Oct 5, 2012

First Look at New CSM: Elites

Okay, so time for some more theory. This is a big section, as the Elites choices are very, very full! So let's get started.


In the old codex these guys were one of my favourite units for sure. But they have changed quite a lot. I still like them, because what's not to like with 5 special weapons in a squad? Unfortunately they now have to take a Champion, which means you need to make the squad 6 guys strong to get all 5 weapons. It's not that bad though, since the Champion can take a Combi-weapon so you actually can get 6 shots for one round!

Now it might feel odd to use these guys who has 2 attacks base to be shooty, but the thing is you have soooo many other assault options in your army anyway who does it better than what these guys can do. But a squad with 5 special weapons on the other hand is much harder to get, the other option being Havocs and they're not right for the job in my opinion since they can instead take 4 Heavy Weapons as well as they're competing with other Heavy Support... but that's for later.

So what I do is deck them out with five weapons of the same kind, making them specialists at killing something. Either meltas, plasma guns or flamers. Then you go to town. Since they used to have Infiltrate I know these guys are really good when Infiltrating or Outflanking, so if you get the Master of Deception Warlord-trait (or chose Ahriman or Huron who gets it automatically) these guys should probably be one of your D3 infiltrators! It is really satisfying to Outflank 5 Meltas and come up behind that pesky artillery and simply blow it up turn 2!


These guys are still pretty expensive, but they have become a lot more reliable. I'd say they're probably one of the most solid assault troops in this codex! First off they're S5 base with 2 attacks each and Fleet. They're also likely to stick around since they're Fearless and has a 3+/ 5++ save. What makes them special is their ability to roll a D3 for each assault phase to see what they get. Their options are re-roll to wound, AP3 or +1A and +1I. Pretty solid options all of them! Just avoid Terminators and and they'll do fine against anything I think.

Their champion also has the option to chose TWO Gifts of Mutation. That's an additional 20 points on a 1W model though, so a bit risky. But if you have some extra points I'd definitely go for this guy before any other Champions at least!


This is another one of those units that unfortunately has to take a Champion (well, all units has to, but it's extra unfortunate for these guys). Why is it bad? First because you pay extra points for him and gain absolutely nothing. He has the same statline as the normal guys, but worst of all... he has to take his weapons from the armoury. This means he pays 23 points for a pair of Lightning Claws compared to the 7 points of a normal Terminator... Why? I have no idea. So his every option costs more and doesn't benefit you. I'd probably stick a combi-weapon on him and keep his Power Weapon for that reason to get as much out of the squad as possible.

Speaking of Combi-weapons, you can no longer combine them on the normal guys with Power Fists for example. If you want a Combi-weapon you're stuck with the Power Weapon. So they're no longer very flexible. I always thought the Terminators were best for Close Combat though, so I'd go with Lightning Claws all around. Having one guy with a Power (or Chain) Fist and a Heavy Flamer. So nothing has changed in that department for me at least!


The replacement for the Dreadnaught then! So basically he's just another Dread but he goes Crazy if you shoot him. He might actually get to fire twice (and no more on your own units!) or simply get rid of Shaken and Stunned results. He wants vengeance on any who hurts him though, which means you can quickly lose control of him. It seems like a pretty 'fun' unit, but I wouldn't expect much from him to be honest. He does have some funky Close Combat options though, like a Flail that lowers opponents WS and the mighty Thunderhammer (for the first time in a Chaos book?!).


This is another unit I don't quite understand what the thinking was for. You can all ready take Terminators so what do you need these guys for? Especially since they're more expensive than Terminators and you can only take three per squad. You also can't use the same weapon two rounds in a row. Which I think will be a problem, since there's so few of them they can't muster that many attacks so they'll most likely be stuck in combat. Mark of Khorne would help with that on the charge at least though. However, if you misplace them or Deep Strike them and they scatter far off you're screwed because they're also Slow and Purposeful so they can't run. And with no shooting attacks that's one wasted phase per turn.

They have two wound though, so that's nice at least. I don't think I will ever take these guys.


Jolly slaughter!  With these guys, as always, there's only one thing on your mind. CHARGE! Now more so than ever since they have Rage and Furious Charge. They're a bit gimped in the second round of combat now though, or if they get charged and fail their Ld-test for Counter charge which might turn out messy. On the charge though they're as dangerous as ever! If you have the points, consider putting them in a Land Raider, move up and launch your assault! Rhinos aren't a great options since you can just drive up, jump out and then be shot at before you get to charge. It's still all right, as you'll at least protect them from one round of shooting before they have to take it themselves but Rhinos suit shooty stuff better.

