rolls happen before modifiers. So, when you roll a 3 to hit with your power fist, that's a hit, so it doesn't get re-rolled. Then, you apply the modifier, making it a miss. I know. I know.
      • Who wants just some regular old party van? I want a flying party van! Go big or go home! Here's what you do: Kharybdis party bus, Dark Apostle, Exalted Champion, 18x Berzerkers equipped with Chainaxe + Chainswords and a Power Fist on the Champ. Oh, and make them a World Eaters Detachment. That gives you 51xS6 AP-1 attacks, 18xS5 attacks, 4xS10 Ap-3 Dd3 attacks, all attacking a second time, all re-rolling to hit and all re-rolling to wound. That's 146 attacks before the characters even swing! What's better is that the Kharybdis can charge in too! What good is a party bus if you can't crash it into the enemy from orbit?
      • Two Rhinos, each with 9 (or eight for you holy number purists) Berzerkers, a Dark Apostle and an Exalted Champion riding with them, and a Cultist screen, makes for a formidable double party van and yields 5CP. The deep insertion units that want to jump in and pop the Rhinos? Now they have a load of ObSec Cultists to get past.
      • Veterans of The Long War - Yeah, it sticks around in BOTH activations of the Berzerkers. And if that's not enough, you can give them an additional activation at the end of the combat phase, for 3 CP. RIP AND TEAR!
    • Reach Out and Touch Someone : You'll need a couple of things for this.. a Termie/Raptor Lord with Violent Urgency and a Raptor Lord in a Host Raptorial specialist detachment. Drop 10 Warp Talons 9" away as usual, drop the termie lord and raptor lord behind them. Those 2 Warlord Traits will give any friendly <Jump Pack> units +3 to their Charge roll. Those Warp Talons are going to make that charge and deny Overwatch since you just need a combination of 6 to get there.
    • World Eaters Smash Lord: Take a termie lord and use the red butchers stratagem on him, give him exalted champion and watch him throw out 14 fucking attacks on the charge with whatever melee weapon you decide to give him. Throw the talisman of burning blood on him and you’ve got a deep striking monster capable of one shoting knights and killing full terminator units at a whim. Rip and tear indeed.
    • Clawminators: with the recent buff to lightning claws (ironically thanks to the loyalists) granting an addition attack per claw, you're favourite red butcher terminators can now get 6 attacks on the charge. Combined with the second round of fighting, thanks to "Blood for the Blood God" and you're spitting out 11 s5 ap-2 1d attacks, with rerolls to wound. Partner with a lord, an apostle or both, and you have a rage powered blender that will turn all but the biggest, toughest enemies into naught but a smear. After all, there's no kill like overkill!

Red Corsairs[edit]

RedCorsairs.jpg

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

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

Crunchwise... The Red Corsairs are the Gotta Go Fast Renegades, and are much better at holding their gains than their fluff rivals the White Scars. Counting as more models on objectives is very good when combined with Bikers and all Daemon Engines except, ironically, the Venomcrawler (the only plastic Daemon Engine with Assault weapons) because with only 9W, it still only counts as 2 models on objectives.

