Saturday, October 27, 2012

12 Days of Chaos Part 8: Elites (Part 2)

On the eighth day of Chaos my true God's granted me
Eight Marines Screaming
Seven Skulls Exploding, Six Slayers Slaying, Five Strange Things, Four Chaos Lords, Three Tyrants, Two Chaos Marks and Daemonic Immortality

Khorne Berzerkers
HOTpanda: RAGE!!! RAGE!!! RAGE!!! That is what Chaos follower from all over the galaxy should be doing when it comes to Khorne Berzerkers.  What was once a detriment to be label with, the RAGE rule is now what every New Kid on Block is screaming for.  Getting +2 attacks means that Berzerkers are throwing out four attacks when they charge.  Not too bad, but wait, it gets better as they also have furious charge which results in four strength five attacks when charging.  Yes they are not initiative five when they charge but this helps create separation between Berzerkers and Noise Marines which is a good thing in my books.  Overall I am enjoying the blood lemonade that they are dishing out.

Lantz: When I first started playing 40k in 5th Edition, Khorne Berzerkers were the melee unit to be feared, but then Blood Angels came out. Then Space Wolves, then Dark Eldar, then Grey Knights. and then Necrons. Suddenly half of the books out there could do melee just as good, if not better. So with a new codex, what has changed to give these guys their reputation back? Unfortunately, not much. At base cost 'zerkers are cheaper, but their stats are worse in the way of base attacks and Ld. Also with 6th Edition comes the nerf to Furious Charge. To add insult to injury, a unit with Furious Charge is allowed to take the Icon of Wrath that has Fleet and...what's this...Furious Charge for 15pts... Lame. All of the normal options are there like they were before, with some new options tossed in here and there, but I'm very disappointed to see 'zerkers get such a raw deal. They definitely have their place and that won't change, they're just no one's first choice.

Drkmorals: In the right builds you can take these guys and bring the pain, however I think your army has to have synergy with them. If you take them, make them troops, and give them fleet. Take any of the cult units as troops whenever possible, you want the fearless unit you will be pushing forward to be scoring. It is simply a waste to leave them as Elites. This unit is at odds with themselves and the big rule book.  They carry Chain Axes and the rules thus far in 6th edition lead me to believe that in the world of the far future tree's have a 4+ armor save. Which seems odd since if I hide in a forest I only get a 5+ cover save?
Thousand Sons
Lantz: Yeeeeeah, buddy! Fans of 1k Sons are pretty pleased with how their guys turned out. 1k Sons were everything they were before, but now they get a couple of little perks at no additional cost. First, while most everyone else has to pay for Veterans of the Long War, these guys get it for "free" (included in their points cost). Secondly, they're one of the few units that got better stats than they had in 4th Edition, and without a points increase! Yes, 1k Sons are pretty costly, but the point I'm trying to make is, they're no more expensive than they were in 4th Edition. So, if you liked them before, you'll want to take them out to dinner and back to your place for some dry-humping, now.

HOTpanda: Not sure if I ever actually saw anyone in the last two editions playing with Thousand Sons...trying to remember why though...oh yes it was because they cost a 1k worth of points.  Bottom line is that are just as expensive as before.  The only reason I can relate to why is that it must be all that bloody knowledge that Tzeentch is known for.  It's as if you are paying for their Harvard tuition that they all come with.  Needless to say I am not a fan and would never recommend them to anyone.

