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

From 1d4chan

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. 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. While some of the CSM units are slightly mediocre for their points (i'm looking at you cultists and basic chaos marines) 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.

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.

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.

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.

  • CHAOS UNDIVIDED: The default option. Offers nothing but a keyword to replace.
  • KHORNE: +1 to strength when a marked unit charges, gets charged or heroically intervenes.
    • You might've guessed this, but no, you can't put this mark on any PSYKERS you have. PRIESTS are all you're getting for support.
  • NURGLE: Attacks against a marked unit with a strength equal to or at least double the unit's toughness take -1 to wound, which slightly reduces the impact of things like boltguns, plasma and melta.
  • 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.
  • SLAANESH: Marked units always fight first.
    • In case you've forgotten, the EMPEROR'S CHILDREN must take this mark on any unit that can take it. This will be costly for these forces, as you're now saddled with that tax.

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.

  • KHORNE: A unit with this Icon improves their melee weapon's AP by 1.
  • NURGLE: A unit with this Icon auto-wound on 6's to hit for ranged attacks.
  • TZEENTCH: A unit with this Icon improves their range 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 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 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 Carnage, letting Assault, Pistol and Melee weapons score an extra hit on a nat 6 to hit.
    • The additional hits with flame weapons is extra spicy lit considering the D2 on Baleflamers and other unique hellfire weapons. The effects of 6s to hit equal 2 hits vs additional AP is debatable, as in the era of AoC, more AP is better than AP1 and AP0, but quantity has a quality all on its own especially when it acts like a +1 skill.
  • 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".
  • 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.
      • 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 (Blade of the Hydra, Malefic Talons). 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 using Chaos Familiar to nab this in a bind can change EVERYTHING.
  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 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. 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: Wap Charge 5. Pick one <LEGION> DAEMONKIN/CORE/CHARACTER within 18". They can either regain 1d3 wounds or resurrect one missing model at full wounds, giving you a small way to reinforce them.
  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. Or forget Termies and throw this shit on your marked Land Raider of any variant to make it feel pleasure (it's probably possessed anyway).
  • 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. Not bad for Alpha Legion and Night Lord psykers, or just to flip off +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 unit attacks made within 6" of this priest.
    • Because you roll for prayers at the start of a battle round, this prayer sees nearly no use until later turns, especially because you can't cast a prayer whilst embarked in a transport.
  • Blissful DevotionSlaanesh: If this prayer is heard, the priest can advance and charge in the same turn.
  • Feculent BeseechmentNurgle: If this prayer is heard, the priest gets +2 toughness.
  • Mutating InvocationTzeentch: If this prayer is heard, the priest is healed for D3 lost wounds.
  • Wrathful Entreaty Khorne: If this prayer is heard, the priest gets +2 strength.
  • Benediction of Darkness: Pick one friendly Legion unit within 6" of this priest. Subtract 1 from hit rolls made for attacks with ranged weapons that target that unit. Note that because this happens at the start of the battle round instead of your turn, this prayer is very useful if you end up going second. Use this to protect a high priority unit, like a Lord Discordant, from dying first turn.
  • Litany of Despair: Your opponent rolls 2D6 and discards the lowest result each time they take a morale test for a unit within 6" of the priest. The dangerously short range of this prayer make it really difficult to use it properly, but if you find a way to correctly insert it in a night lords army, you will see even flayed ones run in fear.
    • Very slightly better than a stacking -1 Ld unless the target needed a 1, 5, or 6 to pass, in which case -1 to Ld would be better.
  • Illusory Supplication: Friendly Legion models within 6" of this priest have a 5++ invulnerable save. Fantastic for Cultist blobs camping on objectives.
  • Omen of Potency: Add 3 to this priest's attacks characteristic. In addition, the priest's melee weapons have an armor penetration characteristic of -4.
  • Soultearer Portent: Pick one friendly Legion unit within 6" of this priest. Add 1 to wound rolls for attacks made with melee weapons by models in that unit.
  • Warp-Sight Plea: Pick one friendly Legion unit within 6" of the priest. Add 1 to hit rolls for attacks made with ranged weapons by models in that unit. Consider stacking with prescience if you need to work around a hit penalty.


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. There are some restrictions though; as you can't put more than one relic on any one character and you can't give them to any named characters either (as usual). Many relics also sit awkwardly on certain characters due to their default equipment and roles. For example, you can give them to Sorcerers but you have to drop their Bolt-Pistols for a Power-Weapon and then you replace that with the artefact, but still retain your force-weapon. Due to this expect to find that many relics compete for the same or similar role, as well as a few coming with awkward eligibility requirements.

Few relics are real stand-out options for your Warlord - Especially if you can take a Thunder Hammer on the model, or would be better off as a named character for their respective legion. This means you are going to find yourself giving your relics to characters who have specific roles in your army - so make sure you use them to their full potential i.e. Don't be giving a Melee-Relic to a Shooting-Focused Character. If you want to find Legion-specific relics, you'll find them attached to their respective Legion entry.

Daemon Weapons are a type of relic found in the codex. 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.

God-specific Relics are restricted to characters with the appropriate <mark of chaos>.

  • The Black Mace: Replaces a power maul or accursed crozius. Melee weapon with S+3 AP-2 D2. Roll 1d6 anytime you slay a model with it; on a 6, the model's unit suffers an additional mortal wound at the end of the phase. You can't cheese out and give this to a Prince anymore, but it's a very effective weapon either way. Also the only way your Dark Apostle can get a properly killy melee weapon outside of being a Word Bearer or praying real hard.
  • THE MURDER SWORD: Replaces a power sword. Melee weapon with Strength +1, AP-4, D1. At the start of the game, name an enemy character. All of your successful melee hits against that character cause mortal wounds. Very nice. Just a straight upgrade to a Power Sword and with a very useful NOPE-ing ability against 2+/3++ Characters. If you have transportation for it, this is easily one of the best ways to take the character hunting special rule for an Exalted Champion from being a funny gimmick to a terrifying threat. Girlymaaaaaan, where are youuuuu? [1]
    • Aside from ignoring invulnerable saves, it also does not require to-wound rolls, so extremely impressive against high Toughness enemy characters, such as VEHICLE or MONSTER characters.
  • Ul’o’cca, The BlackDaemon Weapon: Now upgrades any weapon, not just a power axe. 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.
  • Axe of Blind Fury: Replaces a model's power axe. S+3 AP-3 Dd3, but to-hit rolls of 1 cannot be re-rolled or modified. Instead, they hit friendly units within 1". Now ANY Lord, Exalted Champion, or Warpsmith dedicated to Khorne can be a fun guy to be around! Overall - a bad choice seeing as how Chaos Lords and Exalted Champions are better utilised as force multipliers and the gimmick clashes with a Lord's re-roll ability. On the plus side, it increases your melee damage output dramatically. However, if you don't want your axe-murderer to genocide your own guys, you'd have to make sure that they are outside the 1" betrayal reach, which can be tricky. Some Anons argue that it's better to just take a power fist and the Talisman of Burning Blood to ensure that you pull that charge off.
  • Talisman of Burning Blood: The bearer can advance and charge in the same turn and can reroll failed charge rolls. Good on a Juggerlord, better on a winged Daemon Prince. Might also help a Khorne-marked Lord Discordant, if you don't use that Specialist Detachment.
  • Zaall, the WrathfulDaemon Weapon: Replaces a Power or Hell-forged sword. While being AP-5 and D2 is already dangerous enough, you add your Daemon Weapon roll to the weapon's Strength (so 2 to 6); you can think of it as S(U+3.33) AP-5 D2, which is certainly better than the Axe of Blind Fury, but that is a low bar to compare too. Works well on a Terminator Lord, but best on a Daemon Prince as you can fall back on Malefic Talons. For Princes, it won't compete with other choices, like a Thunder Hammer or G'holl'ax.
  • Puscleaver: Replaces a power sword, S+1 AP-2 D1d3, wounds non-vehicles on 2+. Try it out on a Terminator Lord and laugh as he makes his points back hunting melee monsters three times his price.
  • G'holl'ax, the Fist of DecayDaemon Weapon: Replaces a Power Fist, but is in all ways a Thunder Hammer that always wounds on 2+ - which makes you question why it needs the strength boost, but Nurgle is a joker, after all. At first this is deceptive, as for Basic Lords and Jump Lords you can take a Thunder Hammer. However, as it replaces a Power Fist this is effectively a 10pt savings for these models as you only need to pay 10pts for the fist. This is also the only way to give a Terminator Lord a weapon with the Thunder Hammer stat line, since they can't take them as a wargear choice.
  • Intoxicating Elixir: Add 1 to the bearer's strength and attacks. Makes a killy dude even killier. Combine with Diabolic Strength for MAXIMUM EXCESS (especially on a Daemon Prince with Emperor's Children WT). Usually the best melee relic available to you.
  • Thaa’ris and Rhi’ol, The RapaciousDaemon Weapon: Upgrades 2+ melee weapons, ideally a pair of power claws. 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're pretty much crippled if this weapon bitches at you. Also has limited use on a Daemon Prince as it competes with the Intoxicating Elixir with the basic Malefic Talons. This is because its average number of attacks is worse overall compared to the flat 3 that dual talons give you - again due to the 1/6 chance of not working. Keep an eye on this one though if it passes unchanged into the new codex: with 2 talons losing 1 attack and AP as per DG and TS, lightning claw stats will look more appealing.
  • Eye of Tzeentch: Add 1 to the psychic test when manifesting Smite, casting on a 4 and getting extra wounds on a 10. Raises the expected output of Smite from 1.79 mortal wounds to 2.08. Not worth building around as if you wanted Tzeentch marked smite spam you should take TKSons as allies who don't incur the creeping difficulty penalty.
  • Q'd'ak, the BoundlessDaemon Weapon: Replaces a power sword, force sword, or hellforged sword. S:U AP-3 and 1d3 Damage that ignores all invulnerable saves. Probably the most useful relic when used on a Daemon Prince with Wings and the Diabolical Strength or Warptime psychic power. This turns a Daemon Prince into a very effective flying assassin who can slingshot itself across the board (using Warptime), Smite a target (using the Great Sorcerer power) or Buff Itself (using Chaos Familiar Stratagem) and then charge in denying the target invulnerable saves without needing to make a Death Hex cast. Thanks to Hateful Assault, even if you fail the Daemon weapon roll, you get 6 attacks with its talons at S7 or 7 attacks at S9 if you used Diabolical Strength so failing isn't as punishing as the other weapons (just as planned).


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: Pretty easy to achieve if you're supporting your guys correctly. An Exalted Champion with a thunder hammer and a mark of Khorne (to fight twice) should be able to chew through just about any character in the game with the exceptions of primarchs or Knights and even then a well placed Death Hex will push you over the edge.Best taken if your opponent has 4+ characters and you're confident in your ability to get past their screening units.
  • 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.
  • Titan Hunter: You'll take this against Knights and nothing else.
  • Slay the Warlord: Just take Assassinate, honestly.
  • Abhor the Witch: A Khorne army will take this no question, as they have no other recourse but to use this particular secondary.
  • 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: Likely the one you'll accomplish easiest with a Tzeentch army, what with all the rubricae slinging spells on top of your HQs.
  • 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.
  • To the Last: Keep your 3 most expensive units alive until the end of the game. Given how unbelievably aggressive this army is, it's fairly difficult to defend taking this. Of course that doesn't mean you shouldn't, it just means it'll take some forethought and maybe a clutch Warp Time or two to make sure you avoid LOS with your big guys while still getting literally any value out of them. Or just table them before they table you, as is tradition.
  • The Long War: Finally! A csm exclusive secondary! It isn't shit, either so give praise to the gods. 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 Nachmund Data, you'll take this too.

  • Linebreaker:
  • Stranglehold: Easy enough points if you can push up the board and pairs well with The Long War. Definitely more suited to a close combat army since you can really push forward and knock things off of objectives while denying ground to your opponent.
  • Raise the Banners High: If you're swarming the board with cultists or daemon allies, this could work. Pass if there's a close combat army coming at you, as they'll tear your banners down very consistently.
  • 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.
  • Deploy Teleportation Homer: Nope.
  • Retrieve Nachmund Data (Chapter Approved 2022/Nachmund): Score points for doing an action in each table quarter. The action fails if you roll higher than the number of models in the unit on 1d6 and can only be done once per turn. Cultists in reserves make this a legitimate no-brainer as you can't roll an 11 on 1d6 and they cost 1cp apiece to reserve. Drop 2 on your opponent's side of the table and have them make easy points. Just remember to stagger their arrivals so they aren't torn asunder before they can do their action.

Unit Analysis[edit]


  • Chaos Lord: Your vanilla leader. Lots of customization and a solid statline. You may want to take another version as your Warlord, but this guy is useful as a secondary HQ for his aura, which 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.

You have the option for a Jump-Pack, which given the new 9th edition focus on board control, makes him a mobile threat. Fuck You, you don’t get those anymore.

At the very least, you get to pick up some different weapons. By default, you get a Thunder hammer for some serious smashing power. They can support this with their stock plasma pistol for some manner of gun, but you no longer get combi-weapons to rely on. Nope, you're getting dual-wielding melee options if you're that crazy.

This is your heavy-duty Chaos Lord, the one you will want as your Warlord. Can be very cheap & effective considering what he can do. For weapon upgrades decent choices include a pair of lightning claws, a combi-melta and chainfist, or a combi-bolter and lightning claw (or melee relic).

  • Take G'holl'ax, and enjoy some Thunder Hammer level hitting power!
  • Consider making him Slaaneshi while running him with the Slaanesh Daemon weapon from Faith & Fury, even unbuffed he can throw out up to 11 AP-2 D2 attacks on the charge if you roll well and that is before counting warlord traits and other buffs although this is all at S:User rather than Sx2. That said buffs like Diabolic Strength will still have him hitting at S6 meaning he still wounds MEQ on 3s and is more efficient at blending Primaris.

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, 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 or MoP you have some synergy right there (confirmed in the Designers' Commentary). Bad because things like Grey Knights are that much stronger against you, keep it in mind when you choose your Lords and Sorcerers. Remember that despite having DAEMON you do not gain god specific bonuses. For example, Ahriman with a disc has both DAEMON and TZEENTCH keywords but he does not gain +1 to his invuln because he lacks the Ephemeral Form special rule.

