Oct 4, 2012

First Look at new CSM: HQ

So, new codex new stuff. Needs a lot of new thinking. So that's what I'll do here, writing down my first thoughts to help me clear out what to try and what not. Only theory so far obviously, and I will probably compare a lot with the old codex. I'll just go through the list entry for entry. Here goes...



Oh wow. This guy used to be quite beastly in the 4:th edition codex, and now he got some more nasties... and got cheaper as well! So basically he has lost nothing from his Close Combat beastliness and also gained a boost against Space Marines, with both Preferred Enemy as well as Hatred. He then gets to chose to use either 5+D6 S6 AP2 attacks OR 5 S8 AP3 with re-rolls to wounds at WS7 and I6 once in combat... meaning whatever he faces will probably be dead after one turn and unless they're Eldar they probably didn't even get to strike back. Even if they do get to strike back he still has Terminator armour (and a 4++ thanks to Mark of Tzeentch) and the added boost of Eternal Warrior. So he's not going anywhere any time soon.

Another new trick up his sleeve is that when you take him you also get to take Chosen as Troops instead of Elites. Now this opens up a lot of possibilities. Chosen can take 5 Special Weapons per squad. With Abaddon you can take 6 squads of them should you wish. That opens up some funky options for lists for sure.

He is quite an investment at almost 300 hundred points, but I believe that if you get him into Close Combat he will get his points back every time...

Oh, and Blood Angels have Hatred against him. I don't believe that will help them much though.


Huron is a bit of a funky character actually. Thanks to the Hamdrya he is very random indeed. Each TURN you generate a new psychic power, meaning you have absolutely no idea what you will get for a game so you can't plan how to use him really. Or rather, you can't plan how to use him in a support role that is - because he is a Close Combat monster. He's actually even more versatile than Abaddon actually, since his Tyrant's Claw grants both Shred and Armourbane meaning he can deal with tanks as well and should he run into Terminators he can use his Power Axe instead. He doesn't get the +1A though since Power Axes aren't Specialist Weapons.

He also has the Master of Deception Warlord Trait, making it so that D3 units can Infiltrate. I really like that special rule. Even if you only give it to normal Marines you get Rapid Fire Bolters in turn 1. Or even Outflanking. You can make some mean stuff with that for sure!


He's back! When 6:th first arrived he suffered a pretty big nerf as he was reduced to I1, but no more of that! So the monster we all knew from 4:th and 5:th edition is just like we remember him, except that he's angrier than ever! He now has Hatred against everything (also granted to his unit)! And also as a favoured champion of Khorne none of that psyker stuff is likely to work on him either, as he and his unit makes Deny the Witch-rolls on 2+ AND Khârn can't be instant killed by Force Weapons. He is still not terribly expensive and I'd say if you want a Berzerker army Khârn is definitely the way to go (as he makes them Troops as all characters with Mark of Khorne does).


I always felt this guy was too expensive for what he could do, so this one was very interesting for me to see. Has it changed? Well, for one thing you now have to generate powers instead of knowing what you have, and he has gained one level so is now Level 4. This means you can chose to generate 1 or 2 powers from the Tzeentch lore and the others must be from Biomancy, Pyromancy or Telepathy. The Tzeentch lore is pretty nice with 3 good powers, but of course you want Breathe of Chaos. With two roles on this one you have a 2/3 to get it. And if you don't get it on the first roll the Primaris is decent as well. He can also shoot 3 witchfires per turn... so that's a possible hailstorm of magic indeed. He does NOT have any protection against Perils though (I wish he'd have a Spell Familiar!). So I feel he is a bit random still, if you get the right powers he might be great but he might also end up not being very useful at all. For 230 points you want some kind of reliability I think...

Oh, he does have Master of Deception though (like Huron) which is very nice. And he does make Thousand Sons into Troops. A weird thing though is that his Force Stave isn't Concussive like normal ones, so I guess he's too weak to knock down people with it then!


Two words. Destroyer Hive. Once per game you place a large Blast on top of Typhus. S4 AP2, can be used in Assault and does not hit Typhus. So you know this fancy unit of Termiantors you used to have...

Other than that he is a pretty strong Terminator Lord combined with a Level 2 psyker pretty much and he costs there after. I can see him working pretty well actually.

He also makes Plague Marines Troops as well as the possibility to make Cultists into Plague Zombies. Feel no Pain and Fearless on Cultists sounds nice at first, but you lose your shooting completely. I think a Mark of Nurgle is probably better if you want resilient Cultists, but more on that later.


This one is pretty odd. I believe he got stronger from the last codex, but his big thing is whenever he makes saves in the Fight sub-phase he inflicts S4 AP2 hits back. Other than that he is good at killing stuff in challenges, but considering you can just deny challenges I don't see him being super-effective. Especially not as he's the same cost as Khârn.

Fabius Bile

This is a pretty good Light Infantery killer, as he has loads of attacks (5 base +1 for pistol +1 for charge) which inflicts Instant Death. No AP though, but I see this guy killing stuff like Nobs like a boss. On top of that he also has a shooting attack that is Assault 3 and Poisoned (2+). So loads of dead light armoured stuff indeed!