Drkmorals: Thousand sons are a bit pricey so you're looking at a smaller, more elite style of army if you go this route. You also need to be aware that you are slow and purposeful meaning that aren't going to reliably get far on foot and that you can't provide overwatch with your fancy ammo. They aren't any more pricey than before and they do get some perks like Lantz pointed out. So if you this was your flavor before they got a little better. I think with the meta shifting more toward foot lately these are at least worth testing out.
Plague Marines
Lantz: If you played CSM in 4th or 5th Edition and you had eyes, you either wanted to take Plague Marines or did take Plague Marines. As 5th Edition went through its lifecycle, Plague Marines became more and more the obvious choice for a Troop selection. Fortunately for everyone, they're still a great option, but they're no longer an obvious choice; as you continue reading our reviews you'll find there are plenty of great choices for Troops. As for the Plague Marines, modified Toughness of 5 no longer counts at 4 for Instant Death; great! FNP, while now on a 5+ can now be used against AP1 and 2; fantastic! Blight Grenades in addition to what they already did can now be used as a shooting attack and provide Stealth if they're being shot at by a unit within 8" of them; incredible! As you can see, the things Plague Marines had before only increased in awesome. And if all of that wasn't good enough, they now get Plague Knives; a CCW that is Poisoned (4+). With all they've gained (even though they've lost a point of Ld like most other units in the book,) obviously their points per model has gone up tremendously, right? Wrong; price increase per model comes down 1pt. What was once great is even greater.

HOTpanda: I've always been a big fan of Plague Marines and there is not a single reason why I will not continue to bathe in their beautiful decay.  Besides seeing a of one point drop per Plague Marine they are now bloated with a plethora of new boils that Lantz has already pointed out.  All this adds up to one hell of a festering scab that just has to be picked.

Drkmorals: Not really much to say here, if people played Chaos you saw these across the table from you on a regular basis.  This isn't going to change at all and we can expect to see even more of them spreading the infestation of Nurgle. Fearless and tougher to get rid of than before, the only hit they took is that FNP isn't 4+ but for the most part that just means they have a free inv save. I am actually surprised these didn't get hit with a nerf bat just to sell new models since so many people already run them.

Plague Knife
Lantz: The fact that these are just given to the Plague Marines is amazing. Yeah, they're AP-, but Poisoned (4+) on a unit that can hit a head-count of twenty is awesome. Plague Marines were already a good choice for Troop or Elite. Now they're just showing off.

HOTpanda: Without a doubt the Plague Knife is much more than your standard butter knife.  They are the rust decayed icing on the puke infested cake.  Every single one will leave your screaming for more.

Drkmorals: Same deal as Demon Plague Bearers only with better WS on everything in this book so you don't suck in combat. Remember that you get to re-roll your wounds on anything that you have the same str as or better.
Noise Marines
Lantz: Finally, we've reached my favorite of the bunch. Since I keep taking a trip down memory lane, let's continue in that fashion. Noise Marines are once again a little confused on their role. Everything you see in Slaanesh you think "shooty", yet it's that +1 Initiative that kind of mucks up their direction. I personally just ignore it and use it should the need arise, but I focus on shooting first and foremost. Getting back on track, Noise Marines were kind of dancing on the line of crappy in the last edition for one reason; points cost. To make these guys worth taking over Plague Marines they would end up costing a fortune. So, right off the bat my eyes head to points-per-model which has been reduced by 3pts; looking good so far! Now let's get to their weaponry; the reason you want Noise Marines. Sonic Blasters are 3pts per model (2pts cheaper than before and they now ignore cover), which will bring their points cost back to the days of old with semi-better infantry (the downside of the Sonic Blaster is your range is 12" if you move which never made sense to me since sound kinda travels at the same speed regardless..) The Sonic Blaster will probably be used by those who want a unit to sit and guard a point, but that's what Cultists are for! 3pts is too much in my book. Moving on; the Blastmaster. I have a /huge/ issue with this weapon. Not really the weapon itself (S8 AP3 blast is nothing to snuff at), but the fact that you need 10 Noise Marines to bring one's god damned confusing! Where did this come from? How does it make sense? Why is this restriction here?

Noise Marine: "Sir, I'm going in with this Blastmaster to destroy our enemies and to give us all orgasms!"
Champion: "Woah woah, hold on. As Chaos, we believe in strict order. Only if you have the proper support can you use such a weapon. Are there at least ten in your unit?"
Noise Marine: "Well, no. But there's six of us so Slaanesh is pleased."
Champion: "Six? SIX!? No! You bring ten, damn it. We don't go out on the battlefield all willy-nilly! As Noise Marines we believe in structure. Now put down that weapon, grab a bolter and get out there!"
Noise Marine: "I'll see you at the orgy."

