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post #1 of 16 (permalink) Old 06-22-15, 11:02 AM Thread Starter
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Default How Best to Field Regular CSM Troops?

For those that don't like cultists or cult troops. How are you fielding your CSM units, what sort of mileage are you getting and what do you hope they achieve in games?

I'm just playing around with ideas for future games here. I hate the idea of pure MSU troops with the minimum 5+5 fielded to make room for better units, although I recognise that's probably the best choice in most situations. OTOH I think there's potential in bigger unit sizes, since a lot of players swear by units of 5 plague marines which only come to twenty points cheaper than a unit of 10 CSM, at which point both units have access to two special weapons (or special and heavy for CSM). Obviously T5 and FNP are good, but you can get more wounds from standard marines and more bolters firing.

Some ideas for units

5 CSM with melta gun and combi melta in rhino with combi melta 140

A similar sort of role to melta bikes. MSU melta bikes are obviously a good deal cheaper, but while the bikes will often need to jink and snap shot the following turn a rhino can use its smoke launchers on T1 then the following turn shoot three melta shots at a vehicle at full BS. You could go on and on about the relative merits of each unit but essentially this unit gives you similar armour killing benefits to the popular melta bikes while filling one of the required troop slots. Not bad effective range with the rhino moving 6" then disembarking the marines another 6", which will hopefully bring the melta guns into 6" of a vehicle. Alternatively you can shoot all three melta without disembarking. Optional havoc launcher on the rhino for sitting back early and using the meltas as a counter measure to attacking enemy units

5 CSM with plasma gun in rhino with havoc launcher 137

Cheap ranged unit. The rhino and squad don't have to shoot at the same target and there's a good chance that plasma gun can shoot on turn one. Optional combi plasma for the unit leader and/or rhino for a potential six plasma shots in the right situation. If you really like the plasma pistol I suppose there are worse places to put it than giving it to the unit leader.

Pairs well with a vindicator since the rhino can hide the vindicator's side armour, both units can move 6" and fire their main guns and both have the same effective range with their best guns. Could be a good unit to attach a cheap telepathy sorcerer for casting psychic shriek, since a single plasma gun is only using one fire point.

10 CSM with two plasma guns in rhino with havoc launcher 217

Not cheap but a deluxe version of the unit above. With so many bodies inside the rhino I'd be more reluctant to hold these guys back, though it would be a tough unit to get rid of since wrecking the rhino gives the now disembarked unit LOS blocking terrain to whatever just shot up the rhino. For a more aggressive unit it might be worth considering swapping the havoc launcher for a combi plasma and giving the squad leader a combi plasma too for a potential 8 S7 AP2 shots on the turn they disembark, along with a load of bolter fire from the other guys. 225 points for that unit but it's worth bearing in mind they can be effective against light infantry, elite infantry/bikes, armour and monstrous creatures.

5 CSM with flamer, combi flamer in rhino with havoc launcher 137

Can be defensive or offensive. The flamers could be driven straight towards the biggest mass of enemy infantry or held back for countering enemy deepstrikers or fast, aggresive units while the havoc launcher shoots. The benefit to flamers is you will never be wasting the bolters the other guys have, since a good target for flamers is a good target for bolters too. With meltas you'll often be shooting the melta guns while the rest of the squad stand there shouting encouragement, checking their phones or throwing a speculative krak grenade (does anybody remember to do that?)

