Warhammer 40,000/Tactics/Renegades And Heretics (9E)
Forge World announced the Imperial Armour Index: Astra Millitarum, and it included the full updated Renegades and Heretics army list.
A quick note: Now that the forgeworld book has been revealed, along with the Elysians, Renegades have not been officially updated (or even commented officially on) for 9th at all, and may well have unceremoniously gone to the great legends datasheets in the sky. Generous opponents may allow you to use the 8th points for the renegades units with guard points for what you take from them, otherwise some armies from editions past can be played as guard or genestealer cults. That said, on with the show.
- 1 Why Play Renegades & Heretics
- 2 Changes Moving to 8th Edition
- 3 Special Rules
- 4 Warlord Traits
- 5 Psychic Powers
- 6 Renegade Armory
- 7 Unit Analysis
- 8 Allies
- 9 Tactics
- 10 Things to Note
- 11 Conversions
- 12 Gellerpox Infected
- 13 Servants of the Abyss
- 14 Unaligned Units
- 15 Gallery
Why Play Renegades & Heretics
- You've got leftover units from the old Eye of Terror campaign that introduced Lost and the Damned, as well as some stuff from old CSM and IG codices (mostly good stuff).
- You want to play chaos without superhumans, Knights or daemons.
- Alternately, because you want to take Imperial Guard tanks or hordes of traitors, mutants and cultists alongside your Chaos Space Marines and Daemons in a general Chaos keyword army.
- You love the great diversity provided with many options for your units.
- Modelling opportunities are simply amazing with this army. Even though the army is widely based on hordes, you can pick units basically from any model site, since renegades are very diverse. You can also use a load of your old Warhammer Fantasy bits.
- An army of literally Your Dudes. You can theme your army lore nearly any way you want. Mercenaries, corrupt Rogue Trader forces, sky pirates, beastmen - go wild!
- Between the resurrection of Genestealer cults, the new Necromunda, and the exploding industry of third party models, you're practically swimming in bits ripe for conversion to make an army that's truly your own.
- Imperial Guard Heavy Support is some of the best in the game.
- Your Elites slot actually outshines loyalist scum.
- Modeling perspective
- If you don't like conversions, you're gonna hate this army. Many of the units in this army have no official kits, so kitbashing and conversions are a must. If you don't want to simply get Cultists or Guardsmen models and paint them as you wish, you'll have to basically build the army from scratch or buy a lot of the conversion kits from Forgeworld.
- Oh yeah, this is a Forgeworld army too. While you're by no means forced to go exclusively Forgeworld, it'll still be a more expensive army than their loyalist counterparts, especially if you want to run vehicles en-masse.
- All those Forgeworld conversion kits have gone OOP because GW hates you. Now building this army requires even more scratch work, but potentially less money.
- As of now the Blackstone Fortress: Servants of the Abyss kit provides plastic traitor guard, psykers and beastmen(which can easily be used as marauders). Keep in mind that you only get seven actual guard to a box though(and that three of them have CCW).
- Gaming perspective
- This army can be lethal on their own, sure, but the army really shines when supported by Daemons and CSM, meaning yet another Codex you'll have to buy.
- Because Uncertain Worth is a thing, don't expect your gunline to hold for very long without liberal use of Enforcers once shit hits the fan.
- Strength and Toughness 3 means that people will die in droves and you'll go splat when someone even looks your way.
- In terms of uniqueness, character, customization, and pretty much everything that made this army fun in 7th edition: we got royally shafted. The only army that had more things cut from it in the transition to 8th was Eldar Corsairs. If you enjoyed renegades in 7th, it's unlikely you won't be disappointed somehow by what they've become. They are still capable on the table, but they're nowhere near as customizable or fun to listbuild.
- You will struggle vs loyalist scum particularly if they give a Baneblade "Vengence of Cadia".
- Forgeworld no longer sells your models.
- A lone troop model from an opponent's battle forged army will deny 50 of your own troops on an objective.
- Your Heavy Support slot is just Guard with some stuff taken out. (Although some factions would kill for this, it's less than ideal.)
- Your abysmal BS means that anything in your troops slot shouldn't take single-shot weapons, putting more points in between you and your hard-hitters in low point games.
Changes Moving to 8th Edition
8th Edition removed a lot of the customizability of the old R&H list, but improved their elite choices considerably, and gave most of your infantry squads free Chaos Covenants to boot.
- Marauders and Disciples are both 3+ BS 3+ WS, meaning they outclass guard veterans at the same price, though they can take fewer special weapons (2 for Marauders, 1 for Disciples).
- Random Leadership is now d6+2 (or +3 for Fanatics), down from +4, but Enforcers flat out deny all morale tests at the cost of d3 casualties.
- Demagogue Devotions are out, as is master of renegades (Not that you need it now that Faction Keywords exist.)
- Chaos Covenants are free, and on every infantry unit other than marauders and
Malefic Lords.Malefic Lords get covenants as per the FAQ. HQ choices are all-round pretty solid, Psykers are now at par with the other armies, andAs of Chapter Approved, Malefic Lords are horribly overcosted; take daemon heralds instead as they're better and cheaper. Rogue psykers are superior to their wyrdvane equivalents. Renegade Commander is only useful for filling out HQ slots on the cheap and unlocking covenants.
- Militia training is gone, leaving your troops choices lacking on BS. All your vehicles stay BS 4+ though. It appears any in-common units from the IG codex/section of the Imperial Armour book retain their stats (BS4+, armor saves, leadership).
- Carapace armor is now a hot commodity, only available on Marauders.
- Mutants are now an all-round good assault unit, instead of a nasty variable, but they have the chance to lose d6 models from their mutations.
- As per the big FAQ, you can no longer mix CHAOS units in the same detachment. This means R&H is now an actual army list, instead of only being taken as "Codex: Malefic Lords".
Gee Dubs with their total simplification of everything on God-Emprah's Not-so-green Earth, that is 8th edition, has managed to suck out every last bit of fluffiness from the army that basically lived by it. No longer can your poor doomed fucks be a marauding PDF force led by a nutjob general, a chaos doom-cult uprising on the move, an abhuman helot protest party or a misguided mini-revolution of unwashed masses. Not anymore you can't. Now you're just a bunch of murderhobos who raided a Munitorum vehicle cache and worship the Pantheon out of... sheer fucking stupidity I guess. Some people find it appalling, but to everyone their own. In addition, we pay the same price for our infantry equivalents, except they have worse BS, worse armor save, variable leadership, and no orders.
Alternate Take: It's not THAT bad, and it is almost a certainty that we will be getting our Demagogue devotions back by the time we get a proper supplement. Covenants work fine, and if you really relied on the more customizable aspects of the R&H, the only major loss has been our Grenadiers, which were ridiculously broken anyways, and the changes to the Nurgle covenant. In addition all of our units are now balanced enough that they don't need insane customization options to be viable. R&H are in a generally good place right now, with the exception of a few units' point values (Looking at you Militia!).
Covenants of Chaos
This rule does nothing unless you take a Renegade Commander as your Warlord, and even then, the change only propagates to infantry with <chaos covenant> in his own detachment, not to any other R&H detachments he took with him.
- Covenant of Khorne: Adds +1S in a turn in which it has Charged. Kicks ass on Ogryn and Power Fist armed models. Very strong for an aggressive CC list build; hilariously, can technically be taken by a rogue psyker coven or malefic lord.
- Covenant of Nurgle: Get a 6++ against attacks with S4 or less - so attacks with no strength and low AP like most poisons, ignore it entirely (If the attack is S0 then it kicks in but if it is S-, which isn't a number, it doesn't). It sounds pretty lame, but what it means is you rather dramatically improve your guys' survivability against small-arms fire and basic close combat attacks. This may convince your opponent to use bigger guns on them than necessary and can make for even stickier tarpits.
- Covenant of Tzeentch: Adds a plus one to overwatch, 9th edition nerfed it pretty hard. Now it costs a CP to activate - ouch! Still useful for gunlines provided you have the CP to spare.
- Covenant of Slaanesh: Roll an additional die when charging/advancing, dropping the lowest one. Arguably the best as it's useful for all your infantry: great for getting ranged troops into position or out of harms way and for getting CC goons into combat faster.
Uncertain Worth: Roll d6+2 for most of your infantry to determine their Leadership stat, which is an average of 5.5, which is pretty bad. Use command squads to mitigate the chance of poor rolls, or Enforcers to mitigate casualties from morale.
Fanatic: As above for uncertain worth, but when determining a unit's leadership, roll 2d6, take the highest, and add 3, which is 7.5 usually. Pretty good leadership on average, but there are always situations where your fanatic unit is LD 5 and your militia are LD 8. generally eliminates the need for an enforcer.
Daemonic Ritual: Got characters? I hope you do, because they get to summon Daemons! Instead of moving, you can roll 3D6 for one of your Characters and call up that many Power Levels worth of angry deepstrikers. Take a Mortal Wound if you rolled a double, or D3 if you rolled a triple. Generally you should be playing safe and using cheap, easy to summon units like Troops, beasts or small groups of Daemonic Cavalry. Most of the Greater Daemons are nearly impossible to get onto the field this way. The Lord of War Daemons (An'Ggrath, Zarakynel, Aetaos'Rau'Keres and Scabeiathrax) get a variant rule called Arch-Daemonic Ritual, where you roll 9D6, but your Character blows up if the roll a triple. Take an extra Renegade Commander if you're gonna do this, losing a 25 point model won't hurt too much.
Sadly, you only have access to the base three, and your Warlord choice is pretty much locked to Renegade Commanders if you want your Covenant.
- Legendary Fighter: Grants your Warlord +1 Attack during the next Fight phase after a Charge. Could certainly be viable on a Power Fist armed Khorne Commander, especially in a lower point game, though you should think carefully before putting such a frail model with a target on his back so close to the front.
- Inspiring Leader: Friendly units within 6" of the Warlord add 1 to their Leadership. This is likely going to be your go-to pick. Combines very nicely with a Command Vox Net, functionally extending the aura out to the Vox's ridiculous 10ft.
- Keep in mind that this applies to the warlord himself as well, just in case someone tries a spell to snipe him off where Ld is the deciding factor.
- Tenacious Survivor: Each time the Warlord loses a wound, on a 6 he doesn't lose it. Pleh. With a meager 4 Wounds, you're far better off keeping your Commander's head down behind cover and meatshields than counting on this to save him.
The Psychic powers of the Renegades remain thematically the same with some key differences
- Warp Flux: WC 7, 1d3 mortal wounds within 12 inches, or 1d6 versus vehicles - so it's strictly worse than smite against nonvehicles, but strictly better against vehicles, so it does have a use. (Unlike smite this does actually let you decide which unit you target with it though.)
- Creeping Terror: WC 7, One enemy unit within 12 subtracts 1d3 from its leadership during the morale phase. Essentially the Psykana -2Ld power, just more random.
