Warhammer 40,000: Kill Team (HoR)/Tactics/Chaos Space Marines
Like their loyalist brethren, the Chaos Space Marines have a grand amount of customization available to them. Their basic troops are tough and they have a good list of guns available. Heralds of Ruin in particular took strides in tying to un-fuck the massive damage inflicted by the growing scales of 40K while keeping them a fun force full of special tools. As a result, they have more choices available to them than anyone when you account both the Legion Tactics and the Marks themselves.
- Warp Assault: Termies, Warp Talons, and Obliterators/Mutilators all can Deep Strike. Good news for the Warp Talons and Mutilators, who have absolutely shit else going for them.
- Chaos Boons: Because of the small scale of the game, the Spawnhood and Apotheosis options can never be used and the results must always be re-rolled. Similarly, any other boons won through this never stay in terms of Campaigns and will be lost the moment the game ends.
- Icons of Chaos: The Icons of Chaos count as banners in terms of Combat Resolution and their effects can only affect models of the same mark within 3" of the Icon Bearer. A bit iffy, but it incentivizes taking mono-mark armies.
- Traitor Legions: Mirroring the Codex Marines, Chaos Marines have an option for army-wide Chapter Tactics to make the team emulate one of the big Nine. Aspiring Champions, Chaos Acolytes, Chaos Marines/Chosen/Bikers, Raptors, and Terminators can all pony up a bit to get bonus rules.
- Alpha Legion: All paying models get Shrouded for the first turn, which is a major help in keeping them alive. Aspiring Champions (so long as they're mere Power Armoured footsloggers) and Chosen get Infiltrate to give them room to get where they need to be, and Cultists get Scouts for free. Nice.
- Black Legion: A little similar to the Black Legion supplement, all models get Hatred (Space Marines) and Chosen now become Core. Pretty good idea for a counter-marines meta when paired with non-mandatory VotLW.
- Death Guard: A pricy tactic, but dead 'ard with models gaining FNP and Fearless. You're also forced to take Mark of Nurgle on all units with that option, which isn't a bad take.
- Emperor's Children: Chosen now can issue/accept challenges (which is a good thing since they're no longer forced into it like most others), models are immune to pinning and gain re-rolls on 1's in combat. Also all models must take Mark of Slaanesh, which is good for a less shooty army.
- Iron Warriors: Models get Tank Hunters and Stubborn, which is good for keeping gunlines in place. Sadly, you won't be able to take any heavier dakka. There's an additional caveat to this too...
- Night Lords: Models get Fear and Hit & Run. Nice for agile forces and with some MoS, you'll be better on trolling Eldar.
- Word Bearers: Models get Crusader and Possessed Marines can now become Core Choices. Awesome with more choppy, but Crusader isn't given to Possessed, meaning that they can't sweep out anything that flees as easily.
- World Eaters: Models gain Furious Charge and Fearless, which gets bolstered with the army's mandatory Mark of Khorne for RIP AND TEAR goodness, though it makes Icons of Wrath less useful. You can also never use a Chaos Acolyte as a leader for the World Eaters.
- Thousand Sons: Bolter can fire at AP4 and have soulblaze, while non-fearless models get stubborn. A decent tactic that does well for a themed army.
- Relic Weapon: Grants one weapon Master-Crafted. Keep on melee or pistol weapons, where their effects are best.
- Overcharged Weapon: A risky buy, this gives a gun +1 S, but also Gets Hot! If you're using this on a plasma weapon, this makes explosions happen on a 1 or 2.
- Suspensors: A good tool for toting heavy firepower, this gives the model the ability to fire Heavy weapons even if they move. However, they now can only fire at half their max range, so choose with care.
- Bionics: A cheap way to grant a guy 6+ FNP.
- Smoke Grenades: Same as any other forces with this, it does no damage but the Large Blast now becomes 5+ cover for a turn.
- Targeter: If a model doesn't move, they re-roll 1's to-shoot. A pretty good take.
- Talisman of Burning Blood: Useful on killing sprees, this gives a model that killed someone in the assault phase +1 attack to use for the rest of the turn. Definitely take it if you're in the thick of war.
- Collar of Khorne: An additional tool for Khorne's contempt for sorcerers, this gives models within 6" a +2 bonus to Deny the Witch. A good take against Psykers.
