Index: Chaos Review
Edits: At last, the core entries are done! Next on the list is all the special characters available to chaos. If there's something you want expanded on, or have questions about, fire away!
Afternoon, everyone! I've been playing 40k for quite sometime, but never really messed around with the internet much. With the dawn of 8th edition (queue dawn of war joke), I've been combing the internet for someone doing a breakdown of the Chaos Index. Other then a very basic breakdown on 1d4 chan, I actually haven't been able to find anything.
So, I decided to embark on a quest and write my own! First time doing this, so it's kind of exciting. This will be a WIP for quite some time, obviously. But I'm sharing what I have now, so at least people can start reading reviews of dataslates and arguments for (or against) entries. Demons will eventually get added as their own section, and who knows maybe I'll even start writing tactica too.
Note to Moderators: Prices are rounded, sometimes up, sometimes down, to the nearest 5. Between this rounding and the general method of writing, I've taken great steps to try to avoid posting rules. If there's a slip, I'll get it changed ASAP.
Table of Contents
1.1 Introduction/Grading System
1.2 What makes which grade?
1.3 Chaos Bikes
1.4 Chaos Cultists
1.5 Chaos Land Raider
1.6 Chaos Lord, all options
1.7 Chaos Predator
1.8 Chaos Rhino
1.9 Chaos Space Marines
2.1 Chaos Spawn
2.2 Chaos Terminators
2.3 Chaos Vindicator
2.5 Demon Prince
2.6 Dark Apostle
2.8 Exalted Sorcerer
3.1 Foetid Bloat Drone
3.6 Khorne Berzerkers
3.7 Khorne Lord of Skulls
3.8 Lord of Contagion
3.9 Malignant Poxcaster
4.3 Noise Marines
4.4 Noxious Blightbringer
4.6 Plague Marines
5.1 Rubric Marines
5.2 Scarab Occult Terminators
5.5 Warp Talons
5.6 Warp Smith
1.1 The Introduction
Everything is going to be done alphabetically. If you see something you don't agree with, tell me why, and if the reasoning is good, I will make that change. This is intended for the good (evil?) of all Heretics across the globe, so keep it civil,even if your favorite model doesn't make the cut! Numbers are provided for quick access to see a certain unit. Ctrl+F= Friend!
Every model will receive a grade next to it's name, followed by a description of it and a couple pointers and ideas for how to use it, followed up by a recap of the score and exactly why it gets the score it needs.
Also, as a quick note, it is the author's opinion that the only icons worth seriously considering are excess, for increased effectiveness versus almost half the field, and wrath,
which gives us more consistency with trying to get in melee. For anything that deep strikes, unless playing a mono god list or a thematic army, I strongly recommend only wrath.
The grading system.
1- Either a model that is simply outclassed because another model does it's job but better, or that is so poorly priced that it should never be taken sans very thematic armies.
2- Underpowered models, or models that are theoretically good but require excessive hoop jumping to make work. Models that are slightly outclassed by other models will also find themselves here.
4- A strong choice. Not completely gamebreaking, but clearly under priced, very well stat'd for it's price, or has a mechanic that shouldn't exist in conjunction with another mechanic for "fair gameplay".
5- Over powered. Any competitive list will almost certainly be taking advantage of this, unless there's even greater cheese to be had.
Occasionally, models will receive multiple different numerical scores. This will occur if the model/unit is normally at a certain quality level, but then shifts quality levels based on a situation or in combination with another model/unit. These models will be scored with an asterisk, and it's breakdown will elaborate on all of it's applicable scores. These models will also show up in multiple categories in section below.
1.2 What makes the grade?
1- Chaos Lord, Cultists, Chaos Vindicator, Chosen, , Lord of Contagion, Malignant Poxcaster, Mutilators, Noxious Blightbringer, Possessed, Sorcerer, Tzaangors
2- Chaos Spawn, Chaos Terminators, Dark Apostle, Defiler, Forgefiend, Scarab Occult Terminators, Sorcerer, Warpsmith
3- Chaos Bikes, Chaos Land Raider, Chaos Lord, Chaos Rhino, Chaos Space Marines, Chaos Terminators, Foetid Bloat Drone,Helbrute, Khorne Lord of Skulls, Lord of Contagion, Maulerfiend, Noise Marines, Noxious Blightbringer, Plague Marines, Raptors, Rubric Marines, Scarab Occult Terminators, Sorcerer, Warp Talons
4- Chaos Lord, Chaos Predator, Cultists, Chaos Terminators, Daemon Prince, Exalted Sorcerer, Fallen,
Foetid Bloat Drone, Havocs, Heldrake, Khorne Berzerkers, Plague Marines, Poxwalkers, Raptors, Rubric Marines
1.3 Chaos Bikes 3/5
Bikers have seen some levels of adjustment since their 7th ed days. The bikes themsleves had their fire power doubled, and the changes to how shooting works greatly encourages bikers to physically take specials. Always remember to swap out their pistol for a chainsword, since you just give up attacks having a pistol, and you can't shoot it the turn you charge, unless you forsake firing all non pistol weapons. And there's no reason to do that. As an extension, avoid plasma pistols. Plasma guns aren't bad here, but be sure you have a lord or DP nearby to avoid killing yourself.Personally I prefer flamers or melta, since bikes tend to want to get in close and hit backfield elements hard.