His ability to enhance Marines is also improved, as now it's no longer random and the points for it is on him instead of the unit you're upgrading. So now you can make one unit of Marines Fearless and +1S with no downsides. Pretty nice I'd say, can certainly help you hold critical objectives.

Now on to the funnier stuff, as I always liked the non-named characters better. Now I am a bit disappointed that there are no longer any generic Daemon Weapons as I loved those, but instead that's just a special rule... Oh well. Here goes.

Chaos Lord

Here came the first big surprise in the codex for me. 65 points base?! So cheap! And for that you get the same Lord as the 4:th edition codex, except for that he has lost his 5++ save (you can buy one though). This means a very solid statline and loads of options. I am sad that there is no "normal" Daemon Weapon to take, because that really made him into a boss. Now if he wants AP2 he needs to either take the Mark of Khorne and the Axe of Blind Fury (Which reduces his WS and BS...) or take a Power Axe of Fist (which reduces his I5 to 1...) and I'm no fan of either. One build that was really effective in the old codex that still works is to give him a pair of Lightning Claws and a Jump pack. In this codex it might actually be even more effective since you can give him a better support unit (Raptors are cheaper now or you can take the Warp Talons). Actually, if I'm reading this thing correctly you could actually take two Power Weapons or even Power Fists should you want to for some reason...

One cool change is that the Daemonic Steeds now grants bonuses more like they do in the Daemon codex. Which makes Juggernauts an awesome choice for 35p. They're actually Cavalry in this codex as well, making it even better. I also see Bikes as an valid option here, it's too bad you can't make Bikers Troops though.

So there's no pure Daemon Weapon, but there is the Black Mace. This is a Horde-killer for sure... First you'll kill stuff, then they pile in and then all enemies within 3" of the Lord has to pass a T-test or suffer one wound without saves... Scary stuff. It's only AP4 however, so against MEQ it'll probably not be worth the 45 points... And the other weapon for non-marked lords is a Murder Sword. Basically a Power Sword, except that you nominate one enemy character and while you're in base contact with this model the sword is double S and AP1. So... if you somehow end up in base contact with your target without being in a challenge this is your Terminator-killer. Considering that it's powers only work on one enemy character I don't see this being very useful most of the time (he can simply refuse challenges!).

He can also take Terminator armour of course, and everything that means. Basically a beefed up Terminator. I'm not a big fan of this option as it kind of just makes him into another troop. It's not cheap either.

Let's discuss some Marks as well. This is a big deal in this codex. Where it used to just boost your stats a bit it now unlocks Cult Marines into Troops. Meaning if you want a Cult Marine army the Lord is where you have to go. Important choice indeed. However, it only says that your primary detachment must include a Lord with the right Mark for this not that he has to be your Warlord. This means you can take two of them with different Marks should you really want to. Also, since there are no longer any Daemon Weapon to take the mark has less impact on the Lord himself. The biggest change here is the Mark of Khorne which is now slightly better than it used to be, and then the points costs. Mark of Slaanesh went up to 15 from 5... not sure it's worth it any more. Mark of Tzeentch is definitely not worth it by itself at least, not only does it NOT unlock Thousand Sons for Troops it also only grants a 6++. You can however combine it with a Sigil of Corruption (total 3++) or Aura of Dark Glory (total 4++) which is pretty nice if you want him to stick around. I reckon you mostly take the Marks because you want the Cult Marines however.

Now, the biggest downside with the Lord is that there are so many options that I might end up with an army consisting of only Chaos Lords...


Okay, so here's another very cheap character with loads of flexibility. He starts at Level 1 but can be upgraded to Level 3, and he can chose from Biomancy (changed from Telekenesis for some reason), Pyromancy and Telepathy or the Chaos powers if he has the appropriate mark. Here's the first choice... all of the lores have good stuff in them. The addition of Biomancy was a nice surprise as well! I'm not really going to discuss the lores from the rulebook though as they're the same for all armies that can use them. Instead on to the Chaos Lores. Tzeentch is a very offensive lore with the possibility to do a lot of damage, Nurgle is more supporting by casting Maledictions that weakens enemies and Slaanesh is balanced as it has but buffs, nerfs and attack spells in it.

I feel like the lore of Slaanesh is the strongest one, because both Tzeentch and Nurgle have one spell each that I'm no big fan of (number one in both lores) while Slaanesh have three strong ones and one decent one. Note, that if you have two Sorcerers who both have Symphony of Pain you can cast them on the same unit as the effects are cumulative. This means they're -2 to BS and WS for a turn. And if you also happen to have Noise Marines they will shoot at +2S. Pretty nasty.

The other two are not without merit either. I feel like Nurgle will be pretty good against Horde armies. Nurge's Rot is still there, and if you're Level 2 you can also get a version of Breathe of Chaos that are shot with a Large Blast instead. Beware of scatter though as it's range is only 12"... However, the spell I'm not a big fan of is Weapon Virus, causing Get's Hot! on a units weapons - this will probably be very nice against Hordes with lots of shots. Bigger chance to roll ones! Tzeentch is basically the old powers again, so pretty solid.