- Daemonic Name: Despite sounding like something suited to any force, the bonuses are definitely out to boost Nurgle's boys: IWND. YES.
- Cloud of Flies: Another real nice Nurgle tool, this grants a model Shrouded, which is awesome for models that run in the open a lot.
- Combat Drugs: Yeah baby, they're back! Every assault phase, a model can roll d6 to gain a special rule until the next assault phase, which gives them a leg up on the Dark Eldar. The effects are...
- A sudden S4 AP- hit of OD.
- +1 WS. Helps make sure you make a hit.
- +1 S. A fine way to confirm that something will die.
- Shred. An awesome offensive bonus that makes more wounds stick.
- +1 A. Always welcome to scare anyone with Chosen/Termies with 3 attacks.
- FNP. Defensive potential bar none.
- Allure of Slaanesh: Anyone who dares charge has to roll Leadership with the price of failure as getting knocked to 1 Attack for the turn.
- Breath of Tzeentch: Grants the model a Heavy Flamer with Soulblaze. Good for small goons, but kinda redundant when the Acolyte gains a tool with the same ability.
- Inferno Bolts: A nice special tool, this gives a Bolter/Bolt Pistol AP3, which is kickass.
- Daemonic Essence: A good take for non-Nurgle armies, this grants a Leader FNP. A bit on the high side though, and taking an Icon of Excess gives it to more people.
- Daemonic Flight: This makes wings grow out of the model's back and predictably gives the Leader a Jump Pack that lets them jump in both movement and assault. It bears mentioning that Termies and Bikers can't take this, but they have other options to offset this.
- Chaos Hound: This grants your Leader a familiar that's pretty much a Fenrisian Wolf with no armor and Fearless and Rage instead of Counter-Attack and Acute Senses. He's good for a spare attack, so keep him as one since he's useless for model count.
- Favour of the Gods: Instead of being a Warlord Trait you'll only get 1/6 of the time, you now get this for a cheap 5 Points! Take it!
- Cthonian Blade: Made in the homeworld of the Arch-Traitor, this is a Fleshbane Power Sword. Really expensive, but it's a surefire way to kill troops.
- Armour of Eternal War: Grants models within 6" re-rolls on Morale. RAW doesn't say if this is to replace either Power Armour of Terminator Armour, so it can be exploited for even harder Termie troops.
- Daemonic Visage: Grants the Champion Fear and Fearless, this has varying uses depending on the army you take. On the plus side, it's a cheap grab.
- Staff of Warpfire: A weapon taken from Last Stand, this turns your staff into a Heavy Flamer with Soulblaze. Great for weaker foes.
- Tome of Hunger: Works differently from the way Last Stand has it work. Instead of killing copies and devouring life, you now have a chance to kill an enemy and convert him to health. When he dies, roll a d6, and on a 5+, the Acolyte regrows a wound.
- Auto-Launchers: Grants a Termie infinite Assault Grenades, but they can never be thrown. A nice take in this field.
- Cataphractii Pattern Armour: A really risky take for anything without proper protection like Papa Nurgle's boys, this gives a Termie a 4++ Invul, but replaces Relentless with S&P.
- Tartaros PAttern Armour: A generally cheaper and safer buy, this gives Termies the ability to Sweeping Advance, which is priceless for Word Bearers.
- Teleporter: Gives the model a 2d6" shunt anywhere at the cost of assaulting for the turn. A good way to get in (or out) of a mess.
- 1 Leader
- 1-20 Core
- 0-3 Special
- Aspiring Champion: Your analogue to the infamous Chaos Lord, this guy gets all the customization doodads available to him, though he loses the Sigil of Corruption (A bit of a blow) and Spell Familiar (Not a big loss, as there is a better psyker to use) and gaining a Back Banner to help him win combat. He can buy a bike to let more Bikers in as Core, buy a jump pack to bring more Raptors as core, or buy Termie armor to bring more Terminators as Core Choices. If you go with any of the cult choices, then their appropriate model then becomes a Core Choice because you're taking a Chaos Lord-lite.
- Terminator Champion: For only 10 points, you get to grab Terminator Armor for your Champion, barring him from the cult choices, though he can take any marks and wargear he wants and makes Terminators Core. For upgrades, he can only grab VotLW and Gift of Mutation (Both being welcome choices). If you want a Termie-heavy team, this is your option, but it's going to be costly to kit them up properly.