  • Renegade Trait: Raiders from the Maelstrom: Units with this trait can Advance and Charge, and count as two models on an objective. Vehicles with 10+ count as 5.
    • They do well with Assault weapons, which is great, because as CSM, you get bonuses to Assault weapons for two LTGB phases. You can also just forego hit rolls entirely and just stick with flamer bikes and just go ham with early-game objective stealing.
  • Warlord Traits:
    • Reaver Lord: Start of the Command Phase, roll a D6. On a 4+, gain a CP. This is basically the Master of the Codex trait, but not locked to your Chapter Master. Since Traits now cost a CP, this is a good way to get some points back, but is not an autotake.
    • Angel of Hatred: +1 S and A on the charge, if charged, or intervening. Decent and combos well with Khorne for +2 S, or Slaanesh, for pseudo-interrupt, but you really have to build the character to be a blender for this to be worth it.
    • Dark Raider: Once per turn move-shoot-move for a CORE unit within 6", but wont let you charge.
  • Secondary Objective: Raid and Reave: Holy shit this one's complicated. This is a two-part secondary, with the first half giving you points in your next command phase for "Raiding" objectives; the second half gives you VP at the end of the battle for every surviving Raider, and bonus points if they're in your deployment zone.
    • The first half of this secondary occurs at the end of your movement phase, on an objective that does not have any enemy models within range of it, and can be done by Infantry or Bikers. The action succeeds if they remain on the objective at the start of your next Command Phase/end of the battle. You gain 1 VP for Objectives in your DZ, 3 VP for those on your opponent's, and 2 for those in No Man's Land. They are counted as having a share of spoils of war once the action is complete.
      • Multiple units can do it in a turn, so long as they're all on different objectives.
    • At the end of the game, you gain a VP for each surviving raider. You gain 2 VP instead if they've returned to your deployment zone.
    • It's nice and fluffy, but also requires a lot of thought and forward planning if you're planning on stacking objectives.
      • For an example, the Long War gives you 1 VP for killing an enemy on an objective, and another 2 VP for seizing that objective from them, but maxes out at 3VP a turn (so one objective a turn) while Raid and Reave encourages you to do it on multiple objectives.
  • Stratagems:
    • Secure the Prize (2CP): Use this Stratagem in any phase, when a RED CORSAIRS CORE unit from your army in range of an objective marker is selected as the target of an attack. Until the end of the phase, each time an attack with a Damage characteristic of 1 is allocated to a model in that unit, add 1 to any armour saving throw made against that attack.
    • Rain Fire and Death (2CP): Use this Stratagem in your Command phase, if a RED CORSAIRS CHARACTER unit from your army is on the battlefield. Select one point on the battlefield and place a marker on that point. At the start of your next Command phase, roll one D6 for each unit within 6" of the centre of that marker, adding 1 if the unit being rolled for is within 3" of the centre of that marker and subtracting 1 if the unit being rolled for is a Character unit. On a 2-5, that unit suffers D3 mortal wounds; on a 6+, that unit suffers D6 mortal wounds. That marker is then removed. You can only use this Stratagem once.
    • Hounds of Huron (2CP): Use this Stratagem in the Fight phase, after a RED CORSAIRS BIKER unit from your army has fought. If that unit is within Engagement Range of any enemy units, it can Fall Back as if it were your Movement phase. Otherwise, it can make a Normal Move as if it were your Movement phase.
    • Raid Supply Lines (2CP:) Use this Stratagem at the start of the Reinforcements step of your opponent’s Movement phase, if a RED CORSAIRS WARLORD from your army is on the battlefield. If it is the first or the second battle round, you can select one of your opponent’s Strategic Reserves or Reinforcements units. That unit cannot arrive on the battlefield this phase for any reason, even if it has another rule that states it always arrives on the battlefield during a specific battle round (e.g. Drop Pod Assault). You can only use this Stratagem once.
      • Best used to fuck with Drop Pod spam, or to throw a wrench into the enemy's Terminator assault. 2CP is steep, but it costs the same amount of CP as Auspex Scan, which isn't remotely as useful.
  • Relics:
    • Traitors Laurels: - a Dual Purpose relic. The bearer gets +1 and can perform an Epic Deed for 0 CP (Suck it Blood Axes, with your -1 CP). Also gives a 6" aura to ignore Modifiers to Combat Attrition.
    • Armor of Badab: - A measly 3" invuln aura, giving 4++ to Terminators and 5++ otherwise. You arent really lacking in invulns, and in the age of AoC and -1 CP relics, this isnt really worth it.
    • Maelstrom's Bite: Replaces a combimelta to give you mastercrafted boltgun, an 18" meltagun with S9, and that's it. With only one shot you have much better choices.
  • Unique Character: Huron Blackheart: T5 W6 and 7A, Huron Blackheart is bigger and blacker than ever. He has two weapons, a sweep attack from the Tyrant's Claws at SU AP-2 D1, but two hit rolls for each attack, or whacking with his special snowflake Power Axe at S6 AP-2 D2. His Claw still has a built in Assault Heavy flamer, which at least gives you LTGB.
    • His magic warp parrot is now a once per game spell, but MUST come from the Dark Hereticus Discipline. It will most likely be used for Diabolic Strength.
    • He still gives Chapter Master re-rolls, and his mandatory WT is Reaver Lord. All in all, Huron is a very good support character who can do well in melee, but isn't going to be 1v1ng Smashfuckers and Lords Discordant.
  • Strategies:

