Thursday, October 25, 2012

12 Days of Chaos Part 6: Troops, Chaos Rhino and Vehicle Equipment

On the sixth day of Chaos my true God's granted me
Six Slayers Slaying,
Five Strange Things, Four Chaos Lords, Three Tyrants, Two Chaos Marks and Daemonic Immortality

Chaos Space Marines
Lantz: While I hear a lot about how much cheaper these guys are, they really aren't. Yes, base-cost is 2pts cheaper than last edition, but you've also lost Fearless and a point of Ld. To gain that back it's going to cost about the same as it did before. Other than this, your basic Chaos Space Marines will suffer from the same issue the Lord and Sorcerer do; points conservation. You can truly make this an amazing unit on the table, but if you go to extremes it's going to cost you...a lot. Marks from 2-3pts per model and Icons from 10-30pts isn't cheap, and that's before you've even thought about special/heavy weapons, the Aspiring Champion's wargear and more bodies. The trick here will be creating a unit with a role in-mind and sticking to it. Don't make these guys so they can handle everything. Give them a specific job, equip them for that job and see how they do. The main thing generic CSMs have going for them is their points cost compared to the god-specific Elites that can become Troops. Once their cost goes over what their Elite counterpart's cost is, you've lost your reasoning for taking them in the first place. Keep 'em cheap, people.
HOTpanda: Just like how Benjamin Button lived a life where he aged backwards it appears that Chaos Space Marines are suffering from that same bizarre fate.  They may live and breathe the warp itself but it appears that they are no longer immune to the grotesques oddities that strike fear into the heart of the Imperium.  Fearless warriors they are not and as such they have protect themselves with the Icon of Vengeance.  Regretfully this icon is a false sense of security with the recent 6th edition boost to snipers.  With so many HQs providing elite Chaos units the ability to become the core of your army it looks as if Chaos Space Marines are going to die young at heart.

Drkmorals: I could be completely wrong here, but I think you are going to see more CSM than my friends would have you believe, they start at a small 13 point base for a unit that can be equipped to fill gaps in your force or toward your need or play style. As long as you are taking one or two of them you can have a HQ attached to solve your fearless problem, not to mention most things in this codex can be taken in large squads and this one is no different since you can take up to 20 of them. This could be a flex unit or cheaper option that you are looking to help fill a gap in your list. Don't discount these guys while you are drooling over the Elite's choices.

HOTpanda: Underneath the filth encrusted pages of the Chaos Bible lies the true down fall of Imperialistic society; Chaos Cultists.  Emerging above their legendary warriors, Chaos Space Marines, these fanatical dark followers are going to be finding their way into every War Lords army.  Whether it's to dispatch their worthless lives into the meat grinder known as war or to accomplish accomplish feats of grandeur their is little doubt that Cultist are one of the most effective units in the new Tomb of Chaos.

Lantz: Hey, remember that one time when the Chaos Space Marines had no cheap Troop choice to speak of? Yeah, me too. Those days are now over! Cultists are back and cheap as dirt. Let's get one thing straight, though; Cultists are awful. Just horrific. They will suck at anything they do outside of holding a point or providing some cleanup with volume of fire. You'll be running these guys in one of two ways. Either as a massive 25+ model blob with something that provides Fearless for them or as small 10man units you'll hold in reserve and have them walk on the board. The latter might go with autoguns, though the fact that they aren't free is laughable. Some might like the Heavy Stubber if that's your thing, but Flamers will be where it's at for this unit. Finally, a shotgun for 2pts is a joke.

Now, Marks. Mark of Khorne is so-so for a unit this flimsy and will only be taken in blobs. Tzeentch is by far the worst of the four Marks, but for the blobs I can see some people running it. If you're going with small point-sitting units, you'll be in-cover and going to ground 90% of the time so a 6+ invulnerable save will rarely mean much. Nurgle is a great choice as T4 makes these guys a bit harder to wound, though 2pts per model can get out of hand. Slaanesh is also a great option for a blob as you'll go at the same time as MEQs giving you a bit more survivability. A big problem with this unit is there's no option to take Icons, and therefor, no way to make them Fearless without some help. In my opinion, run two to three units guys bare-bones in 10man units to sit on points at 50pts each. Or hell, take Autoguns if you think it'll make a difference. What this does is it not only allows other units to move forward without having to backtrack, but it also frees up hundreds of points you would have been wasting on CSM or CSM varient. This is the reason Cultists are in this book.

Drkmorals: Cultist are the new black, they are a great looking model and included in the new box sets. Expect to see these in all kinds of armies. They are fantastic for the points. Set 30 on a objective and it now is annoying to take from you. Have a super HQ you want to protect from torrent of fire until he can make it into combat? Stick him in one of these squads. Need cheap bubble wrap, Cultist are dying to fight the front lines for you and free up much needed points for the more fun pricey things in the army. While you could take smaller squads I wouldn't take less than 20 most times. Sure you can plop 10 in reserve to be used as objective grabbers but you are hoping they come in later than sooner.  You are giving up an easy KP and you are taking a unit that isn't flexible or have another use. If you take 20-30 then you can use them for whatever the need is at the moment and they aren't a free KP.

Chaos Icons
HOTpanda: Personally all of the Icons leaving me wishing they were left out of the codex.  All but the Icon of Excess resemble the fuzzy plate of left overs in the back of your fridge that you just want to forget about.  I leave it to Lantz and Drkmorals to cover these off as they are a waste of time and points from where I stand.

