Monday, October 8, 2012

40K Chaos Space Marine Codex 6th Edition

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The other shoe has dropped and the proverbial stork has delivered a new baby from Phil Kelly.

May I just say how nice it is to read a codex where you can build ten different versions of a list and do well?  That is what I see coming down the pike. 

As usel, Phil Kelly went options nuts and he pretty much DE-constructed every unit and made them into lego blocks.  The most basic of examples and what I mean are below:

Chaos Space marines:  the basic soldier setup is terrific.  Instead of paying for options you don't want, he deconstructed the unit.  Now the basic fig costs 13 points in essence and you ca THEN add the various things that make it equivalent to an old Space Mrine or slightly better, or somewhere inbetween.  The beauty and elegance of this deconstruction is that you can use the Troops choice for objective babysitting or make them an active part of your attack strategy.  Your choice.  If you make them an active part, they cost ther same as before.  If not, they cost less. 

Mutilators:  this unit wil not be well received in general, as it is a limited obliterator.  As Phil did throughout the codex, he took the melee aspect of he Obliterator and poured it into a much more well suited unit that only does melee, no shooting.  At a considerable reduction in cost, he made what is in essence 6 wounds worth of Assault Terminators that can actually use any of the various Power weapon variants that matter, and gave them Eternal Warrior for 155.  With a Mark of Tzeentch (4+ invul), you're paying 189 for them and if you like Hatred as a rule forthem, that's just 12 points for the three of them.  Far more adaptable melee threat and not terribly cost'd.  it won't get a lot of praise BUT it is a great example of the deconstruction ideal at work here. 

LandRaider:  20 points less expensive than th Space marine version and with the option to take a veritable cornocopia of awesome, but the main one is the Dirge Caster.  It eliminated Overwatch for its unit!  Yet here again, if you want no upgrades, you just saved 20 points over what a Space Marine would be charged.  Land Raiders ae apparently more common in Chaos Armies.

Raptors and Warp Talons represent a similar "division of labor" as the Mutilator does.  The Warp Talons are a melee only oriented raptor unit with a PAIR of lightning claws for very few points and the ability to Blind (Reduces BS and WS drastically) nearby opponents who might strike at them after they Deep Strike.  Don't want to spend all those points on the Warp Talons or you need your Drop troops to kill tanks for you?  Raptors are deconstructed Assault Marines with the Fear rule installed and they can take a plethora if icons, marks and even (again) hatred to make them fearsome hammers if thats your pleasure.  But if not, you're not forced to overpay for a unit with options you may or ma not find overly useful.  The "base package" of most units sort of follows this antra of not forcing you to pay for what you do not need the unit to do.

the Heavy Support units really carry on this pattern.  A maulerFiend and aForgefiend are regenerating Fleet war engines with a 5+ invul save!  the ForgeFiendis devastating in its shooting phase, especially when it activates the once per game DaemonForge ability they both have.  The Maulerfiend moves like a Beast does, lightning quick and giving most enemies more than they want to handle.  Both are fairly good at their job, but the split role allows them to focus onwhat they are good at and allows the General to decide which need he needs to fill without again spending points on the element of the unit he doesn' want.  TheDefiler is sort of the hybrid of the two, carrying a load of firepower and melee ability but without the fancy speed albeit as such it is more expensive than either one and a discerning general now can choose if versatiluty or purposefulness is his need there.

Other generally important tactical considerations come up in the new codex.

Chosen are no longer scouts.  To get an outflanking unit you now must rely on your Warlord Trait to give it to you or have a guy with a steed of Slaanesh leading the unit (although, lets face ha ving a cool model lik that ever realy a DOWN side?) because the Steed grants the Chaos Lord, and therefore his unit, the Outflank abiliy.

Bikers are much cheaper now and will be seeing far more widespread use I imagine.  Their old price with champion was 114 and is now only 70!  The bike is decontructed, so if you want the 10 leadership you used to get, you just pay an extra point per model and now they also get hatred!  A better way to look at it is, if you were to pay 114 NOW you'd have a 3 man BikeSquad that has Hatred, and an icon of vengeance or off Wracth buit into that cost!  Needless to say, better bikes.  here again, if you don't need bikes to do anything but sneak objectives late, no need for all the points upgrades...but they are there if the Chaos Gawds offer of might proves too much...

