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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
As it seems that we still have to wait for undefinite time before getting a new version of the Chaos Space Marines Codex, I have finalized the "version 0" of something I started to write a few months ago, when we were discussing about CSM specific potential rules and nature (with @neferhet, @Mossy Toes and @Squire, amongst others).

It describes some "fluffy" (and, hopefully, not too "cheesy") detachments and formations and tries to provide a coherent answer to the "What makes CSM different from SM ?" question.

http://www.alt-f4.be/resources/w40k/CSMCustomDetachmentsFormations.pdf

The purpose of this document is to provide something balanced and coherent that could be proposed to opponents in order to play games different than "A full Nurgle list with Bikes and Flying Daemon Prince" against harder army lists while giving a somehow more "fluffy" touch to the setting.

Feel free to advise and contribute. Such project always gets benefits from the input of several brains (and I know some of my cons, like the one which leads me to too much balance) :grin:
 

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I think those are brilliant formations. Plenty of flavour, not too strong and exactly the sort of thing I'd like to see in a future codex

The only formation that stands out as particularly strong is the dark mechanicum one. A player could go mental with heldrakes and/or maulerfiends, and I could imagine a death star being made with those fleshmetal chosen on bikes, with mark of nurgle, a couple of power fists and attached characters. Alternatively mark of slaanesh and icon of excess. Not that that's a criticism, I don't see why anybody would try to exploit these formations
 

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i think you should send this to the fukken gw development tem (they still have one right?? right??)
chosen on bikes? with jetpacks? HELL YEAH!

note:
Shoot This Down : flakk missiles are available for all missile launchers and only cost 10 pts.

the base cost for the flakk is already 10 pts...
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
Thank you for your advises and positive comments :)

I think those are brilliant formations. Plenty of flavour, not too strong and exactly the sort of thing I'd like to see in a future codex

The only formation that stands out as particularly strong is the dark mechanicum one. A player could go mental with heldrakes and/or maulerfiends, and I could imagine a death star being made with those fleshmetal chosen on bikes, with mark of nurgle, a couple of power fists and attached characters. Alternatively mark of slaanesh and icon of excess. Not that that's a criticism, I don't see why anybody would try to exploit these formations
That's the point now ... I've tried to put up some balanced formations, but it's maybe not the case. I have put a Dark Mechanicum formation because I think that, regarding the fluff, there must be one. I don't, however, play with Daemonforge fiends or drakes, so it's more difficult for me to imagine what could be made of it.

If ever someone gets other proposals for that formation (or for any other, or for some aspects of the fluff that wouldn't be covered, or anything else), feel free to post and discuss it ;)

The second level of balance comes from the combination of all Detachments and Formations. I've tried to balance them individually for version 0, but doing it while taking all combinations into account is not so easy.

i think you should send this to the fukken gw development tem (they still have one right?? right??)
chosen on bikes? with jetpacks? HELL YEAH!

note:
Shoot This Down : flakk missiles are available for all missile launchers and only cost 10 pts.

the base cost for the flakk is already 10 pts...
Good note for the flakk. I have changed it to "for free". I have also added a "Primary detachment" condition for the night fighting advantages of the Terror Warband.

Regarding GW, I still (even if it looks like an utopy) believe in the power of internet and community (Blood Bowl showed it can work, even if the scale is definitely not the same). If such local initiatives might, at least, make GW understand that weakest codices (because CSM is not the only one concerned) need temporary detachments/formations (far more than a "Helbrutes Dataslate") before the future release of a new version, that would be a great success.
 

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The only real "complaint" I have is that I wish that for the 4 gods list would have "All units in this formation gain the Mark of ____ for free" - not too OP I think.

Also I think you should just make it 1-6 troops (since currently the cult units become troops with the appropriate HQ) and just state that there must be at least 1 squad of Noise Marines/TSons/Zerkers/Plague marines.

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For the Slaanesh one - why not state that every vehicle gains a Dirge Caster + the ability to swap a heavy weapon - helps with units that do not have heavy weapon - aka rhinos.

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"Children of the Warp"

Why not just let the possessed just choose which power they want, instead of a re-roll?

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"Dark Mechanicum"

Just grant Demonic possession to the vehicles; I would drop Siege Crawler from the list of USRs granted.

State that CSM models cannot take a Mark.

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No Traitor Guard Formations?
 

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Had to chip in. A few interesting thoughts, mostly based around my love of Thousand Sons.

1. So many Chosen. I like that you're trying to upgrade them and make them useful, but at the same time... I dunno. Maybe a bit much? Granted, since I never play Chosen (which is is meant to deal with)...

