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Default Chaos Space marines overview for beginners: HQ section

The following are my breif thoughts on each of the new Chaos HQ's. It is based from my expiriences with them and what i glean from the 40k community in general. The purpose of this guide is to try and give new Chaos players some advice on what to put into their army. I will do every FOC slot but i haven't finished writing it so you'll just have to wait.

If you disagree with anything i have said please comment and i can rectify the post to be as accurate as possible.

Chaos lord- Ridiculous amount of upgrades available can do pretty much everything and anything except beat really fighty characters like calgar or grimnar. If you go overboard with upgrades it can get very expensive very quickly which is dangerous on an HQ without eternal warrior. Since your lord turns into a nasty little unit in CC you have to consider how your going to get him into close combat. the best options are probobly to stick him on a bike/daemonic steed and run him with bikers or spawn. Although running him with terminators and deep striking can be effective, however this is far from reliable. If those three don't work for you to only other viable option right now are to put him with raptors who are just like cheaper and less tanky bikes. Considering the champion of chaos special rule, because you are likely to end up in a challenge with someone who is equal or better than your lord, an invulnerable save is something that is pretty mandatory. wether you go for the sigil, terminator armour or the aura of dark glory all depends on how many points your willing to spend on your lord, but you really want the best invul you can possibly get. When it comes to wargear, the undoubted best option is the axe of blind fury and the mark of khorne, ap2 at I5 means that even terminator clad close combat beasts are going to have to think before charging headlong at you. The black mace can also be effective for lawn mowing infantry up with its extra attacks and cursed special rule, However I wouldn't take it against a marine based army due to ap4.

Chaos sorcerer- All shades of fine, Nice and cheap to get a level 3 psyker but the stat line means you don’t want to end up in close combat. The chaos powers are all ok, my favourite tree is nurlge because the primaris power is really good for clearing away hordes of infantry. Deep striking a nurgle sorcerer with terminator armour and some nurgle terminators is something I have found to be quite effective.

Daemon prince- The Daemon prince is a combat monster; it has a stat line that makes almost any other non-named HQ cry. However with no eternal warrior and relatively low toughness you are going to want to avoid TH + SS terminators. A daemon prince of khorne with the black mace and wings will go through enemy infantry like a hot knife through butter. Downside is of course the high points cost, The lowest it can be is 155Pts and there is a distinct possibility that it can be rendered useless without eternal warrior. Especially considering that wings + pa are pretty much mandatory if you want to daemon prince to actually fight, s10 shooting as a very irritating but very large needle in your side. The daemon prince will do things for you if your luck + deployment are right, that i dont think any HQ other than perhaps abaddon can hope to achieve.

Warpsmith- The Warpsmith is an HQ that can do a few things. With the flamer and meltagun that come with his mechatendrils and the 18” curse he has means he can be used with a squad of chosen in a rhino to tank hunt (if you give the chosen meltaguns) or to sweep up infantry (chosen with flamers). Note that noise marines with a doomsiren can be used instead of the chosen, It depends on what you’re up against. The second use is similar to the loyalists techmarines. Have him sit behind a gun line with predators or forgefiends repairing them and cursing any assault vehicles that get close. The Warpsmith is one of my favourite HQ’s in the book because he does something a little different to regular HQ’s and improves some play styles that would have otherwise been ineffective.

Dark apostle- I have yet to playtest the apostle but from what I glean he is the exact same as a loyalist chaplain. He can be used in conjunction with a tzeentch sorcerer using boon of mutation. He is a fairly bland HQ and I don’t see him used in competitive play much.

Abaddon- Abaddon is pretty much the same as he was in the previous codex. With potentially 10 attacks at s5 ap2 he rips pretty much anything to shreds. His downside is that he is a champion of chaos meaning he has to accept challenges. Fred the ultramarine sergeant can take you out of combat for a turn and put temporary halt to your murderous rampage. Although I believe if abaddon is in a squad, that squads sergeant can accept the challenge instead.

Huron- Huron Blackheart is my favourite independent character in this book. With a relatively low points cost and a good load out Huron can easily hold his own in combat with almost anything. Hordes are scared of charging him because of wall of death, Power armour is scared of his ap3 s6 claw and terminator armour is scared of his ap2 s5 axe. You are guaranteed the master of deception warlord trait which can potentially create some very effective fast assault tactics. My personal favourites are infiltrating bikes with meltas or chosen in a rhino with flamers. Also due to the hamydra special rules Huron becomes a psyker, This gives him immense tactical versatility if your lucky, Use biomancy on a round where you expect to take heavy fire, use the infinite re-rolls that divination gives you on an turn you charge. So in summary Huron has greatly improved since last codex. He is not only pretty scary by himself, but he also gives a lot of perks to the rest of your army.

