After all the buzz has passed beyond the CSM codex and onto newer releases, I finally convinced myself to buy the book and return to the Dark Gods. And I’m glad I did!
The book is REALLY nice. Great illustrations and artwork, even the borders of each page are decorated with tentacles and skulls and evil Xmas tree bits. And the rules… I didn’t vote on the Creative Twilight survey in time but I think i’d go with “Kicks Ass” on this one, though there are some things I’m not thrilled with.
6th Ed Trend: As seems to be the trend, everybody is getting better and better and all the quirky disadvantages that armies used to have are being phased out. Bigger and stronger for everyone, it seems. Which for the most part is good but I think it takes some of the fun out of the game in favor of just being kickass and increasing the odds of victory. For example, The Hellbrute (chaos dreadnought) still has the crazed rule, but no longer shoots the closest models be they friend or foe, just foe. Good from the “competitive” perspective, but I thought that was kind of a fun factor. I’ve had my dread go crazy and shoot the hell out of my own units. Doesn’t help win but it sure livens things up! Another example is Fabius Bile’s enhanced warriors–there’s no more chance of them going crazy and ripping each other apart. I had a squad of them bottled up in a rhino and they went berserk, killing most of their unit. Huge waste of points and contributed to my losing the game, but it made a cool story!
Daemons: The biggest thing I’ll miss is summoning daemons. I suppose this goes hand in hand with having allies now, but I always liked the ability to call up your patron god and ask for some assistance. Made sense to me. Along the same line, GW seems to be phasing out the generic daemons in general–even the Daemon Princes MUST be of a particular god. There’s some logic to that but it seems too restrictive for the nature of Chaos to me.
Options, lots of options: I like that they brought back the old Chaos Rewards system of having a big list that all your characters can go to for all their slaughtering needs. Fun way to accessorize your models and champions.
Spontaneous Mutation: The battle field rewards that champions can earn by winning a challenge is truly Chaotic in nature. Very fitting, and very fun! A champion can gain a favorable mutation or potentially be turned into a spawn or daemon prince right in the middle of a game! Awesome!
More Monsters: Even though the Dark Powers tooketh our daemons away, they giveth more monsters. Defilers got way tougher and have been joined by other vehicular behemoths, like forgefiends, heldrakes, and maulerfiends. That’s what I’m talking about!
Bring on the Minions: Cultists! Great fodder for entertaining the gods. And if you have Typhus you can make your cultists Zombies instead (which would be even cooler if a infantry or biker modeled killed by zombies rose to join them at the end of the combat on a 5+!)
There are a lot of small and individual changes throughout, some new units that I would likely never use, some old favorites that got slightly better or slightly worse. Overall, I was afraid they’d screw up my Chaos Marines but (other than stealing my generic daemons) they only got better! Death to the False Emperor!!!
J. D. Brink