They have also got some new interesting options. The most obvious one is Chainaxes which grants them AP4 weapons. Ouch! Those are also model per model, so you can actually chose to spread them out a bit to save some points should you wish.They can also take the Icon of Wrath for whatever reason, as they all ready have Furious Charge it will only grants them +1 Combat resolution for 15 points. Almost completly useless for Berzerkers I reckon. If you get stuck in a combat where you need +1 you've all ready wasted your Berzerkers I think.

Like all Marines they can also take Veterans of the Long War, but why it's extra important for these guys is that if you know you're going to play against Marines then with this upgrade you also know that the 'zerkers will annihilate whatever they come in contact with...

Another much more subtle option is that your Champion can take a Combi-weapon. One of the main problems that Berzerkers can run into are Walkers. So it might be worth considering taking a Combi-Melta on this guy to help out some. It's a one-shot chance though, but it is cheaper than a Power Fist. Speaking of Power Fists, by the looks of it you can actually take two of them for whatever reason... Another interesting choice however is Lightning Claws, if you want a pair it'll set you back 30 points though, but one for 15 might be pretty nice indeed! I mean, it costs as much as a normal Power Weapon and if you decide to ignore the Walker-problem you might as well get yourself some re-rolls for no extra cost! And if you want a slightly cheaper option than the Power Fist there's always Meltabombs to add to that.

Oh, and worth mentioning that you can take these guys as Troops if your Lord has Mark of Khorne (this includes Khârn). It's obviously the only way to go if you want to focus your army at assaults. Just support them with something that can take care of vehicles reliably (Terminators with Chain Fists for example, or Maulerfiends).

Thousand Sons

Golems in suits of armour shooting AP3 Bolters and with a 3+/4++ save sounds really good in theory. Which is why you pay a lot of points for these guys. Their problem is however that they are Marine-killers and nothing else. More so now than ever since they come with the Veterans of the Long War included. But when stuff comes past that Rapid Fire range they're not so good. Especially since they can't fire Overwatch. Or when they have vehicles. They are not very versatile at all. In the old codex you solved this by choosing powers for your Aspiring Sorcerer to use as Special Weapons. But in this codex you have to roll for them. And since he is only Level 1 and has the Mark of Tzeentch it has to be one of those powers. Since he's Level 1 he can't use Breath of Chaos. So three spells left. Boon of Mutation has a 2" range, and he's a 1W character so it's a bit of a waste for him to use it on himself. So we're left with Doombolt and the Firestorm (Primaris). The Doombolt is what you want, since it gives them something to deal with vehicles at least. The Firestorm is okay for a second choice, and certainly better than the Boon in most cases I'd say. The only time I see the Boon being somewhat useful is if you're planning to run a Chaos Lord of Tzeentch in the unit - or maybe, just maybe run a Daemon Prince along side it. Like I wrote in the Daemon Prince entry I think it would really benefit from the Boons-table if you roll the right thing. But that's a lot of "if"s and "maybe"s so I'd go for the Firestorm if I didn't roll Doombolt most of the time.

You also pay 60 points for a 1W Sorcerer who has no protection against perils. It's too bad they can't take Spell Familiars at least. But the worst thing is of course that he also has the Champions of Chaos rule so he has to fight challenges. You really don't want him in a challenge... With his Force Weapon he might of course get lucky and kill something a lot more powerful than him, but he is no fighter so don't count on it. Never leave home without Meltabombs is my moto though. Something you get stuck having to charge a vehicle or Monstrous Creature so...

You can also take the Icon of Flame giving the units shooting Soul Blaze. They're pretty likely to wound stuff they hit with their AP3 Bolters so I reckon why not take this icon if you're all ready spending a lot of points on this expensive unit? It might cause some extra damage for sure.

Plague Marines

Ah, the prime objective holders of the game! Oh, wait. They're elites. Unless you take a Lord with Mark of Nurgle (Typhus included) of course. With T5 and Feel no Pain their job is simply not to die. They're excellent at this. They also have poisoned close combat weapons (4+) which means that where they used to be a tarpit they might actually win combats instead. That's just a bonus when defending their objective though. On the point of tarpits they can also take the Icon of Despair for a +1 combat resolution (and also makes them cause Fear but that's usually not a big deal), perhaps it's worth it if you know you will get charged a lot.

I also usually would take two plasmas so they can provide some decent covering fire. But I don't think I will ever take them as Elites as I don't feel like they bring anything that normal Marines can't do offensively at least, so only Nurgle armies for these guys.

Noise Marines

And then on to the sound junkies. This is one of the shootiest units in the codex I believe. If you're going to run these guys you really should upgrade the Sonic Blasters. Salvo 2/3 Ignores Cover is quite respectable. I would also take a squad of ten to get access to the Mighy Blastmaster. Either you stand still and gets a S8 AP3 Blast, Ignores Cover, Pinning shot or you move and get S5 AP4 Assault 2, Ignores Cover, Pinning. With the amount of shots they put out in total you can probably shoot any infantry, including Terminators, in one turn with a bit of luck. And if they don't die they will be severely decimated. Do make them even more lethal you can also upgrade the Champion with the Doom Siren. It's a S5 AP3 Template. Just do it.