Kharn- Kharn is another character that holds his own in a fight, Auto hitting on a 2+ with ap 2 attacks means he will do great at craving through anything without a decent invuln save. I think that Kharn is best put to use when there are enemy psykers about, Them passing deny the witch rolls on a 2+ means eldrad or Njal are not going to have a very good day against Kharn. His weaknesses are that he is a very squishy character for what his application is, with low toughness and only a 5+ invul it’s only a matter of time before he falls to the heavy weapons fire or power weapons being thrown at him. In addition he is a champion of chaos which means he will have to accept challenges so he can been removed from combat for a turn which is not what you want him to be doing. That said he does do a lot of damage for his points cost and is not a bad choice but there are better choices to be had.

Ahriman- Ahriman is a character that is nowhere near as effective as he used to be. The fact that he isn’t particularly fighty or tanky means you’d expect him to have some good special rules that make him viable for his 230 points cost. Due to nerfs to psychic powers ahriman is turned into a glass cannon. With mastery level 4 you are certain of getting doombolt if you take from the tzeentch tree and his staff allows you to fire more than 1 wytchfire power per turn meaning if you’re lucky and he jumps through all the hoops he can be a very effective vehicle hunter. That being said he still has to jump through the hoops and survive the enemies attack also. In summary not worth the points in my opinion but he will be one of those characters that you hear stories about him destroying 3 land raiders in one turn and they all exploded 12” and killed half of their cargo. However more often that not he will not be worth the 230 points that you pay for him.

Typhus- Thyphus is pretty much the same as he was in fifth with a few changes. He is now a lvl 2 psyker, he makes cultists into zombies and he can Explode into a swarm of flies once per game. He is mid-tier out of the chaos characters available because you know he is going to achieve something, even if it’s just soak up all the enemy fire for one turn, that can still potentially be worth the points you pay. He is reasonably fighty, but I’d consider him a deny unit more than a kill unit. With a 2+ 5++ and feel no pain even really scary characters wont want to be trapped in combat with you because odds are you will keep him there for at least 2 turns if not more, on top of that your AP2 daemon weapon can start to do some damage to them as well.

Lucius- Lucius is an interesting character, he is the only hero that I think really synergises well with the new chaos rules; he is built really well for 1 on 1 challenges. If he’s going up against something with high weapon skill like a daemon prince he isn’t going to be very happy. Against weapon skill 9 he gets 11 attacks at s4 ap3 with shred, odds are that you’re going to cause a couple of wounds and most ws9 characters are really points expensive so when they are sitting in a challenge and your little 165 points Lucius is starting to give them a run for their money they aren’t going to be pleased.

Fabius- Fabius is a character I almost never see used, not just in competitive play but in friendlies and fluff based armies either. He has some, ok special rules but there isn’t really anything exiting about him, I suppose 5 attacks with instant death is nothing to shrug at but everything he does another character does slightly better. Something I want to try is running Fabio’s with some possessed. Possesed are s5 base which I would increase with Fabio’s to s6, so a 20 man unit with s6, fleet and 1 of three pretty good close combat rules depending on your roll. However I don’t feel like I can really comment on Fabio’s because I just don’t have any experience with him.



current win rates;
csm 3/1/1
daemons 1/0/0

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post #2 of 32 (permalink) Old 11-14-12, 07:37 PM
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Minor points:
- Master of Deception can only infiltrate Infantry, so no Bikes for you.
- Fabius can only buff regular CSM, not Possessed. Still, if you then give those CSM MoK and IoW, I can see them being nasty--40 S6 attacks on the charge? Yes please!

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post #3 of 32 (permalink) Old 11-14-12, 08:14 PM Thread Starter
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Right, my bad. i'll get that changed tomorrow when im at my pc.



current win rates;
csm 3/1/1
daemons 1/0/0
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post #4 of 32 (permalink) Old 11-14-12, 09:39 PM
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Additionally Princes have the Daemon special rule, which in turn gives eternal warrior. Just a minor criticism in a pretty neat guide.