The Sorcerer actually used to be pretty good in close combat, but now he has been put back in line with the Space Marine Librarian instead. That's too bad as I reckon it was something that made them stand out a bit more. However, what they do have is a lot of weapon options. So should you want to you can deck them out with a lot of weapons.This includes Terminator armour, and this time for only 25 points. Pretty nice I'd say! Especially if you go Mark of Tzeentch as that gives you a 4++.

Oh, and I almost forgot one of the biggest upgrades in my opinion. The Familiars are back, and better than ever. A Spell Familiar will let you re-roll failed Psychic tests! Yay!

Also, they're no longer Fearless which might be a problem.

Daemon Prince

My first impression of this guy is a really sad face to be honest. He used to be so good, and now I don't really know if he's worth it! And there's also some stuff with him that I simply don't understand.

First off, he's expensive. He has an amazing statline (except for Ld9, what's up with that?), but he comes without a save and he has lost some essential Special Rules. He's no longer Eternal Warrior, and he's the only HQ choice in the book that doesn't have the Champion of Chaos rule - he can take one Gift of Mutation though so all game he can possibly get ONE roll on the Boon of Chaos table (which could make him Eternal Warrior if he's lucky, granted...). Come on! This is a Champion of Chaos if ANYTHING is!

You can make him into a Psyker, paying 25 points per level up to level 3. Not sure why you would do that, since he's only Ld9 though, Sorcerers do it better (and cheaper!). He can chose Artefacts and Rewards (again, Gift of Mutation and if you make him a Psyker the Spell Familiar is a MUST). The only ones I see as remotely useful for him is the Dimensional Key, and Burning Brand (AP3-flamer on a Flying Monstrous Creature is always nice). You can, due to the Smash rule of Monstrous Creatures also give him the Black Mace turning it into AP2, and you have a Horde-killer that unlike if you give it to a Chaos Lord also works against MEQ and even Terminators. That is however another 45 points to an all ready expensive model, but perhaps an idea would be to do that and make him a Daemon of Slaanesh so he gets Fleet. You can also give him armour and wings.

You also have to upgrade him into a Daemon of a chosen God. These have different effects than the Marks do, and the weirdest one here is Slaanesh. Why would I want Rending on my AP2 Monstrous Creature that also can chose to make Smash attacks? The most interesting of the lot is probably Nurgle, as that grants Shrouded. Combine this with Wings and you get a 3+ Evade so you don't need to spend points on Power Armour.

When I first saw his statline I thought "Oh, well this will be a great character killer and then he'll get boons for doing it." But no, he doesn't get Boons, and that would've made him more useful I think since many of the Boons makes up for his weaknesses. As it is now I'm not sure he's ever worth his points really. Especially not since he's not that hard to kill.


Okay! New exciting stuff! This I feel should be your choice if you want a HQ in Terminator armour (well he only has Fleshmetal, but you can buy an invulnerability for him as well). However he kind of has two conflicting roles, as he's both really lethal against enemy vehicles and helpful for your own vehicles. I'm guessing he will go pretty well together with Maulerfiends and maybe Defilers that are charging up. With a melta, a flamer and a Power Axe he can deal with pretty much everything, so it's just a matter of finding the right unit to support him. Other than that he feels pretty straight forward to use. Also very nice that he can lower cover saves in one area on the opponents deployment zone. Really cool feature that lets you control some of his deployment pretty much!

Dark Apostle

This fella is pretty cool too. As he's a Zealot he has both Fearless and Hatred (which makes me wonder why he can take Veterans of the Long War? He's all ready Ld10 as well so...) so he's a very supporting kind of HQ. Even more so since all units within 6" from him must use his Leadership as well. You stick him in the backfield with a large unit of Cultists and another one close by and you have two scoring units that aren't likely to run away while he is alive. And he comes with a 4++ (Can be boosted to 3++ with Mark of Tzeentch) so he's probably going to stick around for a while.

He also grants re-roll to the Boons of Chaos table after deployment for himself and his unit. But since I see him being in the backfield more often than not I'm not sure how often this will come into effect really. Of course you could stick him into a hardier unit that will charge forward, but as he's not that killy himself you're probably better off with a Lord for that job I think.

Boons of Chaos/Gift of Mutation

As I feel this is a pretty big thing I want to dedicate a part to that as well. Since you can simply refuse challenges most of the time they probably won't have a huge effect (the fact that you will challenge every time however might really reduce enemies characters since they may have to refuse or risk dying horribly...[and also you just need to kill characters with your characters, even if it's not in a challenge in those cases where that can happen]) this is why the Gift of Mutation upgrade is really nice for your more important characters. I reckon I will take it whenever I can on my HQ at least, especially as you're safe against Spawnhood. It's probably a waste on normal Champions though, but for your Lord every Boon might help a lot especially if you're combat-oriented.

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