10 CSM with two flamers and additional CCWs in rhino 203

A fun unit you almost certainly wouldn't want to hold back. In a time of fairly cheap, jinking bikes/jetbikes being common the ability to force lots of saves seems better than ever. The additional CCWs seems like okay value for a unit that's going to be thrown into the teeth of the enemy army, and means the unit can fire bolters when they disembark but after that have the benefits of extra CC attacks if the opponent decides to charge them or they survive to see the next turn. A combi flamer doesn't seem like a great choice for a rhino but a combi melta/plasma or havoc launcher could be worth a punt. In the best case scenario the chaos marines disembark and whittle a unit down to an independent character, who then dies to a melta shot from the rhino. A long shot but I'm sure stranger things have happened! Additionally if you want to give a power weapon to a unit leader this might be the squad to give it to


- - -

I've only listed rhino based units so far because I think the rhino is such great value for chaos marines, but I plan to come back to this thread later to discuss foot units. It would be good to hear accounts of chaos players who field their troops without a transport. I'd love to hear from anybody who is, has or plans to field standard chaos marines in the future. The unit gets a bad rep but is extremely flexible and if you have to field two troops you may as well get the most out of them!

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post #2 of 16 (permalink) Old 06-23-15, 01:02 PM
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I am also interested in this because I am trying to start an Iron Warriors army and regular CSM are very fluffy for such an army
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post #3 of 16 (permalink) Old 06-23-15, 03:11 PM
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Well, your suggestions are nice.
However, i sometime find that a rhino is best suited for assaulty units or more useful backfield units (say 10 noise marines with 2 blastmasters).
This said i've sometimes fielded 5 marines with plasmagun & combiplasma. 100 pts.
Two units of those can easily take backfield objective, hide in ruins and/or act as bodyguards for shootier units or tanks.
Even cheaper, 2 units of 5 CSM with flamer & combiflamer (90 pts) are the perfect escort for vindicators: they can flame some enemy in cover before the artillery shot and can prtect the vindicators from unwanted assaults.
Again, if you have some Obliterators that need to walk the field to get the best from their shooting, you can support them with 2X5 CSM with flamer, just for the extra bodies and short range support/horde control.
Generally speaking, CSM in a vacuum are a BAD idea.
With a purpose in mind,however, they can accomplish things no cultist could ever dream of.
Moreover, MSU can be fun in creating a ludricous line of fire...hear me out, brother:

At 1850, no shenanigans, just 1 CAD

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5 Chaos Marines, Plasmagun
Rhino, havoc launcher, warpflame gargoyles (142)
5 Chaos Marines, Plasmagun
Rhino, havoc launcher, warpflame gargoyles (142)
5 Chaos Marines, Plasmagun
Rhino, havoc launcher, warpflame gargoyles (142)
5 Chaos Marines, Plasmagun
Rhino, havoc launcher, warpflame gargoyles (142)

5 Chaos Marines, flamer (80)
5 Chaos Marines, flamer (80)

5 Noise Marines, blastmaster
Rhino, havoc launcher (172)
5 Noise Marines, blastmaster
Rhino, havoc launcher (172)
5 Noise Marines, blastmaster
Rhino, havoc launcher (172)

2 Spawns (60)
2 Spawns (60)

Predator, TL lascannon turret, lascannon sponsons (140)
Predator, TL lascannon turret, lascannon sponsons (140)
Predator, TL lascannon turret, lascannon sponsons (140)

The chaos marines are used, most probably deployed in cover, to control the board and can focus their fire into bigger and meaner units. Also, they can bring the deathblow on any unit crippled by the noise marines. Spawns and flamerdudes support predators and protect the line of fire.
Also, CSM are a nice tax to get our poor man whirlwind...still, 7 havoc launchers are going to kill hordes pretty good.

Hope my wall of text and listramblings are somewhat useful...

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post #4 of 16 (permalink) Old 06-23-15, 10:52 PM Thread Starter
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I like that list @neferhet

Sticking to the theme of lots of basic guys but making it better equipped for enemy armour I'd swap two of the CSM units to melta squads. Melta gun, combi melta and combi melta on the rhinos. I love the massed havoc launchers but the big weakness seems to be enemy armies in transports- then again, the plasma guns and blastmasters would be helping out the predators so maybe I'm wrong

How would you do CC CSM units? I can't come up with anything satisfactory but I suppose the best I can think of would be ten guys with a pair of flamers or melta guns in a rhino, and a power sword for the champion. 200/210 points depending which gun you take. Shoot the smoke launchers or flat out to cover on turn 1, disembark and shoot turn 2, charge turn 3. I'd definitely take veterans of the long war in a space marine heavy meta; it would almost be worth it for the champion alone in a challenge.