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Quote:
Originally Posted by Archaon18 View Post
Additionally Princes have the Daemon special rule, which in turn gives eternal warrior. Just a minor criticism in a pretty neat guide.
No, the Daemon special rule in the BRB gives fear and a 5+ invul, only the daemons in the daemon codex get eternal warrior.



current win rates;
csm 3/1/1
daemons 1/0/0
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What Warsmith said: Eternal Warrior and Daemonic Assault are rules that apply to all units in the Daemon codex. Meanwhile, Obliterators and Mutilators and CSM Princes don't get Eternal Warrior; they may only use the Daemon rule in the BRB

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So, I'll try to get troops up by Friday but it wont be any later than sunday.

Note that I am counting plauge marines, noise marines, berzerkers and thousand sons as troops.



current win rates;
csm 3/1/1
daemons 1/0/0
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post #8 of 32 (permalink) Old 11-15-12, 05:37 PM
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Some notes:

AP2 at initiative is significant enough in this edition, and hard enough to come by in our book, that the axe of blind fury is worth a specific call out in the lord's description. When not running the axe (most commonly because khorne is unacceptable for thematic reasons), the most attractive alternatives are the black mace (the extra attacks and aura kill almost offset the poor ap, although this item is obviously better on a prince) or "fisticlaws" - a power fist + lightning claw combination. Since they're both specialist weapons, you get the extra attack regardless of which you choose to use, and you get a choice between AP3 (with shred) at init or AP2 (with double strength) but unwieldy. Fisticlaws is more attractive on terminator-armored ICs, obviously.

Since the lord is a combat monster, you want to consider delivery options. The ideal is the chaos bike, since it's the fastest, and grants some extra bolter shots on the way in, and in any event bikes are among the strongest units in the book point for point, so there's an ideal retinue option. Daemonic steeds offer an interesting alternative, particularly khorne's Juggernaut, which ups your combat stats, and Slaanesh's Steed, which grants outflank to the lord and any unit you join them to. Downside's are that they don't work as well with bikes (no turbo boost or run, can be picked out by focus fire - though at least you'll have a 2+ look out sir). Bikes are still an acceptable retinue, but Spawn might be the better choice for such a lord. OF course, the slaaneshi lord might join any which unit, simply for the purpose of outflanking the unit (consider hordes of 35 cultists, or plasma spamming chosen or havocs, or a bit squad of terminators).

Another delivery option is suiting the lord up in terminator armor and deep striking them with a termie unit. This is nice in that it gets you a 2+ save, something you otherwise don't really have access to. Unfortunately, deep striking isn't terribly reliable, especially with our icons no longer counting as homers, and the dimensional key not working particularly well for this (it might still be ok for the difficult terrain effect, I'm not sure, but your terminators will most likely drop before the key turns on). Still, terminators are a solid, if not spectacular unit that can lay down some decent firepower the turn they drop before escorting your melee masher into the thick of things. Jump packs also provide a somewhat tolerable delivery method. Raptors, despite being basically just worse bikes, aren't terrible in and of themselves, and certainly look awesome. A jump lord with some raptors can be a stylish, if not optimal, HQ option.

Quality delivery methods taper off quickly after that. The chaos land raider is an expensive beast that doesn't know what it wants to do before you even remember that it lacks the loyalists machine spirit. If melta and other heavy tank weapons fall out of favor in 6th, then a land raider might make a viable delivery method for lord + melee escort of choice, but I'm far from convinced at this point.

The Lord really does lack good ranged options, and as such, hoofing it to combat doesn't seem ideal. If you want someone to help out with midfield infantry duties, the sorcerer looks like a much better choice, and even the warpsmith starts looking viable. Rhinos have all the standing around for a turn problems of deep striking, combined with a high likelihood of being popped early and leaving your lord & retinue hoofing it. Further, good rhino-riding hybrid shoty/assault retinues are somewhat limited. Plagues are ok, if you're nurgle marked. Chosen maybe? Seems iffy to me. Basic CSMs have to drop a special weapon to fit an IC in a rhino, so... yeah. I don't recommend it.

