Oct 4, 2012

First Look at new CSM: Troops

So, time to look at the troops! Not so many different units this time around.

Chaos Space Marines

So many different options it's almost ridiculous. Here you really have to decide beforehand what you want your Marines to do on the battlefield. The cheapest possible version is basically the Loyalist Marine, except they do not have And They Shall Know No Fear making the Chaos Marines significantly worse since they can die to Sweeping Advances. However, they're also a bit cheaper if you take them like that. Finally! They also have a lot of options, for one thing they have three different basic load outs. The cheapest one is either only Bolters and Bolt Pistols, but they can also replace the Bolter with Close Combat Weapons for free or they can ADD Close Combat Weapons. This is model by model choices as well, so you can mix and match as you want... Perhaps you decide you want just a little bit of covering fire while advancing your assault unit? Probably not a good idea, but you CAN do it.

So when you have decided if you want a Bolter unit, a CC unit or the ones you're used to fielding with both (probably my choice most of the time) you then also have to decide If you want to specialize them even more. They of course have the Special Weapons as usual, which is what making them extra versatile. Now, where Chaos Marines really outclass Loyalist Marines is traditionally in Close Combat. This is why I like the Boltgun and Close Combat option the most, because that means fighting Marines we're on equal terms while closing in - but once in assault I have the advantage. Now, you can make that advantage even greater. First off we have the Veterans of the Long War upgrade, which boosts Leadership but more importantly grants Hatred against Space Marines. So we have the edge when fighting the Loyalists, but there's other stuff out there as well and the plus to Leadership won't be all that helpful against that.

So what you do instead is upgrade your units with Marks of Chaos. Basically you're creating a light version of Cult Marines. If you go for the CCW+bolt pistol option and Mark of Khorne with the Icon of Wrath you have Berzerkers. Bolters and Mark of Nurgle and you have T5 Marines to sit on objectives. You prefer Feel no Pain on your objective holders? Mark of Slaanesh and Icon of Excess. You can't really recreate Thousand Sons though, but if you like burning stuff you might want to consider Mark of Tzeentch and Icon of Flame which grants all "Bolt-weapons" the Soul Blaze special rule.

Now, if you're really disappointed in the drop of Leadership of Marines, perhaps you want the Icon of Vengeance that makes them Fearless? Another way of making them Fearless AND give them Hatred is attaching a Dark Apostle to a unit. Then you also have to characters in the unit meaning your champion will fight them while the Dark Apostle hangs back and well... grants Leadership as well as re-rolls to the Boons when the champion wins.

Talking about the Champion he has the same old options as usual, meaning I'd give him a Power Fist. You can however also give him a Gift of Mutation... as good as I think this upgrade is for HQ's I feel like it's a bit wasted on a 1W model. I mean if I have nothing else to use it on then fine, why not I suppose but I'd look elsewhere first.

Oh, and of course the unit can take a Rhino should it want to. 


Our new Troops really brings something we never used to have in the Chaos codex: Hordes! These guys are dirt cheap and can come in mobs of 35(!). Two different load outs for them, either CCW+pistol or CCW+autogun. As they're really weak anyway I'd say the CCW+pistol is the better option since it's cheaper. If you expect to get charged however the autogun might be worth considering since it's a Rapid Fire gun. I wouldn't really expect these guys to really kill anything, they're on the board for one thing only: Grab an objective and stay there. I'll probably throw in Flamers there since it's still cheap and then they might actually kill something.

Now, the Dark Apostle is obviously designed to go with these guys. So if you run him like that a couple of other options opens up. First off he gives them Fearless which is huge boost to their objective-holding. Second, he gives them Hatred. Now, what can we do with that? Why not throw Mark of Khorne on them and stick them at say, Terminators (or any other unit you want to delay) for example? They get a ton of attacks, and accompanied by the Dark Apostle they're Fearless AND re-rolls misses. A unit of 35 with CCW+autopistols, three flamers and Mark of Khorne gets 148 attacks on the charge (not counting the Dark Apostle). With Hatred they re-roll misses. They will probably kill something at least! Granted, you pay over 200 points for this.

The other Mark worth giving them is the Mark of Nurgle. Making them T4 really helps their survivability a lot. Here I would also go with the autoguns as well as they'll sit on an objective but maybe you'll get some shots of (or like I wrote earlier Rapid Fire Overwatch). The other two Marks are next to wasted on these guys I think.

Then we have Typhus, who can make Cultists into zombies. However, it seems they messed up a bit and with the wording of the rule they've capped the unit size to 10 models... I believe that will be FAQ:d though. But the question is, is it worth it? You loose all shooting but you do gain Fearless and Feel No Pain. Both of which are typically good traits for objective campers. However 5+ Feel No Pain on a unit that suffers Instant Death on S6 is not amazing. And also, since they're Fearless they can't Go to Ground either. So I think there are better options for objective camping. If you want a meat shield taking the Overwatch instead of your assault troops however...

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