    • As per the FAQ: ‘If your army is Battle-forged, all Character, Infantry, Biker and Helbrute units in Chaos Space Marine Detachments gain a Legion Trait, so long as every unit in that Detachment is from the same Legion.’ Means that Characters on Daemon mounts can benefit from Legion Traits.
    • Chaos Lord on Juggernaut (Legends): Slow for a mounted Chaos Lord, with only a 8" movement, trading off speed for punch. Has the same stats as the Chaos Lord on Bike but with S5, and the Juggernaut itself has 3 attacks at S5 (+2 on the charge) and AP-1 with its bladed horn. Solidly killy and one of the best to go for if you plan an assault-heavy army, after all, S5 means S10 powerfist swings. He can also do decent damage with dual claws, and Flames of Spite. Re-rolls to hit and wound while getting extra mortal wounds on a 5+, even for the 3 mount attacks. Statistically, he kills most HQs in a single activation. They can no longer take Thunder Hammers per the newest BIG FAQ (AKA BIG FAQYOU).
    • Chaos Lord on Disc (Legends): The only mount that does not boost the statline of the Chaos Lord, instead you get 12" movement and the FLY keyword, as well as a weak single attack from the mount itself. There's nothing he can do that a Chaos Lord with a Jump Pack can't, aside from getting killed easier by Grey Knights. He can, however, benefit from a variety of DAEMON buffs, such as Heralds.
    • Chaos Lord on Palanquin (Legends): The slowest of the Chaos Lords. You'll go at par with the Terminator Lords, with the big difference being you can't teleport onto the field. T5 and 6 wounds, like the Bike Lord, and some negligible extra attacks from the Nurglings. Fairly cheap, which makes him a decently tough lynchpin for a gunline, as he can buff the Plague Marines while intercepting any melee threats. Fun fact: because he has the NURGLE and DAEMON keywords, any units he wipes out count toward the Tally of Pestilence for Epidemius.
      • Now that the FAQ has confirmed that CSM characters can summon daemons, he performs the "lynchpin" role even better by being able to summon in Nurglings and Plaguebearers to screw with deepstrikers or tie up and harass anyone who gets close.
    • Chaos Lord on Steed of Slaanesh (Legends): The (in)famous Chaos Lord on Steed of Slaanesh has lost all his tactical advantages in the new edition, but he's still pretty good. 12" movement and he can advance and still charge. He gets the extra wound of the bike but not the Toughness improvement; he gets an extra attack instead. Consider giving this guy a Combi-Flamer, so he can advance, shoot without penalties and still charge. Give him some brutal melee weapons to take advantage of the extra attack.
  • Dark Apostle: Although his stats and gear are nothing to write home about, he has a variety of abilities that are a great force multiplier. Demagogue essentially fixes most of the Ld issues you have to worry about, while Prayers can offer significant buffs, ranging from flat buffs to friendly units (+1 to hit with ranged weapons, +1 to wound in melee), to debuff for your opponent (roll 2 Dice for Leadership discard lowest). Nowadays, he's best used as a backfield totem who hangs around nearby units that could benefit from a little help. If you need your Sorcerer to fly around throwing out smites and warp-timing things, rather than be stuck backfield casting prescience on Havocs, use a Dark Apostle to do it instead. Need to make those deep-strike disrupting cultists last longer, but they aren't Tzeentch marked? Use a Dark Apostle to give them an invulnerable save and Ld 9. Think of him more as a multi-role support unit than the melee leader of old. Unless you're a Word Bearer with The Cursed Crozius, which will emulate Eliphas in DoW 1 smashing the crap out of anything stupid enough to come near you with the output of a MC. The added bonus of the bonus chant & prayer for 1 cp is a steal. Bear in mind that the priest cannot chant while embarked and cannot repeat any prayers that have already been attempted.
  • Dark Commune: The new Cultist HQ, here to cosplay as Nazgul 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 Sorcerors for spellcasting.
  • Daemon Prince: The monstrous melee HQ. Will absolutely smash anything it gets into combat with. Use him to support other units with his 6" bubble and psychic powers. 8 wounds means he still benefits from "look out sir!". It's almost always the correct choice to give him a pair of wings but with recent points changes and the changes to the character rule for targeting (must cuddle with a unit with 3 or more models to benefit) there are some reasons to make the monsterman walk or keep pace with another fast moving unit. Unless you're playing a Khorne army, always take him as a psyker, the +1 strength and attack isn't even close in to doing what his psychic powers can do (especially considering one gives him an extra attack anyway) and you're gonna want to be able to deny the witch on psychic actions in 9th. The pair of malefic talons is usually the most efficient loadout, seeing as it costs nothing when compared to the sword or the axe. Instead, you take either of those if you're looking on only killing other monsters.
  • Exalted Champion: One of your main close-combat buffers and an automatic requirement for melee-focused armies, as he provides a re-roll 1s to-wound aura for friendly <LEGION> CORE units within 6" during the Fight Phase. Sadly, his loadout has been EXTREMELY gimped from last edition, stuck with only a bolt pistol, combi-melta and a S+2 AP-2 D2 power axe to his name. The power axe is pretty good, and the new daemon weapons can attach to anything, but anything with Armour of Contempt (which is about half the fucking game) will make that less effective than it should.
  • Lord Discordant: The answer to the question "What do you get when you cross a Warpsmith, a Chaos Lord with a mount, and a Daemon Engine?" The Lord Discordant is...a little pricey and eccentric to say the least, and despite being geared towards targeting vehicles, is surprisingly well-rounded for what you pay. Beware though that having 12 wounds means he can be targeted in the shooting phase, so expect your giant spider rider to be shot off the table turn 1 if you don't plan in advance (Benediction of Darkness, Prepared Positions, etc). He can take a moderate beating, though, having a 2+/5++, an automatic wound healed on your turn, as well as having the choice to either heal 1d3 wounds or deal 1d3 mortal wounds to an enemy vehicle within 12" after killing an enemy vehicle. Provides a buff to friendly Daemon Engines which at the same time debuffs enemy vehicles, though you'll use him much more for the former than the latter. No more negative modifier to hit after moving, should you decide to equip him with the autocannon instead of the baleflamer. He actually excels best in melee combat with MEQ and TEQ over multiple rounds, rather than vehicles, due to the damage and AP profiles of his weapons. Just be careful, though, as he can become bogged down by blobs like everyone else (and can't escape). His attacks also require a bit of book-keeping and a little head scratching to employ practically. The Lord Discordant himself has 4A base with his Chain Glaive, hitting at S+2 (usually 6) or x2 (usually 8) if you Heroic Intervened or Charged, AP-2 D2. This means he's best taking on vehicles if you can get the charge off; otherwise, he's probably going to be wounding on a 5. His mechatendrils then provide 2A at SU (usually 4) AP0 D1 which will largely be used to target either GEQ or as a Hail Mary to chink off a final wound on a vehicle. Depending on his remaining health, the spider then gets to chip in, striking with 3 to 5 (depending on wounds remaining) S+3 (usually 7) AP-2 D1d3 and a Techno-Virus Injector at S+4 (usually 8) AP-4 D1d3, which deals an additional 1d3 mortal wounds to vehicles it successfully wounds. He can swap the injector for a magma cutter if you're an idiot, so don't be an idiot.
    • His +1 to hit means he naturally triggers Death to the False Emperor on 5+. Combined with the changes brought by the November 2021 rules update, he suddenly has a much higher potential damage output with all the additional auto hits. And he wasn't exactly weak in this area to begin with.
    • Take a Disco Lord in a Flawless Host detachment, throw the Ultimate Confidence trait and Intoxicating Elixir relic on him. Then have a prince or sorcerer nearby to cast prescience on him and you now have a 160 pt model that can kill a knight in one fight phase. You get 5 S10 -2 2dmg attacks, 5 S8 -2 D3 dmg attacks and a 1 S9 -4 D3 dmg attack all that proc 3 extra hit rolls on a 4+ (4 hit rolls if your target is imperial). Have fun.
  • Master of Possession: Alternate Sorcerer that uses Malefic powers over Dark Hereticus. Comes with a 5+ invulnerable save and forces Psykers within 12" to treat all doubles rolls as Perils of the Warp. The MoP wants to do one of two things: baby sit for daemon engines/Possessed blob - OR - rip open the fabric of reality to summon daemon faction units quickly and efficiently. If you baby sit you abuse Cursed Earth to give all LEGION daemons a 4++ in an aura around the Master. If you want to bring out some scary boys you use Incursion to get a much more potent summoning ritual that breaks the "must not have moved" clause you normally have to account for. Use a Chaos Familiar to swap a Malefic power for one from the Dark heretic discipline when you needed it like the classic Warptime. Throw em' across the board and cast Incursion to summon Daemons right on your opponents doorstep. The problem with the MoP is CSM have an abundance of great HQs that you could be fielding instead, and given that the rest of the Malefic powers are doodoo or have better/easier to get alternatives, it can be a struggle to find the right place for him. The perils aura may have increased relevance in 9th with the importance of secondary objectives (a good chunk of them being psychic tests)but good luck getting close enough to do so.
  • Sorcerer: Pretty standard. You cast 2 powers and deny one, stats are in line with the rest of your warriors and... that's it, really.

He can take a Jump Pack if desired lol fuck no. Footslog and like it.

While his stats are pretty much the same as ever, the humble power armor sorcerer lost ALL their loadout options. All you get is a goddamn bolt pistol and force staff. If you're taking him, you might wanna reconsider for...

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 pretty strong since he hits on an effective S7 with AP1, letting him overwhelm quite a lot. If you need the AP, stick with the Force Axe so you're still at an advantage against plenty of things.

  • 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.

  • 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. For example, Ahriman with a disc has both DAEMON and TZEENTCH keywords but he does not gain +1 to his invuln because he lacks the Ephemeral Form special rule.

    • As per the FAQ: ‘If your army is Battle-forged, all Character, Infantry, Biker and Helbrute units in Chaos Space Marine Detachments gain a Legion Trait, so long as every unit in that Detachment is from the same Legion.’ Means that Characters on Daemon mounts can benefit from Legion Traits.
  • Sorcerer on Disc (Legends): Tzeentch blessed him with a 5+ invulnerable save, which makes this guy pretty interesting. However, if you're taking a caster on a disc, you're probably playing Tzeentch Thousand Sons, in which case an Exalted is better. A sorcerer of Tzeentch is still interesting to cast Weaver of Fates on non Thousand Sons units like Tzeentch Possessed for a 4++.
    • If you are playing one of the Undivided Legions, consider this guy as a further upgrade over a Sorcerer with Jump Pack; the Tzeentch keyword isn't as crucial, and you're not obligated to take the God-aligned power. He has the same mobility to reach crucial areas and provide psychic support, and the increased durability allows him to operate better as a lone wanderer. The price difference between the two is almost identical to what you'd have paid to give a character an Invulnerable save in previous editions.
  • Sorcerer on Palanquin (Legends): Unlike the Chaos Lord, being slow is not as big of a deal for a Sorcerer, so this may be a good option since it's cheaper than giving him Terminator Armour. Fun fact: because he has the NURGLE DAEMON keywords, any units he wipes out counts toward the Tally of Pestilence for Epidemius.
  • Sorcerer on Steed of Slaanesh (Legends): Extra attack and the ability to advance and charge are not good selling points for a Sorcerer's mount. Yes, force weapons are mean, but you don't want this guy in melee if you can avoid it. Yes, it gives you an extra wound and more mobility, but so does the Bike. In smaller games, where you can't afford many HQs, this guy may be useful as a jack-of-all-trades.
  • Warpsmith: Swiss army knife with a pimping new model! A range of tools in the form of a Flamer, Meltagun, and Plasma Pistol (which you will probably never fire) come standard. Having no mobility-increasing options, he'll be advancing everywhere, but his weapons are Assault anyway so it doesn't really matter. This is made better considering he shoots at 2+, comes with a 2+ save thanks to his modded power armour, and his stock melee options are a power axe and mecha-tendrils (four CCW swings), letting him hold his own against small squads of MEQs. With so much kit for what you pay, he can slot in pretty much anywhere and contribute, though it can often be hard to determine where he'll add the most. They can repair your vehicles, allowing one he ends up within 3" of to regain d3 lost wounds at the end of the movement phase. They can also boost those same vehicles in the command phase, giving a vital +1 to hit 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.
    • Giving him a combi-melta makes him an exceptionally dangerous tank hunter at a variety of ranges. BS 2+ and the bolter allows him to reliably hand out Mortal Wounds at 24" with Daemon Shell, at 18" enemy vehicles are in range of being Cursed for even more Mortal Wounds, and a pair of meltaguns at close range will wreck virtually anything short of super-heavies. It's also worth noting that the meltagun's bonus damage works against anything, meaning you can char-broil enemy Characters that might be squaring off for a fight.
    • Combi-meltas are less efficient than combi-plasma outside of 6", if you don't mind overcharging. Which you should mind. This character hasn't got easy access to re-rolling 1s to hit and costs far too much for a sacrificial play. And at that range, you can do just as well with a thunder hammer.

Warhammer Legends Units[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. Any more about Abaddon or Bile can be found here.

  • 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.
  • Cypher: Technically more of a renegade, but close enough for the purposes of the rules, sporting both the IMPERIUM and CHAOS keywords. Has the same protection as a Chaos Lord as well as the same stats and +1" Movement, Cypher is a bargain for what he does. Not only can he put out a lot of hurt with his weapons, but he buffs nearby Fallen, allowing for plasma-spam out the ass, and the best part is that if he goes down, roll a D6. On a 2+ he doesn't count as being slain for the purposes of any mission victory conditions, just to spite your opponent.
  • Fabius Bile: Old Fabulous has his own not-Legion he can field called Creations of Bile, and he has an entry in that section.
  • 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.