3/5, since they provide a good mix of offense and defense, although they are expensive to field.
1.4 Cultists */5
Poxwalkers exist, and they do exactly what cultists do but significantly better, despite a minor points hike. Unless you're playing a monogod army that isn't nurgle, don't take these. If you are playing a monogod army that isn't nurgle, or for some reason have a large aversion to poxwalkers, then these are the most affordable objective sitters in our codex, which is invalueable for backfield. Keep them cheap as possible. Just be aware that they die to a swift breeze, and you will often find yourself debating between blowing CP to keep them on the table or losing a lot to morale. They also make great screening units.
1/5, because poxwalkers are better cultists at the same price practically
4/5, if you can't run or don't want to run poxwalkers, then these guys become great
1.5 Chaos Land Raider 3/5
The Land Raider isn't a bad model persay. It has access to heavy firepower, and it's very difficult to remove. However, it's obscenely expensive, clocking in at almost 360 points stock, and most of the models you would really want to put in it can either take a rhino, which is a vastly superior option, or they can deepstrike, rendering the need for a transport null and void.
3/5, since it's so damn expensive for what you get, although what you get is solid.
1.6 Chaos Lord */5
The Chaos Lord has a variety of configurations. Instead of writing 8 entries(!!!) for essentially one model, I'll just briefly go over the variants in configuration, In order of their position in the index. As a general reminder, always make sure you have a chainsword as part of your equipment unless you really need to use both weapon slots, because it's one more attack, even if it's just a basic strength 4 one. It's better then a pistol.
On foot, chaos lords serve as cheap gunline enhancements. Keep him stock, probably don't make him your warlord, and use him to increase the effectiveness of your fire support.
Not a bad choice if you need to take another HQ and don't feel you need to shore your list up against psykers. Just make sure he's improving a lot of models consistently, or don't take him.
4/5, since the increase to firepower compared to his safety and price is phenomenal.
In terminator armor, he gains a wound and the ability to deep strike, but gives up an inch for his movement. He also gains a new, although smaller, wargear list to pick from.
This isn't a bad choice to improve a squad of deep strikers, since a jet pack lord can't.
3/5, since he's pretty fairly priced after equipment for what he does. A solid choice.
On a bike, the lord gains a valueable wound and toughness increase, and vastly increases his movement options, while also gaining a couple bolters on the bike for a little daka.
Easily the most universal choice. Hard to go wrong here.
4/5, fantastic mix of offense and defense.
On a disc, he's basically a jump pack lord that costs a few more points but gains a single, very bleh mount attack, but trades in deep strike. Pass, although the idea for the model is cool.
1/5,because simply better options exist.
On a Jugger, our chaos lord gains a buff to his movement, strength (!!!), toughness, and wounds. He also gains a mount that greatly improves his offensive capability, especially
on charges. Although a more expensive option, clocking in at almost 145-155 points fully loaded, nowhere will you find this kind of quality for melee combat compared to other lords. Double lightning claws for blending, Fist and a claw for flexibility, Powerfist/Chainsword if you want the extra blendage but also want the ability to really bring on the pain, this guy can do it all.
4/5, although his mobility isn't as solid as a jetpack or a bike, his overall killing potential is incredible. On the charge, he'll easily blend most squads to pulp, and wipe the rest in morale phase.
On a Palanquin, the lord gives up all movement options, and reduces his movement stat to increase his toughness and wound count. The problem is that he does this the exact
same way that a bike does, and although the bike is more expensive (about the same as a plasma gun in price increase), the almost tripling to his movement stat more then
justifies this adjustment.
1/5, there are no situations that are plausible where either a vanilla naked chaos lord, or chaos lord on bike, won't simply do this job better. Cut points before turning a bike lord into a Palanquin. Nurgling attacks are cute but not valueable.
On a steed, he becomes like a more agile, blendier biker lord. He turns in a point of toughness and his combi bolters for +1 attack (the only configuration to gain one, interestingly)
a couple mount attacks, and extra mobility in "unholy speed", allowing him to clear huge amounts of the board and still charge things. He has an average of a 25 in threat range, higher
then any other possibility. He's also affordable. This lord mostly wants to run solo, get deep in the backline, and start chopping up fire support, vehicles, things of that nature.
4/5, he's essentially a more offensive version of a biker lord, which is already a really solid buy. T4 hurts, but at about 120 points with a full load out, can you complain?
The only real downside is that he's a slaanesh lord, and the icon of wrath is so solid, causing some skornergy with many list compositions, since he won't be improving any units with an icon of wrath.
With a pack, the Chaos Lord gains the ability to deepstrike and stay mobile on future turns. If the steed lord is a faster, more offensive version of the biker lord, much in the same way
is a chaos lord with a pack a faster, more agile version of a terminator lord. This is probably the most affordable loadout for a non slaanesh player.
3/5, for although the jump pack lord doesn't have many particular shining points other then mobility, he stays reasonably well priced.
1.7 Chaos Predator 4/5
The Predator has, for at least the last two editions, been a relatively weak option in the Chaos Codex. However, the changes to vehicle rules have been extremely friendly
to predators, as they now have a unique (and improved) auto cannon profile, along with lascannons. Personally I like an autocannon turret and las sponsons, especially since we can splitfire at no penalty, allowing the predator to fire at what's helpful. It also has a healthy amount of wounds, a high toughness value, and excellent ranges, so proper placement and a little protection and it will almost always make it points back, except against horde armies with almost no multiwound models. Havoc Launchers also provide great anti horde.
