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Berserkers vs Possessed

1944 Views 16 Replies 12 Participants Last post by  Someguy
I keep hearing people say that Berserkers + Plague Marines are the ultimate combo for CSM, but I've been wondering about something...

Possessed are only 5 more points each, have the same number of attacks, 1 more Strength, an inv save, have the other Marks available to them, and the special rule that makes Berserkers nice, Furious Charge, is arguably the second worst option on the Possessed Ability Table--and just in case they don't get it and you really want that Initiative bonus they'd lack, you can just give them Mark of Slaanesh.

While I understand Berserkers being troops makes them better in objective-holding games, my friends and I only rarely do that, we usually just set up and kill each other. With that in mind, Possessed actually seem like a better option for the tactical role of Berserkers. Is there something important I'm missing by thinking this?
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The chaos book has a bunch of options available if you want MEQs for close combat. Zerkers are, without any doubt at all, the best. That's a shame because it would be nice to have some kind of choice or to have units that were good for different tasks, but that's just the way it is.

Zerkers have better WS than the alternatives and on the charge they have better strength and initiative. That means they will kill a whole lot more stuff (going from 4s to hit and wound to 3s actually almost doubles the wounds you cause, from 1/4 to 4/9) but, and this is the point a lot of people ignore, it means they live longer.

Going to initiative 5 means they (very often) strike before their opponents. Their opponents die and therefore don't attack back. WS5 means that lots of the better enemy troops who themselves have WS5, often the guys carrying power weapons etc, will need 4s to hit you instead of 3s.

Posessed don't come close. Much more expensive, non-scoring, less dangerous. Don't even talk about posessed with marks, when you can have 3 zerkers for 2 marked posessed. Vanilla marines do half as much damage to MEQs compared to zerkers and get hit back with equal initiative. They can have bolters, which is nice, but they aren't going to shoot them a lot anyway. Worst of all they aren't fearless so they can get pinned and run away. Zerkers don't do that.

The Skull Champion is the star of the show. With a power weapon he's more dangerous on the charge than a lot of independent characters, dropping multiple MEQs a turn. A fist with 4 str 9 attacks hitting on 3s makes a mess of most stuff. You don't get this guy if you go with vanilla or posessed.

The only thing you have to watch for is that other people are starting to have decent melee infantry as well. Space wolves and blood angels can both field troops who can compete with zerkers, and make fools of posessed and vanilla marines.
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