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post #1 of 6 (permalink) Old 04-22-17, 01:32 AM Thread Starter
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Default Possessed Chaos Space Marine Review

Possessed
There are those amongst the traitor legions who seek power in all its forms, who are willing to give anything to sate that thirst. Some turn to committing atrocities on those they once swore to protect, while others give themselves completely to the denizens of the warp both body and soul. They are known by many names: Gal Vorbok, Vakrah Jal, Ascended, Luperci, and Possessed. Man and demon made into one, possessed walk a path unlike others who garner the favor of the Gods; to be both trans-human and monster built into one.

Possessed are an often passed over unit that the chaos marines have to offer. While they have a relatively decent statline and some good rules, they rarely outshine other units that are available to an aspiring warlord or sorcerer. This fact, coupled with their rather high point cost and their biggest bonus being random, is what see's them left on the shelf more often than not. Each possessed marine costs 26 points, double that of a normal chaos marine, more per model than any cult marine, and almost as much as a terminator. However if you break down their bonus's, those points make sense; unfortunately that doesn't stop their from being units that cost less and have some buffs of their own.

So what do you get for those 26 points on top of a chaos marine statline?
Strength 5
2 Attacks per model
Leadership 9
Fleet
Demon
Fearless
Vessels of Chaos

So more, stronger, base attacks, a higher leadership on top of being fearless and causing fear, an invulnerable save, fleet, and one of three randomly determined abilities (rolled each turn.) In addition, possessed have access to marks of chaos and icons; and most of the marks are very good choices.

  • Mark of Khorne gives possessed rage and counter-attack, so in the first round of combat they are always getting 3-4 attacks. Even more if supernatural speed is rolled and the Icon of Wrath gives possessed furious charge
  • Mark of Slaanesh boosts the initiative of possed up to 5, and the Icon of Excess gives them a much needed feel no pain.
  • Mark of Nurgle, like Slaanesh, is an outright stat boost; this time giving possessed toughness 5. The Icon of Despair is considerably less useful than the previous two marks, giving possessed fear which they already have.
  • Mark of Tzeentch improves the invulnerable save possessed have thanks to their being demons, which makes them more survivable. The Icon of Flame is absolutely useless for them though, giving soul blaze to the ranged weapons possessed do not have.
  • There is also the Icon of Vengeance, if possessed didn't already have fearless.

Of the four marks, they all have their merits, with only the mark of Tzeentch being the hardest to justify at 5 points per model. The other three marks are either 3 or 4 points per model, and make possessed even stronger in combat.

Thats all well and good, but the downsides?
Expensive
Slow
No grenades
No guns
Only one close combat weapon

Its not so much the cost of possessed that outright makes them an undesirable choice, its their lack of speed, that they are always affected when charging into cover, and having no means of causing damage outside of being in close combat. If they had been priced less, or come with a +2 armor save, or come standard with one of the four marks for free then they might stand more of a chance at being desirable.

Something I have not bothered to go into more detail on is the Vessels of Chaos rule, the random ability they get every turn. If you use the Crimson Slaughter detachment, Vessels of Chaos is replaced with Slaves to the Voices, with different abilities.

From the chaos codex the three abilities are:
  • Strength of the Damned - rerolling failed to wound results
  • Vorpal Claws - ap3 attacks
  • Supernatural Speed - an extra attack and another point of initiative

Crimson Slaughter abilities are:
  • Spirit Beacons - possessed and any transport they are in get shrouded
  • Beast Form - unit type changes to beast
  • Incorporeal Bodies - the invulnerable save becomes 3 and the possessed have rending

Both tables have their positives, ap3, more attacks and higher initiative, the speed boost from beast, and the improvement of invulnerable save with rending. The problem is these are randomly determined, so your not gauranteed to get the desired outcome.

All in all, there are to many things that have to go right for possessed to shine. They need to fight enemies in the open and outpace them with a higher initiative. If you really want to use them keeping it cheap is the way to go. That means low body count, and having a very specific role. Unfortunately that role is probably not going to be assaulting elite units, but instead going after vehicles or large groups of units that are not fearless.


Ways to play possessed
There are two ways I would recommend, either as cheap solo squads or in the favored of chaos formation.

If you take solo squads, then run them in small packs with the Mark of Slaanesh, Nurgle, or Khorne.
Taking a squad of five with any of those marks (plus icon of wrath for khorne) will run you between 155 and 165 points.

The favored of chaos formation is where it gets more expensive, though for good reason. This formation is 3-5 possessed squads and a demon prince, and as long as a squad of possessed is within 12 inches of the prince, they get all of the abilities from the vessels of chaos (or slaves to the voices) table. At more than 500 points minimum, this is an expensive, if quite powerful way to field possessed. Three ap 3 attacks rerolling failed to wounds and striking at I5 minimum is hardly anything to sniff at.