- Unnatural Vigor:WC 10, Every R&H unit within 6 re-rolls failed charge and hit/wound rolls in the fight phase, but each unit suffers 1d3 mortal wounds! The power exempts the caster from both the bonus & the wounds (Well thank the dark gods for that). Good power for your rogue psykers, since they can get this off pretty reliably at the cost of a few wounds. If you take armored squadrons, fitting one squad of Rogue Psykers in a transport with a below-maximum squad is a pretty good option, otherwise you'll want to surround the squad in a horde, preferably inside of a transport as well, unless you have faith in your invuln. NOTE: This will kill your other characters just fine. Keep them well away! When it goes off on a mutant horde, it sure as hell does work though. It actually works quite well for your elites as well, unless you run MSU. the rerolls allow them to deal with T4/5 units in melee, and the re-rolls to hit almost guarantee 90% of your attacks will hit. Ouch. Pop this power if you can get your force in a good position to assault, and make sure you stuff as many units near the caster as possible. It's also worth using the rogue psyker's 3rd dice and a re-roll if you can spare the command point. If you run a non-Khorne assault based army this is a must.
- For obvious reasons, keep your characters more than 6" away from any units with this power. Otherwise they'll begin to pop like bubblewrap half way through the game.
- Plasma Pistol: Shoots plasma. Good for champs so long as you feel your squad loadout will keep them within 12 of the enemy, and you have a viable way of delivery. Can add a little bit of extra oomph for a Melta squad.
- Bolt Pistol: Shoots micro missiles. Okay for the 1 point upgrade, put it on your marauders or disciples if you want. Good for using up some leftover points.
- Las Pistol: Shoots a laser, for free. Used primarily for throwing around a free shot in the shooting phase for your special dudes in CC, but the additional range makes it nice for taking shots before a charge, too.
- Autopistol: Shoots a bullet. Your muties can squeeze off some rounds in close combat that will mostly miss but you do get more hits and potential wounds in.
- Stub Gun: Also shoots a bullet, but only as far as it's 6" range for some reason. No improvement over an Auto or Las Pistol, so completely useless.
- Shotgun: Shoots buckshot. S3 AP0 R12" Assault 2 and becomes S4 at 6" - overall a good gun. Can be taken by lots of individual models as well as Mutants and Marauders.
- Lasgun: The classic. Like an Autogun, but with Lazors.
- Autogun: The other classic. Like a Lasgun, but with Dakka.
- Bolter: Same S4 range 24 gun everyone else gets, exclusive for Marauder Champions
- Power Sword: 9th edition improved this one a lot: S+1 and AP-3 makes these useable, and a great threat against marines with the covenant of Khorne.
- Power Axe: The go-to option for the marine meta, S+2 AP-2 is solid and threatening. Less useful for the Khornate but more useful for everyone else.
- Power Maul: S6 AP -1. Good for threatening light vehicles, monsters and tough infantry but the Power fist does that better.
- Power Fist: Pretty good, especially since Disciples and Commanders get the benefit of Covenant of Khorne, giving you S8 on the charge, dishing out Dd3. However, keep in mind that even on your Elite SL's/Commanders/Enforcers you'll be hitting Str7 on a 4+ (unless using the aforementioned Khorne covenant). Unless you have some high toughness/wound models that you really want to chop for coolness sake, stick to your cheaper melee options, and shoot them instead. Chapter Approved gave them a discount.
- Brutal Melee Weapon: +1 attack for free. There are worse things to buy.
- Chainsword: FINALLY differentiated from brutal melee weapons, +1 attack and AP-1. Usually range from 0-1 pts.
- Autocannon: Good weapon for your disciples, since 2 accurate shots with -1 AP is always nice. Bad on low accuracy units (so all of your troops choices). Discounted in Chapter Approved.
- Heavy Bolter: Good choice if you want more firepower than a Heavy Stubber, but keep in mind this is twice the price for +1 S, -1 AP and D2 in 9th, which hurts since you are BS 5+ on most things. Good for adding extra umph to some Disciples, but takes the spot of your long range anti tank options, which are limited for infantry already.
- Heavy Stubber: Cheaper than a Heavy Bolter by 6 points, you lose 1S, 1AP and 1D. If you really need those points, shoving this on a Militia or Heavy Weapon Squad instead of a Heavy Bolter might work. (It's usually just better to pay up.)
- Lascannon: Good for your Disciples, since they can take advantage of the high damage single shot. Mainly for taking out vehicles, but you should be using sentinels to field these ideally.
- Missile Launcher: Okay to mass up since the frag can generate a lot of shots, but not reliable for your Heavy Support teams otherwise. With Chapter Approved 2018 dropping the cost a bit they're a solid choice for your Disciples, krak missiles hitting on 3's is nothing to scoff at.
- Mortar: Same as missile launcher using frag rounds, only cheaper and can shoot regardless of LOS. Take this or Stubbers/Bolters in general for your anti-infantry needs.
Notably, Meltas and Plasmas are now priced differently for BS4+ models and everyone else... Except, well, there are no models of the former in the list, and technically our Militia is not BS4+ either, so enjoy the price hike. Truly the Gods have forsaken us.
- Plasma gun: Good for dealing minor hits on light vehicles and monstrous creatures, and 1-shot-kills terminators when overcharged. Solid now that the 1/6 chance of death is optional for some extra Str and Dmg. Should be your go-to special weapon for general use.
- Meltagun: An AP-4 12" 1d6 damage tank hunter weapon, which becomes D6+2 at half range. Good for close range Tank and MC hunters, but overkill for heavy infantry. Keep these on your Disciples and/or Marauders.
- Flamer: For when you don't want the enemy to get closer to you, but you want to get close to them. The d6 autohits make it good on the charge, and S4 means it will decimate T3 hordes quite easily. Competes with the Grenade Launcher for best weapon for Militia.
- Grenade launcher (Frag+Krak): 1d6 lasgun shots or a krak grenade at 24". A good choice for standard infantry who don't need to be specialised, and for militia who can use the extra hits at long range. They're also cheap assault weapons with good range, so they're nice add-ons to units that are going to be advancing anyway.
- Sniper rifle (Marauders Only): Good for dealing wounds on characters, and okay at wounding everything else. Not the best since they don't auto-wound on 4+ anymore, but the 36" range and changes to heavy weapons makes them good for ranged skirmishing units, and they only cost 2 points. If you see a character who is on their last wound, take a few pot shots with these and see if you can finish them off. Otherwise use them to pick apart units to force morale tests, or deal wounds on MEQs, MCs and Light vehicles.
- Chaos Sigil: Lets the squad roll twice and pick the lowest when rolling for Morale. Combined with a Vox Net, this can make even your most cowardly wretches hold their ground. If you're going for huge squads, you'll still want to bring your Enforcers.
- Vox Caster: Roll 2d6 and take the highest +2 for leadership. 6.5 average, which is okay. Always a solid choice if the squad isn't going to be hanging around an Enforcer. Additionally, it lets the squad benefit from a Command Vox Net.
The Renegade HQ choices are all fairly reliable, and comparable to their Astra Militarum counterparts in most ways, however they are fragile when compared to, for example, a SM Captain, and lack any form of save better than a 4+. Keep them out of the line of fire, but they can score a few choice hits in melee and make quite a difference if given the opportunity.
- Renegade Commander: A Traitor Astra Militarum Commander. Is the source of your Covenant of Chaos. FAQ made them a character, so they are no longer in danger of being mulched by heavy weapons as soon as they come on the table. They are Okay in melee. You can do anything you want with these guys, but they don't provide any aura buffs,so keep them away from the fighting if they are your warlord. 5++ is their best save, but 4W 3A 3+ BS/WS on a guardsman statline is lackluster, so if you go into combat make sure you fight enemies that aren't going to kill you, so ranged focused infantry like guardsmen and fire warriors, tanks that can't shoot after falling back, or anything weak enough for you to kill it before it can strike back.
- Though being 5 points cheaper might seem nice, you lose out on the ability to issue two orders a turn. Aside from your warlord, these guys are useful only as an HQ tax, then on the field you can then throw around in heroic interventions hoping to the four that the little extra oomph might help the squad in combat win. Alternatively, these guys are perfect for Daemonic Rituals, being both Chaos Characters and cheap as dirt, so there's no big loss when they inevitably go pop.
- Malefic Lord: Once absurdly cost-effective, now a bit on the overpriced side. He has a 4++, T4 and 4W, and knows 2 Psychic powers in addition to smite. If he perils and survives he gets massive bonuses to his melee, dealing 2 Damage and increasing his strength to 8 and AP to -2, but he has to deal with the lost wounds from his peril (with no way to restore them), which might mean he dies before getting any good melee off. For 80 pts he is a solid psyker choice, but it is unlikely that you will get to use his possessed form. Not bad if you want a single reliable model to take up an HQ slot once you've run out of Renegade Commanders, or if you want a more versatile caster, but if you have points to spare the Rogue Psykers are more reliable for getting 1D6 Smites or Unnatural Vigor activated, and more likely to survive perils. He IS a Character though, so he's able to more effectively accompany your hordes without being focused down.
- Rogue Psyker Coven: 5 Rogue Psykers for 100 points, they know only one psychic power in addition to smite and are pretty bad in any form of non-psychic combat, only having 5+/5++. They do have a 5++, and the extra bodies helps prevent psychic explosions from perils of the warp. Can choose to roll 3d6 in the psychic phase instead of 2d6, but lose 1d3 wounds from it. For some reason they have 3 wounds each, which means they can afford to use the extra dice on almost every round without severe penalty, and can take a fair amount of punishment. Good for casting Unnatural Vigor on a large squad of mutant rabble heading for melee, or a reliable Warp Flux squad, but not combat or shooting effective outside of the Psychic Phase. They do have the potential to deal a fairly reliable d6 of damage on smite, so nothing to laugh about. The most reliable smite unit in the game, since they only ever fail to cast it if they peril. Just be aware that they'll get blown the fuck up if exposed, so keep them out of sight. Keep in mind if a psyker dies to mortal wounds while manifesting a power it automatically fails the psychic test. So if you do 3D6 cast you have a 33% chance of failing the power. Not at all worth it for Smite/Warp Flux.
- Renegade Cultists: Cultists from the CSM list that exchange mark of chaos for chaos covenant. Good for armies that want a few reliable, but cheap infantry for ranged firepower, but inferior to their guard counterparts unless you kit them out for melee or use their covenant for a specific purpose. They can only take Heavy Stubbers and Flamers, so they are killier than Militia, but less customizable. A small squad with Autogun/Stubber could deal some good damage, as could an assault squad with flamers and Brutal melee weapons. If you want mid-range Dakka for sitting on objectives these seem to be the right squad, kitted with autoguns and a stubber they can deliver lots of shots downtable or at any pesky flankers. Just don't expect them to put much of a dent into MEQs, especially Primaris. Now outright superior to their CSM counterpart, since they no longer benefit from Legion Traits, while R&H Cultists can take Chaos Covenants!