Creations of Bile[edit]

In the grim darkness of the far future, only the fittest will survive.

Thematically the Creations of Bile are a legion of twisted mutants created by Fabius Bile's experiments. Their reasons may be many, from oaths and contracts to enslavement, but all of them are dependent on the madman's butchery in order to live.

Crunchwise, the Creations of Bile are a fast melee army, putting their enhanced speed and strength to good use. Sadly none of their stuff benefits Cultists, so you're out of luck if you wanted to imitate the Glandhound packs from the novels. (unless you want to try and convince your opponent your cultists are so many Steroids they count as space marines, which of you put two on one Marine base might cut mustard)

  • Legion Trait: Experimental Enhancements: Add 1 to the Movement and Strength characteristics of units with this trait, and whenever a model is slain in the fight phase, do not remove the model: destroyed models can fight after the attacking unit resolves all their attacks. Models with a wound bracket are only considered to have 1w remaining for their attacks, though
    • Really solid, even if you have to lose models for it to kick in. Unlike EC, you're not locked to Slaanesh, so the +1 S stacks with Khorne, and you can still Mark of Slaanesh for your Vehicles if you really want them to pseudo-Interrupt. Just remember, Fabius Bile can't Enhance Warriors with a Mark.
  • Secondary Objective: Specimens for the Spider: You gain VP if you kill any enemies in melee, 3 VP for characters or monsters, 2 VP for anything else. Short and sweet, with an added bonus that you gain an additional VP if you kill any ADEPTUS ASTARTES, SANCTIC ASTARTES or HERETIC ASTARTES. Let it never be said that ol' Bill wastes any supplies he's given.
  • Warlord Traits:
    1. Surgical Precision: A natural 4+ to hit in melee auto-wounds and improves the attack's AP by 1. Bile takes this one and it does some sinister work on his Rod of Torment.
      • Incredibly spicy, just note that it doesn't stack with LTGB. As per rare rules, any ability that scores more hits on a roll doesnt let the generated hits benefit from auto-wound shenanigans.
    2. Prime Test Subject: Add 1 to the Strength, Toughness, and Wounds of the model.
      • Stacked with the legion's traits for +2 S, which can be boosted further with a Mark of Khorne, but really, this can go great on everyone but a Lord Discordant (who will lose Character Protection if they take this).
    3. Twisted Regeneration: Once per game when the warlord dies, they can resurrect with d3 wounds on a 2+.
  • Stratagem:
    • The Master is Watching (1 CP): Use this stratagem in your Command phase: select a Creations of Bile Infantry unit, then select a Creations of Bile Character that is visible to the unit. Until the end of the turn, they are considered to be in range of any or all of the following auras the character has: Lord of Chaos, Aspire to Glory, Demagogue.
    • Taken Alive (1 CP): Use this stratagem in the Fight phase when the enemy Warlord is destroyed by a melee attack from a CREATIONS OF BILE model. Until the end of the battle, subtract 1 from all your opponent's LD; they cannot use the Insane Bravery Strat, and they cannot reroll a Morale Test.
    • Auto-Stimulants (1 CP): Use this strat at the start of your Charge Phase, select on CORE unit from your army. Until the end of the phase, they can advance and charge.
    • Monstrous Visages (1 CP): Use this stratagem in the Fight Phase on a CORE, DAEMONKIN, or CHARACTER model from your army that was selected as a target of an attack. Until the end of the phase, each time an attack is made against that unit, subtract 1 from that attack's hit roll.
  • Relics:
    • Helm of All-Seeing: Roll a d6 for every Command Point you spend on a stratagem; on a 5+ it gets refunded.
      • Decent, but not an auto-take. You're spending CP for the chance of a refund, and if you don't have CP, you're shit out of luck.
