Garret contacted me the other day to ask me a question about painting. This was the first time a reader contacted me to ask me anything, so I was very happy to respond. We’ve been conversing since, and Garret asked me if I’d offer some feedback on a Chaos Space Marines list he was working on. I’m always happy to help any 40K player out, and doubly so if it’s a fellow fallen brother.
To further help Garret get feedback on his list, I told him I’d post it here so that you all could also offer suggestions and feedback. Now, what he sent me is a very cool idea he has for a campaign, and this list revolves around that idea. Here’s what he had to say.
Geez, If you are willing to give me a spot there I will not complain, but please do note that this is my first and only based on theory. I have absolutely no gaming experience yet. The feedback you and everyone else will provide can put me up far ahead. Some foreword to the goal of this list:
The idea is to have a balanced army that’s competitive with a space marine army I want to build. I want to setup a campaign for these two and work out GW’s poor point allocation to a certain extent. So lets say it’s more fluff than competitive. The two armies must be competitive against each other of course, but I doubt they will hold against the locals. It’s for me and my friends or introducing new blood like myself to the game.
I’ve not touched the campaign yet, but the idea would be to start with your main HQ and say for argument sake 2 – 3 units of your choosing in the army. Every 2nd round or so you should get some basic troop options for spawning at your side of the table. There will be appearing random objectives on the playfield (still working on the implementation of random) and these objectives will grant you access to (depending on objective) a choice of elite, fast attack or whatever unit in that category. For now you will get three choices per category, but you may choose only one for that objective.
This is a very rugged untested summary, but it will give you longer games with 1500 pts hopefully since there must be 3 objective spawns. If all three have been taken, then they randomly respawn somewhere in no man’s land again. The game can be won by points or I guess the one that wipes the other one of the board eventually. It’s gonna be a snowball effect after all. This do mean you’re gonna need a good supply of basic troop choices and there should be a limit to how many can be on the board at the same time (say 4 squads of 10?), but the game will go in a direction of a winner somewhere I presume.
Now for the list:
CHAOS SPACE MARINES
HQ – 2 = 1 1504 PTS
TROOPS – 6 = 2
ELITES – 3 = 2
FAST ATTACK – 3 = 2
HEAVY SUPPORT – 3 = 2
FORTIFICATION – 1 = 0
HQ – CHAOS LORD -65+45 = 110pts
*POWER SWORD -15
*PLASMA PISTOL -15
*FRAG GRENADES -0
*KRAK GRENADES -0
*AURA OF DARK GLORY -15
ELITE – 10 X CHOSEN -180+145 = 325pts
*LIGHTNING CLAWS -30
*POWER AXE -15
*POWER FIST -25
*4 X NORMALS -0
*POWER MAUL (CHAMP) -15
*ICON OF WRATH -20
*MARK OF KHORNE -20
*MELTA BOMBS -5
*GIFT OF MUTATION -10
ELITES – HELBRUTE -105pts
TROOP – 10 X CULTISTS -50+16 = 66pts
*HEAVY STUBBER -5
*CHAMP. SHOTGUN -2
TROOP – 10 X CULTISTS -50+5 = 55pts
FAST ATTACK – 4 X CHAOS SPAWN -120+10 = 130pts
*MARK OF KHORNE -10
HEAVY SUPPORT – 10 X HAVOCS – 140 + 125 = 265pts
*4 X MISSILE LAUNCHER – 100
-Frag, Krak & FlakK
*ICON OF VENGEANCE -25
HEAVY SUPPORT – 10 X HAVOCS – 140 + 65 = 205pts
*4 X AUTOCANNON -40
*ICON OF VENGEANCE -25
FAST ATTACK – 7 X RAPTORS – 129 + 114 = 243 pts
*2 X PLASMA PISTOL -30
*CHAMP. POWER WEAPON -15
*CHAMP. PLASMA PISTOL -15
*GIFT OF MUTATION -10
*MELTA BOMBS -5
*MARK OF KHORNE -14
*ICON OF VENGEANCE -25
I hope this can give you some article work, I would welcome any criticism since it could make my campaign work in the long run. Also please know I appreciate the opportunity you give me here. Thank you very much.