The downside to this unit is that Sonic Blasters only has a 24" range, and you can't assault the same turn that you shoot them. The Blastmaster on the other hand has 36-48" range. So you end up having to chose where you want them to be. If you know beforehand exactly what you want to do with them you can obviously customise their load out. If you take them as elites perhaps you only want the Blastmaster and can then save points on the Sonic Blasters and Doom Siren. While if you want a unit that can get up midrange and stay out of charge go with Sonic Blasters and Blastmaster. Or if you want close range support, Sonic Blasters, Doom Siren and then perhaps Close Combat weapons - then you stay and shoot for a turn or two, and charge in where they're needed. If you're going for a themed army with a Lord of Slaanesh and take them as Troops perhaps you want all options for more versatility. They can also take Icon of Excess granting them Feel no Pain - personally I think I'd only take this if they were Troops though, as that way you get a Scoring Unit that's almost at good at not dying as Plague Marines.

I would also definitely consider getting a Rhino for these guys. Remember that you can shoot a Blastmaster and a Sonic Blaster from the access points, getting 4 shots at 24" range at least. And since they can be really good mid-range they might need the extra speed of a Rhino.

Speaking of Rhinos, they're the only Dedicated Transports in this codex, so I'll just put them here as well. Land Raiders can be taken as Dedicated Transports for Terminators as well, so I'll take that as well and then discuss some upgrades they have in common.


It's the same metal box we all know to love and hate. It's not as effective in 6:th edition as it used to be, but it will still transport stuff around. It especially is good for shooty units, since you can jump out and still shoot but not assault. Putting Chosen with Meltas in one is not a bad idea at all if you know you will face heavy vehicles for example. They're pretty much the same old as always. Don't forget Dozer Blades if you want to avoid embarrassing immobilized results for driving over a bush or something.

Land Raider

So the glorified Rhino then! You can also take it as a Heavy Support choice (or rather, you HAVE to take it as a Heavy Support unless you want Terminators as well). I always thought it was too expensive for what it could do, and in this codex the points has gone up even more without any changes to it... Oh well. What does annoy me most though is that it only has a Transport Capacity of ten models (which is 2-6 less than the Loyalist ones), meaning 5 Terminators... or if I want a Character in there 4 Terminators. Not much of a Deathstar with that unit! I reckon having a unit of Berzerkers (with Khârn perhaps) is a better option for what to put inside of it.

It does also have Lascannons and a Heavy Bolter, but again it's lacking Power of the Machine Spirit like the Loyalist version has. At least the Lascannons are Twin-linked though! But since it's an Assault Vehicle that would be the main reason to take one and I'd not bother with any more weapons on it.


They actually have some new options though, unique for Chaos. The one that seems to have the biggest impact is the change to the Dirge Caster. Now it prevents all enemy units within 6" of the vehicle from firing Overwatch. Sounds big, but consider that 6" is pretty short and you can't assault directly from the Rhino anyway so it's not great for the Rhino at least. For the Land Raider however it can be pretty good! If you've all ready spent 230 points on the Tank you might as well spend another 5...

They also have gotten the option to add Soul Blaze to all their weapons... one of those upgrades for 5 points that you can take if you really have nothing else to spend them on I suppose.

Then there are two funny options. First one, that doesn't really benefit the Rhino that much anyway is the change to Daemonic Possession. Now it ignores Shaken and Stunned on a 2+, and in addition they've become hungry. Whenever a unit embarks you have to roll a dice. On a 1 the vehicle EATS one random model... WITHOUT ANY SAVES POSSIBLE. Then it recovers a lost HP. So my advice is to never, ever take this upgrade for Land Raiders. Especially not if you have Terminators and a Lord in it. A 1 in 5 chance and you'll lose your Lord, just like that. Hilariously funny, except that you have to take the test if you deploy in it as well meaning you might lose your Lord before the game starts... Not only that, you ignore Shaken and Stunned - but what use is this for a Land Raider? If you think about it, what you need to kill one is AP1 so that's +2... meaning the lowest you can get is a 3 on the chart. So if he rolls a 1 after penetration you can ignore it. Whoopiedo. It also lowers your BS, so your Lascannons gets less useful. On the Rhino however you might consider it. At 15 points it's a bit expensive for what it does though, but it might help you get your Rhino where you want it.

And then we have the Destroyer Blades. If you ever were jealous of the Orks Deffrolla this is the upgrade for you. It's only a light version of it though, at D6 S5 hits when it Tank shocks. But hey, with so many Fearless stuff around it's nice to have some use for those Rhinos after they've unloaded if they've survived for so long. It costs 15 points though, so it's another one of those "nothing else to spend on" scenarios I think.

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