- Due to an inability to take Chaos Sigils or Voxcasters these guys rely on either taking a 30pt Enforcer model or spending 2CP on a troop unit. Whether this, the lack of customisation, and/or being 1pt more per model is a fair trade for an extra +1WS/BS over Militia is up to you. (It probably isn't, you have Disciples and brutes for advanced shooting and melee respectively.)
- NOTE: The FAQ that reduced the price of CSM Cultists to four point from five didn't work on them, since these guys aren't Cultists, but rather Renegade Cultists.
- Due to an inability to take Chaos Sigils or Voxcasters these guys rely on either taking a 30pt Enforcer model or spending 2CP on a troop unit. Whether this, the lack of customisation, and/or being 1pt more per model is a fair trade for an extra +1WS/BS over Militia is up to you. (It probably isn't, you have Disciples and brutes for advanced shooting and melee respectively.)
- Renegade Militia: Poorly Trained mortal soldiers, only hitting on 5+ in melee and shooting, and with 6+ saves. They can take heavy weapons (1 per 10) and special weapons (1 per 5), but you should only ever give them Heavy Bolters/Stubbers, Mortars or Flamers. In numbers and with an Enforcer to stop them fleeing they can make up for their poor accuracy, but otherwise you should mostly use them to screen your valuable units.
- Interestingly, these guys can actually form a surprisingly sticky back line, for GEQs anyways. One, they can take both a Vox-caster and Chaos Sigil, which significantly props up their otherwise flimsy Leadership, otherwise you will need an Enforcer. Two, if loaded up with Mortars and Grenade Launchers, they can actually lay down more ranged damage than a similar-sized Cultist unit through sheer mass of fire, even with their poor BS. Additionally, the Champion has +1 WS/BS over his charges, and he can take a Plasma Pistol as well. Combine with the Nurgle or Tzeentch Chaos Covenant, and you have a surprisingly solid block of troops for fairly cheap. They are going fall flat in melee, though, so stick with Cultists and Mutants for that and NEVER give them melee weapons. On a side note, the champion can take a krak grenade for some reason. Go figure.
- The volume of bodies and special weapons these guys can take make for an interesting close range shooting unit. 20 bodies with vox, sigil, and 4 flamers will run you just over 120 points and put down a decent amount of fire up close and be too good at overwatch for your opponent to able to charge them without getting hurt, especially if you have Covenant of Tzeentch which makes your flashlights just as accurate on overwatch as they are in your normal shooting phase! Don't forget to give the champ a krak grenade, you lose nothing by taking it, and since his shooting is better than anyone else in the unit, you might as well make it count.
- Renegade Mutant Rabble: A decent meatshield squad, especially since they have a chance to get T4. They roll a D6 at the start of the battle and either get +1 Movement (2-3), +1 Attacks on the charge (4-5), +1T (6) or lose 1d6 models (1) to uncontrolled mutation. Good meat-shields, and can do a bit of damage if they get into melee. An Enforcer can be the difference between this squad dying to small arms fire, or getting into melee, so if you intend on running more than 10 models you should take one. An enforcer also combines well since they can take a plasma pistol to fire into melee, and get a few wounds on any valuable units your mutants might tangle with. It is advisable to use this squad to force enemy weapon teams and tanks to fall back, or encircle them entirely if you have enough models. Don't have melee weapons outside of the Champion (who has +1 WS), but can replace their pistols with Shotguns, letting them spray and pray as they sprint up the field. 1/6th of 80 shots is still roughly 13 hits.
- On closer inspection these guys are the dedicated tarpit unit and not much else, mainly because they have no bloody CCWs for some reason. So in squads of 20 or less they are in stiff competition with Militia as assault units, believe it or not. Militia, who have double the number of attacks, up to four Flamers, and all the support of Sigil/Vox/Com-Vox without needing a dedicated Enforcer to stick around. Muties' main selling point, the mutations table, while pretty and all, doesn't make them kill stuff any harder except for one bonus, which merely ties them over attack number with Militia and only on a charge. So, if you are looking to put an actual dent into something in melee on the cheap, consider Militia instead.
- Obviously, bigger is better with this unit, as the number of models lost to uncontrolled mutation or Unnatural Vigor doesn't scale with the unit.
- If comboing this unit with Rogue Psykers w/ Unnatural Vigor and an Enforcer, place the Enforcer on one side, the Psykers at least 6" away from him and the Mutants in the middle. This way the Enforcer will not be wounded by Unnatural Vigor, but will still buff the Mutants due to only needing 1 model within 3" to affect the whole unit. See the diagram for more detail.
Elites are the hammer of R&H armies, with all of the elite choices quite killy. They will be making your plays while your troops soak up the hits. Taking a Renegade army of nothing but Vanguard detachments and Transports is a perfectly reasonable strategy.
- Renegade Command Squad: A squad for boosting the morale of nearby units, or reducing enemy morale. Their Banners provide bonuses to melee or reduce enemy morale, and the Command Vox-Caster allows all units with a vox-caster within 10 feet to use the command squad's leadership, if it's higher. Command squads are good for armies that contain lots of infantry hordes, or Disciple-heavy armies that don't want to take enforcers. Keeping them near the front lines is advisable, so that they can use their banners to full effect. Take a special and heavy weapon and keep them in a 4 man squad if you don't have a banner, so that you can put them away from danger and still keep using their good BS. Otherwise, give them a melta/flamer and get into close quarters, so that you can give the banner benefits to nearby hordes/enemy squads. Banner of the Apostate stacks well with Creeping Terror for 2-4 leadership reduction, making an enemy squad quite likely to fail morale, even on a bad Creeping Terror roll.
- Renegade Disciple Squad: 5-15 Veteran equivalents, with 3+ to shoot and hit in melee, and only a point per dude more expensive than cultists. Good for when you need accurate shooters and the best squads for taking Heavy weapons. Can be equipped with a single flamer for an assault team (no option to take shotguns) which combos well with covenant of Khorne or Tzeentch. Cultists can do the same job, but these guys do it slightly better; however, they are best reserved for good shooting squads. Can only take 1 special weapon, and 1 heavy weapon, so they lack the firepower of guard veterans, or the dakka of the militia, but can field up to 15 bodies to compensate, and have the option to be taken in 5-man squads instead of 10. They have Fanatic and a Vox-caster, meaning you roll 3 dice and choose the highest before adding 3, giving you solidly average leadership of 7.96, unlike the 7.47 of only having Fanatic.
- Renegade Enforcer: Stops your rabble from running away by beating 1-3 guys to death. They are pretty much Chaos Commissars before Commissars were nerfed. Keep in mind these are more grimdark than regular Commissars, they will kill 1d3 of your guys instead of even taking the morale check, so if you've got a morale check that you could actually pass, these guys are a hindrance rather than an asset, but with how bad your morale is that's a rare occurrence. They combo best with over-sized units, since taking 1-3 losses on 5 10-man squads is worse than 1-3 on 1 50-man squad. If you run hordes, you need a couple of these. They can also take a pistol or melee weapon. The pistol is the better choice, since if you take a melee weapon and charge into melee, the opponent gets to target the enforcer.
- Enforcers are one of the only three characters in your army, and unless you give a Malefic Lord Unnatural Vigor and your warlord Inspiring Leader, Enforcers are the only ones doing jack shit for buffing. Guard them as such.
- For five extra points and being moved from the HQ to Elites slot, you get a Renegade Commander that can't unlock Convents but has the morale aid. If you want a fighter character, get a Commander. Unlike a Commissar for the loyalists, this guy is not your cheap duelist.
- Renegade Marauder Squad: Squad of 5-10 marauders with 0-2 brutes; these can and probably will be the stars of your army. They are a good unit for precision strikes or long range attrition warfare. Small sniper teams or large assault teams are your best options. Marauders have a good stat line, with 3+ BS and WS, T3 S3, A2, and Ld7; their Chieftain has 2 wounds, Ld8, and can take a bolter or one item from the ranged weapon list and a melee weapon. To be clear, you get a rifle of some description (shotgun included) or you get a pistol and a melee weapon. Brutes get 3 wounds and Strength 4, as well as an extra attack, but are badly overcosted at 30 points per model, compared to 6 point marauders, and with the latest FAQ clarifying they only have stock CCWs, instead of the rest of the squad's guns and grenades, they aren't worth the space on the board they take up, let alone the point/PL cost. 2 models in the squad can take special weapons regardless of size, and the unit comes with 2 special rules: "Specialist" and "In it for the Money". The latter means that instead of rolling morale you roll a d6, on a 2+ the unit if fine. on a 1 the entire unit flees off the table; use a command re-roll if you fail this, because there isn't much else you would use re-rolls for unless you plan on using heroic morale. Makes the unit quite resilient to grievous casualties, but also makes them vulnerable to losing a few models since the roll is all or nothing - the number of models you expect lose to Morale is always 1/6 of the number you have alive, provided you took at least one casualty, no matter how many casualties you've taken beyond the first. Specialist gives them one of 3 Doctrines:
- Stalker: -1 to enemy shooting at the unit, and +1 to cover bonuses. Combos well with long ranged weapons like Plasma, Grenade Launcher and Sniper Rifles, and makes you the envy of Raven Guard, Alpha Legion, and Alaitoc, who only get this at 12" or more out.
- This is generally going to be your best choice, hands down - take a bolter, two shotguns, two plasma guns (though this is a lot less tempting since CA almost doubled their cost), and this specialty, and go out there and start winning firefights.
- Murder Cultists: Re-roll failed to-hit rolls in the fight phase. Okay, but the unit is Str 3, so it's wounding enemies that poses a problem. You can get re-rolls anyway with unnatural vigor (unreliably, and at the cost of d3 models), and if you really want to get stuck in melee, you should be going for the carapace save.
- Hereteks: Carapace armor and Krak grenades (so that you can have a second Krak grenade, for the lolz). A balanced choice that is particularly good for Armored fist units, or anyone who wants a reliable save.
- Benefits your close combat and shooting units equally, but remember that power swords will straight-up deny your save, so watch out for them.
- Standard Marauders can't take Heavy Stubbers or power weapons like they could in last edition, which is sad since it makes the murder cult weak, and makes snipers their only long range option.
- Note that these guys are Chaos' ONLY source of actual sniper models. And with their Stalker rule, they are honestly quite good at it. A trio of 5 Man squads with 2 sniper rifles and a boltgun each is a touch under 200 points. Toss in a Renegade Commander to stay cheap or a Rogue Psyker Coven for some psychic support and you've got yourself an excellent backfield objective holder.