Equipped with a twin las turret, las sponsons, and a havoc launcher, it will come in just under 215. About 20 points more then 3 obliterators, but with far better range and far more consistent damage. Probably one of the sleeper entries in our index right now. Just make sure you deploy it properly, since moving is painful with heavy weapons.
4/5, for it's flexible variety of points efficient firepower, along with it's reasonable price point. The edition changes pushed the predator up several notches.
1.8 Chaos Rhino 3/5
Not a whole lot to say. It's price doubled since last edition, but the edition rules have made it at least twice as valueable. Use it to screen your models as they advance, or dart it up the board with some berzerkers or other dedicated melee unit. It's not something that I would spam, personally, but if you want to go power armor heavy, don't leave home without at least a couple metal boxes. If you have the points, consider throwing on havoc launchers so that way rhinos continue to draw fire after they've dropped their cargo off.
3/5, it's an effective transport, but it's priced on the slightly steep side of fair. IMO 60 would have been a better price point.
1.9 Chaos Space Marines 3/5
Our generic troop, the edition changes regarding AP have made power armor somewhat friendlier. csm should, unfortunately, still be kept at 10 whenever possible, unless trying to shrink unit count for deployment purposes. You really want to get them a rhino, both to help them get up field, and to provide them with screening once they are there. Always go bolter bolt pistol. If you want melee troops, there are much better options. These guys should be midfield objective holders.
3/5, for a flexible entry while being fairly priced.
Do however note that, except for the fact they are troops and havocs are heavy support, havocs are strictly better and it is this sole distinction that gives generic CSM a place in any list. So, if you don't need to field more troops, AND you have the heavy support slots, always take havocs over CSM, as havocs have more flexible weapon options, and can take more weapons in a squad.
2.1 Chaos Spawn 2/5
Sheesh, how the mighty have fallen. Spawn used to be fantastic retinues for independent characters, but that being removed entirely really hurts them. They have also seen their movement cut in half almost from previous editions. They're very affordable, but you get what you pay for. It may not be a bad idea
to run one and continue to advance it up the board until it can threaten things in melee. It's really not worth it for your opponent to shoot at, but you also don't really care if it dies. In general, however, look at bikes long before you look at spawn.
2/5, their affordability at filling in force organization slots and as very cheap distractions is the only thing saving them from a complete 1/5.
2.2 Chaos Terminators */5
Terminators have seen a drastic overhaul, gaining a wound, but going up significantly in price. They cost stock, with the same baseic loadouts, that imperial terminatorscost last edition when they had powerfists stock. With thise large price hike, the termicide squads of old where you took 3 with 3 combi meltas is completely dead. Frankly, any kind of combi weapons on the squad makes them simply too expensive. 5 with combi meltas and axes clock in at almost 270 points! And the minimum squad size has gone up to 5, preventing small size. However, reaper auto cannons saw a large buff, both to the number of shots, and its price. A full squad of 10 with combi bolters, axes, and 2 autocannnons clocks in at just under 435. A little more expensive then last edition, assuming you gave them marks as well, but now we have more wounds. They're too pricy for the most part, but smart weapon choices go along way.
However, there is certainly a slice of cheese to be had here with our terminators. Taking a full 10 man blob, two reaper auto cannons, and an icon of wrath, along with a chaos lord that can hand out his buff to them, and a sorcerer, both in tda, allows for a fantastic amount of carnage. Your sorcerer picks warptime, everyone deepstrikes in on turn one, have the lord get warptimed forward so he's just over 4 inches out, or the terminators if you're really concerned and with a combination of splitting up your bolterfire across multiple units, using your icon of wrath, and command points if need be, it should be pretty reliable to get the lord and terminators into melee charging on turn one, while also wiping out a healthy amount of opposition. They should kill a large chunk of their points cost with this maneouver. If you have the points, invest in a few power/chain fists on the terminators, to really improve their punching power. Just remember if you warptime the terminators and not the lord, you'll have a surefire charge with the terminators, but a very difficult charge with the lord, so his re roll buff may be out of reach. Across the terminators and characters, I would budget no more then 775 or so points to this 3 unit combination.
2/5, if you're trying to deep strike in and melta something to pieces, raptors can do it at around half the price.
3/5, if you're taking terminators to take terminators
4/5, if you're taking a sorcerer and a lord along with to make these guys super effcient tools to wipe out multiple squads or annihilate a backline fire support in one turn. The fact that this can be CP heavy, and can be played around by screening units and smart positioning from your opponent, prevents this from being a 5/5, as an example of unfair gameplay.
2.3 Chaos Vindicator 1/5
The Vindicator is essentially a cheaper, less effective predator. Unless you really need the boosted strength (unlikely) on the vindicator, this model is a pass. The 40 or so point difference between the two doesn't justify the large reduction in effectiveness.
1/5, since it's basically half the firepower of a predator, and 80% of the price. It's very high strength is the only thing that might make you even briefly consider putting it on the table, but it's almost certainly a mistake.
