I’m loving the discussion here, keep it up! It’s given me tons to think about. In response, I’ve developed a few points in favor of Fabius and his Enhanced Warriors.
Any self-respecting master of chaos wants to please the gods with challenges. Also… you kind of have to unless you’ve built a sacrifice-able champion into your unit. And personally, I’d rather throw a p.fist or axe on the champion to let him swing down the rest of the enemy unit unmolested. Don't forget Fabius re-rolls hits against space marines and has a re-rollable 2+ to wound against anything T5 or lower.
Against a basic Chapter Master (WS6 T4 4W 3+/4++), Fabius has a 86% chance to kill with his 7 attacks in a single round of combat. The above mentioned Khorne Lord w/ claw doesn't even register, with a 0.1% chance to do 4 wounds with his 4 attacks. Not only this but Fabius averages 1.7 wounds per round to the Khorne Lord’s 0.75.
Who runs a basic chapter master you ask? Not many but it’s a useful reference point. Unfortunately you’re more likely to run into a Chapter Master on a bike with a 2+/4++, boost-able to a 2++, eternal warrior and a burning blade. Both chaos lords piss themselves in this matchup but even so, Fabius averages 0.85 wounds per round while the Khorne Lord averages 0.19, so you’re still better off with Fabius. Even if the I5 lets you swing an extra round, Khorne still nets less damage than Fabius.
The one challenge in which the Khorne Lord does excel is against the lowly marine sergeant, with a 94% chance to kill from his 4 attacks vs Fabius’s 91%. This is where his I5 really comes into play as most likely he will achieve a flawless victory.
To sum it up, Fabius is massively better in challenges, even against models with Eternal Warrior. However, as the Khorne Lord is cheaper, the addition of the Khorne daemon weapon and VotLW might be a more fair comparison. This lord (165pts for terminator, khorne, AoBF and VotLW) beats Fabius pretty handily in the 2+ eternal warrior Chapter Master scenario. But, he's still a bit worse against characters without eternal warrior. Although the ability to totally wreck infantry outside of a challenge probably makes the Khorne lord a better choice than Fabius. If you don't factor in Enhanced Warriors that is
I don’t think it’s fair to straight up compare Enhanced Warriors to Berzerkers as Berzerkers are much more expensive so if the codex designers had any sense, they should be better. I’ve done some math on the points efficiency of the two as any lack the Enhanced Warriors have could, in theory, be made up elsewhere in the list. I didn't do any setups with bolters, but it should be mentioned that for a squad of 10, bolter+bp+ccw will cost you 18pts (not 20) as the champion already has all 3.
We’ll start off with 10 Enhanced Warriors with bp/ccw and compare them to 10 Berzerkers. The Warriors cost 140pts and average 3.44 dead MEQs on the charge, which translates to 40.65 points per dead MEQ. The Berzerkers at 200pts, average 5.17 dead MEQs, translating to 41.03 points per dead MEQ. So, at their most basic they’re roughly equivalent in this respect but the Warriors pull way ahead in resiliency per point.
Next up we’ll compare the same Berzerkers to some Khorne marked Enhanced warriors. 160pts / 4.56 dead MEQs = 35.12/MEQ. Now we’re really starting to see the Warriors pull ahead.
Now for the banner. We’ll compare Khorne marked Enhanced Warriors w/ banner to Berzerkers with a banner. Warriors: 180pts / 5.69 dead MEQs = 31.61/MEQ. Berzerkers: 220pts / 6.07 dead MEQs = 36.22/MEQ. Again, you’re getting a better deal on both damage and resiliency per point. Below I’ve listed these all for convenience:
10 Warriors: 140pts / 3.44 dead MEQs = 40.65/MEQ
10 Khorne Warriors: 160pts / 4.56 dead MEQs = 35.12/MEQ
10 Khorne Warriors + banner: 180pts / 5.69 dead MEQs = 31.61/MEQ
10 Berzerkers: 200pts / 4.56 dead MEQs = 43.90/MEQ
10 Berzerkers + banner: 220pts / 6.07 dead MEQs = 36.22/MEQ
Now for the bling.
’s mention of the balestar gave me an idea of adding a Sorcerer to the unit. For simplicity I’ll just list all the combinations out. The Sorcerer’s only equipment is the balestar, force sword and bolt pistol, putting him at 85 points. These calculations are assuming prescience was cast on the unit.
9 Warriors + Sorcerer: 212pts / 6.33 dead MEQs = 33.47/MEQ
9 Khorne Warriors + Sorcerer: 230pts / 7.83 dead MEQs = 29.36/MEQ
9 Khorne Warriors + banner + Sorcerer: 250pts / 9.98 dead MEQs = 25.17/MEQ
9 Berzerkers + Sorcerer: 266pts / 7.15 dead MEQs = 37.21/MEQ
9 Berzerkers + banner + Sorcerer: 286pts / 9.53 dead MEQs = 30.01/MEQ
As you can see, here the Warriors pull even farther ahead as a re-roll has a greater benefit to a 4+ than a 3+.
In summary, Berzerkers continue to be arguably the worst power armored unit in the game.
There’s no contest here. Fabius will make a mess of Riptides and Wraithknights.
All that being said, any Chaos Lord without 12” movement + AoBF or Daemonheart is sub-par and probably not competitive.
So, without further adieu, here's the updated list:
Crimson Slaughter + Deamons + Helcult (1850)
9 Chaos Marines
: plasma, combi-plasma, bolters, bolt pistols, ccws, melta bombs - 173
, while it pains me to lose the 3rd plasma gun, you're right. Gotta spread the fearless love around.
: force maul, bolt pistol, balestar, level 2 - 110
9 Chaos Marines
: enhanced, khorne, banner, bolt pistols, ccws, power fist - 190
: dirge caster - 225
I'm pretty torn between a p.fist and axe for the champion. S10 AP2 is irresistible to me but S6 AP2 with an extra attack is probably good enough in most cases. I chose a maul over a sword for the Sorcerer as he's pretty screwed against 3+ lords anyway. I also paid for mastery level 2 so I can both prescience and force-out models. My rolls will go to prescience and biomancy.
: 2 melta guns, melta bombs - 95
Due to points-shuffling these got downgraded to dedicated anti-tank.
: baleflamer - 170
: autocannon, heavy bolters, havoc launcher, combi-bolter - 112
: autocannon, lascannons - 115
, I find the tri-las predator to be prohibitively expensive. Plus prescience is wasted on the already twin-linked turret.
Herald of Tzeench
: quad-gun - 100
, I personally don't consider horrors an attacking unit unless you're massing them. You don't want to be giving enemy units FNP. Their sole purpose is to get a 2+ re-rollable go to ground on a home objective while still being able to cast prescience on the nearby Predators. If they ever get to actually fire the quad-gun at full BS that's just gravy.
: multi-melta, power fist, heavy flamer - 115
: flamer - 55
: flamer - 55
, Great idea on the heavy flamer. Last time I used this setup I took 3 turns to chew through a single IG command squad. I'm seriously hoping this draws fire away from my other vehicles as with the 3+ cover I believe it will be a waste of my opponent's points. This is of course ignoring Tau and IG who could care less about cover.