- These guys can make some fairly good Melta vets; give two a Melta, the champ a Chainsword/Brutal Assault Weapon and a Plasma pistol, and give three other guys shotguns. Take two squads like this and shove them in a Valkyrie. Have them Grav-chute next to anything short of a titan and it'll die, and you can drink the bountiful tears of you opponent.
- Stalker: -1 to enemy shooting at the unit, and +1 to cover bonuses. Combos well with long ranged weapons like Plasma, Grenade Launcher and Sniper Rifles, and makes you the envy of Raven Guard, Alpha Legion, and Alaitoc, who only get this at 12" or more out.
- Renegade Ogryn Beast Handlers: 3-6 Hounds and an Ogryn Pack Master. The hounds reduce enemy morale by 1 if they deal unsaved wounds, and the Ogryn Pack Master is equipped with a Ripper claw (SUser AP-1 D1d3) and Mauler Goad (Suser AP0 D1, but an unsaved wound grants the Hounds +1 to hit rolls against the same unit for the turn). Can use combat stims to increase the number of attacks of the beastmaster infinitely (if you want to get that cheeky goad wound, or get wounds with the claw), but you risk killing him if you do so (see the Brutes section for more discussion of stims, but this unit can only have one Ogryn in it, so the risk is greater). Good for killing hordes, since they have a lot of attacks and affect morale. The entire unit is infantry, so they benefit from cover.
- Even with Covenant of Slaanesh this squad suffers from footslogging as it's not the quickest getting across the table with a base movement of 6". That combined with a 5+ save, crap leadership and a max unit size of 7 means it's vulnerable to getting spammed out with dakka, which is a shame as it's quite killy for a sub-100 point choppy unit which really should be able to charge in and tie things up early on. On the other hand it fits very nicely in a stolen Valkyrie which in addition to allowing you a reliable T1 charge can also drop Malefic Lords along the way via gravchute should you feel like summoning some daemons to back them up.
- Renegade Ogryn Brutes: 3-12 Ogryns, but without guns. Have Ogryn weapons, which are S+1 AP-1 D2, so with mark of Khorne they can tear T7 vehicles a new one, but their main use should be against characters - they aren't built for monster-hunting. They can take multiple wounds, and they deal multiple wounds with AP, and their reliable WS and number of attacks means they're likely to score several unsaved wounds; 3 wounds is all you need to bring most characters down. With a 3 man unit, you are getting 12 attacks on the charge, potentially at S7, so if you want to remove an SM Captain, or a pesky Primaris squad, this is the unit. Keep in mind this is relying on them hitting first, so don't go charging a howling banshee squad and expect to come out on top (though at proper numbers you should).
- No longer cost obscene amounts of points this edition for an impressive squad. Comparable to Chaos Spawn... OH GOGDAMWWARGHRAGFAGRAHGYUGCGBGH ... anyways, the youknowhats are speedier and potentially more damaging with their mutations and D6 attacks, and Ogryns having more consistent power with their flat 3 attacks (4 on the charge, 5 with a 2+ on the stims roll, potential 7 on a 6) and S6 attacks before covenant bonuses. Being infantry is also a boon since they can take transports. Cram 3 Ogryns and a Boss into a Chimera and you have a solid beatstick that's relatively fast and can scare multi-wound infantry and support characters off of objectives.
- They have the same Combat Stimms rules as the Packmaster above.
- Renegade Plague Ogryns: As 3-9 Ogryns above, but they only have a Covenant of Nurgle for saves, their weapon is SUser AP-1 D1d3, and they explode on death, dealing a mortal wound to any squad that does not have the nurgle keyword within 3" on a 4+. They are interesting, and even better for killing characters, but the lack of a save versus anything Str 5 or better, and a bad save against everything else, is worrying. Coupled with their explosive death, they are a serious tactical liability, unless you can keep your minions the fuck away from these things. On the plus side, they always have the Covenant of Nurgle, so your vanguard detachment can use the HQ slot for something useful rather than the commander tax. This also means that they have a Covenant even when you have a non-R&H Warlord.
- Put four of these guys in a Valkyrie and throw 'em out with Grav-chutes. Congratulations, you now have Ogryns that explode in the enemies ranks on turn one.
- Chimera: You know it, you love it. Gem of the metal bawks world, can take 12 of your squishy goons, now with toughness, wounds, move values and variable statistics! Unfortunately, their price went up considerably; you've been warned. Still gets the job done, but its attacks depend on volume of fire over value. No AP on anything but the Heavy Bolt/Flamer. Flamer is a good option, since it doesn't suffer from the vehicle's accuracy decay as much, and as Renegades you aren't afraid of a little CQC are you?
- Hellhound: Set things on fire with a flame tank! Curiously, you have access to the hellhound variant guns like the Chem Cannon and Melta Cannon... But you should probably take the auto-hitting ones because your BS is
garbageexactly the same as normal guard. Sadly, these don't bypass cover saves anymore, but cover saves aren't as strong either. Take the basic Hellhound for hordes of GEQ, otherwise there's the Bane Wolf, whose vicious Chem Cannon wounds everything that's not a vehicle on 2s, with improved AP (at the cost of range). Thanks to renegades straight up jacking the codex entry for these tanks the Devil Dog has benefited from the same buff the normal one got: its melta cannon is now assault type. This is a pretty big boost and turns that option from worthless into one of our most reliable anti tank weapons. Zip up 12", fire away, and watch anything tank shaped melt. Sadly the hull mounted multi melta is still heavy so always take the heavy flamer for defense.
- Scout Sentinel: These will probably be your main source of anti-infantry Heavy Weapons, because your normal heavy weapons teams are terrible shots. A T5 chassis is okay, but you are still vulnerable to small-arms, especially with a 4+ save. The scout move can be used to keep your sentinels out of danger if, for example, the enemy player steals initiative, so that is a plus. You will take this sentinel mostly for speed, so take rapid fire weapons like the multilaser, Autocannon, or Heavy Flamer (Or frag missiles from the Missile Launcher if you are feeling lucky). These will likely get focus fired at the start of the game if you don't have enough other threatening targets, but they do have 6 wounds each and no damage table, so taking a few wounds is not a problem. With Outrider Detachments you can take nothing but HQs and Sentinels, which actually isn't too bad of a army build if you organize it properly.
- Armored Sentinels: These will probably be your main source of anti-tank seeing as to the fact that they can plop themselves in cover without being afraid of wasting the scout sentinel's extra maneuverability. Plasma cannons make them good at clearing up heavy infantry, Autocannons are good versatility, for both infantry and light vehicle targets. Lascannon/Missile Launcher are your best bet for taking out enemy armored vehicles and monstrous creatures, but will draw a heck of a lot of fire, so keep them in covered positions. If you are only going to take only one group of sentinels, the Missile Launchers are good options, since they can thin out enemy infantry squads quite nicely, and also deal with most armored targets. Lascannon is good for popping heavy tanks, where the 3+ wound -3 AP really matters.
- Salamander: Cute little light tank with guns otherwise found on sentinels or heavy weapons squads. Pricier, tank-y-er than either; great if you have the points and are not otherwise concerned about getting bogged down in CC as these things will get bogged down in CC.
- THE THING THAT SHALL NOT BE NAMED - The gribbly beasts you know and love from the CSM codex make a return, this time in the FA slot and not requiring a chaos covenant to unlock! Still have the D6 random attacks, but now have 4 Wounds and an armor save of 5+ with no uptick in points (actually got a points decrease). The D3 table of mutations has mostly stayed the same. 1 gives your punches AP-4, 2 gives you +2 attacks, and 3 lets you re-roll failed wounds in close combat. Take a full unit of the gribbly bastards and harass your opponent's flank and squishier heavy weapons teams with anywhere from 5 to 30 S5 AP-2 attacks. Got a pretty sizable nerf to their speed though, going from 12" to 7" movement, but you still slightly outspeed most basic infantry.
Are infantry type now, so they get full benefits from cover. Use this to your advantage and they'll be significantly more survivable.These guys are an even better DISTRACTION CARNIFEX unit, as it will take serious firepower to dent T5 W4 models with anything less than heavy weapons. FAQ changed these from INFANTRY to BEAST so can no longer board vehicles. Not that anyone would have ever taken advantage of that...
- Note: The points listed for the beast are per beast, meaning they are now 33 points for each beast, instead of 55 for 3 like they were in the previous edition. Whether this is a deal-breaker is up to you.
- Valkyrie: The original bad bitch of the skies can hold 12 Infantry; Ogryns of any variation count as 3 models. Any infantry with the Renegades & Heretics keyword count. Transports can hold multiple units now, so have fun! Even better, Grav-Chute Deployment allows you to put anybody the bad bitch can carry 9" away from the enemy...after the Valkyrie's 20" minimum move. Can you say 'turn 1 charge with ogryns?' And to top it all off it has 2 MORE wounds than a Leman Russ tank (though 1 less toughness). Cue the music!
- Note: On the firepower side of things, hellstrike missiles are no longer one-use only (but you can fire only 1 per turn), and the multiple rocket pod is a nice infantry muncher. However, the Valkyrie isn't immune to the penalties for firing heavy weapons on the move, and being Airborne it HAS to move, so it'll be shooting like an Ork most of the time (unless you hover but then you can also be shot at normally and/or charged by flying stuff). Spring for Multiple Rocket Pods, multilasers and door gunners with Heavy Bolters to power through the penalty. But it also may hover. So if you really want to kill something, you may switch to hover mode and let go. But prepare to die afterwards, since all the Flyer buffs are then gone like the wind.
- Other Note: The Grav-Chute deployment still only counts as a disembarkation from a transport, allowing you your normal movement afterwards with your marauders, or your 4 Renegade Ogryn Brutes for that charge... Ogryn can fit in Valkyries, just not Vendettas (which doesn’t matter, since we don’t have access to those anyway).
- Arvus Lighter: Actually not a bad choice for delivering units and taking heavy weapon. Gets a 3+ save, and BS 4+, and Does not have a damage table. In addition 8 woulds with an 3 up and hard to hit is never bad for a T6 flyer. It's not going to win any killing contests, but it will get your models where they need to go, and can take some potshots along the way. Also hilariously lacks the supersonic trait, which means you can do 180 degree turns all day, without having to worry about flying off the table. Twin Autocannons or Twin Heavy Stubbers seems to be the best choice for weapons, but taking the Multilasers or Twin Hellstrikes is always optional. Cheap enough to warrant being used as a tanky flying Heavy weapons team after you deliver your cargo. Unfortunately cannot transport Ogryns of any variety.
- Renegade Heavy Weapons Squad: A pair of Militia with a big gun, able to be taken up to six teams in a single unit. Very unreliable yet statistically mighty cost-efficient if spammed and kept the hell away from enemies.