Good stuff so far.  Your thoughts?


  1. Gameplay-wise I'm seeing a huge improvement in the army, although some things seem a little overpowered. Still, every army has a few cheesy units/unit combinations, so that is to be overlooked. The de-constructed units that you can re-construct at your leisure are a really good thing, though it made me swear a few times since I put close combat weapons on all my Chaos Space Marines for everyone to see, because they were included in the cost anyway. Not that they AREN'T, I'd much rather remove those, but that would be a pain. Oh well. Nothing really lost, thanks to the reduced base points cost.

    However, background-wise and model-wise, some things bug me. Firstly, Mutilators look like uglier versions of the already dated Oblitherator models. That just can't be right.
    Secondly, Warp Talons are weird and gimmicky. I like the dual lightning claws, but really, they are what Raptors should have been all along, minus the silly background story about the Warp driving them mad. The actual Raptor sets we get don't look like Raptors at all. They look like something that should've been named Chaos Assault Marines. Really, Warp Talons should be Raptors, Raptors should be Chaos Assault Marines, and their fluff should be changed accordingly. But oh well, I guess I'll just have to do that myself, since GW has long since stopped caring about the fluff. Off to gather pics and re-write me those codex pages!

  2. Hello Kick and welcmoe.

    TGhere are many more things about the codex I intended to write, but sometimes its better to bite size it. The Deconstruction method of the codex is really nifty and whiole it means more modeling decisions to be made, it's generally all good. A lot of the new codex's sort of force some remodels I have noted and that's the nature of the beast. You'll note they added a bit of text in there that says that the Power armor can look just like Space marine Power armor if they are newer to the cause, which sort of allows you to explain it away if you need to have bolter only type troops or some othr such variant, which may make patching up the collection a bit faster and easier. Add a couple spikes and voila!

    I also didn't write aou it but the SPAWN are GREAT now. Can't wait to use them.

  3. Hello Kick and welcmoe.

    TGhere are many more things about the codex I intended to write, but sometimes its better to bite size it. The Deconstruction method of the codex is really nifty and whiole it means more modeling decisions to be made, it's generally all good. A lot of the new codex's sort of force some remodels I have noted and that's the nature of the beast. You'll note they added a bit of text in there that says that the Power armor can look just like Space marine Power armor if they are newer to the cause, which sort of allows you to explain it away if you need to have bolter only type troops or some othr such variant, which may make patching up the collection a bit faster and easier. Add a couple spikes and voila!

    I also didn't write aou it but the SPAWN are GREAT now. Can't wait to use them.

  4. Wow, my typing is terrible sometimes!

  5. I want to hear your opinions on the cult marines.

  6. This comment has been removed by the author.

  7. From a fluff standpoint they fill an important role. They make a ton of sense and should bepart of the list just as such disenfranchised should b part of the Tau's growing legions of the enlightened who wish for freedom from the oppression they live their lives under.

    As for their statline it makes sense as well. They are "only human" and their equipment reflects their essentially unimporttant nature.

    Cultists might be one of the most important changes in the codex because though nothing about them screams out "uh oh, look out, the're coming!", they provide significant points savings in a scoring unit, which frees you up a lot to add the firepower you need to take it to the Imperial forces.

    Armed with Autoguns is what I would suggest. These just are not assault troops no matter how tempting that image might be or how much a 2 attack IG might appeal to you. Their losses will exceed the enemies nearly evey time and unless you commit an expensive character to their salvation, they are going to run after most combats unless you zimbify them (see below).

    I'd say the flamer is the only option worth considering very much. The Stubber, while cool, would require you to go with huge squads to be truly valuable and that is sort fo the opposite way to go in my opinion. Keeping them small and expendable = good. You can get six scoring units for what most codex's pay for 1 or 2. That leaves you a tremendous amount of flexibility for the rest of the list. 1700 points to spent on elite/whatever stuff after you have bought SIX scoring units? Wow. It also eliminates the need for "unlock" characters inmany cases because you dont need the cool units to be scoring when you got crappy cheap ones to throw away at your darkest whim.