2.4 Chosen, 1/5
Chosen suffer from a simple problem. If you're looking for melee specialists, take berzerkers, they're strictly significantly better and berzerkers can easily be made into troops to boot. If you're looking to take lots of special weapons, just take havocs. Their 3 point price hike doesn't justify the minor improvements that you'll get, and shaving points to make room for other things is important. The only time you should consider this is if you need more special weapons, but you have open elites and no heavy support slots open, which is a very fringe scenario given the variety of available detatchments.
1/5, simply because other models can do what they do, either better at practically the same price, or cheaper at about the same effectiveness.
2.5 Daemon Prince 4/5
Take him with wings, and either a set of malefic talons or a talon and a axe, and he's good to go. He's slightly less accurate with an axe, so if you have bad luck consider the sword. However, the increased armor pen on the axe is very powerful, and the boosted strength helps his to wound rolls at a variety of important toughness values. He also buffs both demons and marines, if you're playing a sort of demonkin list, he's a psyker, and he has a great statline. Also remember his wound count protects him from being targeted, even though he's a big bad ol monster. Easily one of the most forgotten about things that I've noticed so far in my games. His gun is a cute add on, and although I wouldn't take it all the time, if I had some points left over after a list idea, it's a decent choice to throw on.
4/5, for his very efficient statline, on top of his difficulty at being targeted.
2.6 Dark Apostle 2/5
He has a very limited number of wargear options, he's stuck at a poor movement value, and what little equipment he has available isn't impressive. He also hands out a better version of a chaos lord's character buff, for fights only, but his inability for a movement option forces him into a rhino with another squad. He isn't bad to tool up with some berzerkers, but why not just take a juggerlord, or even kharne instead?
2/5, for his lack of movement options and poor personal combat stats compared to his priceline.
2.7 Defiler 2/5
God I want to like defilers, since the new edition rules say they can shoot all their weapons, and splitfire freely. But the catch is, his base price is about 270, and he can easily reach over 300 based on his options. And although he's more durable then a predator or havocs, he just isn't durable enough, not
to mention he has a weak ballstic skill that quickly degrades to orc values, or worse. Defilers have an awkward problem where if they sit back, they're overpriced fire support, but if they walk forward to threaten charges with their efficient melee statline, they're too expensive for the threat, and maulers do a better job at both closing the gap, and crunching targets, while being almost 100 points cheaper. Move him forward, advance him, smoke screen, move, and hope you can charge something valueable.
2/5, for his price point simply being too high, despite a lot of the edition rules improving what he does. Not totally unplayable, just overpriced.
2.8 Exalted Sorcerer 4/5
Huh, it seems like worshipping Tzeentch gives you an extra wound, better WS/BS, an invul save, and a 4 point price drop compared to a regular sorcerer, along with an attack to boot. Honestly, unless you care about specific keywords, these guys are just better then regular sorcerers. And although a sorcerer comes with many different transport options, most of them can't compete with the exalted on a disc. So unless you really need keywords to line up, this guy eradicates a sorcerer in every way. He only loses to a sorcerer that can deep strike, as it's not possible to deep strike an exalted.
4/5, for being about as affordable as a chaos lord while offering a mix of powers, and better stats.
2.9 Fallen 4/5
These guys are basically chosen, if they got 2 points cheaper, and gained a special rule that gave them both a buff to their shooting, and borderline immunity to all forms of leadership play. Their only "downside" is that they are elites, and they get better around Cypher, not a chaos lord. Still, these guys are an extremely flexible entry, great for all kinds of situations. If you can't afford a squad of berzerkers, you can probably afford a squad of fallen, and they're almost as good. Easily top 3 powered armor units in the index.
4/5, for their extremely valueable kit compared to their affordable price point.
3.1 Foetid Bloat Drone */5
The FBD is a reasonably priced model, clocking in at around 160. It's durable, with both daemonic and disgustingly resilient, and it comes with a decent set of weapons. It's a very good example of a balanced model. However, if you are playing mono death guard, then this model becomes more attractive, as Death Guard have a much smaller list of models available, and they really struggle with moving quickly. So, for the servants of Nurgle out there, these guys are very attractive.
3/5, for it's balanced price to effectiveness.
4/5, if you're playing Death Guard as you really hurt for fast models.
3.2 Forgefiend 2/5
As much as I love my dinobots, this edition change wasn't very friendly to them. If they had an ability to move and not drop their already so so ballistic skill down to ork levels, then they would be okay. Their weapon options and special rules are just enough to push them away from being strictly outclassed by a predator or a unit of havocs, but it's not enough to make them a strong contender.
2/5, for the fact they're simply about 30 points over priced, give or take, which is too much to let slide,
and that a predator does their job better. Or a squad of havocs.
3.3 Havocs 4/5
Speaking of, havocs just happen to be up next. These are the other big money fire support option in our index right now. They don't pack quite as much firepower per point as predators, but they can be much harder for models to draw line of sight to, and most long range answers to fire support will only kill a couple of marines, where it might severely cripple or occasionally one shot a predator. They can also take lots of specials, allowing them to take a more midfield role, unlike loyalist scum! Another contender for easy top 3 power armored units in the index.
4/5, for their incredibly flexible entry and reasonable points to firepower ratio.