  • Chaos Space Marines/Legionaries: When compared to the points equivalent in cultists (80 points is 16 cultists or 10 marines) you lose 6 wounds but gain power armor, better accuracy, higher toughness and strength, and weapons that might actually hurt something. The classic issue here is that while these are welcome buffs (especially after the 2W and LtGB buff) Chosen or Cult marines can outperform them in extremely limited circumstances in any role you kit them out for and Cultists are still cheaper to spam if you're just looking to fill out the troop slot in your detachment. There is a decent tradeoff when it comes to Havocs, being able to put on extra wounds by adding bodies to the squad to protect the heavy weapons, but you lose the ability to walk and shoot with no penalty and lose a point of toughness. Chosen can spam special weapons, get a bonus attack and have higher LD, don't have to choose between bolter or chainsword because they get both. Possessed/Zerkers are much better suited to chop things up. Plague marines and Rubrics are better at taking abuse and Rubrics have better small arms fire. Give them a special weapon or two, keep the squad around 10 in size unless you're red corsairs (in which case max out a squad for that sweet unit replenishing stratagem). Equipping the squad with chaincannons can add some bite while not driving up the price too much - its range matches the bolters well.
    • Otherwise they are still useful heavy/assault weapons operators, especially when tucked into big squads. Finally, the champion remains a thorny little nugget sporting melee/combi weapons which should complement the intended targets of the rest of the troopers (claws/combi-bolter/chainsword for hordes; melta/plasma/fists for tougher units).
    • You can also purchase a Balefire Tome in place of a bolter, giving you an ad hoc version of the Rubric Marines.
  • Chaos Cultist Mob: Took a price hike in 9th Edition. Cultists can now be set for melee or range with no changes in points, though like CSM's you achieve the same damage from shooting as getting into combat without being punched back. In honesty, don't bother running them as melee as other units are always going to be much better at it. The unit is also pretty much calling out to be ranged too, since Cultists have access to special range weapons but not special melee weapons. As far as these choices go, Flamers make them a bit more reliable when up close, while Heavy Stubbers are a cheap upgrade if you plan to camp objectives or push out enemy Deepstrikes with them. 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; whilst the current cover systems guarantees anything larger than a MSU is going to struggle to get the benefit. Also, more are going to run away the moment they start dropping, as with their terrible Ld of 5 (6 with the Champion) you shall find them wanting, especially if they are left alone somewhere without support. 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 Warlord or to Abaddon who'll make them Fearless and provide re-rolls too. You can then also use Prayers to give the unit -1 to Be Hit, +1 to Hit with Shooting and a 5++. A Sorcerer or Mindwitch nearby can throw on Prescience, and those with a mark of Slaanesh can get Delightful Agonies cast onto them for a 5+++. Those with Mark of Tzeentch can get their invulnerable save to 4++, while Nurgle makes them -1 to be hit. Veterans of the Long War can make a blob of cultists with accuracy buffs a threat to most infantry in rapid fire range by forcing saves (though TEQ will largely laugh at this). 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.
  • 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 d3 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.


  • 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, but they still gain your Legion keyword and CORE, so they benefit from auras and the like. Best thing is they gain Let the Galaxy Burn even though their parent legion doesn’t.

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 a 1+ Save against bolters (ironically, their AP-2 bolters are wasted when shooting at other Rubrics). Benefit greatly from Let the Galaxy Burn, as you now have D6+2 S4 AP-2 autohitting flamer shots at only 3 pts more.

  • The Mark only makes them tankier, letting them shrug the first failed save. The icon makes them a force to be reckoned with, because you’re now sporting AP-3. You have absolutely 0 melee, though, so keep these nerds far away from Berzerkers.

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. The Icon is so-so, because your Plague Marines won’t be making their points back in shooting, but in melee. 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.

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.

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 combi-bolters and an "Accursed Weapon," which is a power sword that gives you +1 attack. All of your customization is now limited to Power Fists, Chainfists, and heavy-weapons
    • One Terminator can swap their combi-bolter for a Reaper Autocannon or Heavy Flamer
    • Another can switch his for a combi-plasma
    • ...but up to two guys can swap the extra-bolter half 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 for Powerfists
    • 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. 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. At least the accursed weapon gives you 4/5 attacks base.
  • 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. Just bear in mind that both Thousand Sons and Death Guard get better Helbrutes than you do (the Death Guard one is significantly better than the Thousand Sons one), so don't go challenging their Helbrutes with yours. 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, but still don't use it with the intention of harming the helbrute to trigger crazed; the chance of that happening when you fire the weapon is 2.7%, meaning you're better off just paying for something that will cause damage to the enemy rather than killing the helbrute faster. Missile Launchers also went down in price, making the versatility over stopping power trade-off more palatable. Kitted for range, a Helbrute can be potentially devastating if you roll up additional shots with Fire Frenzy.
    • 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.
      • Due to a hilariously poorly worded FAQ, every model in the game has a close combat weapon in addition to what you see on its datasheet, meaning Battering Onslaught only needs one datasheet melee weapon listed to trigger, so the second fist doesn't actually help you at all. Clarify with your opponent before hand.
  • Master of Executions: 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 come up at WS2+, S10, A6, AP-3 D3. In addition to character-killing, this allows the MoE to punch some pretty big holes in vehicles and monsters. It is so cheap that it will almost always make its points back should it get into melee.
    • Now cheaper and more efficient along with rhinos, now even more attractive as a character hunter especially with all the factions getting cuts to their characters as well.
  • Possessed: If you're getting these guys then remember a thing: they need a Master of Possession to pull out their potential. With 5 attacks at S5 naturally and -2 AP, this new squad of glow-up marines will rip and tear with more raw damage than the Chosen or Terminators above. With the new spells from the MoP, you can ensure that they become killing machines with either a 4++ save, auto-wounding hit rolls of 6, an increase in their strength (turning them into proper TEq Killers), 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 probably as powerful as their 8th edition rendition.
  • 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 it's to 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. Can also theoretically benefit from the 2 Melee Weapons equipped ruling as per the 'Everyone has a Close Combat Weapon' if you decide to go Siege-Claw/Gun mode.
    • 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!


  • 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 W2 M14 lets them pull off tricky movement and kite most things around the board. With a drop in price in CA 2018 to both the Bikers and weapons, these guys are pretty good at filling the hole left in any army. Need anti-horde? Take Flamers and move+advance 20" to unleash auto-hitting hellfire on the Greenskins. Need anti-armour? Take melta, have the option to move+advance and still fire, and force your opponent to split their shooting between these guys and your other heavy hitters. Plasma is an ok all-rounder option but works best with HQ support and you lose the whole bike on a 1. Don't charge with them or gear them for assault, you're trolling with them and they can easily become bogged down. Melee or not, always swap their bolt pistols for chainswords as it is the best option and has no points cost. A good general use for these guys is to take three units at MSU of 3, give the champion a combi-melta or combi-flamer and the other two flamers or meltas and treat all nine like a sort of really fast glass-cannon. Run up the board and unleash hell with all their guns and always keep the combi-bolter when adding special weapons to up your shooting. Should easily make their points back, and against light infantry charging after unloading a powerful flamer/combi-bolter salvo isn't the worst idea.
    • A squad of 3 Bikers with a Combi-Flamer and Flamers gives you 14 S4 Bolter shots of which 9 will hit and 10.5 S4 Flamer shots that just hit for 24.5 shots landed for only a little more than 100 points - not as efficient as Chosen, but also faster and tougher. Tack in a Lord and Veterans of the Long War and melt entire conscript or boy squads in a single round of shooting.
    • A biker with a combi-bolter and a chainsword is 25 points. Compared to 2 Chaos Space Marines with bolters, you get the same number of wounds, the same number of attacks, a higher toughness, a 14" move, and the same number of shots rapid-firing, which you can do at 24" while moving unlike a Marine. Plus on top of this you can add a plasma gun for the same price as a Marine, without having to replace your basic gun.
    • DAMN good as Red Corsairs or Raiders.
  • 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. 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 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 whilst something that can actually kill them moves in closer.
    • With point changes you can get 5 for 100pt. With it's deceptive toughness and decent mobility there are worse things to choose to draw fire or fill out a brigade.
    • Despite being mindless flesh monsters, nothing actually stops them from performing actions. Unfortunately they're not Infantry, so no secondaries.
  • Warp Talons: Got major points increase for 9th, and their no overwatch gimmick is worthless in 9th Edition. Gimmicky at best now, 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. That said, that 9" charge is no more likely for them than it is for everything else and they can't take Icons because claws don't let you grip flag poles very well. Keep in mind Warp Talons have the DAEMON keyword - when combined with the mark of chaos, this allows them to benefit from the auras of like-marked chaos daemon characters (ie. Daemonic Loci and Buffs) well as the auras of Greater Possessed and Malefic powers. A fun, cheeky little strategy that showcases this is giving a squad of Warp Talons the Mark of Khorne so that when you've pulled off the charge you can use the Fury of Khorne stratagem to give them another round of RIP AND TEAR and having an allied Herald of Khorne nearby gives you two rounds of power axe attacks that re-roll wounds.
    • You're going to want these guys as Night Lords, the Raptor Strike stratagem will give them a 3d6 charge roll from deep strike for 1 CP, greatly increasing their odds of making it in.
    • 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.
      • Neat buff on these guys as lightning claws now have +1A baked into single claws, a la chainswords, which would put these little guys at 3 attacks base 4 on the charge. Food for thought.
  • 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, an invuln, and Descustently Relisiant should mean that 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. Functionally identical to the Loyalist Land Raider Phobos, though this one can take Combi-weapons and a Havoc Launcher instead of a Multi-Melta. Fast (for its size) and its durability is fantastic, ESPECIALLY once you put Delightful Agonies or Miasma of Pestilence on it, making it an infuriating task to destroy. While this can take a Combi-plasma, overcharging it can possibly kill itself in one turn. Got even cheaper in CA 2019 at 180pts before wargear.
  • Chaos Predator: This is your tank. In comparison with Havocs: the Predator is more durable at T7, has more wounds, can be healed by a Warpsmith, is immune to Morale, has access to two very relevant stratagems and moves twice as fast without needing an expensive transport. The Havocs have more flexible weapon options, can hide and use cover easier, benefit from Legion Traits, do better in melee, aren't as vulnerable to D6 damage weaponry and don't have degrading shooting stats when they lose wounds. If you're going with tanks there are two major roles that a Predator can fill. Anti-tank, or anti-infantry (or to a lesser degree, both). For the anti-tank role, you can grab a las-pred armed with 4 lascannons. You can give it a Combi-X of your choice and/or a havoc launcher if you have the spare points (especially now that havoc launchers are cheaper). It is also totally fine as is without them too. For the anti-infantry role, you can have the Dakka-pred armed with the much improved "Predator Autocannon" and two Heavy Bolter sponsons. Unlike the las-pred you are definitely going to want to spring for a Combi-X and Havoc Launcher, as it still ends up being cheaper anyway. You can also choose to do a mix and match of both by picking one of each layout (Heavy Bolters with a Lascannon turret mainly) and shooting each weapons at whatever its best optimised for. That said, mix N' matching is generally 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. T5 infantry and below are going to suffer, and vehicles are going to take a beating from that much firepower (make sure to focus on Vehicles/Monsters first). Benefits from Combi-Weapons and Havoc Launcher quite well, in particular a combi-melta supplements the Vindicator's anti-vehicle firepower nicely letting it drive forward and tanking light-arms shots effectively (being T8). Take it if you want something to spearhead a vehicular assault; the close range firepower will serve you well. Extra points if you give it Delightful Agonies or Miasma of Pestilence to make it absorb even more fire. Its main gun has "Blast" which can be quite useful against hordes while still threatening tougher units.
  • 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 gone, 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.
    • Autocannons The cheap and direct option, Autocannons are fantastic 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
    • Heavy Bolters and Reaper Chaincannon fit into they same niche; mowing down infantry and throwing dice at the table. the Reaper Chaincannon offers nearly triple the shots while having 12" less range and they both shred infantry. The downside of course is that Chaincannons are twice as expensive, and losing one hurts. Since you don't have extra bodies in the unit anymore, consider using one or two Heavy Bolters with the Chaincannons if you want to just go after Infantry and removing those before the Chaincannons to be a little more points-efficient. Strictly speaking though the Chaincannons - if you can get the enemy within its 24 inch range - will outclass almost every other weapon (except the Lascannon and against armoured targets). Consider sticking a unit or 2 of Chaincannon armed havocs in a Termite assault drill with a Chaos Lord or Sorcerer against tau or guard and watch a gunline turn to fine red mist. Iron Warriors legion trait means there's nowhere for them to hide too.
    • Missile Launchers are now the most flexible weapon, they're almost as good as the Lascannon against heavy targets, but not that useless against everything else. This is the weapon you want in smaller games, when you don't know your opponent or you want just one Havoc squad to fire support your army and want to move on on other stuff. The perfect "what if" weapon. Do note that if you know what your opponent's bringing then it's actually the least appealing option as Lascannons outperform it against armour, Heavy Bolters outperform it against Infantry, though you might want to keep at least one hanging around if flyers are giving you a hard time, simply because the Flakk Missile stratagem is a thing.
    • Lascannons are absolutely terrifying against heavy targets, monsters, and over extended 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 3D. 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 occassion:
    • Warphail: D6 + 9 S5 ap1 D1 attacks for mulching GEQs and Boyz.
    • Ruinous Salvo: D3+3 autocannon-ish shots (S7 AP2 2D), the D2 being excellent for taking out marines and the extra pip of AP for AOC.
    • Focused Malice: D3 shots at S9 Ap3 4D, which is pretty good for breaking vehicles when it gets through.
    • Obliterators also get Big Guns Never Tire but with a different name, letting them shoot in melee as if they were vehicles.
  • Venomcrawler: This Daemon Engine is unusual in that its ranged weapons are also affected by the damage table, so it's a good thing they have an improved Daemonforge that also regenerate wounds when it gets a kill in the Fight Phase. Benefits from sticking around a Master of Possession, since the MoP adds 1 to his summoning rolls if he's within 6" of it. Its guns/melee attacks BOTH use its innate S value, meaning any buffs to his S (such as the greater possessed) have a wider impact. Despite being the squishiest of the daemon engines in terms of wounds. The crawler makes up for this by being as fast as a maulerfiend, and having assault weapons - although now that all MCs and vehicles in 9th no longer suffer a BS penalty for moving this isn't as hard a selling point. 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. If you've got a couple heavy support slots open in your Daemon Engine list and you're tight on points then these are a viable option.
  • 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).


