Chaos Space Marines-Fast Attack

This is the shortest section in the book, with but three unit choices. Which is why I decided to write this post late on a Tuesday.

Lets crack on.

Raptors

Ignore the Finecast logo Haters

Just as the Chaos Marine is an evil Tactical Marine, so is the Raptor an evil Assault Marine. They have the same stats as an Assault Marine, but like the Chaos Marine, sacrifice And They Shall Know No Fear for an extra point of leadership. Like Assault Marines, they are more than slightly lacklustre in assault. So, where do they fit in.

Like with many units in this Codex, they can take more than one special weapon in a five man squad. And, like with Assault Marines, they have Jump Packs, and so can Deep Strike. Put these two glorious facts together, and you’ve got yourself a cheap, dangerous Deep Striking anti-tank (meltaguns)/anti-MEQ (plasma guns)/anti-GEQ (Guardsman Equivalent, and Flamers) unit. As I have said before, remember to double up all the special weapons you take, just to make sure, as these guys will probably not last long, and you want to make sure they do their job.

I am also familiar with the idea of a unit (probably 10) of these guys bounding up the field with a Lord to provide a scary assault unit. As a Space Wolf player, I’m afraid I just don’t find it that scary, but anyone playing Guard, Tau or Eldar may very well have a problem with it.

Bike Squads

I like the purple. I like it a lot.

Ah. This might be a bit less positive. Bike squad can work very well, don’t get me wrong, it’s just quite expensive to get them to work. For a start, you might as well give them the Mark of Nurgle so they get T6. I don’t think these guys are going anywhere anymore. Secondly, you’ll want to pick something you need these guys to kill, give them doubles of the appropriate weapon (meltagun/plasmagun/flamer), and send them out there. Then you’ll need enough ablative wounds to keep them going (a 5-6 man squad should do the trick). And finally, you’ll need to try to keep the thought that a couple of Land Speeders with Multi-meltas can do it for a lot cheeper (I’ve always wondered why Chaos never got the Land Speeder. It’s not as if the technology wasn’t around during the Heresy, they had jetbikes, or that Chaos never steals anything).

I can see them as being a distraction. A smaller squad with the Mark of Nurgle and a single special weapon could panic/distract/annoy the enemy whilst your precious Cult Troops advance up the field, but again, still a bit to expensive for my tastes.

Spawn

Gribbly-gribbly-gribble!

This is a bit of an oddball, in that it has Slow and Purposeful, which kinda’ contradicts it place in the Fast Attack section. As a Fast Attack choice he’s not worth the points you’re paying. He’s way overcosted for a slow unit, with a mediocre strength and D6 attacks. It’s just not worth it.

However, you can get them for free (or your opponent has to pay for them, it’s really a matter of opinion) by using the Gift of Chaos power (which will be covered in more detail when we get to Sorcerers). Think of this, every 1/2 times you try, a Spawn pops up in the middle of an unsuspecting Guard squad. He give up gut 40 VP when killed, and can shut down a units shooting for a good while (he is T5 and W3). In that respect, I like the gribbly old beast (and it is a Beast).

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Chaos Marines-Heavy Support

Carrying on (unwittingly) the series that I started with Chaos Marines-Troops, today I’m going to be looking at Chaos Space Marine Heavy Support choices. CSM have a lot of unique choices in their Heavy sold which can make for a very powerful army, but they are all overlooked in exchange for Obliterators (which are good, to be honest). Right, let’s crack on with this then.

The Defiler

Scary, huh?

This crabby robot is probably my favourite of the Heavy choices. Weighing in at only 150pts base, it’s a good deal for what you get. 4 strength 10 power weapon attacks, Fleet, a Battle Cannon and Daemonic Possession come as standard, with options to upgrade the arms to various other heavy weapons.

Being a walker, it can move up to 6″ and still fire it’s Battle Cannon, and Daemonic Possession is going to prevent your opponent from locking it down. So, it can walk toward whatever it wants to assault popping off Battle Cannon shells, and with a 72″ range, he’s hitting anything on the table. I wouldn’t bother replacing his two Dreadnought combat weapons with guns, because then he can only fire his cannon OR the other gun, and he loses an attack in combat.

This is a money choice.

Chaos Space Marine Land Raider

It's almost sad, isn't it?

Whilst I’ve been mainly positive up until now (I’m counting my last Chaos Marine article in this), this is the big let down of the Heavy Support options. Whilst it is 30pts cheeper than the Imperial version, it lacks Power of the Machine Spirit (which is what makes Land Raiders viable in my opinion) and can only carry 10 guys (5 in Terminator Armour).