- A heavy weapons team with 3 mortars is 36 points, indirect fire for a ton of potential shots is useful for such a cheap unit, against hordes or even as a distraction, when you end up rolling 6d6 shots against one unit, they draw the eye ever so slightly.
- These are more points efficient with Lascannons than Disciples. You can get two HWTs with lascannons for 9 less points than a minimum Las-Disciples squad, with the same chance of landing a single hit. This also makes them slightly more points efficient than a las-predator, just a lot weaker on the defence.
- As of CA19 the fortifications still don't count them as two passengers, meaning you can stick two 5-men squads in a bunker and hose everything down with HBs or Autocannons, although their cost-effectiveness diminishes sharply in that case. Still, 14 Autocannons on a Leman Russ-grade metal box that can't be shut down with melee in hilarious. And very menacing.
- Leman Russ Battle Tank: The sturdiest tank in the galaxy, point-for-point. For 122 points, a T8 W12 platform with a 3+ save will consume a lot of firepower before dying. Its basic Battle Tank Cannon is Heavy D6 S8 AP-2 and took some big hits. It (along with many others) practically lost large blast, with it being lucky to get 2 hits
(sorry but, 2 hits would be 5/6 of the time? Far from "lucky". That's not even average. 3 hits would be average.)(No, because you roll d6 for the number of shots which then roll to hit - so 3 or 4 shots average, 1.5 to 2 hits on BS4+) and getting 4 or more will be a rare occurrence indeed. MEQ now get a darn 5+ save instead of being auto-pasted like its 5th-7th edition iteration, but this thing's now decent against enemies with 2+ armor which is a decent trade-off. The Exterminator took a 1/3 firepower hit as well, placing it squarely worse than a predator autocannon versus big targets, and is no longer more accurate with heavy bolters than ordnance Russes. Speaking of which, with Heavy Bolters also being worth a mere 8 points each (less than half of a Heavy Flamer), adding 3 Heavy 3 S5 AP-1 weapons is a thrifty 24 points, making them more worth their points. Unlike the vanquisher. The vanquisher is proof that GW is incapable of statistics, as it performs worse against heavy armour than every leman russ turret except the exterminator, but is now one of the cheapest options (doing 0.93 wounds to another russ, every other variant manages at least 1 wound). Sad thing is if GW had given it a flat 2+ to wound against vehicles or flat 2D6 damage instead of 2D6 drop the lowest, it’d perform better against most vehicles than other russes. Hopefully this will be corrected in the codex. Chapter Approved saw the Vanquisher get a 5-point cut, making it one of the cheapest variants now. The other mixed bag is the often overlooked Eradicator. You are effectively getting a Vanilla Russ that drops two Strength from its cannon in exchange for Ignores Cover. It's better against cover camping infantry squads (like those squishy Eldar and Tau) but may struggle against anything else. Let’s not forget that the Grinding Advance rule allows you to shoot the main gun twice if you moved less than 6”. A solid buff! Because of the wording of Defenders of Humanity in the IG codex, our Leman Russes also get ObSec when in a spearhead detachment. Not sure if this is applicable only for loyalist Imperial Guard, so it's quite possible Renegades and Heretics don't get Objective Secured for their Leman Russ tanks...
- Leman Russ Demolisher Tanks:The brawlers of the battle tank variants; no guns over 36" (except the Lascannon) and a LOT more power in exchange. The Punisher and Demolisher are statistically your best friends against troops and vehicles/monsters, respectively - a Punisher with 3 heavy bolters (166 points) or a Demolisher with 2 multi-meltas and a lascannon (222 points) can wreak impressive amounts of havoc for a single model, and unlike previous editions they don't mind being in melee (in fact with a trio of heavy flamers they'll be quite painful to charge). Also back in the running is the Executioner. With 2 plasma cannons and a hull lascannon (192 points) it can put out an impressive amount of MEQ-hate. And unlike every other model with plasma, a 1 on the hit roll of an overcharge shot doesn't kill you! Instead it inflicts 1 mortal wound. So...yeah it’s safe enough, the Dark Mechanicus fellas said so! Really if you want to overcharge any plasma weapons, go for the Executioner cannon, a gets hot will only inflict D6 mortal wounds, it won't be disabled after overheating, and it isn't penalized for firing on the move. Like the other Leman Russes, they get ObSec when in a Spearhead detachment. Again, unsure if it's only a Loyalist Imperial Guard thing, so it's possible Renegades and Heretics don't get them.
- A great Russ to consider is the cheapest (150 pts) for a Punisher and hull heavy bolter (add on storm bolter and sponsons if you have spare points). This is a very effective anti horde platform and since you are able to bring huge amounts of nearly unbreakable hordes a few of these is your ticket to heavily out mobbing every army you come across. Just clean up your opponent’s zerg swarm with the Punisher then charge in your cultists to tie up their entire army. If your opponent doesn't have a swarm army then you're already laughing.
- Basilisk: One of your better units for hitting hard targets, the old Basilisk is back in action. Sitting at 110 points, its one of our more efficient units for hitting targets with 2+ wounds from across the table. Focus on that last bit - keep it away from enemy units.
- Earthshaker Battery: Since it's not in production anymore, you'll have to convert them down from the Basilisk Kit. What you would get from your work is just what you expect it to be; a stripped down Earthshaker cannon without any of the Basilisk's mobility and less survivability. Not that you took it for either of those. At 15 points more than the Basilisk, it drops the HB but gains one of the sillier rules: Immobile. Which makes you get autohit in melee (in case something clearly went wrong in your backline) but lets you shoot that giant cannon while in melee (and even at the chumps punching you since the Earthshaker no longer has a minimum shot range, I guess it just fires directly upwards or something). Overall the Basilisk is way better because 4 more Wounds on the same gun for less points, so avoid it like the plague, unless you really dig the aesthetics.
- Do note, this battery (conveniently) has no crew, and is technically a separate unit from the crewed, carriage earthshaker. Presumably, this unit has a self-contained crew that cannot be picked off, as opposed to...
- Earthshaker Carriage Battery: 6 more points than the earthshaker battery buys you 4 guardsmen and removes the immobile rule. Luckily, the crew can only be targeted if they're the closest unit, so keep them behind the goddamn gun because once they're all gone, the gun is removed as a casualty. Trouble is everything that applies to the above applies to this (more expensive than a Basilisk, can't move) but it can't be auto-hit in CC and it can't fire into CC either. And on top of all of that, the renegade crew doesn't even get access to covenants!
- Medusa: Normal Medusae are not a thing anymore, but instead we get access to the Armageddon Pattern Medusa. Effectively a vindicator, but always has D6 shots, at the cost of D3 damage, and 1 less toughness (Which is compensated for by the gun shooting 12 inches further. Similar enough to be replaced by the vindicator if it fits your style better, but as with everything on this list YMMV.
- Medusa (Carriage) Battery: Same deal as with the Earthshaker, this is a stationary Medusa cannon that has less wounds and costs the same. This one is crewed, so one more downside to a pile of downsides. Hard pass.
- Wyvern: Its infamous Wyvern quad mortars generate more attacks they did before, doing 4d6 S4 AP0 hits that re-roll to wound. Thanks to the new 8th Edition rules, the old "enemy spreads their models out to avoid blasts" tactic is moot. It's lost its "Ignores Cover" ability, which really hurts given its lack of AP. It gets 14 shots and 7 hits on an average roll, which at S4 and AP- will only reliably kill 2 or so marines. (Wait, marines? Why didn't you take a basilisk?) The Wyvern excels at killing GEQ and similar lightly armored infantry blobs, whether they're footslogging Orks, loyalist Guardsmen, or other traitors. Using this thing to target Marines is just a waste of fire and not what the weapon is designed for.
- Griffon: A Str6 AP -1, 2d6 taking the highest dice shots, ignores cover and line of sight on a Chimera EQ chassis. A strong little weapon platform, especially since it can move and shoot without much penalty other than -1 to hit. Keep it in the back, or with your other light vehicles like your Chimeras for the extra firepower. Good for killing T3 infantry squads and light vehicles, but for marines the volume of fire of the Wyvern is better.
- Hydra: The original AAA is back in action! with the revision to Skyfire, the Hydra can hit ground troops on 5s, and with its eight autocannon shots it's a potentially good investment even if you didn't expect flyers from your opponent. The power comes at a price, though: 123 points, up from 75. Flyers will learn to fear it, though; it puts out enough power to statistically guarantee damage versus most aircraft.
- It doesn't just get +1 to hit against flyer. It gets it against anything with the FLY tag. Guess who has the Fly tag? Eldar Jetbikes. You did magnetize that Wyvern you bought, right?
- There's a surprising number of other units with FLY, like the aforementioned jetbikes, Jump troops, anything that used to be a skimmer in 7th, Monoliths, half of the Dark Eldar and Tau Army Lists... It's really quite staggering. Make sure you check the tags on your target's datasheet before opening fire. And do take a picture of your opponent's face when you inform them of this.
- Malcador Tank Family: Down(?)-graded from Lord of War to Heavy Support, the light-super-heavy tanks of the Malcador family has been smiled upon in 8th by the removal of weapon facing. This means the bizarre fixed-transfer casement the main gun sits in (and the fact that the sponsons can't train forward) no longer limits its shooting ability; also gone is the chance to break down every time it moves, apparently they finally fixed the engines on these things. The Demolisher cannons have Grinding Advance, as well. Note: The Valdor tank destroyer is still taking a Lord of War, so no spamming Neutron Lasers (not that you could spam a tank this size anyway).
- Malcador Heavy Tank: The basic Malcador is a Russ on a steroid binge - 18 wounds instead of 12 (this is standard across all Malcadors), and it can carry autocannons or lascannons in the sponsons.
- Malcador Defender: Now we're talkin'! In a remarkable display of foresight, the Defender eschews the nerfed turret weapons of its brothers for an interwar-style turret fitted with five(!) heavy bolters. Two more on the sponson mounts make for a bullet hose to rival the Stormlord - at 21 shots, it can chew up blobs but good! It also adds 1 to its overwatch hit rolls, making it a very solid charge deterrent to protect your gunline. Shame Chaos Covenants don't effect Vehicles, or else Tzeentch's Covenant would be outright mean. A demolisher cannon is still present on the hull for tougher targets.
- Rapier Laser Destroyer Battery: Got nerfed hard and went from auto-include to nope. Twin-linked is gone but it still fires only one shot; so there is no chance to reroll that 4+ except CPs. Still the gun is S12 and if the shot hits on a roll of 3-5 it does 2D6 damage and on a 6 it's upped to 3D6 (so you could hypothetically one-shot a Land Raider but it is highly unlikely). The price got almost doubled to 74 points for one gun and a crew of two. The rapier has 3 wounds now but unfortunately is only T5. Mathhammer says it will only beat out a team of lascannons (of similar cost) against 2+ models, models of T6 and below, and 3+ models of T9 and above. Not worth buying, but if you have it, save it for the really tough stuff.
