Thursday, December 10, 2015

Chaos Space Marine strengths

Every Codex has its strength.  Despite the many forums where a legion of trolls stand ready to harvest your outcries and indignation, I can tell you that the Chaos Space Marines codex was quite a departure from the bland garbage pail the previous 5th Edition codex was.  The Furies just kind of completed the emasculation of the entire group of proud warriors.  In its place was a considerably better 6E Codex filled with war machines s well as the old stand byes.  It added a lot to the arsenal and though it now feels its age, the reality is even now, it has some excellent units.

I include the Black Legion with my praise.  Like Mont'Ka and Kauyon, the Chaos Space Marine discussion should rightly include that volume as well.  After all what is more iconic than the Black Legion when speaking of the Fallen.

As Heavy Support units go, one of the best for a long time have been the tenacious Obliterators. Obliterators are able to Deep Strike into any battlefield situation, causing immediate impact while being a bear to kill.  The nastiest variety of them is the Nurgle Obliterator.  At toughness 5, many otherwise deadly Instant Death threats are negated, which is of key importance to a two wound critter and that leaves it plenty of fortitude with its 2+ save to absorb more than its fair share of attention.  The big thing with Obliterators is they can be used to gain target saturation.  The Chaos Space Marines function well as an MSU (multiple small units) army.  Things like Obliterators can drop from the skies at the same time fast and deadly troops are arriving at the enemy front door forcing a plethora of target priority headaches all at once.  Optionally you can use these doughty warriors as a gun line if the enemy calls for that approach.  Their Powerfist makes them unusually dangerous compared to other otherwise dedicated shooting platforms.  All in all you never really feel robbed when taking them.

The Forgefiend rarely saw use compared to the Maulerfiend, but the Forgefiend has STR 8 AP 2 Blasts it can fire, which is a pretty insane amount of firepower, plus its Daemonforge ability to ensure a maximum amount of misery is inflicted.  Daemonic Possession means those guns will fire until that Forgefiend is obliterated and it comes with It Will Not Die as a rule!  I think that Obliterators give you  a heartier and comparable role for the cost, so I think they really need to tone down the points on it in the next codex.  But it is a nightmare to deal with if you can't get enough shots into it, and with some cover to hide behind, the Forgefiend can be just what the Doctor ordered if you don't own the Obliterators or just haven't got enough of them.

The Heldrake remains a huge winner in the Codex.  The Vector Strike at STR 7 and the Flamer are both just pure wins.  It's price is appropriate and its abilities commensurate.  You get what you pay for and it is terrifying.  One of its best abilities as to be able to hover.  Underrated ability but one that has made more than one opponent quirk an eyebrow when I stole victory from the jaws of defeat by declaring unexpectedly that my bird of prey would be alighting.  The Chaos Codex to this point has never seen a strong entrant into its annals of Warhammer history, in my opinion.  Even those who speak ill of the codex will quickly let you know that they respect the hell out of that bird.

Chaos Spawn are a unit everyone wanted to love for a long time but couldn't.  Now they can.  Spawn are extremely reasonably priced.  A mere 30 points for a Beast which has no fear, instills it in others and d6+2 STR 5 attacks on the charge?  Yes please?  You can place Nurgle or Slaanesh blessings on them and it will be a party.  An entire unit is only 180 points, so you really can afford them and delivering them with a Land raider to lead the way works if you're willing to dedicate one to the task.  Alternatively if you like Slaanesh, you can lead them onto the board by a Chaos Lord on a Slaaneshi steed. from the flanks.  Endless fun.

Noise Marines involve a serious expense but they are very effective units for dealing ranged damage and advancing on the enemy with a cacophony of unpleasantness to share.  The special weapon for Noise Marines are amazing, so if you're looking for a "faction" to start a Chaos Space Marine army, there are far worse than this.  If you are willing to dedicate some points to them, they can dish out a serious amount of long range damage.

A word about Dirge Casters:  Mandatory.  While Overwatch certainly isn't the end of the world, it is a thing, especially against the Tau Empire and against Dark Angels.  The Dirge Caster needs be on a living Rhino (with or without treads) to perform its essential duty of allowing your legion to run unabated into the enemy with no fear of casualties at all.  Spend the points.  Get them.  Use them.  Love them.

Winged Daemon Princes are another thing I like about the Chaos Codex got right.  They are fantastically useful and it's advisable anyways to have an aerial threat to deal with the enemy flyers.  That they can be powerful Psykers is a big bonus, and the power of several winged terrors in the air is something many competitive players know the pain of well.  Even excellent lists can take a beating when the Winged Psykers come to town and that they are more than capable of close combat just adds to their cache.

I also think Chaos Lords are very reasonably priced.  They don't wow you with what they can do, but they don't "tax" you either.  They are simply solid and affordable.  That they are fearless is a big deal as is the fact they can accompany any unit type just about because of their options.  The Black Legion in particular has ridiculously excellent war gear for the intrepid Chaos Lord and if you get the chance to test their ferocity, I think you'll come away somewhat impressed.  The Eye of Night and the Hand of Darkness in particular give the army an element it really needs against certain forces, and I have hi-lited those items in my other articles so I will leave it at that.

The new codex is coming.  Time for some insane predictions?  Sure!  Those are fun!

Maulerfiends and Chaos Dreads will undoubtedly be given four attacks.  It would simply be unthinkable for them to remain at the two base attacks they have now.

I think that the Tzeentch legions will be given some love.  They were given a very high price tag and when you see 9 point Fire Warriors with an AP 3 weapon, you immediately have to think the Thousand Sons are not going to be left in the cold.  My prediction?  Assault 2, AP 3.  My other wild prediction based in no way in fact:  two wounds each.  Same cost as now.

Another crazy prediction:  Squadrons of three will be available for most if not all their main battle tanks except perhaps the Land Raider!  I don't find this very far fetched to be honest and it's almost assured to happen.

Chaos Space Marines:  the return of their banners for summoning?  Many old school Chaos players would love to get their banners back.  It may come in the form of a banner that allows the Deep Strike to be flawless within 6" of the banner like a teleport homer, plus the added bonus of an extra die when casting summoning powers.  What would you say to that?

Crazy idea #5 would be that the Terminaotrs will get access to some sort of Storm-shield effect.  I am not sure if it will be literal storm shields, but just something to allow them to act like Assault Terminators.

Add any other crazy thoughts you might have below!


  1. Hi Unorthodoxy, I didn't think you could put spawn in a landraider because beasts can't embark on a transport and they can't start in it because it can't be a dedicated transport for them. Or is the idea to walk them up behind the Landraider(s)?

    Ps I liked the idea of teaming up spawn and a maulerfiend it gives much more anti infantry punch

    1. I thought I commented on this but apparently the internet swallowed it. Maulerfiends are fiendish. Bring the repairbot if you play with them. Immobilization = bad.

  2. You haven't mentioned termicide and mutilators. Plague marines? Supplements and awesome HQ like Kharn, Huron/Ahriman? If something, they change much more than an overcosted dakkafiend.

    Also, i don't think that noize marines are very useful as a shooting base. They cost a lot for pretty tame levels of firepower for current standards. They're fine with bolters+bp+ccw and a siren though.

  3. Only so much space in one entry. I am quite the fan of Mutilators because of the elite slot they occupy, not to mention its usefulness for target saturation.

    Kharn is a catch-22 for me. On one hand, ridiculous against the right targets. On the other, he doesn't always have the luxury of choosing. a Rhino will get him and his unit most places he needs to go in enough time so I have no problem saying he's effective. Huron is a utility HQ that plays to all my strengths as a player. Of course I like HIM!


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