3.4 Helbrute 3/5
The Helbrute is another one of those models that's just resoundingly fair. He's not too expensive, but he's also not dirt cheap. He has decent fire power, and has some effectiveness in melee. He has a silly rule where the pilot has a chance to get pissed when he gets damaged, but it's not really a consistent thing. He's not bad, but he's not extraordinary either. I wouldn't personally go over 150 on his load out, give or take a bit. Kit him how you want, and make sure you use him for what you kit him with.
3/5, he's just a very balanced model. Not a whole lot to say.
3.5 Heldrake 4/5
Holy cow, this model has come back with a vengeance. He's really his own beast, since although he's a flier he has almost none of the rules that other fliers have. Instead, he's this incredibly mobile skimmer melee harasser creature thing that can get behind almost any enemy lines and start digging into their fire support. What's funny about him, is that not only is he too durable to be seriously hurt in return, but if you see pressure coming in to kill him, you can fall back a comical number of inches away and go mess around somewhere else. He did see a price hike, if he takes the flamer, but he stayed practically the same if he has the cannon. If he had more attacks, or a better BS, he'd be pure cheese again.
4/5, only thing stopping him from being purely overpowered is his meh WS/BS, and lowish number of attacks. Despite these barriers, he's probably the best model in the index at his point range. Top 3 without a doubt. Hope you held onto yours.
3.6 Khorne Berzerkers 4/5
Remember these guys from 3.5 ed, when you couldn't take an armor save better then 4+? They were awesome then. And although they're not quite as strong as they were then, berzerkers have seen a complete overhaul from the last couple of editions. Their chainaxes got a lot of love, giving them both a
strength boost and a little armor pen. They can seriously threaten most targets in the game. Toss 10 in a rhino, and rush them up board. Whatever they charge into will die or get severely crippled. Remember that if they have a chainaxe and a chainsword, they get to make extra swings with the chainsword while doing their main attacks, and because of blood for the blood god, they will get far more mileage out of the chainsword then a bolt pistol. They're also priced far more reasonably then they have in past editions, coming in at the same price as a meltagun.
4/5, for their incredible capability to blend most targets in one round of combat compared to their price.
3.7 Khorne Lord of Skulls 3/5
The LoS is basically a supercharged renegade knight, except he has less dakka and more choppa. Hismain advantage is the fact that the more damaged he gets, the harder he swings. So if you want to take one, make sure you have some fire support to take down the things that can take huge chunks out of him.In general, you want him to be in melee by the time he's damaged, and have him be just under half health when he gets there. Line that up, and delete whatever you want to. I personally like a hades gatling cannon and an ichor cannon, so I have some fire support off the big guy. If you just want him to advance up the board to get there as quickly as possible, swap out his weapons so he has an ichor cannon and a skullhurler. If you just want him to get into melee, might as well take the cheapest gun options you have and advance him up the field. However, no matter how you slice it, he costs about as much as 20 chaos bikes. So he's very steep, but you get what you pay for. He's come down quite a bit since his earlier edition rules, but hasn't lost very much. Also don't forget that you can shoot in melee if you're fighting infantry!
3/5, for being a well priced super heavy with a decent set of rules.
3.8 Lord of Contagion */5
The LoC is one of the new models made available to death guard, and he has some things going for him. His melee weapon is locked as a plaguereaper, which has a fantastic statline, shredding multi woundmodels to pieces. He also causes enemy units to start slowly taking extra damage, which can add up over the course of the game. He also has both an improved invul from his cataphractii armor, boosted toughness, and a nice extra layer of protection in disgustingly resilient However, he's painfully slow, moving at the same speed as poxwalkers, and he can't even advance very well due to his armor. Also, although Nurgle's Gift isn't a bad rule persay, as it will certainly help your
army plink wounds off of units across the board, it's effectiveness waxes and wanes with how many units your opponent takes. And since this edition incentivizes taking fewer squads, because whoever finishes deploying first usually goes first, it's unlikely to be able to get more then a few mortal wounds a turn, across your opponents army. Moreover, he lacks the buffing ability most lords have, which means you will either have to surrender that buff, or take another chaos lord/demon prince to gain access to it. Finally, because he has no weapon options, he's really only effective against larger, multi wound models. This isn't the end of the world, but it's something to be played around.
More so then a lot of the other newer models Chaos has gotten, the LoC has some very, very good things about him, and some very, very bad things about him. He's good to take in a Death Guard army along with another chaos lord, or a demon prince, but I wouldn't recommend taking him without the commander buff. I personally recommend a demon prince with a pair of talons and wings to go with him, both to help keep the price down a little on the DP, but to also get another strong beater in the army, not to mention he has his own aura to buff units, and he's a psyker to boot, shoring up all of the LoC's weaknesses.
1/5 if you aren't playing death guard.
3/5, for getting exactly what you pay for, even if he's very specific about what you get.
3.9 Malignant Poxcaster 1/5
The Malignant Poxcaster is essentially an exalted sorcerer who trades 10 points, an invul save, movement options, and a wound, for a point of toughness, disgustingly resilient, and a really meh rule in pestilential fallout. His complete lack of movement options, and his price point, makes him a no go for anything. Even a pure Death Guard army can take a Sorcerer with a pack at practically the same price. Granted, a sorcerer is less durable, but most of our powers have lower ranges, so if he needs to get somewhere he can deep strike or fly. Most of what makes a Poxcaster good is his durability, but since he's a character, he can't be targeted by shooting (in general and with decent deployment), which renders that benefit moot.
