Battle Review: Chaos Space Marines vs Astra Militarum

Last night I played a game against Kamui and his Rebel Grots, counts-as Astra Militarum, with my Chaos Space Marines, Disciples of Twilight. We played a 1,600 game with the Maelstrom of War mission where you always have three cards in hand.

The list I brought was an experiment. I wanted to try a Slaanesh Chaos Lord on a bike with Slaanesh Bikers and a Slaanesh Sorcerer with jump pack along with Slaanesh Raptors. I also used the Crimson Slaughter supplement. My list was:

Chaos Space Marines – 1,600


  • Soulgore (Lord) – Sigil of Corruption, Chaos Bike, Mark of Slaanesh, Daemonheart The Slaughterer’s Horns, Blade of the Relentless, Bolt Pistol, Melta Bombs, Gift of Mutation
  • Warforce (Sorcerer) – Psyker (Mastery Level 3), Bolt Pistol, Force Weapon, Spell Familiar, Mark of Slaanesh, Sigil of Corruption, Jump Pack, The Balestar of Mannon, Melta Bombs


  • Chaos Space Marines (10) -Meltagun x 2, Icon of Vengeance
    • Aspiring Champion
    • Rhino
  • Chaos Space Marines (5) – Plasma Gun
    • Aspiring Champion
    • Rhino
  • Cultists (10) – Close Combat Weapon,Autopistol, Flamer
    • Cultist Champion

Fast Attack

  • Raptors (9) – Mark of Slaanesh, Icon of Excess,Meltagun x 2
    • Raptor Champion – Melta Bombs
  • Chaos Bikers (5) – Mark of Slaanesh, Icon of Excess, Plasma Gun x 2
    • Biker Champion – Melta Bombs, Power Sword

Heavy Support

  • Obliterators (2) – Mark of Nurgle
  • Forgefiend – Hades Autocannon x 2

The Game

Chaos Space Marines vs Astra Militarum - Turn #1
Kamui’s movement at the top of turn #1.

I held my Cultists in reserves and was deep striking my Obliterators. Kamui had first turn.

The first three turns I took a pounding from shooting. My Raptors were slowly being whittled as well as my Bikers. My Forgefiend went down, as did the Rhino with the ten Marines. His Sentinels charged into my Raptors to tie them up while his Conscripts were moving towards board center to bog down another unit. Kamui had taken a very quick and large lead as well, somewhere around 8-3 mid-game.

I wasn’t pulling cards for much I could accomplish early on. My plan remained to get into his lines since no cards were holding me back. My Cultists had arrived and sent the Ratlings packing; one remained alive and fled. My Obliterators deep struck in and roasted 11 Guard and those Guard ran off the board. Soulgore, his Biker retinue dead, charged into a Veterans squad and wiped them out. Things were slowly turning around but I was still down a handful of points.

Chaos Space Marines vs Astra Militarum - Turn #6
The game end and what little remained for both of us.

My Raptors finally finished off the Sentinels but I only had Warforce (Sorcerer), and one Raptor left. The Conscripts charged into Soulgore (Lord), who only had one wound left. Soulgore lived and I charged my Sorcerer and last Raptor into the Conscripts, hoping to eventually get to the Priests to remove fearless and sweep the unit.

Soulgore managed to regain all of his wounds back over the next two turns and eventually the Conscripts were removed. I was down by 2pts after turn #5 and we rolled another turn.

Kamui didn’t draw any useful cards and then on my turn I managed to kill his Warlord and grab a few other points and the game ended with me managing a win something like 15-12.


It was a damn bloody game and a great one at that. That was easily one of my biggest comebacks in a game yet. No matter how many times I fight Astra Militarum, or Tau for that matter, the first 2-3 turns are always disheartening while I get pounded by fire power as I advance and maneuver to get into their lines. Watching units evaporate and wonder if you’ll have anything left to charge with is tough. Usually something of mine will get there and start turning the game around but it becomes a question of whether I got there fast enough to have the time to swing the game.

Soulgore did well this game. I love Daemonheart and having that 2+ with It Will Not Die. Getting those two wounds back against the Conscripts was great and the 2+ of course kept him in there. The Blade of the Relentless did well but it was against Guard where the benefits aren’t such a huge impact. I did manage to get +2 strength and AP2. I also rolled a boon roll for another +1 strength. At the start of the game I rolled +1WS, so he was WS7 and S7 (S8 on the charge from The Slaughterer’s Horns). Impressive but overkill in this game. I have to try the Blade some more though. I’m still not sure it’s worth the 30pts.

Warforce didn’t do a ton this game. Even with a re-roll from the Balestar I just could not get powers off. Ultimately he served as an expensive LD10 for my Raptors. Whenever I use a psyker I’m almost always underwhelmed. Now, my opponents’ psykers tend to ruin my day but as soon as I field one it’s very meh. Despite being great on paper, a Sorcerer with spell familiar at mastery 3, I just am not finding it worth the points for me.

Oh, and the Slaaneshy flavor worked out well this game. My Feel No Pain rolls were pretty average and managed to help offset my small numbers, which was the idea but you never can be sure if in practice it will pan out. Definitely something I’ll try some more, a Slaanesh heavy force.

  • Christian Hazzard

    Solid game. On the point of sorcerers, even with the balestar, they will still need a few battery units to provide extra charges. I would recommend allied pink horrors and a herald. With out it it is much harder even re rolling to get clutch powers off.

    • My problem was not so much lack of charges, it was just bad rolling. For example, I threw five dice on Prescience and even with a re-roll I failed to get it off. I was throwing 3 dice at warp charge 1 powers, still with re-rolls, and failing. It was rather atrocious. Sure, more charges would have upped the odds but with the re-rolls the dice I was throwing should have succeeded more than they did. I just have bad luck with psykers no matter what.

      • Christian Hazzard

        wow, maybe you are just a devotee to khorne lol. the dice are talking to you then

        • The Immaterium was particularly immaterial that day. We were both struggling to get our psychic powers to go off.

  • It was a pretty brutal fight! I made a couple of mistakes along the way that cost me in the end. I should have placed my snipers on the opposite corner since I knew you had cultists coming in from reserves. I did some weird maneuvering with my russes that just ended up with me limiting my own lines of fire. And I keep forgetting about the damned laser batteries on my chimeras (probably because I modeled them as fire points instead) that give me another reason to stay in my rides! I also should have charged your oblits with my blob instead of plinking at them then eating twin-linked flamers.

    You played well though and managed a hell of a comeback at the end!

    • Thanks. I can say that nothing went as planned though, but when does it? I wanted to avoid the Conscripts, as was obvious, and send my Bikers and Raptors to take down the Sentinels early and then blow through that flank. That went to hell early with you going on the offensive. I had to play way more defense than I’m used to and if I didn’t have Soulgore to carry my army that game then you’d have had me.

      When I use a heavily mechanized force I constantly block my own fire lanes, so I know your pain there. Sticking in those Chimeras is key for sure. Each time you got out to fire on me I took out the unit in assault. I had such little shooting overall, especially once my Forgefiend went down and my squads were thinning out, that I would have needed to assault vehicles to open them and that’s what you needed.

      The game really could have gone either way.

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