You see what went wrong there? Other than the imagery of Space Marines getting it on with each other? Yeah, dumb. Phil Kelly has done so much good in this book, yet I fail to see the reasoning here... Oh well, either way this is a solid weapon that's 10pts cheaper than the last codex and now ignores cover. The question is whether you're taking 10 Noise Marines or not. Up next is the Doom Siren. This weapon literally hasn't changed at all. Points cost is the same, stats are the same and the guy that can take it (Champion) is the same. At S5 AP3 Template, it's a great weapon, plain and simple. The focus on Noise Marines now is ignoring cover. I see these guys run in two ways for the most part. Either a small 5man unit with bolters and a Doom Siren for MSU builds or 10-20man units with Sonic Blasters and a Blastmaster(s) that will move up to the middle of the table and sit there to deny the enemy midfield advantage. Twenty Noise Marines firing 54 bolter shots (and two Blastmaster shots) that all ignore cover is a scary thing. Most of the tourney players are saying Noise Marines are an astounding Troop choice, and I have to agree.

HOTpanda: Would love to comment on how much I like this unit and their flexibility to be used as both a firebase and a close combat unit but I have to clean up the verbal puke that Lantz just bathed our blog in...

Lantz: Did I type too much again?.. Crap..

Drkmorals:  Ignores cover is fantastic on the blast master for when you are shooting at vehicles, and gives you a solid way to deal with horde units. I think you are going to see this unit often because for the points they put out a ton of fire; which is the name of the game currently. The only draw back is salvo means when you move to get into position you lose a turn of shooting in most cases. You are going to need to get in the habit of noting when something is within 18 inches of you if you want to take the opportunity to move so your unit can move and not be useless a turn.

Once you are in position though this is a solid unit you are going to be pumping out 24-27 shots in a 10 man unit plus a blastmaster. Then when they do get in range that is a ton of overwatch, plus they have a better initiative then most things so you get to swing first in close combat. I would always take the Siren (flamer) personally because D3 overwatch AP3 wounds means they are losing more models charging in.  Hand to hand units may end up failing their charge thus allowing you to shoot them up for yet another turn. These guys are great at harassing and shooting up the center of the board. Honestly it's nice to see Slaanesh get a bump in effectiveness. Just like the other elites if you are bringing these guys get them in the troops slot to fully make use of that fearless in games (don't take them as Elites).

Sonic Blaster
Lantz: Remember when you read the 6th Edition book and read about Salvo weapons? Well, it's finally here. Unfortunately, the weapon got a little worse when you move: Two shots at 12" when moving or three shots at 24" when not moving (And you can never assault either way.) If you're holding a point, this is the weapon for you, otherwise go with a Bolter.

HOTpanda: Despite Lantz and the other devote Slaneesh fiends puking up the bile of misery all over their dinner plates, I want what's now in front of them.  I know they have taken a hit in with being labelled a Salvo Weapon but they still have the ability to outshoot most units in the game.  Being able to shoot three times and ignore cover will always be something I want seconds of.

Drkmorals: I think people are over reacting to Salvo as it isn't horrible, by any means. Standing still to shoot 24 inches and only being able to shoot 12 inches if you move is nothing new to this game. Marines have been doing this forever and have been viable for years. Except when this unit stands still it out shoots everything else.  If you are going to take bolters you may want to consider taking some CSM instead.

HOTpanda: These devote Cults of Marines kill in their names of their Dark Gods and bestowed them with the essence of the Warp. Chaos itself flows through their veins.  Weapons of mass destruction in their own right these warriors are often found as the heart of an army; wreaking havoc and destruction upon their enemies.


  1. @ Lantz:
    beserkers don't have fleet with the icon of wrath. the icon let's you Reroll your charge which is rerolling BOTH dice just like jump infantry. fleet allows you to Reroll ONE die *or* BOTH. This is a big difference, yet one I see missed almost every time. in fact, I have yet to see someone I haven't had to correct.

  2. Was this FAQed, because last I knew it was up for debate.