1/5, for the fact that he's simply outclassed by our other sorcerer options in most regards.
4.1 Maulerfiend 3/5
Our other loveable dinobot, Maulerfiends are our melee beatsticks. They move reasonably quickly, and they're affordably priced, costing about the same as 10 noise marines. Always take lasher tendrils, as the better damage/strength on the cutters is beat by the fact that occasionally you won't be able to shoot them the turn you charge as their range is so poor, and lasher tendrils give you far more attacks over an engagement, on average. However, Maulerfiends have received two large nerfs from last edition, which need to be kept in mind. First and foremost, Maulerfiends lost Siege Crawler, so they can no longer kool aid man through a mountain or wall and charge the unit behind it. A far more subtle nerf, but one worth remembering, is that drawing line of sight has been simplified. In the past, you had to see actual body parts. Adornments or accessories, like the top of the smoke stacks on the maulerfiend or his tendrils didn't count. In this edition, RAW, you just have to be able to see some part of the model. Be prepared to be shot by a bunch of long range anti tank fire because your tentacle sits above the hill you hid your maulerfiend behind. So, if you can't hide the model entirely, there's no point in trying to hide it at all.
3/5, for bringing efficient melee damage with good mobility at a low price point, despite being super easy to pick out and the loss of siege crawler.
4.2 Mutilators 1/5
Mutilators have struggled to find a place in the chaos army for quite sometime, and this edition has done them very few favors. Although they got a strength buff from previous editions, they have an honestly atrocious price point for what they do, especially given random weapon profile. They have an extremely low movement stat, and short of taking a land raider, your only options are to deep strike them in. Models trying to make a charge out of deepstrike have about a 5/18 th success rate, without blowing command points. If you're going to blow a CP on a charge re roll, or a sorcerer to warptime something in, do it with something far more effective then mutilators.
1/5, for a horrible price to combat effectiveness ratio.
4.3 Noise Marines 3/5
Noise Marines have always been one of chaos's more erratic models. They use very unorthodox weaponry, essentially killing their foes by subjecting them to a rock concert. That much has stayed with them this edition. They also picked up a fun special rule in "music of the apocalypse", essentially letting you get extra oomph out of them whenever a noise marine is slain. Beyond that, they have a limited amount of weapons.
Don't bother with doom sirens, as they have a painful points cost compared to their effectiveness. Sonic Blasters and Blast Masters however are both reasonable choices. Sonic Blasters allow you to triple the effectiveness of their standard boltguns at long range, which is nothing to sneeze at. However, it's mostly still just bolterfire at the end of the day, so it only goes so far, and decking a unit out with sonic blasters adds up quickly. On the other hand, blast masters are hyper efficient missile launchers, dealing slightly better damage (on average) against multi wound models while ignoring cover, and having a decent frag missile template as well. A squad of 10 with 2 blastmasters does less damage then say, a las predator, but the noise marines are harder to remove then a predator. They also have a decent attack stat, so if the enemy engages with you in melee, you can plausibly fight back. Just don't swap out their bolters for chainswords, melee isn't their specialty, you have berzerkers at practically the same price point for that.
3/5, for their decent firepower and flexibility compared to a reasonable price.
4.4 Noxious Blightbringer */5
The Noxious Blightbringer is another nurgle support piece, allowing your army to screw with the leadership of enemy models, and giving the death guard a bit of speed in improving their advance roles. However, the range on his auras is very small, and although his bell causes multiple wound loss, it's very unlikely to be able to push wounds through on anything that has multiple wounds. He does synergize well with icons of despair. It's not strictly fluffy or allowed with deathguard, but taking a second detatchment with some slaanesh demons can start to add up to very, very high leadership penalties. Take a psyker who can access slaanesh demon powers, and start playing large leadership penalty games for fun! It's not the most competitive choice as it's many hoops to jump through, but the face your opponent makes when he starts taking 5 or 6 mortal wounds from one psychic power is sure to be golden.
1/5, if you aren't playing death guard, as he does literally nothing
3/5 if you are playing death guard, as the improvements to advance rolls and leadership penalties can be helpful. Probably just take one though if you take him at all.
4.5 Obliterators 2/5
Obliterators have taken a huge hit this edition. Not only did they lose their swiss army knife weapon options, allowing them to engage with pretty much anything in the game at any range (which was replaced with a bizarre random profile), but they also lost their powerfist, and with it any realistic chance of defending
themself in melee. On top of that, they now have to be taken in squads of 3, which is a slight pain for list building. Their weapon, although random, averages as a strength 8, 2 shot, damage 2 gun. However, it only has a 24 inch range, meaning they will almost certainly be directly in harms way if they have a target, and their almost 200 point price point puts them in direct competition with predators and havocs, which cost about the same (havocs slightly more), and both of these options can dish out significantly higher anti tank/monstrous creature firepower. Their gun is decent enough that they aren't completely unplayable, but
they're probably best left at home. If you do bring them, remember you generate your weapon profile before picking a target to shoot at, so you will know what your profile is when you pick a target.
2/5, as their high price point compared to their inconsistent weapon profile and competition renders them
almost unplayable. Their generally decent weapon profile barely saves them from a 1/5.