2. Dusty Souls Formation. Personal request, change 'Favored by Tzeentch' to 'The Sorcerer Commands'. Only because that's what the 3E rule used to call it. I'd also REQUIRE one of the HQs to be a Sorcerer or Ahriman, because, well, Thousand Sons.

3. Sorcerer's Coven. This feels clunky to me. Dark Studies. How does this work? All of the Level 1 Brotherhood of Psykers will either be marked (and therefore have Chaos Focus, and get the free Primaris), or NOT Marked (therefore getting Psychic Focus, and get the free Primaris). Now, the Sorcerers could abuse this, I suppose... if you took 3 rolls on 3 different schools, does that mean you end up with 6 powers (3 primaris)?
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
The only real "complaint" I have is that I wish that for the 4 gods list would have "All units in this formation gain the Mark of ____ for free" - not too OP I think.
The problem with the Marks is that it's a cost per model. Depending on the number of squads and models in them, as far as the size of the battle, such advantage could reach hundreds of points.

I would rather leave this open until we may gather other advises.

Also I think you should just make it 1-6 troops (since currently the cult units become troops with the appropriate HQ) and just state that there must be at least 1 squad of Noise Marines/TSons/Zerkers/Plague marines.
This eases up the Troops entry of the force organisation, for sure, and allow larger MSU with cultists.

Then, it comes back to something closer to a CAD : 2-6 Troops (one of them being a Cult Marine one).

For the Slaanesh one - why not state that every vehicle gains a Dirge Caster + the ability to swap a heavy weapon - helps with units that do not have heavy weapon - aka rhinos.
In matter of points, it would not represent too much (for 10 vehicles, which would already be a lot, dirge casters only cost 50 points).

I like the idea. I just make an "or" condition for it, as Blastmasters upon vehicles is something that just doesn't exist (anymore) in the codex. A rhino would get a Dirge Caster for free, another tank could have both for 5 points, a Helbrute or Daemonforge engine would have to make a choice between them (as they can't be fitted with Chaos Vehicle Equipment by default).

"Children of the Warp"

Why not just let the possessed just choose which power they want, instead of a re-roll?
I would love too, as Possessed are the core unit of my Word Bearers army :)

But some things have to be considered, IMHO :

- "Daemon" is a very powerful trait for Space Marines (5+ invul save, plus their basic 3+ armour save, that can be boosted by Psychic Powers or Daemonic Rewards, and ... Fear, which is globally not very useful until it takes effect) ... it also allows CSM Sorcerers to use Malefic Daemonology without perils on all doubles with the Crimson Slaughter "Prophet of the Voices" relic,

- Chaos Daemons Codex is the most "random" one (Warp Storm table, effects of Exalted Rewards, Daemonic Instability, ...). Therefore, it seems strange to remove the dice for a "Daemonic table" (and I don't see other units able to choose a specific boon from a table each turn),

- When we look where Possessed come from, the current Codex already made them better than they were (3 random boons instead of 6, with more specialized effects), and that has been improved with the Crimson Slaughter "Slaves to the Voices" table.

Shortly speaking, I think that rerolling a 1/3 chance to get the best effect is already a significant boost.

By the way, the "Daemonic Pact" Detachment (which would be the most suited Primary Detachment to a "Children of the Warp" Formation) allows to field up units of Daemon Chosen (compared to the Possessed : no S5, no random table, but the possibility to equip them with AP weapons, bikes or jump packs and no Initiative loss when charging through cover due to offensive grenades).

"Dark Mechanicum"

Just grant Demonic possession to the vehicles; I would drop Siege Crawler from the list of USRs granted.

State that CSM models cannot take a Mark.
I just "blindly" gave all vehicles all the traits from each of them. But "Siege Crawler" seems weird, actually (moving Tanks as Beasts seems odd). Even the "Crusader" trait seems odd, as non-Walkers do not Run and do not make Sweeping advances either.

So, this formation would be an advantage for the number of vehicles available, and would "just" give the Daemon and Daemonforge traits to Tanks.

For the Mark, I'm not sure. Is it because it would make Chosen too powerful (given Squire example above) or because the Dark Mechanicum is, fluffy speaking, never dedicated to a specific God ?

In the former case, the question is "Is it too OP (with the Mark of Nurgle and bikes) ?"

In the latter case, it depends on the Dark Mechanicum fluff, IMHO.

No Traitor Guard Formations?
No, because Traitor Guard is not present into the current CSM Codex (and also because I do not know them at all ... yet).

One of the ways to give Chaos more diversity and identity would to make FW Traitor Guard Codex into an official GW one (with CSM as Battle Brothers, like Daemons are).