Invulnerable saves are a tricky issue on lords. On the one hand, the champions of chaos rule means sooner or later you'll probably get locked in combat with a competent duelist, no matter what you do to avoid it. So theoretically, the best ward save you can get is all but obligatory, regardless of price. However, the sigil really is quite expensive for what it does, especially if you happen to be a terminator lord who already paid for a 5++ save. I frankly don't know what to recommend, here. Some inv. is probably obligatory, but whether you spring for the sigil probably depends on whether you had some points left over in your list, and just how effective you think you'll be at keeping your lord out of challenges.

For marks, Khorne is preferred for the axe of blind fury. AP2 at initiative is just too important. If for some reason khorne is unacceptable, all other marks, or even no mark at all, all seem like reasonable choices. Points are at a premium for chaos, so skipping the mark on your lord is not at all a terrible call. You're likely to get stuck in duels, so slaanesh's initiative boost has obvious utility. However, many duelists run with 2+ armor, and without any AP2 at init options, the slaaneshii duelists initiative may be wasted. Even then, however, many of your units like the mark of slaanesh, and taking it on your lord allows you to benefit from the icon of excess. And noise marines are a passable unit, so making them troops can be worthwhile. Tzeentch is obviously useful for the invulnerable boost, making 3++ saves possible, and 4++ saves on terminators cheaper. Nurgle makes probably the best of the cult units into troops, makes you immune to instant death from S8 and S9 weapons, and makes regular strength attacks considerably less likely to wound. Altogether, Nurgle's probably the next best mark option behind Khorne.

Other options on the lord are mostly incidental. If you don't have a built in means of dealing with vehicle armor, meltabombs can be worthwhile. If you've got some spare points, then gift of mutation can be fun (though the odds of getting something you really want are fairly low).



The Daemon Prince is an absolute brute. As a melee monster, delivery is an issue, so you take wings. You're on your own, so exposure to light arms is an issue, so you take power armor. Your goal is to brutalize units, and 'smash' makes all of your attacks AP2 regardless, so you take the black mace. Remember also that if you opt to do the double strength / half attacks thing, you halve your attacks before rolling the extra d6 for the mace.

Add those things together, and you plummet out of the sky like a comet to utterly demolish anything you crash into. It's totally badass and very fun. Until you get ganked by a rail gun. The extreme vulnerability to S10 shooting combined with the very high price point means this probably won't be a serious tournament option, but I could easily be wrong, here. If facing such shooting, hold your prince in reserve, and try to deal with the S10 ranged threats with fast units (meltabikes) or long ranged weapons (laserpreds, oblits, etc) before the prince hits the table. Try to use LoS blocking terrain to shield your approach regardless. Flying makes it hard to hit you, but a bucketload of flashlights still stands a good chance of knocking you out of the sky.

Psychic powers are an option, but they're something of a gamble. Marks are obligatory, so at least one of your powers needs to come from your god's discipline, which keeps you from just stocking up on biomancy. Tzeentch's lore is kind of baddish, nurgle and slaanesh are ok. Any leftover points should of course go to biomancy. Still, overall I think the points cost of adding psychic powers to a model that's already so expensive and exposed just isn't worth it.

Apart from psychic powers and the nigh obligatory wings/armor/mace, other options on the prince are largely incidental. Marks are obligatory (what the hell? there are several undivided princes in the canon, and they can even arise mid-game from the boon table?), but the only one that significantly affects the prince is nurgle. This grants shroud - a significant protective boost on the way in - but at the cost of Slow & purposeful, which prevents sweeping, and as such leaves you vulnerable to enemies breaking after your charge and leaving you exposed to enemy shooting - particularly marines who can just choose to fall back voluntarily. Significant bonus + significant weakness leaves the nurgle option a toss-up. The other's are incidental. Khorne gives a slight melee bonus, but not one you're likely to notice one way or the other too often. Tzeentch gives a protective boost - but only a very slight one. Slaanesh is... cheaper than the others. Basically, I'd call this an aesthetic choice, unless you want to spring for the psychic powers, in which case nurgle and slaanesh take precedence.



I have some things to say about the other HQs, but I'm tired of typing, so... later.

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post #9 of 32 (permalink) Old 11-15-12, 06:06 PM Thread Starter
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I've edited the post to try and include what you have pointed out, albeit a much shorter version that I think is more easily understood by new players.



current win rates;
csm 3/1/1
daemons 1/0/0
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post #10 of 32 (permalink) Old 11-15-12, 07:59 PM
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I'd +rep Malisteen for that, but I already have once for essentially the same content in the Chaos Lords thread.

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