    And then there's Typhus whomaks cultists into Zombies. IF you go this route, a word of advice. I have heard people talk about taking massive zombie units. I think they both overestimate the need for more in each unit and forget the purpose of such a unit: to die on the correct player turn. Bigger units are not necessary. 10 Zombies is enough. A Fearless, Feel no Pain unit that is 10 strong? That will take a lions share of enemy units two rounds to kill and possibly more with the right amount of bad luck. Luck (good or bad) aside, you really only want 10.

    Marks of Chaos on Cultists are points I would only spend after every other part of the list is built. Honestly, the Chaos Mark worth taking is Khorne or Slaanesh for them, just because the counterattack rule is so useful and the +1 init at least allows them to dish something out BEFORE they die. I think the added attacks from Rage/Counteraack are probably a better equalizer. So Khornate Cultists make the most sense to me. Tastes vary on that point I'm sure. Who can join these units is almost a non factor given the challenge mechanic and how few times you'll want to dedicate a valuable characyter to such a unit as I mentioned.

  8. ...AND... Another Easter Egg hunter sniped.

    Yes. 35 Zombies IS correct. The nearly always wrong and clueless Rules lawyers who wouldn't know context if it bit them have once again been shown the door, and not a moment too soon in my opinion! I love these frequent FAQ's man. I really do. Like I've said consistently: It's not that there aren't grey areas sometimes. There ARE legit rules questions. This wasn't one of them and the lawyers knew it. Some of you were just being conservative and not wanting to piss one of these lawyer types off by playing with more than 10 zombies per unit against them. I get your motivation. I just don't personally feel a need to validate people like that. They are trying to get an advantage, pure and simple and should not be rewarded for it. GO CHAOS ZOMBIES if that's your thing. Go wild.

  9. I really want to hear your thoughts on cult marines. Noise, plague, thousand sons and berzerkers.

  10. All brands of Cultists have a virtue I can extoll.

    I will start with Noise Marines and talk more later about the others. My first list after seeing the codex is in fact a Noise Marine List with two Chaos Lords on steeds of Slaanesh, an full unit of Spawn, a pair of Raptor units and two maximum sized Noise marine units with all the fixin's.

    The chief thing about the Slanesh brand of Marines is that like before they can come in very large numbers and they are absolute beasts on overwatch. They are the overwatch kings. Ignoring cover makes them devastating to all kinds of lighter armored beings that might deign to try assaulting them and consider the effect this has on Night Fighting Missions, which is a part of at LEAST half the missions you will play in! Space marines in general do not suck in melee. So the unit has the best of two worlds: it shoots like crazy, which says 6E all over it, and it defends extremely well. Going first in combat is a big deal and should not be overlooked. While it's not as sexy as getting countercharge or +1 toughness, the impact of utterly stopping six or eight attacks before they even happen shouldn't be underestimated, especially when dealing with a fearless unit that can win the attrition battle.

    As an added tactical note, the Slannesh troops are generally not chargingg, and so they get charged. Anyone who bounces off them is going to be very sorry afterwards, standing right in front of that fusilade. However b ecasue the Slanesh marines need to shoot, it will sometimes be a better idea ot back away instead of walking INTO rapid fire range. once in rapid fire range you're also in charge range so its a balancing act. Be very aware that the extra shots you get shooting may not be better than the shots you are able to keep firing later if you dont. Making good use of cover with these guys will ensure that you are exposed to as few risks as possible til the end game.

    One other thing: Dirge Casters. I think they are fantastic for a Night Lord themed Slanesh army and they fit the Noise Marine theme. Highly recommend them together.

    The Mark of Slaanesh goes a long way in helping some other units overcome INIT 3. I feel Init 3 units are at a very large disadvantage in this new 6E world we are in. The Spawn with the Mark of Slaanesh overcome a big deficiency they have and make them absolute terrors. The Lord of Slaanesh, while not specifically benefitting as much from the mark, is able to join them on his Steed of slaanesh and outflank them. that squeezes the enemy's deployment centrally and when you do that, it makes ssaults a lot more effective by the Raptors. Raptors with Dirge Casters near them can wreck a lot of things while the Noise Marines hit the target that will menace the Raptors next preemptively. If you think one move ahead with the Noise Marines, and say to yourself "who will threaten the Assaultes AFTEr they assault" and then shoot that target NOW instead of the soon to be charged one, you're going to be on the right track. Synergy = good.