- Alternate opinion: These are all valid criticisms and Forgeworld should really refund the money of any poor soul who bought these in the twilight days of 7th Edition, but putting this out here: if this thing does hit, it will kill almost anything you point it at.
- It is also more durable than a lascannon in general, as the crew can't be targeted unless they are the closest model (even by sniper fire). It also helps you out by adding the one thing R&H need: Infantry based mid range Anti-Tank firepower. The insane wound potential also helps as a selling point, since 2d6 wounds is the average, and the gun has potential to do more on a good roll. It may be niche, but this gun fits nicely with renegades.
- Heavy Mortar Battery: Another crewed gun, the Heavy Mortar hits like a midway between a normal mortar and the Earthshaker Cannon. Unfortunately it takes after the latter in price - 72 points for a 3-man team and the gun carriage. Potentially viable if you've got the models, but nothing special.
- Heavy Quad Launcher Battery: Also known as the Thudd Gun. Invented by a race of abhumans whose worlds were lost to the Tyranids sometime in the mid-M40s (it's not clear) and much beloved by Grim loyalists, 8th Edition's Thudd Gun behaves like a Wyvern's quad-gun, without the rerolls to wound (perhaps it doesn't use airburst ammunition?). It's also the exact same cost as a Wyvern, sans the heavy bolter the latter gets with its Chimera mobile platform. Workable if you have it, not worth the money if you don't.
- Colossus Bombard: Finally gaining the toughness of the Leman Russ chassis it's mounted on, the Colossus still ignores cover, though that doesn't do as much now. Downside, it costs as much as a Leman Russ, too. The mortar itself has gotten a HUGE range increase (In fact this might be a typo - 240 inches), and hits like a Heavy Mortar with slightly better AP. It fires twice as many shots, too.
Lords of War
- Macharius Family: the middle child of the super heavy tanks, the Macharius series starts to wield titan-sized guns, while the non-tank variants of the chassis bring to the field some of the largest transport capacities in the game. FAQ ADDED THEM TO THE R&H LIST
- Macharius Heavy Tank: Suffers from a lot of the problems that the Leman Russ suffers from, and it doesn't even get to ignore the -1 penalty for firing its main weapon on the move. It has the potential to deal a lot of damage, but like the Leman Russ battle cannon, the likelihood of it actually doing anything isn't that high. If you really have your heart set on this tank, consider the Macharius Vanquisher as an alternative.
- Macharius Omega: Its plasma blast gun is pretty amazing, especially if you can keep it still. Only 1 mortal wound per to-hit roll of 1 on the supercharged firing mode, and even if you play it safe, each shot is still doing as much damage as a normal supercharged plasma gun shot, but with much better range. Consider this if facing big squads of MEQ... now, if only FW still made the model for it.
- Macharius Vanquisher: Two Vanquisher shots are better than one, and if all else fails, you can fire this as a slightly less potent version of the twin battle cannon that the Macharius Heavy Tank has, making this a more versatile choice. It's still nothing to write home about in the grand scheme of things, but at least you get two shots for the Vanquisher cannon instead of 1.
- Macharius Vulcan: The Vulcan Mega Bolter retains the ability to spin up to maximum speed if the tank hasn't moved, doubling its rate of fire to 30. On a S6 AP-2 gun, that's some SERIOUS pain. With 15 hits on average, you'll be mowing down entire GEQ squads with an average of 12.5 wounds per shooting phase. This is a nice tank to have up your sleeve when that Ork player floods the board with Boyz.
- Baneblade: The galaxy's premier super-heavy tank has been lucky this edition, with almost-universal reductions in points, retention of fire points, amazing toughness, and the addition of the Steel Behemoth rule. The Steel Behemoth rule is especially powerful on Baneblades; Versus targets in melee it may fire its twin heavy flamers and twin heavy bolters like pistols, targeting foes within 1" - this makes a fully-armed Baneblade one of the meanest models in the game in close quarters, dealing out an average of 31 hits, at S5 AP-1 - and that's before it uses its adamantium tracks, which swing at s9 ap-2 for d3 damage up to 9 times. And those flamers hit on overwatch, too. All variants have a twin heavy bolter on the hull, and may take up to 4 sponsons, each with a lascannon and a twin heavy flamer/twin heavy bolter.
- Baneblade: First of the turreted variants, and the only one available to you as a R&H player (though with the removal of facing that's not as relevant anymore), the original Baneblade packs the mighty Baneblade Cannon, an autocannon, and a hull Demolisher Cannon. Old but gold.
- Minotaur Artillery Tank: One of the two variants of the Malcador chassis that retains the Lord of War title...Though you could be forgiven for not noticing, since it's had two Earthshaker cannons mounted on it. Backwards. Simultaneously the coolest thing on treads and an ungodly abortion only Hereteks could love, and boy do they. Has two heavy bolters mounted on it...somewhere. As a side effect of mashing two Basilisks together it gains Steel Behemoth and a 5+ Invulnerable save against shooting attacks (which is copy-pasted from the Gorgon's entry, because the two are such similar machines...Bravo, Forge World!). The durability comes at a cost: for the firepower of two Basilisks it's almost as expensive as three.
- Valdor Tank Destroyer: Recently added to the R&H list in the latest FAQ (in the Forces of Chaos book instead of the Forces of the Astra Militarum where our rules are, but still counts!) The other Malcador variant that's still a Lord of War, the Valdor is to vehicles what the Infernus is to infantry. It packs a Neutron Laser Projector, a cannon that hits plenty hard, fires more than one shot and gets damage rerolls vs vehicles (who also take a -1 shooting penalty if the shot damages them). Be wary: the reactor powering this thing is closer to a bomb than an engine. When killed, the Valdor explodes on a 2+, inflicting D6 mortal wounds on everything within 2d6". Sadly, it's too pricey to be taken just for the spectacular not-a-deathstrike suicide attack.
- Chaos Space Marines: The obvious choice for both fluff and tabletop reasons, as they can make up for your lack of heavy infantry and specialists with their own, and your vehicles and Troops choices are slightly better then their options. It's a win-win! But wait - there's more! Thousand Sons and Death Guard have since been split off from CSM into their own codex
with malt liquor and hookersso now you have those as options as well.
- Death Guard: Gets you the tankiest heavy infantry and a plethora of Nurgle daemon engines, as well as those plague zombies.
- Thousand Sons: Their heavy infantry pack inferno weaponry. Or you can take even more bodies of weird birdmen and monsters that are way better than your guys in close combat. Also, really buff your psychic phase.
- Chaos Daemons: Good for adding monsters and melee-specialists to your force. Your characters can also summon Daemons, so keep that in mind if you play Narrative or Open.
- Note: Both Daemons and CSM bring their sick-ass Daemon engines for you to incorporate into an allied detachment.
- Renegade Knights: For when you're tired of fucking around and just wanna throw down with an appropriately-stompy ass-kicker. What renegade knights lack in subtlety they compensate with raw power. They hit and wound way better than anything you can field and are only limited by their price.
Your troops are lackluster compared to guard, so make sure you have a strategy in mind for what troops choices you will use before you have an army built.
Elites are quite good for you, so taking minimum troops or Vanguard detachments is a good idea if you want to make the most of the available points to spend on them.
Heavy Support Teams are trash, so make sure you have other ways to deal with enemy vehicles built into your list. Sentinels are a good alternative.
On that last note, most of your Anti-Vehicle firepower seems to be range 24 or less if you don't play for the artillery. Chimera-based Elite melta squads with rogue psykers and Malefic Lords can quickly stack up wounds on vehicles, and only cost 237 points to fill one vehicle (10 Marauders, 2 Malefic Lords, Chimera with Multilaser and Heavy Bolter). That total is quite low for a good infantry unit that can deal 4.5d6 damage (Melta, Warp Flux, Krak Grenade) to a vehicle in a turn of shooting, and then still have 9 Autogun/Shotgun/Pistols to attack with, and Carapace armor or Camo-cloaks, as well as the Chimera itself's attacks. Meanwhile two basilisks that deal between 2-12 D3 damage cost about the same, but lack the reliable chance to hit and number of shots. Not to mention the lower AP.
Finally, the sauce of the whole thing is the great boon of 8th edition: FACTION KEYWORDS. You can splice anything with a CHAOS keyword into the relevant FOC slot and build that fluffy, crunchy Lost and the Damned army you've been craving since it was discontinued after the fall of 3rd edition and haphazardly re-attempted with the Siege of Vraks. See below for conversion ideas... The big March FAQ has prevented using CHAOS as a Faction Keyword when adding units to a detachment. This means your Renegade Detachment will need to be completely from Renegades.
Morale is critical to running a R&H army, and there are now a couple ways to manage it.
1.Enforcers: If you are running mob-style units, taking 1-3 casualties is much better than taking 20 casualties from enemy shooting,
2.Command Squads: If you run 10-15 man blobs, command squads can increase your chances of having a reliable leadership, however they are only a buffer, while an Enforcer is a complete control over morale casualties.
3.Marauders: Why bother with leadership when you can juts take the 1/6 chance of fleeing whenever you take losses? this normally sounds bad, but when your maximum squad size is 12 models, when you take casualties, you tend to take severe casualties anyways, and if the result is a 1 (Which usually only happens 1-2 times a game), you are able to use a command re roll anyways.
4.MSU: Smaller units= more spread fire from the enemy= fewer casualties per unit = Easy morale checks. And if they focus down a few units at a time, you don't need to take morale checks anyways.
Terrain and Positioning
As Renegades you have to take into consideration the fact that none of your troops choices have better than a 6+ save, and most of your elites don't have better than 5+. Using cover to its full potential is important to making this army work, so you should try to keep your troops concealed so they don't take to many casualties from small arms fire. Remember to ask your opponent what you should use to define what units are in ruins at the start of the game, whether that be the base of the ruin, being within it's walls, or on it's battlements, as well as whether the ruin has to be between the enemy shooting and your models. When it comes to enemy big guns, your security is in being out of LOS(5+ saves in cover won't protect you against anything of decent strength and AP). After that's been worked out, keep a few things in mind:
1. Be willing to charge out of ruins; overwatch occurs before the charge so keep any terrain modifiers to your save in mind.
2. Charge from just under 9 inches away if the enemy has flamers and you don't want to take casualties; Flamers have a range of 8 and are designed to kill hordes with weak armor saves like yours in overwatch, so watch yourself. You still only have to roll an 8 if you charge in this manner, and with coven of Slaanesh units this is hardly a problem.
3. Keep your horde on the other side of a debris, such as a crater, from a unit you that is a melee threat to them, this will give you more time to focus fire on the model, so that you can thin it out before risking a melee that you ultimately don't want. Make sure to keep your unit at least the enemy's movement +12 away, and keep the crater as close to your unit as possible, so that the enemy unit would have to charge through the crater, and incur the -2 penalty.