4.6 Plague Marines */5
Plague Marines have been the staple of many a chaos army for a plethora of editions. In this edition, they saw a minor points drop, and they have retained their famous Toughness 5 and wound mitigation, although it is now called "disgustingly resilient", which is the same ability that all nurgle demons have, appropriately enough. They have also gained an interesting new weapon in the blight launcher, a gun with a respectable strength and ap, along with a decent damage profile. Plagues really shine at the midrange firefight, so if you
bring them, get them a rhino, and rush them upboard. Blightlaunchers bring damage similar to supercharged plasma guns (better at over half range, worse at under half range), at an almost identical price point, without a risk of killing yourself. Always take two, as it's the best weapon option they have, even in a pure death guard army. They aren't cheap, at around 310 points for 10 plagues in a rhino with two blight launchers, but they are difficult to shift, have decent threat, and they can win games by being hard to push from objectives.
One final note: Unlike previous editions, where you got bonus attacks for having a pistol and a ccw, that is no longer the case. Plagues make a pathetically small number of attacks in melee combat for their price, so melee should be avoided at all costs.
3/5 if you are a non monodeath guard player, as one unit can easily hold most midfield objectives against some opposition
4/5 if you are playing a death guard themed army, as your midfield options become much narrower. I personally wouldn't leave the house without at least 2 units of 10 with rhinos, probably 3 units in larger games.
4.7 Possessed 1/5
Ah, possessed. These guys have been consistently one of the weakest options in our army for some time, and this edition is no different. Their only saving grace is they have decent armor pen in melee, but consider that you can get 9 berzerkers in a rhino for about the same cost as 10 possessed on foot, and those 9 berzerkers will do, on average, more then twice as many attacks, and be significantly more mobile.
Leave these guys at home.
1/5, for still being one of our weakest melee options at a hard to swallow price range
4.8 Poxwalkers */5
Poxwalkers are the cultists of 8th edition. Although they come in at an extra point over a cultists, and losing their autogun in the process (who really cares?), they gain "disgustingly resilient", greatly increasing their survive-ability, and an immunity to morale checks, meaning that they have to be slain to the man, unlike cultists who start to bleed models after taking only slight damage. They make great screening units, and great objective campers for almost any chaos list. This is especially true in pure death guard armies, who have reduced options in models they can take. Any death guard player who leaves the house without at least one unit of poxwalkers is almost definitely making a mistake, if they own them.
4/5, for their great value compared to their price point
5/5, as no death guard army realistically should leave the house without at least 10 to take a backfield objective.
4.9 Raptors */5
The chaos equivalent to assault marines, raptors are capable of taking double special weapons, dealing an acceptable amount of attacks in melee (about 2.5 if you factor bolt pistols on your own turn), "raptor strike" to deploy them almost anywhere on the table without scatter, and a fancy extra rule in "fearsome visage",
which causes enemy models to fail morale checks slightly more often, and when they do fail to lose slightly more models. All in all, they aren't bad persay, as they clock in at the same price as a heavy flamer, they just aren't incredible. However, raptors have now become the premier suicide squad in our index, as a 5 man raptor unit with two melta guns and a combi melta on the champion clocks in at just under 140 points, and 3 deep striking melta guns are enough to put serious hurt (or with decent luck and possibly a command point, destroy) vehicles or monstrous creatures, usually instantly making their points back and then some. Keep an especially sharp eye out for a poorly placed psyker or warlord (!!!), as if it's possible to legally place this suicide squad, and have the character be a legal target, 3 meltaguns into the back of most infantry characters will wipe them.
3/5, if taken as a mobile assault unit, as they'll usually get the job done against most infantry
4/5, if taken as an affordable suicide squad to heavily damage or remove an enemy vehicle/monstrous creature/character
5.1 Rubric Marines */5
Rubric Marines have seen a large overhaul in 8th edition, and overall it's been a friendly one. They've seen
a significant points cost reduction, even post equipment, form earlier editions. Fully loaded with a soulreaper cannon and a rhino to get them around, they clock in around the 310-320 mark depending on options. Also, they still come packed with a mini sorcerer as their unit champion. He isn't as good as a regular sorcerer, but he also costs significantly less. Just remember that his smite is weaker then normal. In terms of rules and equipment, inferno weapons are significantly more threatening against almost all targets then standard bolt guns, they kept their 5+ invul, and they gained a fantastic special rule in "all is dust", forcing your opponent to choose between giving you a very strong armor save, or wasting multi wound attacks against 1 wound models. Very much a lose lose situation. They also gained a unique flamer, which is largely a pass, and an interesting heavy weapon called a soulreaper cannon, which is very well priced for it's statline, punching through armor like a las cannon. Defensively, thousand sons are very similar to plague marines. The main difference is that with plagues, although it's normally not hard to decide what to shoot plagues with, it is hard to actually push wounds through. With Rubrics, although it's not necessarily hard to push wounds through onto the unit, it can be very hard for your opponent to decide what to actually shoot at Rubric's.
As a quick reminder, remember that all is dust when firing your soulreaper cannon, and that all is dust also
improves their invulnerable save.
3/5, as their price reductions, new weapons, and new special rules have finally made them a powerful but pricey option.