Thinking about it the melta gun option seems more appealing because at least with only bolt pistols on the rest of the squad you won't be sacrificing much firepower if you disembark and target a vehicle with your shooting.

You could even make a decent combination with melta bikes. On a flank the bikes and rhino push up 12" and use the side of the rhino to try to hide out of line of sight on turn 1. Use smoke launchers to discourage shooting at the rhino. If within 18" of an enemy transport on turn 2, the rhino rolls forward 6" and the CSMs disembark another 6" toward the enemy transport while the bikes get into 6" of that vehicle. Both units shoot their meltas and should destroy whatever their target is, then the bikes charge to keep that transported unit tied up so the CSM squad can charge on turn 3 to mop up.

I'm still not keen on the bolt pistol/CCW option for chaos marines. A situation where it might be worth a look is if the rest of your army are heavily shooting based (Iron Warriors?) and you want something that can fight in combat. I don't know... I'm struggling to find good reasons for CC CSM builds beside bolt pistol/chainsword looking cool- but maybe that's reason enough

www.communitycomp.org/

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post #5 of 16 (permalink) Old 06-23-15, 11:21 PM
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mmh... cc marines are poor choice. i've fielded them in many occasions and they rarely stand up to their point cost.
First of all, min sized units are not good for melee since even a single overwatch casualty is going to hamper you a lot. Then again too few attacks and not so strong.
So, 10 marines are the only way to make melee units, imo.
then i'd take meltaguns, since flamers makes a charge useless and you might just want to shoot with bolters to add extra wounds after the flamers. Because you want generally to charge stuff that a Str 4 weapon could kill reliably, and why charge when 2 flamers can generate more wounds than any assaulting basic CSM unit could?
meltaguns can instead add 2 "hail mary" shots that can obliterate enemy multiwound models, waste tanks and walkers and provide protection against AV13 walkers that might want to tarpit you.
Also, Votl can be useful, but i'd rather spend points in a Vengeance banner: you DON'T want this unit to be wiped after a lost combat...
MoSlaanesh can be the game changer: attacking before MEQ is a life saver.
About the special weapon on the champion, i'd skip that: the unit is already costly enough without investing points on a weapon that will risk a deadly challenge wenever it can.
So could be:
10 marines
ccw+pistol
MoSlaanesh
Icon of Vengeance
2 meltaguns
Rhino w/combimelta
(250 fucking ponts) without mark it goes down to 230, and can still be usable.

A biker / marine combo is totally legit! Blitzkrieg!

Chaos Lord, bike, power fist, Sigils of corruption, MoTzeentch (150)
3 Bikers, 2 meltaguns (90)
3 Bikers, 2 meltaguns (90)
5 bikers, 2 flamers, power maul (135)

10 marines
ccw+pistol
Icon of Vengeance
2 meltaguns
Rhino w/combimelta & dirge caster
(235)

10 marines
ccw+pistol
Icon of Vengeance
2 meltaguns
Rhino w/combimelta & dirge caster
(235)

5 Chaos Marines, Plasmagun
Rhino, havoc launcher, warpflame gargoyles (142)
5 Chaos Marines, Plasmagun
Rhino, havoc launcher, warpflame gargoyles (142)

10 cultist
3 rifles
(53)

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Obliterator, Mon
Obliterator, Mon
(228)

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The calls of Slaneesh stir so deeply within me, as if I was birthed from the very essence of it. For my ambition to infinitely ascend above all is never ending, like fire within it burns me to ever cindering ash. Lord of light and ascension is who I am, realities burn to ash at my very passing. My luminescence is unparalleled for I am luminosity itself, all light is but a shadow of my silhouette
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post #6 of 16 (permalink) Old 06-24-15, 08:06 AM
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Rhinos are so valuable that I can't imagine not fielding one with every CSM squad. For the cost of 2.5/3 CSM (approximatively, depending on upgrades), one rhino provides :

- faster moves across the board,
- one additional "Objective secured" unit,
- additional shooting aiming different targets,
- some armoured protection to the embarked CSM,
- support to assaults of melee units with a dirge caster.