4. Keep deep striking units in mind, especially if you are taking a lot of heavy support vehicles like basilisks and Leman Russes. Deep striking terminators or assault marines can come from anywhere 9 inches away, so keep your models bubble wrapped or make sure that your tanks have infantry models every 7 inches or so to act as a no deepstrike bubble. DO NOT SURROUND YOUR TANK WITH MODELS WITHIN 4 INCHES OF IT, BECAUSE THE ENEMY CAN CHARGE THAT UNIT INSTEAD, AND THEN CONSOLIDATE INTO MELEE WITH YOUR VEHICLE.
5. Consider taking the new CSM Noctilith Crown. Just by being there, it provides all CHAOS units within 6" (extended to 9" turn 2 and 12" turn 3 onwards) with a 5+ invulnerable save, making your Russes, Wyverns, Basilisks, Heavy Weapons Teams and any other detritus/cultists/kitchen sinks that little bit more resilient, especially when taken in conjunction with the Nurgle 6++ coven on infantry. There is an argument to say that this can be blown up, but with 14 wounds, a 3+ save and a 5+ invulnerable save (and only 100 points), if someone is pointing their heavy weapons at IT, rather than your expensive units, it is already doing its job well. It is worth pointing out that like our IG cousins, we are quite cheap, and so this fortification (at 100 points) also does not take too much away from your potential damage output.
Things to Note
The Renegades and Heretics section is in desperate need of an FAQ or Revision.
- The list was poorly reviewed, with troops being able to replace nonexistent weapons, weapons being take able on models that aren't part of the unit, and models being able to take from the "Pistol" list when there is only a ranged weapon list containing pistols. If you play this army, make sure you don't play it with That Guy, and you have respect for your opponent and follow the RAI.
- One particular issue is that the list allows you to take vehicles from Index: Imperium 2, and Imperial Armour:AM, which in a few cases do not exist. It also is unclear if you are allowed to take any vehicle with the keyword, or only those units (given that some units on the list exist, but are under different names, such as the Medusa)
- So this is my call-out to Forgeworld: Conduct a thorough revision/review of the LatD list, and check for errors and places where clarity is lacking. Given how cheap the book is, I'm sure consumers would be willing to pay to own a reviewed copy, or if a future more thorough release with more models is in the works. [FAQ is out, cleans up some things (eg CHARACTER keywords, adds Armageddon Medusa) but leaves others unanswered (the weird Medusa entry is still on the list for one, autopistols are still 6" range for Renegades but 12" for everyone else, etc)]
- Optimistic View: They had a R&H army out a week after release, which was not the case for Eldar corsairs, the other major FW army. Corsairs were always meant to be an allied force for Craftworld/Dark Eldar, so this is not too surprising, however based on how the R&H army was written, and the fact that some of the content they used to posses (Demagogue Devotions, most notably.) is not in the book, and the growing emphasis on Chaos VS Imperium, I would not be surprised if R&H got their own IA book, or a re-release in the next major Chaos IA Supplement. The growing emphasis on chapter tactics on the Warhammer community would also go hand in hand with this, so i would not be surprised to see a complete R&H list in an upcoming IA:Chaos book, including demagogue devotions and other customization options which are intrinsic to the army.
- Alternate Hypothesis: GW might be cooking up a codex release for the Renegades and Heretics, a la the Lost and the Damned. Totally speculative but this could be a possibility given the new narrative emphasis on Chaos.
- Another Hypothesis: Seeing as Forgeworld has recently stopped selling conversion kits and has admitted to having no current plans towards updating the Renegades and Heretics list, we may be out of luck. Sorry fellow heretics.
- Another Hypothesis: GW has announced and revealed their latest boxed set "Blackstone Fortress", this set contains traitor guardsmen and 40k beastmen, as well as new generic chaos space marine miniatures, this may be indicative of RaH being "absorbed" into the regular chaos list or a new version that will be supported by GW rather than FW, so there may still be hope for us Lost and Damned in the 42nd Millenium
- Hopeful view - The introduction of Negavolts and Beastmen might be a signal of new and game changing units with *gasp* official models.
The GS Cultist Neophyte Hybrid Squads (of both types) are generally good starting points. Just remember to remove the cult symbols and replace them with your own. Skulls are good replacements if you have a few spares. Additionally, Beastmen Gors/Ungors, do well with conversions.
- Chaos Bloodreaver heads
- Chaos Marauder Horseman heads
- Warriors of Chaos heads
- Various Imperial heads, Including Tempestus Scions.
- Chaos Raptor heads (For those Marauders that take Carapace Armor)
- Beastmen Gors or Ungors
- Generic Guardsman torsos/Legs
- Genestealer Cult Neophyte Hybrids (Non Guardsman) torsos/Legs
- Space Marine Scouts with Sniper Rifles (again, for Marauders mostly)
- Beastmen again for mutant rabble
- WH Fantasy Skeletons, if you want your force to be an army of the dead. They even have similar statlines.
- Genestealer Neophytes have autoguns which work quite well, and shotguns too. They also have 1 autopistol in every box. The Acolytes have better access to autopistols if you want them.
- Chaos cultists have plenty of autopistols and autoguns, and Brutal melee weapons
- Guardsmen lasguns work just fine, and a box of guardsman infantry also has two chainswords, and two flamers and grenade launchers.
- Snipers from the Marine scouts kit work too, just find out what you're going to do with the rest of the kit.
- Pretty much any mortal humans. FW sells some weapon/arm packs that work quite well.
- Crypt Ghouls, Zombies and Pox-walkers also work well as Mutant Rabble
- Tempestus Scions obviously work perfectly for Renegade Marauders with the Heretek docterine.
- Kasrkin Stormtrooper models are also good for Marauders, as they have a good tacticool soldier look.
- Minotaurs/Bullgors from AoS make good Ogryns. Likewise, Chaos Warhounds or Razorgors make good Mauler Hounds
- Necromunda Ogryn gangers are the closest you will get to an official renegade ogryn kit in plastic.
While not technically part of Forge World's Renegades and Heretics list, the Gellerpox Infected introduced in Kill-Team: Rogue Trader are thematically similar to them and aren't large enough as a faction for their own article, so here they are. Like the Elucidian Starstriders introduced alongside them, they're likely to struggle in larger games due to their small detachment size and near-total lack of shooting but they make a fluffy set of allies to any Nurgle force and have the classic Nurglite resilience to help get them into melee.
- Disgustingly Resilient: Papa Nurgle's trademark FnP on a 5+.
- Vulgrar's Followers: Requires Vulgrar Thrice-Cursed to take effect. If Vulgrar is present, he must be set up first; any units with this rule must be set up together afterwards within 6" of him.
If Vulgrar is your army's warlord, you get the Twisted Brilliance Warlord Trait.
- Twisted Brilliance: If your army is Battle-forged, you receive an additional 3 Command Points that CAN ONLY be spent on Gellerpox Infected Stratagems. Probably unlikely to happen given the prevalence of CP factory armies, but could be useful in smaller games where CP is at a premium.
- Mutoid Infestation (1 CP): At the end of the Movement Phase, choose a Mutoid Vermin unit that has been destroyed and set it back up within 12" of a friendly Gellerpox Infected unit. Normally this kind of Stratagem would be lackluster due to the need to pay reinforcement points, but the Mutoid Vermin units cost so little that it won't matter much.
- Machine Glitch (1 CP): After a unit of Glitchlings fights in the Fight phase, choose an enemy vehicle within 1" of it and roll a d6 for each model in the unit. The vehicle takes a mortal wound for each 4+ rolled.
- Fiery Demise (1 CP): If Vulgrar Thrice-Cursed is slain, roll a d6 for each unit within 6" of him. Those units suffer a mortal wound on a 4+.
- Gellershift (1 CP): Instead of moving the Vox-Shamblers normally, you can remove them from the battlefield and deep strike them at the end of the movement phase.
- Corruption and Decay (1 CP): In the fight phase, select an enemy unit within 3" of a Gellerpox Infected unit. That unit now takes +1 to wound from all Gellerpox Infected models in your army.
- Insane Gibberings (1 CP): In the psychic phase, enemy psykers subtract 1 from psychic tests if they are within 18" of Vulgrar Thrice-Cursed.
- Rancid Vomit (1 CP): In the shooting phase, choose a Hullbreakers unit and then choose an enemy unit within 6" visible to that Hullbreakers unit. Roll 3d6; the enemy suffers a mortal wound for each 5+ rolled.
- Twisted Blessings (1 CP): At the end of the Movement phase, a Hullbreakers model regains one wound.
All units below include the stipulation that 'Only one of this unit can be included in your army.' so unfortunately you cannot spam a horde of Hullbreakers to run around the field causing havoc.
- Vulgrar Thrice Cursed: A lummox of a mutant with 6+/5++ (and Disgustingly Resilient of course), 4 attacks, 5 wounds, and 5" movement. He allows all Gellerpox Infected near him to re-roll hit rolls of 1 and penalizes enemies within 6" with Ld -1. His belly flamer gives him a little bit of defense against enemies trying to charge him, but he should rely on his Fleshripper Claws more often than not (essentially a D2 Power Axe). If he dies anyway, don't forget about Fiery Demise for one last "fuck you".
- The Vox-Shamblers: These guys have profiles similar to a Poxwalker's, but with better WS and T, a 6+ armor save, -1AP on their melee weapons, and access to Frag Grenades. More importantly, their Gellercaust Masks grant them a 5+ invulnerable save and allow them to inflict a mortal wound on anyone who attacks them in the Fight phase if they roll an unmodified 6 for their save.
- Glitchlings: What Nurglings would be like if they weren't Swarms. Like Nurglings, they've got Daemonic for 5+ invulnerable saves but suffer from Squishable and can re-roll 1s to wound from their attacks. Instead of Mischief Makers, they get Weapon Glitch, which imposes a -1 to hit to all ranged attacks made against them. Machine Glitch lets them act as the closest thing the Gellerpox Infected have to anti-vehicle damage, but odds are they won't last long after using it.
- The Hullbreakers: Your heavy hitters, each of which have an AP-2 D2 melee weapon (Gnasher-Screamer's also re-rolls failed wounds), S/T of 5, 3 attacks (4 for Gnasher-Screamer), and 4 wounds. Unfortunately they don't have any kind of invulnerable save, but they do get Vulgrar's Ld debuff and Twisted Blessings can keep them alive.
All of these share the Mutoid Vermin rule, which causes them to not take up a slot if Vulgrar is in the same detachment as they are.
- Eyestinger Swarms: Wimpy and somewhat unreliable due to having d3 attacks, but 10" speed is blazing fast for anything related to Nurgle and they auto-wound on a hit roll of 6. Despite only having a 7+ armor save, they are deceptively resilient because they force a -1 hit penalty against everything that attacks them and restore a slain model at the start of every turn.