4/5 if playing mono thousand sons, as you have very limited troop options.
5.2 Scarab Occult Terminators */5
Scarab Occult Terminators are a newer edition to the chaos army, having been introduced fairly shortly before the turn of the edition. They come with inferno combi bolters and power swords, clocking in around 420 points with stock gear. They can take a variety of extra weapons, but these options can quickly climb the squad up to almost 500 points! They still have "all is dust" like Rubric Marines, but the fact they are multi wound models means that the enemy is strongly incentivized to use weapons that cause multiple wounds against you, and even if they choose not to, your terminator armor save improving probably won't help you much, although there are one damage weapons with some values of armor penetration, non supercharged plasma being a prime contender. All in all, they feel pricey for what you get compared to Rubrics, although they are otherwise super Rubric Marines with deepstrike.
2/5, as most armies will find Scarabs rather steep for what they can do on the table
3/5 if playing mono thousand sons, as they are the only terminators and only non character deep strike available to you
5.3 Sorcerer */5
The Sorcerer, like the Chaos Lord, has many different options available to him. Many of these options are the same, but because the sorcerer is a very different model, each option will still be evaluated on it's own.
In general, exalted sorcerers are almost comically better, and cheaper. I will often use the phrase "loses to an exalted sorcerer". This is because an exalted sorcerer has +1 Ws, +1 BS, +1 Wound, +1 attack, and a 5+ invulnerable save, and a better bolt pistol, yet for some god forsaken reason costs 2 points less then a regular sorcerer. I guess being able to pick your mark and legion on a regular sorcerer counts for something.... but not that much.
If on foot, a Sorcerer competes with an exalted sorcerer, and loses in literally all regards. 1/5
In terminator armor, the sorcerer gains an invulnerable save and the ability to teleport onto the battlefield, in addition to gaining the usual benefits of terminator armor. However, sorcerers aren't exactly stellar in melee combat (although they aren't horrible either). The main problem here is that his price climbs 50 points, which is a little over a time and a half, for the armor. Jump packs aren't cheap, but they're much cheaper. Unless you really want the benefits that TDA gives you, save yourself 26 points and take a pack.
2/5, for being one of the only deep strike options available to the sorcerer, and giving him some statline buffs, despite having an atrocious price hike.
If on a bike, he gains a boost to his toughness and wounds, along with a large mobility increase. Because of turbo boost, he can be faster then an exalted on a disc if he needs to, and the bike gives him a little firepower and a nice toughness boost if need be. This is one of the two reasonable loadouts for a sorcerer.
3/5, for actually being well designed and priced compared to exalteds, although still a tad high.
If on a disc, he's again a more expensive and worse exalted sorcerer. Loses in all regards. 1/5
If on a palanquin, you're basically paying 40 points for +1T +1W on a model stuck in your backfield that can almost never be targeted by shooting. Costs the same as an exalted on a disc, and the exalted on disc is far, far more versatile. Loses in almost all regards. 1/5
If on a steed, again, he's competing with an exalted on a disc, who has a better statline, although being able to advance and charge is cute, and the steed does make slightly more attacks. If you really want a melee sorcerer, this isn't a bad choice. 2/5, only for being a surprisingly good melee contribution for it's points, although an exalted on disc is, again, usually a better choice.
If taken with a pack, we finally have a sorcerer that shines. Post equipment he clocks in around 125-130, which isn't bad, and he gains the ability to deep strike which gives him some important value with other deep striking units, like terminators which has been discussed. Do note that if you don't plan on deep striking him, again, exalteds on a disc are better models at practically the same price.
3/5, for being an affordable deep striking sorcerer.
5.4 Tzanngors 1/5
These guys are really oddly positioned. They're basically more expensive cultists that get a couple of minor stat boosts a 5+ invul, and that fight better against characters. If you really want a melee unit in thousand sons, take cultists with brutal assault weapons. But why are you taking any kind of chaff units to seriously fight? Take cultists over these guys, park them on objectives. They look cool, but they're a total pass.
1/5, for being essentially buffed up cultists, which is not what anyone needs out of gribbllies
5.5 Warp Talons 3/5
Warp Talons are a sort of hit or miss unit. There will be games where warp talons do insane work, usually against marine or necron armies, as they eviscerate armored units. However, they don't have enough attacks to break through hordes, and they die to small arms fire painfully quick for their price. 10 warp talons cost the same as 10 plagues in a rhino with no special weapons, but they die significantly easier.Warp Talons are one of those units that people will either hate or swear by. Try them out, and see which you are. Make sure to remember that they can't be shot with overwatch, thanks to "warpflame strike", a special rule that finally does something unlike the past two editions.
3/5, for their incredibly swingy value. Some games they'll rock, some games they'll do almost nothing. Certainly a gamble.
5.6 Warpsmith 1/5
Coming in at just under 110 points, a warpsmith comes with a fantastic ballistic skill, but practically no weapons to take advantage of it. Most games, you'll just get some rolls with "master of mechanisms" to try to plink a hullpoint off a vehicle and that's about it. He will consistently struggle to make his points back, and is almost completely ignoreable by the enemy army.
1/5, as he's not nearly threatening or valuable enough for your opponent to pay attention to, yet costs as much as a chaos lord with equipment.
Last edited by theraidenproject; 06-29-17 at 02:11 AM.