- Berzerker Champion: A Khorne-themed Champion, you gain Fearless, Furious Charge, and MoK. That said, he can loses out on a lot of upgrades while only being able to get Melta Bombs, VotLW, Gift of Mutation, and the Juggernaut. This especially hurts his weapons, as he now has to pay the same as anyone else for a Chainaxe.
- Plague Champion: A pricy Death Guard Champion that gains Fearless, FNP, MoN, and gets a Plague Knife and Blight Grenade. He can also grab Melta Bombs, VotLW, Gift of Mutation, and the Palanquin. Keep him moving, laugh at what he shrugs off and make sure they feel the hurt.
- Noise Champion: A MoS Champion with Fearless that's the cheapest cult champ. He can also grab Melta Bombs, VotLW, Gift of Mutation, the Doom Siren, and the Steed. If you're running Emperor's Children, he gets a bit better with his re-rolls in challenges. Take the steed if you want to mess with the enemy through outflanking and general cover-hopping.
- Possessed Champion: He runs like a beefier Possessed Marine, so keep him running like one. He can't make Possessed Marines free, so you'll be needing the Word Bearers for that, which works just as well for them.
- Chaos Acolyte: Your Sorcerer-lite with ML1, he has access to all the same tools as the Aspiring Champion, though he exchanges MoK for a Spell Familiar and a Disc mount. If markless, he can only take Smite, Flame Breath, or Psychic Shriek, but taking a mark instead grants him access to that God's Primaris power instead. As it is, it's probably best to use the basic powers unless you're taking Slaanesh.
- Aspiring Sorcerer: For 18 Points, you grab MoT, VotLW, Aura of Dark Glory, and Inferno Bolts. Kitting it up normally would cost about 23, and even then you'd lose out on Fearless. As a bonus gift for this, you get Thousand Sons as Core.
- Cultist Champion: Let's face it: If you're taking him, it's not going to be to fight. He's absolutely shit at that, and he can't even take anything aside from an Autogun and Shotgun (lolno), a Bolt or Plasma Pistol (Okay grabs) and a Power Weapon (Good, but still not gonna cover his weakness). What you instead bring him for is to throw lots of cultists. By using him, you get 25 core choices, but you always need 2 Cultist Squads among them. Thus is his goal: Drown the other guy in bodies, sparing points for more deserving warriors of Chaos.
- Chaos Space Marine: The basic goon, these are standard marines that can grab CCWs in place of bolters to give them a bonus attack on the charge or buy the CCW and keep the bolter. Every 1 in 5 can grab a good variety of guns from melta to plasma guns to missiles. They can also grab marks, icons, and VotLW, though the only restriction here is that Campaign Groups need to be of the same Mark (so ignore for one-off games).
- Chaos Cultist Squad: They're a squad of 5 disposable meatshields with options for everyone getting Autoguns or one guy grabbing a Stubber or Flamer. With some backup from Icons, they'll become a painful mark to wipe off. Just consider against buying marks because it's costlier on them than on basic marines and buy more men.
- Raptor: Marines with jump packs, hardcapped at 0-5 unless you grab a jump pack for your champion. Tool them as you would in the big game, with Plasma only being a must when dealing with tough infantry like Termies. Like regular marines, Campaign groups need to be of the same mark.
- Chaos Biker: Hardcapped at 0-3 without a biker champion. They're optimal at shooting up what gets stuck in combat, so tool them up with whatever wrecks them quickest. One guy can grab a new gun and another one gets the same option at 3 bikers.
- Chosen: Chaos Marines that get a bit beefier, but that's about it. They're a deal pricier than the normal guys, and they really only get more weapon options for it. That said, if you need a specialist in a pinch, these guys can certainly fill a hole you need, especially in a Black Legion list.
- Chaos Terminator: Big guys with mere power weapons, but a good deal more versatility. They can be seriously threatening when tooled up, but it will run up your costs, especially for a Termie-heavy force.
- Khorne Berzerker: The good ol' melee murder machines don't get such a new lease on life despite the loss of heavy tanks everywhere. They're still gimped by the need to pay +3 ppm for chainaxes and really need to be charging non-melee units in order to make back their worth. Keep them in cover until they gain an opportunity and let them loose to RIP AND TEAR.