What makes it viable(ish) is that it can be taken as a Dedicated Transport for a Terminator squad. How is this good? Well it means you can take four. And fill all of them with Bezerkers whilst the Terminators Deep Strike in. 40 ‘zerkers in AV14 Tanks with the Assault Vehicle rule? I wouldn’t want to fight it.

Cool model as well.

Chaos Space Marine Predator

From a distance, the searchlight looks like a brain...

An interesting one this. It isn’t much more expensive than Imperial Predators and comes with all the same basic weapons. Being Chaos though, it can be upgraded with Combi-weapons (for drive by shooting) and Daemonic Possession. Give it a trio of Lascannons and go nuts. Your opponent can’t shut it down and so will have to go out of his way to destroy it. Which means that something a bit stealthyer can sneak about to wherever you need it.

However, it does suffer from the same disadvantages as Imperial Predators. It can’t split fire (the Black Templars can give their Predators Power of the Machine Spirit. Lucky sods) and must remain stationary to fire all of it’s weapons. It’s also a lot more expensive than Long Fangs (in almost any combination) and a lucky meltagun could kill it in one.

Chaos Space Marine Vindicator

Another truly cracking model

This is another win. It is just a normal Vindicator, just like the CSM Predator, but like the Predator, it can be ungraded with Combi-weapons and Daemonic Possession. Give it the latter and your awesome tank just became stun lock proof. If I’m honest, there is nothing else I need to say about this. It sort of talks for itself.

The only problem is (so you are about to see) it competes with the Obliterators for Force Org slots. But I advise taking at least one of these bad-boys every day of the week.

Obliterators

Braiiiiiiins!

You are probably aquatinted with the phrase ‘so fail it’s win’. Well the Obliterator is ‘so win it’s fail’. Why? Because everyone just default takes these guys. I can see why. They’re not too expensive, and and basically Terminators with W2 and every special weapon. And I mean every. Multi-meltas, Plasma Cannons, Power Fists, Lascannons, the works. And they can Deep Strike. These guys are the best suicide unit in the game. Drop ’em in backfield and let them go nuts.

Drawbacks? They are kind of expensive, but for what they provide for the army it’s totally worth it. Also, no-one is unaware of how dangerous these guys are, and so will become the number one bullet magnet. Which could make life a lot easier for your Cult Troops. And if they deal with the Cult Troops, there’s a load of angry Obliterators behind them. It’s a lose-lose situation for your opponent.

Havocs

OK, this one is a bit badass

Sadly, also a bit of a fail. These guys are just expensive, metal (yep, they be old) Devastators. However, on the plus side, they can take Flamers, Plasma Guns and Meltaguns as well. We’re talking drive-by Rhino goodness here. This is the one place it may be worthwhile to put Possession on your Rhino, where you can just drive about double meltaing (new word) anything that needs a good meltagun to the face.

These guys aren’t a favourite of mine though, the way I figure it, there are some much better choices elsewhere in the Codex that can do their job (infiltrating Chosen with any damn special weapon you please), or other things contending for their Heavy Support slot (Defilers, Vindicators, Obliterators). If you do want to take them, double up every special weapon you give them, just to be sure.

Chaos Marines-Troops

I refuse to believe that any Codex is useless. If it was useless, no-one would buy it, and so GW wouldn’t produce it, even their business acumen is enough to tell them that. But people do seem to think otherwise. I’ve heard bad things about Chaos Marines, and , yes, in some cases I can understand it, Chaos Dreadnoughts do suck, but in some ways Chaos Marines rock. For example, the power of the Codex is try much in the Troops choices. Other armies have to look to elites (Eldar) or HQs/Special Characters (Draigowing/Loganwing/Deathwing) for their power. But CSM get troops.

Chaos Space Marines

Ahh, the much ignored Chaos Marine. Why is he much ignored? Because he is a Tactical Marine, and people aren’t too fond of Tac Squads. Well, he’s not quite a Tac Marine. For a start, he is one point cheeper, and gets and extra point of leadership and a chainsword. However, on the other hand, he loses And They Shall Know No Fear. Conveniently, Aspiring Champions give the unit Ld.10, and the Icon of Chaos Glory should make them stay where you need them.