The other available option is the "Icon of Vengeance" : for less than the cost of 2 CSM, you increase the chances to see the survivors of the first blows to go on acting (securing objectives and providing an additional target to the enemy, who must "waste" the shooting/assaulting of whole units to get rid of them). Spending points for it is not as obvious as for the rhino, as it gets cheaper according to the CSM unit size (increasing the global cost of it, then), but must not be disregarded IMHO.

The next CSM unit I plan to field is a 6 CSM one (Icon of Vengeance, Plasmagun, Combi-plasma for the Champion) with a Rhino (Dirge Caster, Dozer Blade) for 183 pts. I'll keep you in touch with its efficiency (especially for supporting assault units).

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post #7 of 16 (permalink) Old 06-25-15, 09:56 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by alt-f4 View Post
The next CSM unit I plan to field is a 6 CSM one (Icon of Vengeance, Plasmagun, Combi-plasma for the Champion) with a Rhino (Dirge Caster, Dozer Blade) for 183 pts. I'll keep you in touch with its efficiency (especially for supporting assault units).
Let us know.
IoVengeance on a 6 man squad is not in my taste: it takes too few failed armour saves to basically make the unit moot. It is also harder to protect the banner against wound allocation...you risk to lose it in the first 3 casualties, statistically.
As i said before, 10 man unit is the best for the icon, imo.

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Originally Posted by Lux View Post
The calls of Slaneesh stir so deeply within me, as if I was birthed from the very essence of it. For my ambition to infinitely ascend above all is never ending, like fire within it burns me to ever cindering ash. Lord of light and ascension is who I am, realities burn to ash at my very passing. My luminescence is unparalleled for I am luminosity itself, all light is but a shadow of my silhouette
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post #8 of 16 (permalink) Old 06-25-15, 11:20 PM
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Globally speaking, I do agree with you. But the choice I have made for the list I'm playing with on Saturday (https://www.heresy-online.net/forums/...y&army_id=1378 - no 200 points left for CSM, due to the "wasted" points on overcosted units that the fluff of the army requires) was between :

- 8 CSM in a Rhino, without Icon,
- 9 CSM with the Icon, without Rhino,
- 6 CSM with a Rhino and the Icon

I've choosen the last one ... only time will tell if I've made it poorly :D

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post #9 of 16 (permalink) Old 06-26-15, 06:53 AM
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Man, this is a cool army! So fluffy it might even win some games ;)

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Quote:
Originally Posted by Lux View Post
The calls of Slaneesh stir so deeply within me, as if I was birthed from the very essence of it. For my ambition to infinitely ascend above all is never ending, like fire within it burns me to ever cindering ash. Lord of light and ascension is who I am, realities burn to ash at my very passing. My luminescence is unparalleled for I am luminosity itself, all light is but a shadow of my silhouette
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post #10 of 16 (permalink) Old 06-26-15, 09:54 AM
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Well ... thanks a lot

My personal challenge on this project was to come back into the game (after 20 years away from tabletop) with a brand new army, inspired by "The First Heretic" novel, for a local annual tournament taking place tomorrow.

After months of reading codexes and internet ressources, learning the current rules, modelling and painting, ... being ready and able to field a proper army (even if some units still only have the minimum painting state required) makes the objective complete.

Winning or not winning is then just a (still appreciable) bonus. The advantage of this tournament is that armies are splitted between "soft", "half-hard" and "hard" pools : I shouldn't therefore cope with the most competitive lists or formations (except if they all are).

I hope I won't just be annihilated on every game (3 in total), but I'll post a report whatever the results are ;)

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