Lantz: The Icons are kind of a sore subject with a lot of people. All of them have their use, but the price is typically outrageous unless you have a unit of 20+ models benefiting from it. Wrath is essentially Fleet and Furious Charge and goes for 15-25pts. Flame gives Soul Blaze and goes for 5-15pts. Despair gives the Fear special rule and, well... I'm not even going to bother looking up how many points that costs as it should be free. Excess provides FNP, and while this is seen as a great choice and furthers the theme of Slaanesh-is-awesome-in-6th, it will cost you 30-40pts. Finally, Vengeance is the other pretty damn useful Icon as it provides Fearless and costs 25-35pts.

Obviously the Icon of Excess and the Icon of Vengeance are the winners here, but the other problem with Icons as a whole (aside from their points cost) is the fact that a single model will be holding said Icon. It's 6th Edition, people, the days of cherry picking what you want to kill via Precision Shots is here. A single model won't be lasting very long and more often than not I wouldn't even bother taking one.

Drkmorals:  The wrath Icon isn't horrible not because it gives you furious charge but there are very few units that this is a good points investment with. If you are always failing your charge ranges though this might give you some nice peace of mind so you don't have to stand before the Blood God and explain tthat you have no skulls for him because you tripped over a rock on the way in. Aside from that Lantz has this right on the money I think we will see FNP and Fearless as things people tend to pick up most often.

Chaos Rhino
Lantz: A Rhino is a Rhino is a Rhino is a Rhino. In 6th Edition, if you end up using these things you'll want to go with a single cheap upgrade or without any at all. Rhinos die like my future divorce papers in a fireplace in this edition and aren't even capable as a platform for assaults anymore. A good use for them, though, is backfield. Put a unit with a long-range weapon or two in your backfield and use it as a pseudo Razorback. I've heard of much success with this strategy as, unless you're AV12+ you aren't going to survive for very long in the midfield. Other than that, the Rhino hasn't changed much. I suggest, like so many other things in this book: KICS (Keep It Cheap, Stupid).

Drkmorals: Vehicles have a very different role in 6th than they had in 5th edition and I think it is really hard to get in the right mind set of what to expect from one with the new edition being so new. Having said that while a Rhino isn't always a horrible thing, they are very fragile now if you push them up anything can kill them in assault, and if you don't they can easily be shot away at range. However they do give you great movement for a turn or two, and allow you some protection from alpha strikes that would do mass damage to a pure footlist. The reality is the evil pointy Rhino is just as good as the corpse emperor serving rhino. I don't see any real difference and so you should consider it the same when list building.

HOTpanda: The heart and corp of any army is its basic troop choices.  They will be the ones spilling the blood of the enemy first.  They will be the ones moaning on the battlefield as they die a lonely death.  Treasure their every breath as it will strike fear into the souls of our enemies.  Without them we would be nothing.


  1. hey dudes, right now i'm working on a 2k list with about 300 ish points into an IG ally (i think gaurd infantry platoons fit my needs better than cultists for a small amount more points, also vendetta). I right now have two 10 man CSM squads in Rhinos with Vets, +CCWs, power weapon and melta bombs on champ (for 5pt melta bombs are a just in case i have to nuke a tank measure) I was wondering what you thought of this loadout for the CSM squads. Depending on the weapons given (right now i'm using melta and plasma)they weigh in at around 250. I am loathe to drop the +CCWs as i feel no true servant of the dark gods would dream of going into battle without a trusty stabby implement. But if you can argue it well enough i'll consider otherwise. I'm hoping to use them as a midfield objective holder with the potential to repel assaults if anything makes it through the main line of gaurdsman and terminators, the csm will have to hold objectives and keep aggression off of my heavy support (AC Havs, Back-Midfield Oblits)

    1. You could Email in your list and maybe a few of us could offer you feedback if you would like. Panda is right without a complete list it is hard to judge options or give advice.

  2. Without seeing your entire list I find it hard to lend any advice. However, if your goal is to use your CSM as objective holders I would forgo not only their CCW but the CSM all together. Instead I would align your self with the Father of Decay. Plague Marines are without a doubt one of the most resilient units in the game. By marking your HQ choice with mark of Nurgle you can take these foul renegades as a troop choice. Unlike CSM Plague Marines come full kitted out to slaughter the enemy both at range and in close combat. If this tickles the hairs on your neck stick around this week as we continue to celebrate the 12 Days of Chaos.

  3. Hmm, did you guys miss that a Chaos Rhino can now come with 2 combi-bolters, a combi-plasma, and a Havoc Missile Launcher, all with soul blaze, for 65 points? Rhino may die easier, but Chaos ones can put out some firepower.

  4. Despite being a big fa of Xzibit and his show pimp my ride I just cannot justify spending 30points in upgrades. Call me cheap but there is no way I will be Tokyo drifting with my Rhinos.

    1. Oh, I'm not claiming it is good, but the fact that all the tanks (yes, I know, you haven't gotten to heavy support yet) and the defiler can "gun-up" is interesting.

      I am trying to figure out where to put all the weapons on a Rhino for the crazy-large Apoc games we play around here, however...

  5. I think that your going to find that spending to many points on vehicles isn't the best option once you start testing it. The best upgrades are going to be your searchlight of course for flexibility, the reroll for terrain, and in the chaos book preventing Overwatch can have merit, as well as making it a demon vehicle depending on your vehicle or list.

  6. CSM in last edition weren't fearless, so they lost a point of LD and the ccw, making them at best easier to min cost, although the combi melta/melta/rhino/havoc launcher squad is cheaper and easier to spam as a result