- Noise Marine: Cheaper than his contemporaries, the Noise Marine gets a plus by getting access to a free CCW to help him fight. Their Sonic Blasters are awesome and cheap buys, the one lucky goon that grabs a Blastmaster has a utility tool that gives him the ability to shoo out cover campers and their I5 lets them get the jump on most other forces. If you're running a Slaanesh-heavy/EC army, then give one the Icon of Excess for more FNP goodness.
- Plague Marine: The priciest of the cult units, but in their cost comes a lot of goodies that can save them plenty. Sadly, only one of them can grab a special weapon, which makes running a Nurgle/Death Guard army rather inefficient without other units to join them, which is just as well as that means you can grab more units with guns to take out whatever's distracted by the rotten boys.
- Thousand Son: The good ol' dustbin isn't very threatening by himself, and his lack of options really makes him a difficulty to tool out without more options. On the plus side, they have Fearless, VotLW, Inferno Bolts, Aura of Dark Glory, and MoT all by default, which can certainly be helpful. However, this really only makes them useful against MEQ armies (and even then, by a bit with all the cover), and outside of a Thousand Sons army, they're probably too expensive to really use.
- Possessed: Deadly bastards, they are pretty good for their price and their random powers tend to be useful in combat. However, they absolutely NEED to get into combat in order to be useful, and Overwatch can very well make that impossible.
- Mutilator: With Deep Strike, he can be effectively shock a whole gunline, but S&P means that he'll fall to kiting more easily than most others do. The limitation of only 3 slots makes them hard-pressed to make their worth, but if you take them, you're assured an engine of utter devastation.
- Obliterator: Somehow limited to 0-2 despite his choppy brother not having such a limitation, the Obliterator becomes an even greater threat in the small meta of HoR. The option for virtually any weapon to fire at will make using him become a task of how to utilize him with the rest of your army. For example, gunline armies like the Iron Warriors would probably fare better with him in their ranks, shooting gown anything with them; however, World Eaters using an Obliterator (Which wouldn't be so wise, as MoK kinda goes against what he's good for and he has a Power Fist as his only tool) or Word Bearers with an Obliterator would find better uses by having the Obliterator spew flamers to deter anyone from trying to run from the trap while arriving via DS. Point is, his use should be tailored to the army, not the other way around, since he has no way to break the hardcap.
- Those Thingies: Expensive units, but using even one gives you a unit easily capable of tying up whatever comes across it. Throwing one at an enemy while escorting a Leader or other key unit can force the enemy to prioritize between firing at the thing as it charges them and use up their Overwatch or ignore it to fire the other guy and get charged anyways. Whichever the case, you're bound to make some points back, especially since you've taken a unit that's non-learning and thus incapable of getting upgrades. Give it a Mark of Nurgle, stick him in some ruins and laugh at the sheer amount of fire he can take.
- Warp Talon: Honestly no better than before, despite the loss of massive units capable of shredding them in seconds. Anything able to resist their Blind in DS will still do so, and they're still able to shoot them down the moment they arrive. Without anyone else able to DS alongside them (unless you manage to luck out and also land an Obliterator/Mutilator or a suicide Termie or two), they're bound to be shot to shit. Even with the smaller forces, they can still easily be overwatched to death and lack a way to keep alive despite that aside from marks. Taking an escorting force of Raptors may give him some ablative protection though.
- Forgesmith: A unique Warpsmith-lite with -1 BS/W/A/Ld, but gaining a Servo-arm instead of mechatendrils, he's kitted to be more of an evil Techmarine. He can shell out for his tentacles back for a high price. He can also grab a Power Axe for 15 points if you want it, though it's a bad idea to take it with the arm as they'll both be Unwieldy. He can also take all the tools available for the Aspiring Champion, and for a reason...
- Iron Within: In an Iron Warriors army, this guy can not only ignore the One Only limit (though having three of them isn't such a smart move), but he can also become a Leader for the Iron Warriors, gaining access to Leader Items, Inspiring Presence, and +1 W to help him compete with other leaders. In this case, he'll get very expensive if you kit him up, but doing so may open up a slot for a unit that could be useful to the team.