All in all, possessed can be a fun unit to use, but they are a point investment that can be hard to justify at times.
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post #2 of 6 (permalink) Old 04-22-17, 09:27 AM
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Imo, the favoured of chaos with crimson slaughter is the only way to justify them. With 3++ save, beast movement and rending they WILL be useful. the base formation cost means they will be there only at 1850+ pts games but still...

nurgle daemon prince with wings and baleflamer (235)
3 units of 5 nurgle possessed (450)

is not that bad if you pair it with another lost and the damned formation with, say, 90 respawning cultists and another 10-15 nurgle spawns... it can work. It is simply countered too easily and its still too steep in price, making the opponent able to drown them in bodies. those 15 "uber" possessed, even in 12" from the prince will be facing 60-80 slugga boyz, or 30 marines with some grav/melta or simply 10 Meganobz. All of wich will tear them to pieces in a single phase of melee.

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post #3 of 6 (permalink) Old 04-23-17, 12:21 AM
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Thanks for the detailed analysis. It was a good read.
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post #4 of 6 (permalink) Old 04-27-17, 08:42 AM
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post #5 of 6 (permalink) Old 04-29-17, 04:46 AM Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by neferhet View Post
Imo, the favoured of chaos with crimson slaughter is the only way to justify them.
I understand that that is your opinion @neferhet but its a rather narrow minded one if you ask me. Yes the voices table will help get possessed into combat faster with greater numbers but they then lack the ability to be as useful. Vessels might mean they are slower but they can rip more units apart because of it.

Honestly, in my opinion there are a lot of ways you can go in favored of chaos builds, I personally like the idea of running a mixture of Slaanesh and Khorne possessed around a Tzeentch demon prince.

Though I do agree with you, it really does need to be paired with another formation or detachment because there will be quite a few shortcomings that they cannot make up.

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Originally Posted by neferhet View Post
those 15 "uber" possessed, even in 12" from the prince will be facing 60-80 slugga boyz, or 30 marines with some grav/melta or simply 10 Meganobz. All of wich will tear them to pieces in a single phase of melee.
Uhm..is that what the Ork and Space Marine players regularly bring to the tables you play? Because I haven't seen hordes of those kinds of armies out there. Space marine armies with two or three grav weapons and another two or three melta weapons sure, and 40-60 shoota and slugga boyz yeah, but certainly not a lot of lists with 10 meganobz that couldn't be easily countered in and of itself. (I mean thats 400-500 points without troops or an HQ or to many other upgrades right?)


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Thanks for the detailed analysis. It was a good read.
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Good points on possessed
Thanks, was noticing a distinct lack of content and just wanted to fill the gap a little.
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post #6 of 6 (permalink) Old 04-29-17, 08:32 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by desperad0 View Post
I understand that that is your opinion @neferhet but its a rather narrow minded one if you ask me. Yes the voices table will help get possessed into combat faster with greater numbers but they then lack the ability to be as useful. Vessels might mean they are slower but they can rip more units apart because of it.

Honestly, in my opinion there are a lot of ways you can go in favored of chaos builds, I personally like the idea of running a mixture of Slaanesh and Khorne possessed around a Tzeentch demon prince.

Though I do agree with you, it really does need to be paired with another formation or detachment because there will be quite a few shortcomings that they cannot make up.


Uhm..is that what the Ork and Space Marine players regularly bring to the tables you play? Because I haven't seen hordes of those kinds of armies out there. Space marine armies with two or three grav weapons and another two or three melta weapons sure, and 40-60 shoota and slugga boyz yeah, but certainly not a lot of lists with 10 meganobz that couldn't be easily countered in and of itself. (I mean thats 400-500 points without troops or an HQ or to many other upgrades right?)
A formation that costs more than 600 pts for 15 infantry + 1 MC has literally just one way to be played: the one with the more bonuses involved. Otherwise we might just use something else...as narrow minded as it can sound, i want to have fun, but i also want to win a game here and there. The formation is a bet against myself, if i play it. Because possessed are an handicap (pointwise) if you field them.

And no, that is not what SM and orks bring usually to the table, but that exatly my point: even poor choices like those can rip the formation apart, with half the points involved. the whole formation is just shredded by 2 units of 20 shoota boyz, that are half the points. The math is simple: even if you have T5 and 3+ armour or invuln, you still have a 1/9 chance to de from a bolter shot that hit you. And that is all. They might be awesome, "hard hitting" (man, have you see the wulfen shit??) and cool, but they cost twice wat they should to be mathematically viable.

Again, ok, cool, nice post and analysis but please lets not glorify a turd because it has a cool name (Favored of Chaos) and lets not think to be open minded because we consider good something that ise generally despised for a good reason...

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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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