  • 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]: Incredibly expensive, even more so due to the Chapter Approved points hike it got, but still the Baneblade's exponentially meaner cousin. The two shot types and multiple sponsons allow the Hellforged to fulfill multiple roles, which it does quite well, being essentially anti-everything. Keep the quad lascannons and keep the twin heavy bolters, the other options aren't going to help you nearly as much and always get a havoc launcher. All-in all, keep this beast at around 36"-48" range to get the most use out of its weapons (don't worry too much about the demolisher not being in range) and make sure to have a re-roll aura on it, as you don't want to miss those crucial AE shells when they're going to make a difference. Good take for non-apocalypse games, just don't expect to have room for any other expensive units. Too bad its best range is well out of Eternal Hunger range since its WS actually gets better as it loses wounds.
  • Hellforged Falchion [Forge World] [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.

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]


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 they have a resemblance of that, but instead have many abilities to aid encirclement, outflanking, and messing with the opponent instead of being more stealthy than the Night Lords. Still, the to-hit penalties they inflict on opponents gives them extra durability, even on units that don't need it like Leviathan Dreadnoughts. Their goodies do A LOT of things to annoy the opponent: warlord whack-a-mole, midgame redeployment, Deepstrike denial, and forcing opponents to spend extra CP. The Sons of the Hydra will make a great ally to Chaos lists that want some extra potential for shenanigans.

  • 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.
  • 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 (in addition to this one). If the mission you are playing grants victory points for slaying the enemy Warlord, your opponent will only achieve that objective if all ALPHA LEGION CHARACTERS in your army have been slain. Adaptable, and it's always hilarious to see an enemy's attempt to Slay the Warlord turn into a fucked up game of Whack-A-Mole.
    • Clandestine: When targeting this warlord, unmodified hit rolls of 1-3 fail. Plus this warlord gain +1 save in cover.
    • Headhunter: The warlord can snipe characters with pistol & rapid fire weapons, reroll wound rolls for these weapons and to add a cherry on top, causes mortal wounds on unmodified 6's.
    • 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. Let's you kind of bait out your opponents' 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.
    • Convert Control: One CORE unit within 6" can shoot and preform actions. In addition, this chosen unit gains obsec or count as double if they already had it.
  • Stratagems:
    • Forward Operatives (1CP): Use this Stratagem during deployment, when you set up an ALPHA LEGION INFANTRY unit from your army. At the start of the first battle round but before the first turn begins, you can move that unit up to 9" but cannot end this move within 9" of any enemy models. If both players have units that can move before the first turn begins, the player who is taking the first turn moves their units first. Each unit can only be selected for this Stratagem once per battle. Can be used twice in a 2000 points game. It can, theoretically, help get a turn one charge off with something like a Berzerker blob squad, as in some standard deployments the distance between you and your opponent is between 12-24 inches. It can also be used to counter deploy to a degree, or even move your dudes onto an objective very early. As this happens at the start of the first battle round you can use this on an elite squad and then, depending upon who gets first turn, throw them forwards or get them behind cover or LOS blocking terrain.
      • You can't spam this onto the same unit, but because it's not used during a phase, you can spam it across multiple units. This'll get expensive fast if you use it on small units like buffing HQs, but it can be great for e.g. getting 3 units of chaincannon havocs into position, if you have the CP.
    • Conceal (2/3CP): Use at the start of the opponents shooting phase. pick one ALPHA LEGION INFANTRY unit. Until the end of that phase, enemy models can only target this unit if it's the closest visible target or within 12", which can help incredibly for getting your guys set up. Cost 3 if 10 power level or more.
    • Sabotaged Armoury (1-3CP): Wanna see a tank go up in fireworks? If you trigger this as an enemy rolls to see if their tank blows, it auto-explodes. 2CP for 10-19 wounds, 3 CP for 20 wounds. Hope you got those bitches all in place.
    • Scrambled Coordinates (1CP): During the enemy movement phase, when the enemy is about to drop in reinforcements, that unit must be set up more than 12" away from two CORE ALPHA LEGION units in your army.
    • Renascent Infiltration (1CP): Use at the end of your movement phase. Select one ALPHA LEGION INFANTRY unit that is more than 6" away from any enemy models and did not arrive as reinforcements that turn. Instead of moving remove that unit from the battlefield and place it in strategic reserves.
    • Deadly Ambush (2CP): Use in your opponents movement phase, after an enemy unit is set up as reinforcements. Select one of these enemy reinforcements. All ALPHA LEGION units from your army gain a +1 to hit against that unit at that unit until the end of your next turn.
    • Coils of Deception (1CP): Use in your movement phase, when you fall back with an ALPHA LEGION unit it can still shoot this turn.
    • Veiled Agenda (1CP): Use before the battle. Conceal one of your secondary objectives until the first time to score a point on 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.
    • 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.
    • Mindveil: A model with this relic roll a D6 and add the result to the model's move characteristic and 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. 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, better AP by -2, +2D, and ignore invulns saves.
      • As an example profile, giving this to a combi-bolter turns it into: 24" rapid fire 1 S6 AP-2 Damage 3, ignore invulns, no double tapping at half range, auto-hits.
    • 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.
  • Tactics: Here are some tactics that are better off being used in an Alpha Legion army than any other.
    • Alpha Strike: Assuming your Berzerkers are 24" away from the enemy after deployment, Forward Operatives makes that 15". Your move makes that 9". A Sorcerer Lord on a bike can keep up with these guys, giving them Prescience and Warptime. Your Berzerkers now only have to make a 3" charge on turn 1. Don't forget Veterans of the Long War and Death to the False Emperor and to multi-charge everything in range if you'll survive the overwatch, cos you probably want three combat steps with these guys at this point. And, if your opponent goes first your Alpha Legion trait probably saves some Berzerker lives too.
    • Ultimate Character Hunter: Take a Sorcerer on a Bike, the Headhunter warlord trait, an extra Combi-Bolter, and the Hydra's Teeth relic. Take Warptime and any other power you want. You now have a model that can zip around the table, freely target characters, auto-hit with 8 shots at 24" range, wounding on 2+, and ignoring cover. This can be enough to take out backline buffing characters and disrupt enemy gameplans. Give it the Mark of Slaanesh and use Endless Cacophony to get 16 shots.

Black Legion[edit]


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.
  • 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: Friendly BLACK LEGION units within 6" of your warlord can declare a charge even if they fell back. Charging and getting to fight first so often makes you feel like a stronger Emperor's Children (or slightly weaker White Scars) - this is best used on a Jump Lord or Jump Sorcerer supporting Raptors, of course, since they'll be able to fall back and charge.
    • 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.
    • Black-clad Brute: +1 to the Warlord's strength characteristic. In addition, he causes d3 mortal wounds on a 4+ to a unit he charges. Better than their relic for causing Mortal Wounds.
    • Soul Eater: Each time your Warlord destroys an enemy unit, he regains d3 lost wounds. More likely to trigger after killing an enemy character, so put it on somebody that has something like a Thunder Hammer.
    • Trusted Warleader: Roll every time you use a command point. On a 5+, it is refunded. A trait that can pay for itself, although it can't trigger successfully more than once per battle round.
    • First Among Traitors: The Death to the False Emperor ability triggers on a 5+ instead of a 6+ for all friendly BLACK LEGION units within 6" of the Warlord. Unfortunately, due to the wording on the Icon of Excess and this rule (they both set it to a 5+ instead of giving a +1) you can only get exploding dice on a 4+ if you use Prescience. Abaddon has this.
  • Stratagems:
    • Council of Traitors (1 CP): Use before the battle if your warlord is a Chaos Lord, Daemon Prince, or Abbadon. Allows you to give a warlord trait to a Dark Apostle and Sorcerer in your army. Similar to the Dark Eldar Stratagem, but limited to only Black Legion. Make the Dark Apostle Trusted Warleader and it'll pay for itself (there are much better Sorcerer-unique traits the other can get). Pretty much always worth using in a black legion army as it gives you more options. The only big drawback is that your options for units are limited. For some reason Warpsmiths, Disco lords, Masters of possession and Masters of Execution weren't invited to be on the council.
    • Chosen of the Pantheon (1 CP): Use at the beginning of your turn. Pick a BLACK LEGION unit that is not marked. They gain all 4 marks until the start of the next turn. Mainly useful for using god specific stratagems, auras, or powers. And yes, you can use this to give a Sorcerer the Khorne keyword.
    • Legacy of Horus (1 CP): Use during the Morale Phase, add 1 to the Leadership of Chaos Marine units of any other <LEGION> as long as they are within 6" of a BLACK LEGION Unit. Useful whenever you find yourself heavily debuffed for LD across most of your army and are in a legion soup list, otherwise just pay the extra point to ignore casualties.
    • Let the Galaxy Burn (1 CP): Use this stratagem whenever a BLACK LEGION BIKER or INFANTRY unit is selected to attack in the shooting or fight phases. You can re-roll all to-hit rolls of 1 for the unit. If it is a Chaos Space Marine unit, you re-roll all hits instead. Just like the Ultramarines' Chapter Tactic, but better - this is only the second such ability in the game (the first was pre-9E Cawl) allowing you to re-roll any hits, not just failed ones. The distinction matters when dealing with negative modifiers to hit - if your CSM are facing -1 to hit, this strat will let you re-roll 3s, unlike the pleb Ultramarines strat, which would not. Also keep in mind that you can totally take a 20 man squad to make the most of this Stratagem.
    • Merciless Fighters (1 CP): Use on a BLACK LEGION unit. If there are more models in the unit then there are enemy models within 3', then add 1 to that units attack characteristics. Oh hey, they remembered the Sons of Horus' 30k rules!
    • Relics of the Long War(1/3 CP): Chaos Marine copy-paste. The standard multi-relic stratagem that's incidentally unique from the generic Codex one.
    • Tip of the Spear (1 CP): At the start of the first shooting phase, re-roll failed hits for whichever of your units is closest to the enemy for that phase. If there's a tie, pick which one is affected.
    • World Killers (3 CP): Use at the beginning of a battle round. Turns off your opponents' objective secured (or equivalent) rule for the rest of the battle round. Perfect for unexpectedly seizing an objective at the last minute from a blob that thought it was in control.
  • Relics: Yep, because why wouldn't they get a lot of them as well?
    • Angelsbane: Replaces a Combi-Bolter. Becomes S5 AP-2 D2, which goes up to 3 if used against anything with the IMPERIUM keyword. Solidly shooty, pairs nicely with Malicious Volleys, and with a bit of luck can even bring down a 3-wound Custodian/Terminator or jack up a vehicle. Not bad at all.
    • Cloak of Conquest: Each time the bearer slays an enemy character, add 1 to the bearer's Strength, Attacks, and Leadership characteristic until the end of the battle. Useless for most of the battle, but on killy models such as certain Lords, Executioners, and Deamon Princes, the potential to become a complete monster in CC is undeniable. Stacks well with other traits like Black Clad Brute and the many other tactics to buff out a single model.
    • Ghorisvex's Teeth: Replaces a chainsword. AP-3 D2 that adds +2 attacks. Any time you roll a 6 to wound, the target takes a mortal wound in addition to normal damage. The lynchpin for the "Chainlord" build, put on a chaos lord with jump pack and give him the Flames of spite WL trait for 2 Mortal wounds on any wound roll of 6+, then pump up the wounding ability through Veterans, Prayers, psychic powers etc.
    • Sightless Helm: -1 to BS, -1 AP on all your weapons (so ap -1 becomes ap -2). Has no effect on your ability to hit things in melee. Consider putting this on a Lord Discordant for maximum effect (who cares about BS when you have Baleflamer...)
    • Spineshiver Blade: Replaces a power sword. S+1 AP-3 that adds +d6 attacks. Look, a daemon weapon that doesn't try to kill you! Can get pretty ridiculous if you pair with a Khornate Lord and make him fight multiple times,
    • Trophies of Slaughter: +1 leadership to allied BLACK LEGION units within 6" and -1 leadership to enemies within 6".

  • Unique Characters: Of course the Black Legion naturally have the most special characters, while the other Legions are struggling to get even one.
    • Abaddon the Despoiler: 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, and who knows, maybe even 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 reroll all hit rolls, and all wound rolls if they're BLACK LEGION; he also 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.
      • 6 2+ WS/BS S/T6 8A 2+/4++ and the all-important 9W meaning he's still able to cower behind his bodyguards. Not that he needs it, because the codex will give him literal 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 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 Drachn'nyen no longer throws a bitch-fit everytime Abaddon fails: Drachnyen no longer needs to roll to be used and is now S+3(9/10) AP-4 3D, with unmodified wound rolls of 6 doing D3 mortal wounds on top of any damage.
    • Obsidius Mallex [Blackstone Fortress]: A sort of half-way attempt between Loyalist Smash Captain and Black Legion Chaos Lord, Obsidius is the master of the Servants of the Abyss in the Blackstone Fortress game. He's basically a Chaos Lord statline with a Thunder Hammer and a Plasma Pistol. Like all the splat-game units, GW has made an effort to keep him "balanced" against other codex entries, meaning you're going to be paying out the ass for this combo. In doing so Obsidius comes out being more expensive than a Chaos Lord with a Power Fist and Pistol, and is more expensive than his Loyalist counterpart with the same loadout, whilst at the same time forgetting to bring his Frag and Krak grenades. The real limitation of Obsidius, however, is his lack of the Mark of Chaos keyword. Without it he cannot, RAW, use the stratagem Beseech the Chaos Gods to access any of the god-specific stratagems (e.g. Khorne's Fight Twice) which would, in turn, actually go towards making him worth considering. Finally, thanks to the -1 From his Thunder Hammer, he can't proc Death to the False Emperor without a Prescience buff. Where he does shine is if you want to kill 5 to 6 wound targets or vehicles with a relatively inexpensive solo model.
      • Now Thunders Hammer are 40 points... Except for this guy who plays by his own rules and unique data sheet. His hammer is the equivalent of 23 points, so now somewhat of a useful grab, except he is slow and stupid otherwise.
    • Haarken Worldclaimer [Vigilus Defiant]: Another Black Legion Lord like Mallex, only with a buff specifically for Raptors instead of everyone. At first it seems like he would be a potent force multiplier for any Raptor-heavy army, but sadly he really isn't. He doesn't have a gun (and therefore can't use the Daemon Shells stratagem), instead his Helspear acts as an Assault 1 12" S+1 AP-3 D1d3 weapon that he can't use in melee (and it wasn't fixed in errata). Note that his re-roll aura only works for Raptors (which he is) and but only for their melee weapons, meaning he doesn't even get to re-roll his Spear Throw, which explains why all the art around his reveal was his spear impaled in the ground having not hit anything or anyone. Would have been better if he buffed Warp-Talons as well as they are the ones who actually want to be in melee and would benefit the most from his buffs. At least his aura does let a re-roll of all failed hits rather than just hit rolls of 1, and it applies to all Legions instead of only the Black Legion. Night Lords players should consider taking him in a secondary detachment to put his 18" Ld debuff aura to work and if you're using a lot of raptors and not loading them up with plasma, then this guy actually isn't that bad a choice to bring. At 92 points, he is worth taking and building around
  • Tactics:

Emperor's Children[edit]


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.