    • Hyper-Growth Bolts: Can only be given to characters with a bolt pistol, boltgun, or combi-weapon. You may choose to fire this attack instead of your normal attacks, and you get one shot that automatically wounds, has an AP of 1 (lol) and a damage characteristic of D3+3 (But only on non-Vehicles).
      • Fucking baller when you've got a clear shot on an enemy Warlord or Daemon Prince.
    • Living Carapace: Infantry model only. Once per battle, when an attack is allocated to the bearer, you can activate the relic. All attacks allocated to the bearer until the end of the turn have a damage characteristic of 1.
      • A whole lot less interesting from the previous version, that gave you a better save and gave you regeneration. Sure, this lasts for an entire turn, so everything from Tachyon arrows to Thunder Hammers are hitting like bolters, but it's often not the damage you're worried about, but the number of attacks.
  • Unique Character: Fabius Bile: Now that the Creations are now a bespoke faction in the 9E Codex, you aren't hosed into taking old Fabulous Bill, but he can finally benefit from his own legion's trait. Although he has lost two Rod of Torment attacks, overall he's a bit better in stats having gained Chirurgeon attacks, a 5+++ FNP with attached regen, and his Xyclos Needler being upgraded to -2 AP and 2 Damage. His combat skills were never why you take him, though. You take him because of his Enhanced Warriors ability, which lets you pick a nearby Traitoris Astartes Core Infantry unit (because those lousy cultists don't deserve shit), and roll d3 for a random +1 buff to Strength, Toughness or Attacks.
    • With his "assistant" of sorts, Bile's random buff becomes a bit less unreliable, as instead of adding to any result for an experiment you can instead roll twice and pick the one you want. The big drawback here is that this lackey is an actual model that can be targeted and sniped off the board.
    • Another noted drawback this edition is that Bill gained a bit of a bias against the marks of Chaos. He can now no longer experiment on any unit with a mark because it triggers his atheism.
  • Tactics: The Creations of Bile are a very fast, melee heavy army; compared to Emperor's Children, you have a lot less options so you'll probably be married to a single fighting style
    • The +1 to movement and strength is a welcome bonus, but comes at the cost of a mediocre warlord trait and other, better legion traits such as Red Corsairs or World Eaters. One other upside is the fact that unlike other legions, you are not limited to one particular god, which give you access to a number of useful spells and banners that other legions would be restricted from. Slaanesh and Khorne are great options for this army, again so long as you're okay with losing Fabius Bile buffs (and it's honestly not that bad, because Fabius is a random roll that requires him being close, while Marks are just always on)


Building Your Army[edit]

Well...good news bad news. A fair few of our kits are OOP, still don’t have proper models or are ancient (looking at you MoP, Lucius, Huron, Noise Marines and Bikers). A great place to start an army for cheap is to find the old Start Collecting box, it’s the only place you can currently get an official Master of Possession. Also comes with two unique possessed sculpts as well as a Venomcrawler, two Obliterators and ten monopose Legionaries. It’s extremely good value for money if you can get your hands on one. We also have a combat patrol which has recently released, alas it does not offer the same value as the old SC box. Forge World upgrade kits are going the way of the dodo bird. So prepare your bits box. New plastic Havocs are out, kit comes just with 2 of most weapons, so feel free to steal from devstators to fill out, your mileage may vary.

How to Build a Big Army for Cheap[edit]

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

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