Edit: I really like these BTW, just a couple of minor things that I would certainly change.

Show some more?
I don't have more Detachments/Formations in stock. I think those are covering all the aspects of CSM that I have seen in W40K sources.

By the way, I'm quite open to a collective brainstorming in order to improve the base and transform it from an individual to a team work ;)

PS : document modified (Cult Formations, Insane Melody Formation and Dark Mechanicum Formation)
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
Had to chip in. A few interesting thoughts, mostly based around my love of Thousand Sons.

1. So many Chosen. I like that you're trying to upgrade them and make them useful, but at the same time... I dunno. Maybe a bit much? Granted, since I never play Chosen (which is is meant to deal with)...
I never play Chosen either, because I don't see other use for them than 4 special weapons and a Rhino. They are currently just a specialized unit with no diversity, and no link to the aspects of Chaos favoured by the Warlord and his Band.

And I really feel pity for the Black Legion and its possibility to field up Chosen as Troops.

Chosen are, IMHO, the units that incarnate the identity of the Warband/Legion (the real elites of it). But, in their current definition, and their only one use, it is definitely not the case.

Compared to Loyal Space Marines, they have not been restricted to the Codex Astartes organisation. The more powerful they are in their domain, the most attention they get from the Ruinous Powers.

Ideally, Terminator armour should just be an option for Chosen. But it's difficult to play upon it without modifying the Codex.

Just a last thinking about it : if we have more customizable Chosen at hands, there is far less need to buff up standard CSM, isn't it ?

2. Dusty Souls Formation. Personal request, change 'Favored by Tzeentch' to 'The Sorcerer Commands'. Only because that's what the 3E rule used to call it. I'd also REQUIRE one of the HQs to be a Sorcerer or Ahriman, because, well, Thousand Sons.
I didn't know about the wording in 3E. I'll change it in the document (I have used "Favoured by ..." for every God, but it could be better to find out more specific wording for each).

A Sorcerer could be required. But who wouldn't choose one for this formation except for very specific reasons ?

3. Sorcerer's Coven. This feels clunky to me. Dark Studies. How does this work? All of the Level 1 Brotherhood of Psykers will either be marked (and therefore have Chaos Focus, and get the free Primaris), or NOT Marked (therefore getting Psychic Focus, and get the free Primaris). Now, the Sorcerers could abuse this, I suppose... if you took 3 rolls on 3 different schools, does that mean you end up with 6 powers (3 primaris)?
That's right for the Brotherhoods of Psykers. It's something basically designed for Marked Sorcerers (but applying to Unmarked too) : As they are forced to generate from their God's list, they won't have Primaris powers if they choose a second one. Here, they can get the Primaris from ONE of their lists.
 

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The problem with the Marks is that it's a cost per model. Depending on the number of squads and models in them, as far as the size of the battle, such advantage could reach hundreds of points.

I would rather leave this open until we may gather other advises.
give it for free to the units that come in the god's sacred number, maybe
 

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That's right for the Brotherhoods of Psykers. It's something basically designed for Marked Sorcerers (but applying to Unmarked too) : As they are forced to generate from their God's list, they won't have Primaris powers if they choose a second one. Here, they can get the Primaris from ONE of their lists.
Are you familiar with the Chaos Focus rule? If you take at least one power from your Marked discipline, you auto-generate their Primaris. This is because Chaos can NOT benefit from Psychic Focus, because they can't take all of their powers as Chaos (pretty sure the rule was 'no more than half').

So this will need some rewriting. As written, if an Unmarked Chaos Sorcerer (and the formation doesn't require a mark), takes 3 powers from 3 schools, he gets all 3 primaris, for a total of 6 powers.

Of course, since this only applies (as you intended) to only one Primaris, this means at most 5 powers for a Marked lv3 and 4 powers for an Unmarked lv3.

When you look at it that way, it makes the Sorcerer Coven actually really weak compared to the Librarius (casting on 2+ with access to all those powers), Seer's Council (Casting on 3+ and access to buckets of dice), heck, even the new Psykana Division is more potent, with increases to level by having buddies nearby.

I do love the option to make Chosen into a BoPsykers, so I'd totally keep that. but I feel like maybe the Sorcerers need something a little bit more juicy. I just can't think of what might be more suitable. Maybe you could make the Sorcerers 'Masters'... instead of free Primaris, you demand that they take everything from the same school (ignoring the Mark spells), and in doing so, they can instead choose their powers (or one of them). That would better represent (at least for the Thousand Sons) how each Sorcerer was a master of one Discipline, as per the HH novels.
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
The wording is a little ambiguous, here. Does this mean that any vehicle with the Daemonic Possession upgrade, as well as Helbrutes, gain the Daemon rule?
Yes, it does, because Helbrutes cannot buy things from the Chaos Vehicle Equipment list, and that I wanted to bring out the concept of the Possessed Dreadnought (Mhara Gal from FW).