Rulewise the Emperor's Children seem at first like another case of schizophrenic rules. Their Legion Trait, which only benefits close combat units, doesn't really benefit their primary troop choice, the range-focussed Noise Marines. But Psychic Awakening, Faith and Fury provides the IIIrd with a broad suite of stratagems which turn the Emperor's Children into something of a jack of all trades army. You can bolster your Noise Marines with Excruciating Frequencies, and all but guarantee charges with Honour the Prince, and even re-deploy units with Tactical Perfection.

  • Legion Trait: Flawless Perfection: Units with this trait always fight first in the Fight Phase, even if they didn't charge. If the enemy has units that have charged, or have a similar ability, then alternate choosing units to fight with, starting with the player whose turn is taking place. You shouldn't need to be told how useless this is. Beware Howling Banshees, Slaanesh Daemon in-fighting, or just units that have charged - that means the controlling player (that means the opponent) will be able to nominate their first unit to strike before yours (this will mean trouble if a Genestealers swarm or Ork Boyz get that charge first). On the flip side, it can deter mass charges, and also means you circumvent all other fight phase activations afterward, and your engaged units strike first! On another note, it affects every round of melee combat, so combats that go beyond one phase will always give you at least one definitive advantage, with all your units swinging first, even in an enemy's turn.
    • EMPEROR'S CHILDREN Noise Marines count as troops instead of Elites, allowing armies of them again.
    • All units must be Slaanesh Marked if they can be.
  • Warlord Traits
    • 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.
    • Intoxicating Musk: -1 to hit to penalty for enemies within 3". Faultless Duelist will pretty much always be better.
    • 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.
    • Faultless Duelist: At the start of the fight phase, roll a d3. Subtract that number from the attack characteristics of enemy models while they are engaged with your warlord.
    • Glutton for Punishment: All hits against the Warlord reduce the damage dealt by 1 (minimum 1). Makes you a bit more likely to survive your IMPERIAL FISTING, but durability isn't why you picked this legion.
    • Loathsome Grace: You can re-roll the charge distance roll for the warlord. If you charge or perform a heroic intervention, the warlord gains +1 strength and attack for the rest of the fight phase.
  • Stratagems
    • Combat Elixirs (2CP): Time to dig into the Deldar's drug stash! Use before the game start to grant one EMPEROR'S CHILDREN unit that isn't a vehicle or a cultist one of the following boosts: +1 to A, T, or S, or +2" to M. Since you can pick which you want, you can definitely do some tailoring to keep up with plasma spam or to hasten your killing sprees. Here are some ideas:
      • Take a blob of 20 chaos space marines and give them +1T then throw on Delightful Agonies. Now you've got a big fat objective secured squad that's tough to remove. If your opponent targets them then their not targeting your other units. If they ignore this squad then you have a great squad for unit-wide buffs like VotLW, Soultearer Portent, or Cruel Duelists, not to mention significant board control.
      • Possessed are a good candidate for each of the buffs, though large squads tend to be either too effective or too unwieldy. +1A sets them to smoothie mode. +2" M will get them where closer to where they need to be (doubly so with Warptime). +1T is great if you don't feel they need extra killing power. +1S bumps them up to S6 which increases who they can effectively threaten, but is lackluster if you take a Greater Possessed.
    • Cruel Duelists (1CP): Use during the fight phase. Select one EMPEROR'S CHILDREN unit that is not a vehicle or a cultist. Any unmodified wound roll of 6 is resolved at AP-3.
    • Excess of Violence (1CP): Use this stratagem before an EMPEROR'S CHILDREN INFANTRY unit attacks in the fight phase. Each time a model in that unit slays an enemy model, it can immediately make another hit roll using the same weapon at the same target. Interestingly, the updated stratagem in Warzone Charadon Book 2 removes the line preventing the bonus attacks from generating further attacks. Activate the stratagem on a unit of Power Fist armed Terminators, Thunder Hammer armed Chosen, or Warp Talons and wipe out entire hordes. When attacking an IMPERIUM unit, you get this on top of Death to the False Emperor, which practically guarantees a wipe on anything but the toughest units.
    • Excruciating Frequencies (1CP): THINGS SHALL GET LOUD NOW! Pick one EMPEROR'S CHILDREN Noise Marines unit during the shooting phase. Until the end of the phase, Blastmasters, Sonic Blasters, and Doom Sirens gain +1 S and D. TIME TO MAKE THINGS EVEN LOUDER. Possibly one of the best middle fingers you can give to a Primaris army now, and as an added bonus shuts down All is Dust for Rubric Marines. Also buffs up a Blastmaster’s single frequency profile to Lascannon strength and more than half of its top damage on a good roll. Complement with your choice of eardrum-violating music while you roll FOR SLAANESH. A 20-man, 2-Blastmaster unit with this, Endless Cacophony, and Veterans of the Long War will usually kill more than a Knight.
    • Honour the Prince (1CP): Use during the charge phase after rolling for a charge with a EMPEROR'S CHILDREN SLAANESH unit. You can change one of the dice rolled to a 6. Combine with some of the new charge re-roll tools, like the Raiment Repulsive, to make charges all but certain on the turn you deepstrike. Use it in a raptorial host for overkill.
    • Incessant Disdain (1CP): Use during the enemy charge phase. Pick an EMPEROR'S CHILDREN CHARACTER. They can perform a 6" Heroic Intervention so long as it finishes within 1" of an enemy character.
    • Tactical Perfection (1CP): One EMPEROR'S CHILDREN unit can be redeployed at the start of the game or get tossed into Strategic Reserves. You're not quite the Alpha Legion, but you'll earn their respect. This stratagem is used at the start of the first battle round, which is after you determine who goes first. This has incredible implications. If you go first, you can redeploy a hidden unit aggressively. If your opponent goes first then you can do the inverse, or instead hide a unit off the table entirely (such as deep strike). The Strategic Reserve shenanigans are wild as well since this strat bypasses the normal cost associated it (paying CP to place into strategic reserve the normal way happens earlier). So go ahead and throw that unit of 20 Noise Marines into Strategic Reserve for 1CP instead of 3. Oh, and you can use this stratagem as much as you'd like since it isn't used in a phase.
  • Relics
    • Armour of Abhorrence: No Overwatch against the bearer. If a morale test is failed by an enemy unit within 6", one additional model flees. With the changes to Overwatch, this has become just meh since Overwatch is now only a once-per-turn affair.
      • This is one of the only ways to shut down overwatch with chaos, if your army relies on charging assault troops or daemon engines you should really consider finding some way to get this relic into your list.
      • When combined with a unit of night lords raptors you can charge into the heart of a gunline army without overwatch and prevent them from falling back, this can be a game winning strategy against armies like tau and guard and surprisingly cheap in points to pull off.
    • Blissgiver: Replaces a model's Bolt Pistol for a Lash with a 6" range. It's Assault D6, but can fire in melee and into melee with S:User and AP-1. Also, if you wound a character with it, you get a 1/6 chance of dealing D3 Mortal Wounds. Fantastic to add some more damage in melee and if you're an ass, you can just stand behind your meatshields and poke the enemy with it. Also, since it replaces a pistol with an assault weapon, that means you can fire it together with another weapon (like a Combi-flamer) for some nice little extra firepower. For fun you can have a Lord on Bike, which include a Combi-Bolter, and giving him Combi-flamer and Blissgiver. Or, for something actually supported directly in the codex, a Warpsmith, to go with their flamer and meltagun, and because it just needed one more tentacular appendage.
    • Distortion: "Mirror blade in my hand, who's the prettiest in all the land." Replaces a power sword or force sword. S:User AP-4 D1d3. At the beginning of the fight phase, the bearer can look into the blade. This act of narcisissm makes the weapon become Sx2, but you suffer a -1 to hit.
    • Endless Grin: A 6" aura with two tricks: All units within this range eat -1 leadership and those that roll for combat attrition must roll an additional dice, and you decide which one to be discarded.
    • Raiment Revulsive: The bearer can re-roll all hit, wound, and charge rolls. Well holy shit, this is broken as balls. Sure, he still has the same saves as before, but once you're in combat, the other thing might as well lay down and die.
    • The Fatal Sonancy: 12" Assault 1d6 S6 AP-2 D1 that auto hits and ignores cover. A slightly stronger Doom Siren for your lord, who couldn't get it before. Give him a thunderhammer and make Lord Commander Eidolon, 40k edition. Put it on a Warpsmith with a combiplasma for a Swiss Army knife with an answer for anything within 12”, even if one of those answers is SCREAMING LOUDLY.
    • Remnant of Maraviglia: PRIEST models only. Once per battle, instead of chanting a prayer, they can use this relic. An EMPEROR'S CHILDREN unit within 6" can re-roll wound rolls until the end of the round. Drastically better than a Space Marines lieutenant. Be sure to combine this with the havocs or noise marines you were going to double-tap with anyway.
  • Unique Units
    • Lucius the Eternal: Slaanesh's favorite boy toy is back and with some neat tricks. Lucius is cheap as shit for what he offers; so long as you get him into combat with the right unit, he's almost always going to make his points back. Either by killing something in combat or causing a number of mortal wounds to whatever killed him before they fully finish him off. As with all characters who have 5 wounds or fewer, watch the fuck out for snipers (he's going to be a prime target) and keep him screened, otherwise feel free to get him into combat wherever you want as he only gets stronger with every wound he takes, being able to deal 12 attacks at full power, before counting DttFE, as he can get 8 normally, +2 for attacking a character, +2 for "firing" his lash (don't try to roll them all at once, the lash doesn't benefit from DttFE). Keep in mind though that he's not Khârn, you can't charge anything you want and expect it to die but if you keep him relegated to units/characters around his own points cost to 50 points above it, he'll find it easy to come out on top.
      • Thanks to his cost reduction it's worth considering him for buff duty, likely with Noise Marines or by hanging around Helbrutes armed with blastmasters and missile launchers (especially if you're using Fire Frenzy). Sure a normal Chaos Lord can buff units as well, but Lucius easily outperforms Emperor's Children lords in melee while only costing a little more, something worth considering if you're worried the enemy will come to you instead of it being the other way around.
      • As 9th is limiting non-named characters that give a reroll to ones aura to one per army, he is an excellent way to run a plasma chosen endless cacophany list.
      • As Storm Shields have been reduced to a 4++, Lucius is finally on top of the dueling pits again!!
    • Sonic Dreadnought: (legends) This is a Helbrute, but is technically a distinct datasheet named Sonic Dreadnought; you can take 2 Blastmasters on its multimelta arm, and you can give it a Doom Siren.
  • Tactics: Here are some tactics that work better for Emperor's Children than any other Legion.
    • Phoenix Guard 2.0: This involves Deep Striking in a Terminator Sorcerer and pulling some shenanigans. You'll be using Terminators with Lightning Claws, everyone will need Mark of Slaanesh, and the Sorcerer will also need to know Delightful Agonies. You'll also want to run them as Emperor's Children specifically. On Turn 2, Deep Strike these (preferably behind) something that's especially scary and cast Delightful Agonies on them. Now your opponent has to make a painful choice on their turn - fall back away from your Terminators but closer to whatever else you have running towards the enemy, or get in combat with an extremely durable opponent that will also get to swing first thanks to the EC Legion Tactics.
      • Alternative Opinion: Tremendous waste of points; just bring Terminators with Combi-Plasmas or Combi-Bolters, as well as chain axes. Will do a far better job. If you’re a fan of Lightning Claws check this out:
    • The Perfect Strike: Take some Raptors or Warp Talons and a Jump Pack Lord and put them into a Host Raptorial specialist detachment. Give the HQ the Host Raptorial Warlord trait to get +2 to charge within 6" of him, and use Honor the Prince to turn one of your charge dice into a 6. Congratulations, you have a deep striking unit that cannot fail its charge without some kind of external negative charge modifier.
      • With the changes to Overwatch with 9th ed, and the currently sky-high cost of Warp Talons, it might just be better to take the Armour of Abhorrence on a Jump Pack Chaos Lord.

Iron Warriors[edit]


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: Siege Lords: Enemy units attacked by units with this trait do not receive the benefit to their saving throws for being in cover both at range and in melee. In addition, enemies can not re-roll any failed wound rolls for units with this trait.
  • 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 Metal: +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.
    • Cannon Fodder (2CP): Use during your opponents shooting phase. select one IRON WARRIORS infantry unit and one IRON WARRIORS Chaos Cultists unit within 6" of it. Until the end of that phase, enemy units can't target that unit so long as the cultists are closer targets.
    • 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+ wound 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. Either re-roll the damage rolls, or re-roll any or all of the dice used to determine the type characteristic, when firing Blast weapons, the number of models in the enemy unit count as double, and vehicles can fire blast weapons in engagement range but hit rolls of 1 cause a mortal wounds against the firer.
    • Spiteful Endurance (1CP): one Heretic Astartes gain 5+++ FNP.
    • Tank Hunters (1CP): Use during the shooting or fight phase. Choose one IRON WARRIORS unit (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: User gains -1 damage and after lost wounds from an attack, roll a d6, on a 4+ gain +d3 wounds regen. Perfect for a Daemon Prince.
    • Insidium: For non Daemon infantry. The bearer gains the Daemon keyword and Daemonkin and adds 1 to their strength, toughness, and wounds. I can see the Smash Lords and Princes coming from a mile away. Also gives desperately needed durability to a Lord Discordant. Combine with the Unyielding Metal Warlord Trait to make an unkillable monster.
    • Siege Breaker Mace: Replaces a Power Maul, a Cursed Crozius, thunder hander, accursed weapon. S+2 AP-2 D2 super-power maul, and can make one additional Sx2 AP-3 Dd3+3 attack.
    • 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.