But why should I take one over a Cult Troop? Well, they are Tac Marine equivalents (TEQs. Yes, I think I’ll start using that), and so are therefore as flexible as their loyalist brethren, but they also get an extra attack. If you want a fighty squad, you can give them the Mark of Khorne or Slannesh, for a more resilient squad, the Mark of Tzeentch (which is better on Terminators) or Nurgle (which is better on bikes). When you combine this with the diversity of their weapon upgrades, you’ve got yourself a squad that can do whatever you need it to.

Khorne Bezerkers

He looks like an Angry Bunny...

These are probably my favourite. Weapon Skill 5, Furious Charge and 4 attacks on the Charge, these guys are going to hurt something. A popular set up is to take 8 guys, one of which is a Skull Champion with either a Power weapon or Power Fist in a Rhino. The advantage with a Rhino is that you can put a Combi-melta on top, so they can bag a tank before they get to work on the squishes inside. I have also seen a list where four Land Raiders full of ‘zerkers were taken, which is hugely pointy, but I can’t see any chance of their mobility being removed before you are too close for your own safety.

The drawbacks are, however, that you can’t assault out of a Rhino that has moved that turn. So, either you drive up, ¬†get out and stand there for a turn asking for Plasma Guns to shoot you, or you drive up, stop (and probably pop smoke) and pray no-one destroys your Rhino. Also, these guys are 6 points more expensive than a standard Chaos Marine, so expect to invest a lot on these guys.

Plague Marines

I will never understand why their armour got fat as well...

These are every competitive players favourite. Toughness 4(5), Feel No Pain, Blight Grenades (count as defensive. No, I don’t know either), and the ability to take two special weapons in a five man squad is just too go an offer to pass over, despite the terrible models (they look like someone accidentally melted them with a blow torch). Like all Cult Troops they are also Fearless, so a 7+ squad is going in to be difficult to shift off an objective, especially if they are in a Rhino/Land Raider.

There really are no major downsides to these guys, other than an Initiative of 3, which isn’t a big deal, as the enemy isn’t really going to hurt them, unless he’s brought a unit of Howling Banshees (in which case you’re doomed, in more ways than one) or Plasmavets. They are a lot more expensive than your standard CSM, but you really only have to take five, so the point become moot.

Thousand Sons/Rubic Marines

One possessed suit of armour for you SirI think that these guys are really under-rated for what they can do for your army. Above a normal marine all they get is a 4+ Invulnerable save and AP3 on their boltguns. But that AP3 is money. A TEQs chance of killing any form of TEQ is 1/18, where as a Thousand Son has a 1/6 chance. It gets better though. Each squad also come with an Aspiring Sorcerer, who must be equipped with one psychic power. So, you can have Wind of Chaos everywhere, Gift of Chaos everywhere (this is my favourite, as you can have free Spawn popping up everywhere to cause chaos or lock shooty units up in assault), or Bolt of Change everywhere (this is a favourite of many, as it is a close to a meltagun as the Thousand Sons can get. Still can hurt a Land Raider though).

Although awesome, these guys are horrendously expensive. The sorcerer is going to be a minimum of 70pts on his own, before you start adding all the guys and a transport. So, although fantastic, these might not end up as the core you build your army upon.

Emperor’s Children/Noise Marines

How badass is pink!

Up to this point, every Cult Troop has had a very clear cut purpose. Be it the violent assault of the Bezerkers, the resilient shooting of the Plague Marines, or the MEQ killing awesome sauce (available at all good Woolworths) of the Thousand Sons. But the Noise Marines are without this. So, let’s see what we get for our 20pts: a Fearless, I5 Chaos Marine. Great… However, their are advantages in the form of their upgrades.

The Champion (who gains an extra attack) can buy a power Weapon, allowing for 4, I5 attacks that ignore armour on the charge. He can also take some brilliant ranged options. The Blastmaster can be fired as an Assault 2, Pinning Heavy Bolter with 12″ less range (fail) or a pinning, small blast krak missile (now we’re talking). At S8, AP3, it will instant kill most MEQs on contact, and will then force them to take a pinning test. Or, he can take a Doom Siren, which is an AP3 Heavy Flamer.

The standard Noise Marines can also se upgraded with Sonic Blasters, which are Assault 2/Heavy 3 Storm Bolters for 5 points. I reckon a small squad, in a Rhino, with a Champion with a Blastmaster, and a couple of guys with Sonic Blaster could work well. In fact, I might have to build that army…

In Conculsion

the Chaos Marine book is diverse and full of viable options that need a little work to get them to operate to their full potential. Using only Plague Marines is lazy, and I hope I have shown how other troops options work just as well.