Now, it's a 15 pts free gifts for Helbrutes. Maybe it could be changed to "Helbrutes may buy the Daemonic Possession feature from Chaos Vehicle Equipment list", which therefore would give them the Daemon trait (as for Tanks) ?
 

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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
give it for free to the units that come in the god's sacred number, maybe
At first sight, that would create differences between the Cult Formations, knowing that Insane Melody would only need 6 models per squad where Dusty Souls would need 9 (just one less than the second special/heavy weapon, then).

Maybe reducing the cost of the corresponding Icon ?
 

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Discussion Starter · #14 ·
Are you familiar with the Chaos Focus rule? If you take at least one power from your Marked discipline, you auto-generate their Primaris. This is because Chaos can NOT benefit from Psychic Focus, because they can't take all of their powers as Chaos (pretty sure the rule was 'no more than half').

So this will need some rewriting. As written, if an Unmarked Chaos Sorcerer (and the formation doesn't require a mark), takes 3 powers from 3 schools, he gets all 3 primaris, for a total of 6 powers.

Of course, since this only applies (as you intended) to only one Primaris, this means at most 5 powers for a Marked lv3 and 4 powers for an Unmarked lv3.

When you look at it that way, it makes the Sorcerer Coven actually really weak compared to the Librarius (casting on 2+ with access to all those powers), Seer's Council (Casting on 3+ and access to buckets of dice), heck, even the new Psykana Division is more potent, with increases to level by having buddies nearby.

I do love the option to make Chosen into a BoPsykers, so I'd totally keep that. but I feel like maybe the Sorcerers need something a little bit more juicy. I just can't think of what might be more suitable. Maybe you could make the Sorcerers 'Masters'... instead of free Primaris, you demand that they take everything from the same school (ignoring the Mark spells), and in doing so, they can instead choose their powers (or one of them). That would better represent (at least for the Thousand Sons) how each Sorcerer was a master of one Discipline, as per the HH novels.
I knew about it for Daemons (who automatically know the Primaris of the God they come from, even if they choose all of their powers from other lists - giving them a second Primaris if they generate in one only, if I'm not mistaken).

I have tried to write it to tell that "If a Sorcerer generates powers from several lists (including the mandatory one), he may get the Primaris from (only) one of them". Now that they have their God's Primaris by default, it would mean that they would also get the Primaris from one of the other ones (so, 4 powers for a level 2, and 5 for a level 3). An unmarked would only have 3 powers for a level 2 and 4 powers for a level 3 (whether they generate from 1 or more lists).

Now, let's keep it aside, as far as the Chaos Focus was not taken into account. We may play upon the treshold for generating Warp Charges, but we already have access to the spell familiar.

Feel (you, or any other member) free to propose something alternative. I'll check everything related to Sorcerers and try to set up something on my side too (keeping in mind that, if that could match the Thousand Sons, it should not match Thousand Sons only and should be usable to other Warbands/Legions).

I'm glad to see that this topic is starting up well and that all the ideas discussed here help to improve the first draft ;)
 

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A player could go mental with heldrakes and/or maulerfiends, and I could imagine a death star being made with those fleshmetal chosen on bikes, with mark of nurgle, a couple of power fists and attached characters.
...you've heard of the Hellforged Hunting Pack, correct? I suppose that's directed at both Squire and alt-f4.

Fleshmetal should, yeah, at least be 10 points per mini, not a blanket 10 points per unit. Given that a 2+ is the main advantage of Termis over Chosen (along with Invuln), with the downsides of lower WS than Chosen and no Sweeping Advances. To say nothing of the force multiplier of the increased mobility. And much of the time a 4+ Jink cover save will do better than a 5+ Invuln).

It does feel like Chosen get an overly hefty wallop with the formation stick here, though, well, they certainly need something to be worthwhile.
 

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Discussion Starter · #17 · (Edited)
...you've heard of the Hellforged Hunting Pack, correct? I suppose that's directed at both Squire and alt-f4.

Fleshmetal should, yeah, at least be 10 points per mini, not a blanket 10 points per unit. Given that a 2+ is the main advantage of Termis over Chosen (along with Invuln), with the downsides of lower WS than Chosen and no Sweeping Advances. To say nothing of the force multiplier of the increased mobility. And much of the time a 4+ Jink cover save will do better than a 5+ Invuln).