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

  • These tactics are outdated, please insert new ones.
  • Daemon engine spearhead, take a Soulforged pack with 3 Defilers, 3 Maulerfiends and two Lords Discordant, an air wing detachment with 3 Heldrakes and a supreme command detachment with a Sorcerer, a Dark Apostle and two Warpsmiths. Give one Warpsmith or Lord Discordant the Stoic Advance warlord trait, give your Sorcerer the Prescience and Warptime psychic powers. The Apostle should have the cursed earth power. You now have an army of 9 daemon engines most of which will have 4++, with the ability to advance and charge one of them in the same turn (after moving twice with warp time) and 1 unit every shooting phase can reroll wounds against 1 enemy vehicle, which is very handy on Defilers. All your daemon engines are healing 1 wound per turn base, for 1 cp though you can give 1 daemon engine an extra 3 wounds back on top of this, finally your Warpsmith can heal d3 wounds, in addition, every turn for an average of 6 wounds back per turn, enjoy your opponents reaction as your Maulerfiend goes straight from 1 wound to its top bracket in one turn.
  • The Pain Train* Triple Lord of Skulls, Disco Lord, Chaos Lord with exploding 6s warlord trait, fill with whatever. Lord of Skulls can reduce AP and gain a 6+++, on top of a flat 3 wound heal makes this list utterly terrifying to face. Lord of Skulls do not degrade weapon skill or ballistic skill, meaning you have 3 knights, hitting on 2s, rerolling ones, with exploding 6s in both the shooting and fight phase, utterly disgusting.
  • Toastie Van: Take a unit of 9 Rubricae with warpflamers, a bare-bones Sorcerer with Death Hex and put them in a rhino, turn 2 disgorge your cargo and cast death hex on your target popping VotLW and Methodical Annihilation for 8d6 auto-hits re-rolling (averaging 4.75), wounding ≤T8 on 3's and ap-2. means that theoretically you should be able to reduce a knight from full health to <5W in a single shooting phase.

Night Lords[edit]


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.

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

  • Legion Trait: Terror Tactics: Enemy units must subtract one from their leadership for each unit with this trait within 6", up to a maximum of -3. Can be extremely powerful if you can get overlapping leadership penalties and then start causing deaths. GW themselves recommend three units of Night Lords, one with an icon of despair, at least one of which is a unit of Raptors, to provide a -5 hit to leadership before casualties even start getting counted, practically guaranteeing more models lost to failed morale checks. With the release of the Chaos Knights Index, you can take a Renegade Knight as your warlord, give it the Traitor’s Mark for even more Ld. reduction (-1 at 12”, -2 at 6”.) FUN! Too bad a generic Stratagem completely nullifies its effects, but on the plus side even -3 Ld will force your enemy to waste CP. (Of course you have to hunt down the occasional Commissar if you want to pull this trick off. Blamming beats everything, from the skins of your friends on the armour of that space marine to the huge robotic killer coming to squeeze you)
  • Warlord Traits:
    • Night Haunter's Curse: Once per battle round, your warlord can re-roll one hit roll, wound roll, damage roll, Advance roll, charge roll, or saving roll made. Damn, that's a lot of possible rerolls. More importantly, that means you don't need to spend as many CP for said re-rolls.
    • One Piece at a Time: The warlord can charge in a turn that they fell back and any attacks made with melee weapons against the warlord are -1 to hit. Holy Christ that's good.
    • Murderous Reputation: Unmodified hit rolls of 6 by the warlord inflict a mortal wound in addition to any other damage. Better than Flames of Spite? Not really, utterly same but potentially better as it procs from hits unlike Flames of Spite which goes off from wounds. But its also limited with unmodified 6s meanwhile FoS has simply wound rolls of 6+, which means they can be modified via veterans or apostle (not both tho... Thanks 9th ed). If you want mortal wounds for shooting, go with Daemon Shells stratagem.
    • Killing Fury: Add D3 attacks to the warlord in a turn that they charge, were charged, or heroically intervened until the end of the fight phase. Combo this with our Hit and Run stratagem for some really dirty fighting.
    • One With The Shadows: When wholly on or in terrain, +1 to saving throw (not Invulnerable saves). In addition, whilst this model is wholly on or in terrain, +1 to invulnerable saves (max of 3+). Basically while in terrain you get +2 for cover bonus and +1 to invulns. Become one with the Sneak Force.
    • Dirty Fighter: If there are more friendly models within 3″ of the warlord than enemy models, add 1 to wound rolls for the warlords melee weapons. Gang up on small units and RIP AND TEAR. Pack the high AP, cause RAW this still counts vehicles as 1 model unlike something like the Crimson Fists chapter tactic, which counts them as 5+ models. Is utterly second veterans but worse, still very useful if conditions are met.
  • 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! (1CP): At the start of the opponent's Movement Phase, one Night Lords unit that isn't a vehicle forbids any models within 1" from falling back (Unless they're a VEHICLE, 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.
    • Vox Scream (2CP): Use at the end of the movement phase, select an enemy model within 18″ of a Night Lords unit. Until the start of your next movement phase, enemy units cannot be affected by the affected 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.
    • Prey on the Weak (1CP): Use in the shooting or fight phase, select a Night Lords unit. Until the end of that phase, when targeting a unit with a lower Ld characteristic than the selected unit, add 1 to hit rolls. While it's obviously intended for Raptors and other melee hitters, it can work wonders at range provided you play it right. Most units in the game (including vehicles) will normally tie you for Ld, so break the tie with a veritable pile of tools Chaos has. Both Terror Tactics and Icon of Despair are 6" auras and thus work at range (although just charging in generally accomplishes more than boltering shit). An Icon of Vengeance works as long as you don't misplace the champ (sadly Havocs can no longer take it). Chosen and Termies are inherently Ld9, so take the enemies on a tour to Plasma Town. The catch on this stratagem is fun and pretty much nonexistent.
    • Hit and Run (1CP): Use in charge phase, select a Night Lords unit, that unit can charge even if they fell back. So you get to fight them first and with +1A from Hateful Assault to boot. Or you can simply hop that guardsman blob and pounce on the valuable thing they were screening - nobody told you have to fall back towards your table edge, right?
    • From the Night (1CP): Use at start of Charge phase, select one Night Lords infantry unit entirely on or in terrain, until the end of the turn, add 2 to charge rolls, and +1 to hit in Combat. Would've been handy if half the terrain types didn't impede charges... But it can be used as a counter of sorts for that. Good on a unit of terminators deep striking in. Stick them above the target unit and enjoy the near-certainty of a successful charge and +1 to hit to boot!
    • Raptor Strike (1CP): Use in charge phase, select one Night Lords Jump pack unit that was set up as reinforcements this turn, roll 3D6 for that unit's charge roll. Makes that Host Raptorial charge all but a foregone conclusion. In fact, that's your pocket Host Raptorial on demand.
      • Interestingly, this a copy paste of a Blood Angels stratagem but a point less. Coincidence? I think not!
    • Flay Them Alive (1CP): Use in the Fight phase, when a unit is destroyed from a Night Lords unit. Until the end of the turn, when a morale test is taken for enemy units within 12″ of that unit, your opponent rolls and additional D6 and you can choose which to discard.
  • Relics:
    • Claws of the Black Hunt: Replaces a pair of lightning claws; with S+1, AP-3, and D3 damage on top of the bonuses inherent to double lightning claws, these combine the horde-shredding ability of LCs with the AP and damage of a Force Sword.
    • Vox Daemonicus: Infantry model only. Enemies within 6" of the bearer all reduce their auras down to 1" and blocks anyone from deep-striking within 12" of him. Though you might scoff at the aura-nerf, do remember: You're not fighting in a vacuum. If you have your warlord supported with some other guys, you could shut down a potential pain in the ass aura and leave your buddies to rip their buddies to bits.
    • Stormbolt Plate: Infantry model only. Gain a 2+ save and always count as being in cover. Solo Jump Lords will appreciate it.
    • Flayer: Replaces a power sword. S+1, 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.
    • Talons of the Night Terror: Model with the Fly keyword only. You get D3 additional attacks (or D6 if it charged or made a heroic intervention) with S+1, AP-1, D1. Your horde-mulching Lightning Feet, only worth it when stacked with other charge shenanigans, albeit barely so.
    • Scourging Chains: Improve the AP of the bearers melee 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 the Movement phase, the bearer regains D6 lost wounds and gains D3 extra attacks until the start of your next turn.
  • Tactics: Here are some tactics that work much better for Night Lords than in any other Legion.
    • Ave Dominus Noctis: Relies on Night Lord legion leadership bomb. 2 squads raptors with special weapons, maybe a Contemptor with twin butcher cannon. See that lovely big squad of custodians, or their jetbikes...Just get your 2 raptors within 3" to be -5 leadership for them, that's before causing any wounds with the Contemptor for another-1 leadership, and if you manage to kill one with let's say, a raptor's melta gun, that's -7 leadership during morale, you don't even need to get into close combat. Unless the opponent rolls a 2, or uses 2 CP, it's a guaranteed fail. Even more painful with the Flayer relic and/or the Flay them Alive Stratagem. If you'd prefer to kill enemies outright, Prey on the Weak can help with that too.
    • Undivided Horror Cult: Tired of Night Lords always being characterised as Khornates? Time to make the ultimate fear list. Take at least a Night Lord HQ, a unit of Raptors with an Icon of Despair, and a Contemptor, Decimator, Leviathan, or Deredeo with a Butcher Cannon or two. This will result in a -3 to leadership at 6", -4 at 3" (icon), and -5 at 1" (Raptors), and an additional -2 for whatever you wounded with your Butcher Cannon(s).
      • It is possible to further drop morale through some other means. The easiest option is likely Chaos Spawn, since each unit causes -1 LD. Another is a Chaos Lord with the Lord of Terror Trait, or allying in Haarken Worldclaimer. Other means include Hell Talons with Warp-pulse Bombs, Noxious Blightbringers (one possibly with the Dolorous Knell relic), Be'lakor, Samus, and/or a Nurgle Herald with the Entropic Knell for an additional -1 Leadership each. Malefic Lords with Creeping Terror can contribute a nice -1d3 Leadership, and if you are facing IMPERIUM enemies, some Renegade Command Squads with Banners of the Apostate can toss in another -1. The recently added Vulgrar and his Nightmare Hulks are able to join in on this party too.
      • Zhufor, Sloppity Bilepipers, the Ogryn Beast Handler's Hounds, and a few units of Furies are great additions to this, as they remove additional models when enemies fail their Morale tests, instead of piling on yet more, possibly redundant, Leadership penalties. An Aspect of Death Khorne Daemon Warlord can also help with this.
      • Even Tzeentch can get on this! A Thousand Sons Sorcerer with Treason of Tzeentch combines beautifully with all this, and he can even bring some Mutaliths with him, just in case you need a bit more.
      • If you really want to go big or go home, Zarakynel and Cacophonic Choir can help bring an average of 7 Mortal Wounds to units in the debuff zone; you can even give her Phantasmagoria to really grind the salt in. This all adds up to -14 (16 with Zarakynel) Leadership, meaning everything within 6" will be Leadership 0. Maybe bring along a Slaaneshi Herald with the Forbidden Eye to shut down any bothersome auras?
      • Renegade Knights can also get in on the action with their Traitor's Mark Relic, which hits everything within 12" with -1, and everything within 6" with -2. Tack it onto a Knight 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.
    • Raptorial alpha strike: This one's kind of self-explanatory really, take a host raptorial with one 5 man unit of warp talons and a 15 man unit of raptors and of course a chaos lord in a jump pack (any weapons are fine on this guy but don't go overboard he's not here for his damage output) give him the TIP OF THE CLAW warlord trait for +2 to the charges of your raptors and warp talons on the turn they come down, ideally your warp talons should deepstrike into cover so they can benefit from FROM THE NIGHT at 1CP for an additional +2 to charge for a 5" re-rollable charge out of deepstrike with no Overwatch permitted, once your talons have made their charge just charge your raptors into the largest possible concentration of enemy units, then in the next movement phase play WE HAVE COME FOR YOU for 1cp and keep a massive portion of the enemy gunline pinned in combat. This entire combo only costs about 450pts and allows you to tarpit a vast amount of your opponent's army for several turns as your other units move in for the kill.
    • 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.
    • 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]


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

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

Crunch-wise the Word Bearers have 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 preformed 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 units 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 your 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 inreased 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 succesfully 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 Kill. 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 successfull 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 abilty, 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 the potential for three additional command points per each of your turns, rendering the new Nephilim limitations moot, and allowing you to be a big spender. 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]