First, I think the campaign idea sounds like fun. Honestly, this is the stuff I love seeing with 40K, the cool and interesting ways to play the game that people come up with.
Now, my feedback on the list. Seeing as the entire thing is a theory, and I have no idea what sort of buying options you have, Garret, I’m going to stick to utilizing the units listed.
The Chaos Lord should, ideally, have the Sigil of Corruption for the 4+ invulnerable save. It’s only 10pts more and well worth the cost difference. Giving independent characters a Plasma Pistol is not something I very often do. I always overheat and lose my last wound when I do. I would leave off the Plasma Pistol and instead get yourself a Mark of Chaos. Personal preference here, but Mark of Nurgle will get him to T5 and make you less susceptible to Instant Death. If you do go with Mark of Nurgle then be sure to get Blight Grenades to negate any charge bonus against him and his squad. Of course, if the Lord is joining the Chosen then you would have to match the mark there, or just leave him without one as you have it :)
Chosen I have very little experience with, but I like the setup you have. You’ve kept them relatively cheap, and Mark of Khorne pushes the element Chosen have over basic Marines, more attacks. I would consider dropping the Icon of Wrath for an Icon of Vengeance though. The Icon of Wrath is great on a unit already Fearless, like Berzerkers, but Chosen aren’t Fearless, and getting run down because of a lost combat is a harsh realty for Chaos in general.
Another option for Chosen would be taking Veterans of the Long War. It costs less than the Icon of Vengeance, gets you to LD10 to offset a bad combat some, but also gets you Hatred Space Marines. Considering you have them geared up more for close combat, and you know you’ll fight Space Marines, it’s a solid option. It’s also a fluffy choice since Chosen are the veterans of the army.
Cultists look good, and I run the same setup since that’s how they come in the Dark Vengeance box.
On the Chaos Spawn I find the Mark of Khorne is largely not needed. Mark of Khorne gives you two things, Rage and Counter-attack. Spawn already have Rage naturally, so you’re only gaining counter-attack. Instead, I’m a big fan of Mark of Nurgle here. Making Spawn T6 is a HUGE advantage. All S4 stuff needs 6’s to wound (bolters, Marine close combat attacks). It also helps them with the fact they have no save by virtue of being tougher to wound. I’ve noticed a recurring theme with Mark of Khorne, so if it’s a fluffy thing then that’s cool.
Havocs are a great squad, and very often overlooked. It’s a solid unit with good firepower, and staying potential when you run them as a 10-man squad, as you have. I don’t give my Havocs the Icon of Vengeance because of the cost though. Instead I take Veterans of the Long War to boost them to LD10 with the Champ. My rationale is that if you’re taking morale from being shot then LD10 should be good to deal with that. If you’re taking morale for a lost combat then something went wrong, and you may as well just write off the unit anyway.
Something to consider with the Havoc’s Champion is giving him a Combi-weapon. Giving him a Combi-plasma would let him help the unit out a bit when things get close. I’m also a fan of Melta Bombs on anything that can take it, including your Lord. It’s a 5pt backup plan in case you tangle with something you can’t otherwise deal with.
Ah, Raptors. It’s a unit I want to love, but have seldom had much luck with. My only suggestion here would be to look at Meltaguns over Plasma Pistols on the two guys. You’re going to lose out on an attack per-model, but gain a more versatile unit as a result. It’s a great place for some melta since you can just jump out from behind cover and nuke something.
Overall, consider getting some Rhinos as well. I know the Chosen are geared for close combat, but having the option to start in a vehicle is always good. It can get you further down the field and to a far-flung objective. The thing I like to do with Rhinos when I take them in a situation like this, a close combat unit, and even for the Havocs who don’t need to drive around, is it can give you a screen. The Rhinos can be used to block line of sight to your units. The Chosen could advance behind the Rhino to minimize shooting on them, and it can be used to block charges to them as well. Same with the Havocs. Just park their Rhino near them to block line of sight and deter assaults.
So, my fellow Chaos players, do you have any advice you can offer Garret?