- Cursemites: Not quite as speedy as the Eyestinger Swarms, but 8" is still respectably fast, especially since they re-roll failed charges and can make a 6" move when consolidating or piling in. Additionally, their Bloodsucking Proboscises cause each hit roll of 6 to act as 2 hits.
- Sludge-Grubs: The slowest of the Mutoid Vermin, but compensates with better Strength, AP-1, and the possession of an actual ranged weapon. When killed in the Fight phase, they have a chance of inflicting mortal wounds on their attackers.
Vulgrar and the Hullbreakers are the stars of this show. Punchy, durable and bringing yet another source of Leadership shredding nastiness to Chaos' extensive arsenal. The big issue is getting them into a position where they can start dealing damage, as they are sluggish and lack any sort of transport or deep strike ability. Your best bet is try to use your smaller minions to run ahead and try and tie up shooty squads that would otherwise perforate your big guys. Glitchlings are resistant to being shot, Mites are very fast, Eyestingers are both and Vox-shamblers have their deep strike stratagem. None of them are especially killy, but they'll hold the fort down for long enough, provided they don't engage with an elite hybrid unit like Terminators or Custodes. If you can, try to run Vulgrar and Co. alongside some CSM or R&H armour big enough to give them some cover.
Servants of the Abyss
Just like the Gellerpox Infected, the Servants of the Abyss From Blackstone Fortress are another warband that fit in here (even if their leader is a Kayhoss Spess Merheen). They too will struggle in larger games due to their small detachment size, but they're a nice fluffy choice to run along any other Chaos army. Otherwise, you can just pick and choose what you like.
- Obsidius Mallex - A Chaos Lord with a Thunder Hammer (unique in itself since CSMs normally don't get Thunder Hammers) and a plasma pistol. Has a downside that his Chaos Lord aura can only buff BLACK LEGION. Despite his hefty price tag at 102 points, he is more survivable than a Terminator Lord with a 4+ invuln and his whopping 5 wounds. If you are already playing BLACK LEGION, he's a good choice to accompany Abby for cheap; otherwise, if you have some extra points left over, throw him in with some Noise Marines and whatever else you need to fill in gaps in a Vanguard. Nothing exceptional, but a pretty solid choice overall.
- Traitor Commissar - same stats as a loyalist commissar but 11pts more than one with similar gear (bolt pistol, powerfist and a 5++ save). But he makes up with it in abilities. Enforcer - Traitor guard within 6" can use his ld. Forward for the dark gods - at the start of the movement phase he can kill a traitor guardsman or guardswoman to give the rest of their squad +3 to advance and charge rolls for the turn. This means a 16" average charge for the turn to tie up a unit quickly. Since a flamer is a assault weapon they will have a 18.5" average threat range to finish off a wounded unit. Note: There is no referance to a limit on how many you can take so is the best way to get a cheap battalion.
- Traitor Guardsman - Literally just Cultists. That said, they have twice the armour save at 5+, higher ld, are a little less expensive with the stipulation that you can't customize them so your stuck with 3x melee+pistol(including the sergeant), 3x lasguns and a flamer also you can have a max of 2 units of 7 of them. Overall way better than csm cultists but not as good as SoA cultists, but not going to win you any games although good if you need some cheap troops.
- Black Legionnaires - A unit of Chaos Space Marines, but only two can be taken. Their bolters and bolt pistols with chainswords leaves them pretty lackluster, if versatile. That said, in an army of low-save, morale-vulnerable hordes, having a single unit of morale-immune Marines to sit back and hold objectives is somewhat appealing, especially considering the pair costs only 26 points.
- Chaos Beastmen - A unit of very choppy MEQs. They have the unique - and appealing - ability in which every time they charge, they gain one attack and one strength. Additionally every time they fight (RAW implies this includes your opponents fight phase), they gain an extra attack in melee. This makes them an ultimate suicide berzerkers - costing only 24 points for the squad of 4, it would be quite practical to have them running behind a moving gunline of mutant rabble, who would soak up stray gunfire and overwatch, then follow up the charge with these monsters. The gods have blessed us indeed.
- Cultists - A unit of 7 cultists with autoguns, frag & krak grenades, a grenade launcher and a heavy stubber while the leader has a chainsword & stub carbine (18", pistol 3 str 4). These guys and girls give some decent firesupport for cqc army for only 35 points, A bargain for the amount of special weapons they have. Sit them in the on objectives while other units hold the enemy back or make a full detachment of these which sadly cannot be buffed but still cheaper than any other troop choice in the game and decent guns. Has the slaves to mallex rule so if you take mallex they don't take a detachment slot.
- Rogue Psyker - These guys might take the place of the Rogue Psyker Coven as highly efficient Smite machines, even if they are more vulnerable. For 30 points, you get 4/5 of the wounds you get in a Coven, with the downside that every roll of doubles results in a peril. That said, you get more survivability due to having the character keyword for 60% of the cost of a Coven, albeit with slightly less reliability for Smite spam. Overall, bound to be good unit, and hopefully the limit of two is eventually lifted.
- Negavolt Cultists - Literally just a unit of four electro priests with a 6+ save in addition to the 5+ FNP. In an already melee focused Chaos meta, they are a hard pass. It might be a good idea to mount these fuckers on 25mm bases and call them Heretek Marauders, since their walking poses would make that easier than the regular electro priest's standing.
- Chaos Ogryn - at 65pts its pricey for a single Ogryn but its a character so is likely to get into combat if you screen well enough. Has the same stats and abilities as an scummy loyalist Ogyrn bodyguard (but bodyguards for traitor commissars only) + each turn it heals a wound off itself and gets +2 to movement on a roll of 6+. It has 2 melee weapons, one us a free hit before the rest of the attacks at ap -2 damage 2 and if it hits you may reroll attack rolls against that target from this ogryn. The other weapon is a powermaul with 2 damage. This guy is made to sit behind the lines with his commissar and villainy intervene against elite units like terminators and mounted units. Note: There is no mention on a limit on how many of these guys you can take so fill your muddy boots with these guys.
- Firebrand cultist - at 30 points these guys would of made great hq choices but are sadly competing for an elite slot(he has the slaves to mallex rule so if you take mallex he doesn't take a slot) . He has a Hellfire staff (8", assault d6, str 5, ap-1, 2 damage and auto hits) which is good against elite units like primarius and Terminators. He has marine stats with 3 attacks and wounds and a 4+ save but don't let him get into melee unless you really have to since other than the staff he only has frag and krak grenades and a Las pistol.
- Traitorous20: basically the best way to run geq anyway (especially since we have no warlord traits, stratagems or relics) will set you back less than 200 points and get +5 cp. 2x Traitor commissars, 2x traitor guard and 1 beastmen. Not as cheap or as much bodies as the R&H disloyal32 but it is stronger, faster and tougher thanks to 5+ armour and hitting on better than 5+ and Forward for the dark gods. Mainly for cp generation, it can also be quiet fighty in smaller games. To save points swap a unit of traitor guard for Black Legionnaires but it will make a Traitor commissar bored. Also remember they can summon deamons. You can also include a vanguard of mallex + 3 elites (chaos Ogryns, rogue psychers etc) to add some punch and another cp. A Black legion detachment with mallex will still buff the servants of the abyss as well as give you something to spend the cp on.
The Blackstone Fortress sets have introduced a few beasties with the UNALIGNED Keyword, allowing you to pick them up in pretty much any army without issue, but possibly only in a separate detachment. They would probably fit well into a Dark Eldar Army as fluffy exotic toys, or perhaps as the personal pets of an Inquisitor or Rogue Trader. These guys are also the only way to take Janus Draik in a Matched Play game without burning CP. They don't really fit anywhere else, but in the interest of getting shit done, here they stay until there's enough universal stuff to choose from.
- Spindle Drones: For 60 points a pop, you get 4 W2, A2 MEQs with a somewhat disappointing 18" S3 pistol. Even if that weren't already a bargain, for the same reason as the Black Legionnaires above, they have a special ability similar to the Chaos Beastmen also in the pack, but much easier to manage - for every Spindle Drone that is wounded or dies, the remaining Spindle Drones gain +1 to their strength, damage, and AP. This may not sound amazing at first, but Marine players, either of the Loyalist or Chaos variety, should be used to MSU management. It should be second nature to ca/tg/irls like us to delegate wounds to a Space Marine squad, especially in the last year with our new W2 Primaris boys. If you keep them just out of trouble, which shouldn't be too hard given their T4, S4 and 4+ save, these guys can become excellent monster and character killers, becoming the suicide bomb of your dreams. Unfortunately, you can only take along a single squad of these guys at the moment.
- Ambull: The big bad beetle has made his debut. Clocking in at a very reasonable 70 points, this murder machine comes with a sturdy statline, with 6 Strength and Toughness, 7 Wounds and a 3+ Armour save. Combined with it's ability to regen D3 Wounds each round, your opponent will have to play for keeps or this thing will never fucking die. In combat it only has it's Enormous Claws, not that it needs anything else, swinging 4 times with Strength User, AP-3 and a tooth cracking D3 damage, hitting on a very respectable 3+! But that's not all, folks! As a cherry on top, your bug can burrow underground, removing itself from play and deep striking on your next turn! Don't feel like sending it running across the field to get gunned down? Use that otherwise wasted turn to keep it nice and safe before pulling a vertical Cool-Aid Man most anywhere you please! Best part is that unlike the Spindle Drones above, you can take multiples of these nightmares!
- Borewyrm Infestation: Swarms of adorable baby xeno horrors, coming in singles or a pair. Surprisingly durable, with Toughness 4, 2 Wounds, a 4+ save and Hard to Hit (-1 to Ranged attacks). They aren't overly impressive in a fight, only having 3 S3 CCW attacks, though it does jump up to AP-2 on a Wound roll of 6+. They carry the same Rapid Tunneling rule that the adult Ambull has, which is good, because they're only have a Move of 4". By no means game winners, but they are cheap as chips, only a dozen points a pop, and they could certainly Deep Strike in an unexpected place and tie up a shooty unit you don't want gunning your units down.
- The Archivist: The Zoats return, hurrah! Though the coming of the prodigal son was hyped up, on the tabletop the Archivist somewhat falls short, with his inclusion in an army being dubious at best, as befitting the manipulative Zoats. Statted at 5", S4/T5, 3+ BS/WS, 6W, 4A, 9Ld, and 3+, the Archivist can take a fair amount of abuse before he collapses. Ability-wise, he only comes with a 3" -1 LD aura to both enemies AND allies, which alone makes him very not very compelling to bring. This is balanced, however, with some of the sickest weapons. Stocked with an 18" melta pistol and an S10 storm hammer, he'll at least be able to kick some ass, despite his detrimental ability.
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