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

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

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

  • Legion Trait: Butcher's Nails: When a unit with this trait successfully charges, you make one additional attack with each model in the following fight phase. This often translates to 4 attacks per model, on top of being able to strike first, and, in several cases, being able to fight more than once. This obviously makes units like Warp Talons/ Raptors, Berzerkers, and Possessed much better. This applies in only the first fight phase your units get, not extra ones such as those granted by your Berzerker's special rules or Stratagems (thanks FAQ).
    • All models must be marked by Khorne when possible. Of course, this means no sorcerers.
    • WORLD EATERS Berzerkers count as troops instead of elites.
  • Warlord Traits:
    • Slaughterborn: Add 1 to your Warlord's Attacks and Strength characteristics each time he slays an enemy CHARACTER, MONSTER, or TITANIC model. 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.
    • 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 INFANTRY or WORLD EATERS BIKER unit that is not a CHAOS CULTIST is chosen to fight with. Until the end of that phase, that units DttFE triggers against any enemy units, not just IMPERIUM units. Additionally when targeting IMPERIUM units DttFE triggers on 5+.
    • BLOOD FOR THE BLOOD GOD! (2CP): Use in the fight phase after an enemy unit is destroyed by a WORLD EATERS model. Until the start of your next turn all friendly WORLD EATERS units auto pass morale tests.
  • Relics:
    • Brass Collar of Bhorgaster: Allows the wearer to deny one psychic power per turn as if he was a psyker; if the power is successfully denied, the psyker immediately suffers Perils of the Warp. This combined with Scorn of Sorcery is bound to make psyker-heavy armies think twice before they begin unleashing their mindbullets or at least stay the hell away from the owner.
    • Crimson Killer: Model with a plasma pistol only. 12" Pistol 1 S9 AP-3 3 Damage and unmodified wound rolls of 4+ score a mortal wound in addition to normal damage.
    • Gorefather: Wait, WHAT? Apparently, ol' Angron felt merciful enough that he could part ways with his other chainaxe, 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+1 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: When an enemy model is destroyed in the fight phase by a model with this relic roll a D6. On a 4+ the model with this relic regains up to 1 lost wound.
  • Unique Character:
    • Khârn the Betrayer: Melee beatstick and swell guy, little else. Has one job and does it very well, running over practically everything in the entire game on the charge (unless they're a vehicle), he just needs a little help getting within charge distance now and again, so watch the fuck out for snipers and never send him off alone, he needs meat-shields to block that asshole with the Lascannon and there's none that combo better with him than World Eaters Berzerkers. His plasma pistol can also be of some use (oddly enough his re-roll thanks to his special rule Applies to guns but not his own Melee Attacks) but don't count on it being amazing. Likewise don't worry too much over his The Betrayer rule, the re-rolls he gives you and the damage he puts out will more than make up for a Berzerker or two that he beheads, though if you really don't want that, you can have a Berzerker unit in front of him, select them to attack, then select them again and pile in so that nobody's within 1" of Khârn, that way he can't hit any of his good friends.
      • If you want to give the finger to the lore and really want to kill vehicles with him, you can put Diabolic Strength on him and watch him tear Land Raiders in half.
      • Had a points drop in CA 2018 meaning him and Zhufor are Best Friends 4 Lyfe.
      • The key to using Khârn is stage management. As per the FAQ Blood for the Blood God happens during the charge-part of the fight phase. Position Khârn so he's within 1 inch of his charging Berzerker friends. Activate them first, then again using BFTBG before consolidating out of his Aura.
      • Again as per the FAQ, Khârn only gets his bonus World Eater Legion trait attack on his first activation in the fight phase.
  • Tactics: These are tactics that work best if you're using the World Eaters Legion.
    • Khornate Party Van: Get a Rhino, or better yet - a land raider. Put 8 Berzerkers with Chainaxes in it, put a power fist on the Sergeant for good measure as well. Also take power sword, so that you can produce yet even more attacks against those corpse-loving boot-licks. Add a Dark Apostle or better still Khârn for those magical re-rolls to hit. Finally add an Exalted Champion for those re-rolls to wound. The key to making this strategy work is making sure that your transport doesn't get blown up and all your dudes shot to bits before they reach the enemy. If you can avoid that... You get 14 S6, AP-1 attacks, hitting on 3s, re-rolling all misses and all failed wound rolls. And that's BEFORE the 3 re-rollable power fists, or the Chainswords go off or any of the actual characters go. In addition it doesn't factor Death to the False Emperor or Legions Traits, which become even more brutal with re-rollable attacks. You then get to do this TWICE. Just remember - if you are using Khârn as the source of your re-rolls - always activate the Zerkers before you activate him. Otherwise you may find your ranks somewhat diminished before they even start hurting the enemy.
      • The best part about this tactic is that if you take just the bare bones, like Khârn +9 berzerkers with axes in a rhino, it will cost you just under 400 points. You can isolate that into a separate World Eaters Patrol detachment (if you don't already play WE, otherwise just incorporate the buggers into your army as troops and a mandatory HQ), which gives them one extra melee attack on the charge per model per activation. Seeing as how they will activate TWICE... Do I really need to go on? It is dubious whether it will be very good in games of under 1000 points, as it takes up a huge chunk of your points pool.
      • The key to making this tactic work for you is to not let the party van get nuked before the guys inside can reach their destination. If you're using a land raider, that should be easier, as they are pretty tough now. If you use a rhino, try and set things up so that not all of the enemy's heavy weapons can target your party van. ALSO - USE SMOKE LAUNCHERS. NEVER FORGET THEM! Keep in mind that it takes approximately 3 lascannon wounds to smash a rhino - possibly two, with some luck and/or a command point re-roll. With that in mind, try to remain out of the line of sight of multiple units capable of dishing out d6s of damage. And if your rhino does blow up - try to make it blow up where its contents won't be shredded by gunfire afterwards. While this is not the squishiest spearhead, it can be savagely crippled by a mix of heavy anti-tank weapons (krak, lascannons) and anti-infantry weapons (heavy bolters, massed bolter fire).
      • If you really want to get the full strength of the unit in, consider a Drop Pod or Termite Assault Drill and deepstrike them turn 2 onwards.
      • Don't forget that re-rolls happen before modifiers. So, when you roll a 3 to hit with your power fist, that's a hit, so it doesn't get re-rolled. Then, you apply the modifier, making it a miss. I know. I know.
      • Who wants just some regular old party van? I want a flying party van! Go big or go home! Here's what you do: Kharybdis party bus, Dark Apostle, Exalted Champion, 18x Berzerkers equipped with Chainaxe + Chainswords and a Power Fist on the Champ. Oh, and make them a World Eaters Detachment. That gives you 51xS6 AP-1 attacks, 18xS5 attacks, 4xS10 Ap-3 Dd3 attacks, all attacking a second time, all re-rolling to hit and all re-rolling to wound. That's 146 attacks before the characters even swing! What's better is that the Kharybdis can charge in too! What good is a party bus if you can't crash it into the enemy from orbit?
      • Two Rhinos, each with 9 (or eight for you holy number purists) Berzerkers, a Dark Apostle and an Exalted Champion riding with them, and a Cultist screen, makes for a formidable double party van and yields 5CP. The deep insertion units that want to jump in and pop the Rhinos? Now they have a load of ObSec Cultists to get past.
      • Veterans of The Long War - Yeah, it sticks around in BOTH activations of the Berzerkers. And if that's not enough, you can give them an additional activation at the end of the combat phase, for 3 CP. RIP AND TEAR!
    • 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]


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

  • Renegade Trait: Raiders from the Maelstrom: Units with this trait may Advance and Charge in the same turn. In addition, if a detachment contains 3 or more units with this trait, that detachment's command benefits are increased by 1 CP. If that detachment contains 3 or more units of chaos space marines, the command benefits are increased by 3 CP. The former catch-all trait for the Renegade Chapters as a whole was already strong, and has been buffed even further for seemingly no reason, so make sure to take advantage of that by combining this with Warptime and Icons of Wrath (since you aren't playing a cult Legion there's no reason not to go multi-god) which makes you one of the fastest armies of 8E, and combines with the natural choppiness of Berzerkers, Raptors, and Possessed (while Bikers become ludicrously good) to make CSMs play like they always should have- powerful CC units that favour a balls-out, risky play style. Don't forget the Chaos Space Marine units, since even if they're all expendable MSUs you'll still get the bonus CP.
  • Warlord Trait: Reaver Lord: Your army can have one extra relic for free (as opposed to paying CP for it like anyone else). Still can't give two relics to the same character. In addition, each time your warlord slays an enemy character, add 1 to their number of attacks for the rest of the battle. If you're using Vigilus Ablaze to give him the Raiders from the Maelstrom Renegade Trait, Huron gets this Warlord Trait instead of Eternal Vendetta.
  • Stratagem: More Where They Came From (3 CP): Tide of Traitors but for Chaos space Marines instead of cultists. Corsairs are asking for you to spam CSM, and you should always take a full 20 man squad with bolters and a tricked out champion. Since your CSM detachments generate their own command points, the second ~ 270 point squad you hurl onto the battlefield is essentially entirely free for both points and CP.
  • Relic: Maelstrom's Bite: Replaces a Combi-Melta. The Bolter part is boosted to Rapid Fire 3 AP-1 D2, and the Melta part is boosted to +1S (S9 total), making it a very bad idea for anything to be within 12" of it (24" with the bolter drill rules). Ironically, Huron was nearly killed by a melta blast, seems he has grown to respect these weapons and now offers some of the best ones around to his top Captains!
  • Unique Character: Huron Blackheart: Huron and his pirate parrot Hamadrya are now separate models that make up a single unit, and as long as the latter is alive Huron can attempt to manifest one additional psychic power. Aside from that he's a sort of a Sorcerer Lord with 1 extra attack, and who gives a command point if he's the warlord. Comes with the equivalent of a Fist, Axe, and Heavy Flamer. Of particular note is that the Hamadrya can be used to soak up a hit that could've killed him, although you don't want to give up his pet too early, as without it he's lost half of his psychic game. Also remember that any buffs that affect him will also affect the Hamadrya, even if it won't come up that often. Annoyingly, he is far weaker than his fluff and pre heresy counterparts, though he is almost half the price.
    • He is fairly well priced, though his lack of Terminator armor to deep strike along with no other options for increasing movement aside from Warptime means all he is really good for is baby sitting blobs of CSM. Luckily, Corsair CSM blobs are fairy potent and he works well marching up the board alongside them casting powers and increasing Dakka output. Once they crash into enemy lines he is a mid/upper tier beat stick who can get very dangerous for his cost under the right psychic powers/stratagems and after he kills a character.
    • Best not to make him your warlord, since Corsairs can garner so many CP his bonus 1 isn't all that valuable. Make someone else the warlord (Demon Prince/Termie Lord) and build them for a specific role.
  • Strategies: The Red Corsairs are very quick with a strong a very easy way to generate CP, naturally there are a few ways to take advantage of this.
    • Suicide Fire Bikers: Take an Outrider detachment with three squads of bikers, a Chaos Lord on a bike and a Sorcerer on a bike. Give the bikers flamers and chainswords, have the Lord take a combi-flamer and thunder hammer while the Sorcerer takes whatever is point efficient for your army. Give them the Red Corsairs trait and put them front and centre. Have the Sorcerer buff whichever squad needs it, run 'em, Advance 'em, hit them with 7D6 worth of FLAMES!! Then Charge 'em. They (should) kill most of anything that is willing to fire overwatch, and finish what's left of a horde army with plenty of chainsword BRRR-ing.
      • Note that while this works out well for deleting large hordes, you'll need something for the tougher units, like Berzerkers to follow behind them (especially if they're a separate detachment of World Eaters). Use the hammer and force weapon to full advantage and consider fists on the Sergeants to aid in busting multi wound models, also take Malestroms Bite on the Lord since you are getting so close.
  • Fun Tactics: These are fun tactics that work better for Red Corsairs than any other subfaction.
    • Cheaper Relic Wielders: Some people worry about taking too many relics at the expense of their CP pool but the Red Corsairs don't suffer from this issue. Red Corsairs can more easily field relics than any other legion because of their legion and warlord traits. By taking 3 CSM as troops, you can start a game at 15 CP with no relics (assuming just 1 detachment) or at 12 with 3 relics where other legions would be down to 9CP. This can give you the flexibility to craft destructive characters and more easily support them with liberal use of GB to stay alive or EC/FoK to keep up the offense (sadly no VOTLW for the corsairs). This is made slightly easier with the use of Huron for an additional CP or a model with "Reaver Lord" as the warlord. Generating CP in the command phase helps too but it is important to remember two things. First, don't just spam stratagems without a purpose. Having more CP than other CSM armies means you can be more aggressive but the CP are not endless. Second, while you can use those stratagems to buff your models with relics, don't be afraid to use the extra CP to empower your other units, like your large blobs of CSM.
    • The 30/30/60/90 Build: (Only 8th) What would you do if you had ~30 cp and an endless supply of dudes, and not just Cultists, but actual Marines, with gear?
      • Step 1: Take a Brigade. Fill it with Cultists, and other cheap Compulsory choices, seasoning to fit your meta. Wargear, Marks, and Legion traits don't matter that much at this point, but Tzeentch and Crimson Slaughter net tonnes of Command Point recursion and some defensive power.
      • Step 2: Take 2 Red Corsair Battalions. HQ's here don't matter too much, although you might shoehorn Blackheart in, if you wish. All that really matters is 6ish Chaos Space Marine squads with the Red Corsairs Legion trait.
      • Step 3: PROFIT!!!!! With this build, you're looking at 90 recyclable dudes, 60 of which are Cultists, 30 are CSMs, and 32 CP. With the right mix of powers, wargear, and units, you can get resilience, a decent range of support units, and all the flexibility you'd need to pilot this list.
    • Piratical 17: (Only 8th) Thanks to the Red Corsairs Renegades trait, a detachment with 3 units that have the keyword CHAOS SPACE MARINES will receive a bonus of 3CP. The basic idea is to use a Battallion for 5CP + 3CP for this trait.
      • 315 Points - 2x Warp Smith (60 per) ; 3x Marines (65 per).
Remixing is encouraged to suit your needs. Adding heavy weapons or swapping a lord in for a smith will increase cost, but potentially get more mileage out of your CP detachment. Note that the smith becomes essentially pointless except as tax since it's locked to repairing RED CORSAIRS vehicles
  • For something maybe useful, use a dark apostle and a daemon prince with wings. Give your CSM chainswords and a flamer. Enjoy your cp and use csm as budget assault units.
  • Just take a Master of Executions or two instead. Cost the same as a Warpsmith, but does work by itself.