    Go down the list of things in Warhammer that can BEAT init 5. There aren't many. it's a real advantage.

    I'll cover the other cults on a separate post, but feel free to comment on my comments!

  11. Of the cult marines, the noise marines are my favorite. You already mentioned the beastly overwatch shots. I didn't think about it's effects on night fights, but that just enhances their value further.

  12. Yes, Night fighting, which happens at least half the missions (whether in round 1 or round 5) has to be part of your planning now. Ignoring cover means ignoring Night fighting altogether.

  13. Hi im about to start a chaos army im thinking of a close combat night lords army what units would you suggest to give me a good solid starting point?

  14. I assume you want it to be historically accurate and true to the fluff while still competitive?

    I would start with the Raptors. The Night Lords were allowed 4 Fast Attack but only two Heavy Support Choices. Since we can't do that ion 1999 games, I think it makes sense to at least go with three Fast Attacks as the core signature of the army. But which ones, right?

    Another hallmark of the Night Lords was that they did not feel beholden to any one Chaos God. they followed the Pantheon and so in a Night Lords Army, you should avoid the various Marks of the Gawds. These are not the way of the Night Lords, the VIII Legion, who joined the heresy because of the hypocrisy of the Empires birth.

    Now they, much like the Dark Eldar, are fallen and piratical mercenaries who work for the Great Crusades for vengeance or as mercs for money.

    So with all those things in mind, here are a few suggestions.

    1. Abaddon who leads the Black Crusades and Huron Blackheart are both pretty suitable leaders. Huron in particular embraces the precepts of deception (his Warlord trait fits well with Night Lords). I'd say Huron would make an excellent choice overall but either onemakes sense.

    2. Raptors and Bikers are the traditional center of the Night Lords. Bikes are now extremely economical and you would not be sorry if you included a sizable unit of them in your force. 220 Points for 10 Chaos Bikes and with 2 flamers could pack a real whallop, first shooting 16 TL Bolter shots and two flamers, then charging with 20 STR 4 attacks, on a tough 5 bike. That's a really strong charge combination.
    285 Points gets you 15 Raptors with 2 Meltaguns with great mobility and hitting power, the unit is likely to live to see the battlesend and you can upgrade them a little to match whatever battlefield role you need them in. Big thing though is how easily they can take on parking lots and the like with grenades.

    3. Icons of Vengeance fit the theme best among the icons available. Raptors already Cause fear and being Fearless is strong in 6E when it comes to melee units.

    4. Chaos Cultists make less sense for Night Lords because they don't really have a patron Gawd they are committed to teaching about. They might still exist but less for Night lords than any other army.

    So if you just took that core without any specially strenuous gearing up you'd have this:

    Huron Blackheart
    15 Raptors (2 x Meltas, Icon of Vengeance)
    15 Raptors (2 x Meltas, Icon of Vengeance)
    10 Chaos Bikes (2 x Flamers, Icon of Vengeance)
    10 Chaos Space Marines + Rhino
    10 Chaos Space Marines + Rhino
    10 Chaos Space Marines + Rhino
    = 1550 (74 models already!)

    That's points to play with still and is a very representative force. It would most definitely feel Night Lordish!

    Some other unit suggestions for helping the Night Lord core accomplish its mission:

    1. An Answer for Skyfire is the Aegis Line with a Cannon or perhaps a Havoc Squad. 168 Points gets you 6 Havocs carrying 2 Flakk Missile Launchers and 2 Plasma Cannons. They are scoring units in Big guns never Tire missions. Nice thing about that is it adds 4 more blasts to keep people honest and to deal with "2+ armor enemy leaders" people throw in front of units to absorb fire. It also gives you relatively inexpensive Skyfire without wasting a ton of points on just that ability.

    2. Perhaps a Traitor Guard Primaris Psyker, some Penal Legionaires and a Colossus (or Manticore) would be an excellent addition. I cannot say enough about the Colossus. Its devastatingly scary; and the Manticore gives you instant death ability against certain units like my own Clawed Fiends or Thunderwolves that is quite valuable. You can snipe with Barrages, which is more than just a little useful. Consider it.

    Whatever you decide to do, this is really the core of the Night Lords.

  15. Were you able to try any of this out with Proxies? Any thoughts on what your add to it to round it out?


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