It does feel like Chosen get an overly hefty wallop with the formation stick here, though, well, they certainly need something to be worthwhile.
No, I never saw this FW Formation before you posted the link.

What do you mean by lower WS ? In my sources, Chosen and Terminators have the same basic statline.

The purpose was, actually, to propose a formation of the Dark Mechanicum with what is provided by the current codex. And the most suitable and characteristic trait I found was "fleshmetal". Maybe bikes, jump packs and/or marks should not be available to Dark Mechanicum adepts (which Chosen are in this formation) ?

The basic principle was indeed to make the Chosen the true elite of Chaos Warbands. It seems weird, due to the fluffy logic of Chaos, where the main rules are "survival of the fittest" and "power play to catch the Gods' attention" that Chosen cannot use equipment available to standard Space Marines. Bikes and jump packs should be available to Chosen, especially for bands whose identity is based upon assault and mobility (pirates, raiders or Night Lords, for instance).

The other part of the concept was to give Chosen access to specific traits, instead of buffing standard CSM or the whole army (even if with the Black Legion supplement and the access to bikes and jump packs, it could apply to the whole army). I have listed the traits that I found relevant and took the Crimson Slaughter cost for "Preferred Enemy". Now, it seems that some traits are definitely not equivalent, and that a specific cost/model should be applied to them.

Basically, I would say :

- Stubborn : 2/model (considering the 25 pts cost of the Icon of Vengeance, giving Fearless, it may be expensive for units of 10 Chosen, but they may add a mark upon it)
- Daemon : 10/model (a Crimson Slaughter relic gives it to a character for 30 pts, but Fearless and Fleet are included into)
- Tank Hunters : 3/model
- Hit & Run : 2/model
- Shrouded : 5/model
- Infiltrators : 5/model
- Rampage : 3/model
- Outflank + Acute Senses : 4/model
- Feel No Pain : 3/model (considering that a Death Company model costs 6 pts more than a standard Blood Angel SM, also gaining Fearless, Rage and Relentless, and that the cost of an Icon of Excess is 3,5 pts/model for a 10 Chosen unit)
- Brotherhood of Psykers : 3/model (considering that a Grey Knights Strike Squad is 100 pts for 5 men, compared to the 90 pts for 5 Chosen, with all Grey Knights specificities included)
- Fleshmetal : 10/model (13 pts of difference between one Chosen and one Terminator, but no Deep Strike and no invul for Fleshmetal vs more mobility)
 

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Ah, misremembered the WS thing, honestly. Poked around in some boxes for a while, but couldn't locate my codex to double-check when posting.
 

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Discussion Starter · #19 ·
Version 1.0

I have revised the document with all the feedback from here, in order to make it a 1.0 version (available in the first post of the topic).

A few little changes except for a global one : the "Chosen amongst the Chosen" advantage with a cost per model instead of the generic bunch of 10.

I have deeply revised the Sorcerers Coven Formation. I talked about copy/pasting formations from loyal SM sources, but obviously fell in my own trap :D

Apart from "Chosen amongst the Chosen", the 2 rules did not really matched Chaos : the first one had a problem with the Chaos Focus rule (as noticed by @Xabre), the second allowed Sorcerers to use Psychic Powers from other allied psykers in 12''. The SM rule not only as a limitation (the target Sorcerers cannot use any other Psychic Power due to the channeling) but also indiced something strange regarding Chaos and its rivalities (a Nurgle Sorcerer allowed to use a Tzeentch powern for instance).

So, here are the 2 new versions of those rules :

- Ruinous Rivalry : all marked characters and units from this formation with the Psyker trait generate one additional power from one of their selected lists.

- Warp Affinity : any unit or character of this formation with the Psyker trait standing within 12’’ of any other one may reroll the Perils of the Warp result.
 

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I


So, here are the 2 new versions of those rules :

- Ruinous Rivalry : all marked characters and units from this formation with the Psyker trait generate one additional power from one of their selected lists.

- Warp Affinity : any unit or character of this formation with the Psyker trait standing within 12’’ of any other one may reroll the Perils of the Warp result.
That's me, causing trouble.

I like the Warp Affinity. Not extra powerful for casting, but some preventive measures are nice. Makes sense.

Ruinous Rivalry still feels a little clunky. This means that the Chose Squads will have 3 powers (level 1, generates 1 power and gains Psychic or Chaos focus, and then gains an extra power), while Chaos Sorcerers will end up with Level + 2 powers (Chaos Focus + Rivalry).

Is that correct?

If so, I'd suggest an simpler wording: All characters and units from this formation generate an additional power chosen from among their allowed disciplines.
 
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