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)

  • Legion Trait: Experimental Enhancements: Add 1 to the Movement and Strength characteristics of units with this trait. Remember that due to his special rules, Fabius Bile himself can't benefit from this. Note, however, that Fabulous Bill's bikes and helbrutes absolutely do go faster. He must be painting them red.
  • 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.
    2. Prime Test Subject: Add 1 to the Strength, Toughness, and Wounds of the model. Stacked with the legion's traits and this can make your warlord into something truly devastating.
    3. Twisted Regeneration: Once per game when the warlord dies, they can resurrect with d3 wounds on a 2+.
  • Stratagem:
    • Macrotensile Sinews (1 CP): At the start of the Movement phase, select one Creations of Bile Infantry unit (excluding Cultists). Until the end of your turn, it can advance and charge, and whenever it advances or charges it gets +1 to the result.
    • Monstrous Visage (1 CP): At the start of any phase, select one Creations of Bile Infantry unit (excluding Cultists). Until the end of the turn, when resolving any attack made by an enemy model within 6" of that unit, subtract 1 from their hit rolls.
    • Venomous Claws (1 CP): Use this stratagem when selecting a Creations of Bile unit (excluding Cultists) to fight. Until the end of that phase, when resolving an attack made with the CLOSE COMBAT WEAPON profile sixes to hit auto-wound.
      • Best on multiple attack units with no melee weapons like Chosen or Noise Marines, but really? If you actually needed a unit to wound better in melee you'd just use Veterans of the Long War for the same price.
      • Combined with 'The Master is Watching' (see below), this can be pretty awesome on a unit with a high number of Attacks. Needless to say, Veterans is still a better strat. The greatest thing about this strat is that you can use Veterans on one of your units and use this (and The Master is Watching) to power up another unit during the same phase. This will make your opponent think long and hard about where he's going to use Counter-offensive.
    • The Master is Watching (1 CP): Use this stratagem in your shooting or fight phase, when a Creations of Bile Infantry unit (excluding cultists) is selected to attack. If they're within 12" of your Warlord and visible, reroll hits.
    • Dermal Chitination (1 CP): Use this stratagem in the shooting phase when a Creations of Bile Infantry unit (excluding cultists) is targeted by any attacks. Add 1 to the unit's Toughness until the end of the phase.
    • Taken Alive (1 CP): Use this stratagem in the Fight phase when a model is destroyed by a melee attack from a Creations of Bile Infantry unit (actually including Cultists this time!) For the rest of the game, all losses from that unit are counted as two losses when calculating Morale.
    • Supreme Creation (1 CP): Use this stratagem once per game before the battle. Choose one Creations of Bile Character from your army that isn't Fabius Bile. Choose from one of the three abilities:
  • Relics:
    • Helm of All-Seeing: Roll a d6 for every Command Point you spend on a stratagem; on a 5+ it gets refunded.
    • 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 always wounds on a 2+ against non-vehicle units, and does 4 (!) Damage.
    • Living Carapace: Can regen 1 wound at the start of your turn, and you may add 1 to that character's armour saves.
  • 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 reliable, 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 +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.
    • Baby Mortarion: Alright so get a Daemon Prince w/ wings and dual talons. Make it Mark of Slaanesh (so not really a baby Mortarion EXACTLY), and give it the Intoxicating Elixirs relic and Delightful Agonies psychic spell. Lastly, use the Supreme Creation stratagem on it and give it Prime Test Subject. Congratulations, you now have a S10 T7 Daemon Prince with a baseline of 8 attacks (9 on a charge) with a 5+++ that can zip across the battlefield and tear shit up. You can use the Macro-tensile Sinew stratagem to help pull off a turn one charge, and alternatively you can use the Master's Bloodhound instead of Prime Test Subject to further guarantee a T1 charge and want 10 attacks on a charge at S8 instead.


Use at the start of your turn. Select a unit without a mark and they gain one. It's fluffy, and extremely situational and borderline useless unless you're trying some kind of desperate "GOTCHA!" Strategy on your opponent. Pick the right mark before the game starts and you won't need to waste valuable command points. Basically made even more redundant by the Black Legion ability to give all four Marks to a single target. Virtually useless though.

Use before a heretic astartes vehicle attacks in the shooting phase. Until the end of the phase, that vehicle can ignore the penalties for moving and firing heavy weapons (said penalties don't exist) or for advancing and firing assault weapons (this can actually come up if you strap a combi-melta to something, but that's very, very specific and never worth the CP). Completely useless.

The infamous boon table returns, now on 2d6 and triggered after a non-Daemon heretic astartes CHARACTER kills any CHARACTER, VEHICLE, or MONSTER in the Fight phase. A single CHARACTER can benefit from it multiple times, and duplicates turn into 7. Interestingly, Matched Play explicitly does not interfere with your character transforming; the only restriction is that the transformed unit has to keep the Mark it started with. Since all of these results are good on a Champion and you can pick and choose who activates this, this is far better than what it used to be. In fact, the table is arranged so that usually, the most common results are the best ones: 7 (6/36) is anything you want, then 6 down to 4 and 7 up to 9 (5/36 down to 3/36) are defensive and offensive abilities, respectively, that descend in utility. You only have a 1/18 chance of losing your model, and half of the time (1/36) if you do the replacement is undeniably excellent.

  1. Spawndom! Replace your character with one of the gribbly things, set up within 6" of his former position. Not terribly bad, but this will likely remove many of the buffs and abilities you previously held.
  2. All of the character's ranged weapons get a 6" range boost. Pistols and combi-meltas enjoy this, but allows you to throw Demon shells farther.
  3. +3 M. Third leg.
  4. +1 S. Bigger biceps.
  5. +1 A. Third arm.
  6. Pick any result other than Spawndom or Daemonhood. The gods are pleased!
  7. Enemies targeting this character in the fight phase get -1 to hit rolls. Shifty ass Demon dance moves.
  8. +1 to all saving throws. Metal demon skin. Damn good as well.
  9. +1 T. Demon skin.
  10. +1 W. Bigger gut.
  11. Daemonhood. As Spawndom, but replace the character with a Daemon Prince instead; it must share a Mark with the replaced character, if it had one. Note that the spawned Daemon Prince doesn't have any of the Boon buffs, since it's a new model entirely. Again, you may lose certain abilities or have a reduced psychic output, but you gain a potent melee monster.

Use at the start of your Psychic Phase; a HERETIC ASTARTES PSYKER can swap one power known for another from the Dark Hereticus discipline. Very situational, but it can be useful. As written, this allows you to swap Smite for an extra Dark Hereticus power. Can also be used for other Chaos Marine factions, assuming you have a full detachment of Heretic Astartes in your list. Think Mortarion with Warptime.

    • Can also be used on a Master of Possession: debatably useful, maybe, but it does allow you to benefit from the MoP's 5++ and debuff aura while also being the same points cost as a similarly-armed Sorcerer (and 1 PL cheaper, whenever that matters), while using something like Warptime or Prescience.
    • Very useful for reacting to your needs with your psychic phase.

Select a DAEMON VEHICLE in either the Shooting or Assault phase. You can re-roll all failed to hit and to wound rolls for the rest of the phase. This almost fixes the problem that most daemon engines have, a.k.a. 4+ base to hit & only being able to equip heavy weapons. A Forgefiend can carry its own weight as long as it keeps eating those, and a Tendril Maulerfiend can do some serious punching. Also guarantees that your Kytan will fuck up whatever it charges.

Instead of shooting normally with a bolter, bolt pistol, combi-bolter, or the boltgun end of a combi-weapon, you can use this stratagem. Make one roll to hit with no re-rolls allowed. If it hits, it does 2d3 mortal wounds. If you miss, your character takes 2d3 mortal wounds. Not great on a full strength model, but very useful if you need to finish off a wounded tank or push a unit down a level on the damage chart. You know who can use this? A Chaos Lord with a Bolt Pistol. Which he can fire in melee. And hits on 2+. Oh dear.

Use on a Helbrute unit that did not move this turn. It may fire all its weapons twice but can only target the nearest visible enemy unit. Very nice when that tank in front of your multimelta/missile launcher 'brute really needs to die, and even better on a transport: per the core rules, the way shoots twice works is you go all the way back to the select targets step for the second round of shots, so if your first round cracks a transport open, your second round can shoot the ex-contents.

When a Heretic Astartes Infantry model shoots a missile launcher at a unit with Fly, make a single hit roll with +1 to hit. If you hit, do 1d3 mortal wounds instead of rolling to wound. Really useful in case the opponent is packing Flyers. And something else: it works on any unit with Fly, so in case you don't like the look of those Vanguard Veterans flying at you, shoot 1-3 of them out of the sky.

  • Important Note!: This only effects a specific model, not the entire unit! So, while at first glance it might seem like an incentive to take Havocs with 4 Missile Launchers, you can only apply this to one of them. That isn't to say this stratagem is bad, far from it - just that you'll get just as much out of it by taking 1-2 Missile Launchers on your normal Chaos Marines as you would by taking 4 with Havocs.

Your standard extra relic stratagem. 1 CP gets you 1 extra, or 2 extra for 3 CP. The utility of this is highly mark and subfaction dependent, as the mark-agnostic subfaction-agnostic relic list is so short it's easy to have a list that doesn't qualify for anything on it.

Identical to the Space Marine version: use in the shooting phase if you have a <legion> Chaos Predator within 6" of 2 other <legion> Chaos Predators (this is by name, not by keyword, so it doesn't work on Chaos Deimos Predators, which are legendary anyway). Add 1 to the wound rolls and damage for all of its attacks against Monsters and Vehicles.

Identical to the Space Marine version: use in the shooting phase if you have a <legion> Chaos Vindicator within 6" of 2 other <legion> Chaos Vindicators. None of them can shoot their Demolisher Cannons. Instead, pick a spot within 24" of all three, and roll a D6 for each unit within 3", adding 1 if the unit has 10+ models and subtracting 1 if it's a Character. On a 4+, the unit takes 3D3 mortal wounds.

  • That's, on average, 4 mortals to a 10+ non-character unit, 3 to a normal unit or (if you miraculously manage to find one) a 10+ character unit, and 2 to a normal character unit.
  • Notably doesn't require hit rolls, so can be used via badly damaged vindicators at no penalty.
  • As written, doesn't have normal shooting weapon targeting restrictions since it just picks a spot on the battlefield. This means you can effectively shoot into melee, including shooting while enemy enemy models are within 1" of your vindicators. This can also be used after using smoke launchers or advancing, and friendly fire is on with it, be aware - you can use this to murder your own dudes, intentionally or not.

For FW models but currently not implemented for main book units. Units with Smokescreen can become -1 to hit until the end of the turn if targeted in the shooting phase

One use only. Use at the end of the movement phase. Pick a unit of Chaos Cultists and remove them from the battlefield. They then outflank, arriving within 6" of the edge of the battlefield, more than 9" from any enemy models, and at FULL STARTING STRENGTH!

Select a HERETIC ASTARTES INFANTRY/biker unit that isn't from a Renegade Chapter when it's selected to attack in the Shooting or Fight phase. They add 1 to all their to wound rolls for the rest of the phase (so if you can shoot or fight multiple times, it applies every time). 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 Endless Cacophony and Fury of Khorne and so on.
Endless Cacophony (2CP)
Use this stratagem at the end of your Shooting phase. Select a SLAANESH HERETIC ASTARTES INFANTRY or SLAANESH HERETIC ASTARTES BIKER unit. That unit can immediately shoot again. Is that a unit of 10 Slaanesh Terminators with combi-plasmas and a Chaos Lord dropping down and vaporising two units instantly with 40x S8 AP-3 D2 shots? I think it is!
  • Combined with prescience and/or VotLW you can absolutely obliterate things. Prime targets for this combination include any large squads (because you can only use the strat once per turn, and the more models it's affecting, the better) but focus on Havocs, Obliterators, and the aforementioned Termies. Especially Havocs with Reaper Chaincannons, though be sure to ask your nearest Ork player for some extra dice.
  • Slaaneshi bikers can be extremely effective against backfield objective holders and can be used in combination with other units to table GSC and other deepstrike armies turn 1, using warptime they can move 28" then shoot twice with bolter discipline for 72 shots a turn and a 52" threat range.
Fury of Khorne (3CP)
Use this stratagem at the end of the Fight phase. Select a KHORNE HERETIC ASTARTES INFANTRY or KHORNE HERETIC ASTARTES BIKER unit - that unit can immediately fight again. Now you can give your basic Chaos Marines, Cultists, or Biker unit the Khorne Berzerker's gimmick. Speaking of which, use this on the Khorne Berzerkers to let them fight three times per phase and reap those skulls!
Grandfather's Blessing (2CP)
Select a NURGLE HERETIC ASTARTES INFANTRY or BIKER unit. One model heals d3 wounds. If there are no wounded models in the unit, a single model that was slain earlier in the battle is returned to the unit with 1 wound.
Great Sorcerer (1CP)
Use at the end of your Psychic phase; a TZEENTCH HERETIC ASTARTES PSYKER can attempt to manifest one additional power. Due to you normally knowing as many non-Smite powers as you can cast, this usually amounts to an extra Smite.

Building Your Army[edit]

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

How to Build a Big Army for Cheap[edit]

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

  1. If you play Nurgle or Undivided, get Dark Imperium. Period, no if and's or buts about it. You get some Plague Marines, which are one of our best Elites, a Chaos Lord in Terminator armor (Lord of Contagion), a Chaos Lord (Noxious Blightbringer), a Chaos Sorcerer (Malignant Plaguecaster) and 20 cultists (Poxwalkers). After that, grab Shadowspear (while it's still around). Next, snag a Rogue Trader Set (this shit is gold). Use a Start Collecting set kitbashed with the Slaves to Darkness Start Collecting set for 20 marines, plus a Helbrute, a Chaos Lord on Palanquin, and some riders for future conversions.
  2. For Khorne, not much thought is required - the Maelstrom of Gore is a good deal, but if you don't want to invest in it, Berzerkers are cheap anyway. Grab a set of the Start Collecting! Khorne Bloodbound for a decent Chaos Lord/Kharn, 10 Berzerkers, and 3 Bloodcrusher proxies (can also be used as Chaos Bikes if you pin a couple bolters together and glue it to the top of the Juggernaut, or give the rider a storm bolter hand). As always, a Start Collecting CSM set or two won't hurt. If you go for the AOS starter/Thunder and Blood, you can use the reavers as Cultists. Or cut their heads onto Stormcast Eternals and add spikes to taste. The Khorogath isn't a great Helbrute but does make an interesting Daemon Prince with a touch of Conversion work. If you go for the full starter, the Mighty Lord looks like a terminator lord a little already. Attach some extra pauldrons on the bloodsecrator and he can double as a metal-looking Dark Apostle.
  3. For Slaanesh use the same trick as with Nurgle, combine the Slaves to Darkness and the CSM kit to make twenty marines. Except now, those riders you get can be fielded as Seekers of Slaanesh and the Chariot as a Herald. Throwing in a Start Collecting! Daemons of Slaanesh kit will make your conversions look less like the perfection aspect of Slaanesh and more like the androgynous-horror aspect.
  4. Tzeentch is a little trickier. By kitbashing the Rubricae with the regular CSM and/or the MK III Marines, you'll make some interesting looking not-Thousand Sons. For a more loyalist-defector look, grab a box of horrors and some things which much not be named and use the huge number of extra bits to accessorize a Start Collecting! box.
  5. For Iron Warriors or similar tech-inspired armies, it's really easy to make your army look like they should. Get a Start Collecting! kit and an MK III squad and mix and max. Tartaros Terminators tend to look better than Cataphractii for a more mechanical look, and since we only get one type of terminator (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