Battle Review: Chaos Space Marines vs Grey Knights

November is the Standish Standoff 4, a 24-player Warhammer 40K tournament, here in Standish, Maine. Everyone in the area is getting ready for it and last night I played a 1,650 game testing out a possible list for my Chaos Space Marines. Speaking of, here’s the list.

Chaos Space Marines – 1,650


  • Huron Blackheart
  • Ghostwrath (Daemon Prince) – Wings, Power Armor, Mark of Nurgle, Spell Familiar, Psyker (M2)


  • Chaos Space Marines (10) – Icon of Vengeance, Meltagun x 2
    • Apsiring Champion – Melta Bombs
    • Rhino – Dirge Caster
  • Chaos Space Marines (10) – Icon of Vengeance, Plasma Gun x 2
    • Apsiring Champion – Melta Bombs
    • Rhino – Dirge Caster

Fast Attack

  • Spawn (5) – Mark of Nurgle
  • Heldrake – Baleflamer

Heavy Support

  • Obliterators (3) – Mark of Nurgle, Veterans of the Long War
  • Maulerfiend – Lasher Tendrils

We played the Cloak and Shadows Maelstrom of War mission where you have three cards but keep them secret. I got side choice and StealthyStealth got first turn.

The Game

Stealthy only had two Rhinos to deploy with Tactical Marines in them, five each. He put them on each side of his deployment zone (hammer & anvil). I rolled for Master of Deception (warlord trait to infiltrate D3 infantry units), and got three. I infiltrated my Obliterators with Huron behind a building near a Rhino of his and then both Chaos Marine squads in their Rhinos midfield on two objectives. The rest of my stuff was back middle of my deployment zone.

Infiltrating Huron and Obliterator Deployment

Stealthy’s Drop Pod with Sternguard and Draigo, Sternguard all rocking combi-meltas, landed next to my Maulerfiend. They unloaded and I made a bunch of 5++ saves but the Maulerfiend ended up stunned; I failed the damn Daemonic Possession roll. His Terminators with a Librarian landed near mid-field but way back on the long edge out of range of anything. The Rhinos shuffled, one moving away from my Obliterators and Huron.

I emptied the Marines out of a Rhino to rapid fire on Dragio and crew. My Prince flew near Draigo to cast powers but no luck there. The other Rhino moved to cover the Marines on foot. Obliterators and Huron advanced towards Stealthy’s Rhinos. My rapid firing Marines killed off four Sternguard leaving just one with Draigo and then my Spawn charged into them. Draigo killed three Spawn and the Spawn put a wound on Draigo.

Spawn and DraigoStealthy’s Stormraven and Stormtalon arrived. Draigo used Gate of Infinity and teleported himself and the lone Sternguard out of combat and near his Terminators. I lost a Rhino from the air support and a few from the Marine squad. I also lost a Spawn and had a power fist shot off my Maulerfiend.

I mostly maneuvered around this turn trying to snag points off objectives; nothing of note going on. Oh, my Heldrake did arrive and roasted 1-2 Terminators.

Bye Heldrake

Chaos Space Marines AdvanceTo summarize the rest of the game, Draigo joined the Terminators and gated right in the middle of my army. My Heldrake went down and focus firing later saw my Prince splat. I charged my one-arm Maulerfiend into Draigo and Terminators to hold them up for a few rounds before dying. I had thinned down most of his squads to a few members each and got my Marines into them but neither of us could shift those combats.

Chaos Space Marines

Maulerfiend and DraigoThe freed Draigo and Terminators destroyed my Obliterators and Huron in combat. Draigo had force up and killed each model in my unit. I only had a Spawn left, a Rhino and two Marines in combat. The Spawn charged into combat to aid the Marines but did nothing. My Rhino sat and snagged two points and the game ended. The final score of the game was 12-12.

Bye Huron and ObliteratorsGame Summary

It was a hell of an interesting game. Both of us spent a lot of time moving around to snag objectives and mostly avoiding direct confrontation. I knew I couldn’t barrel into him like I normally do, too many force weapons to worry about when I had a lot of multi-wound models. I tried to get points and thin him down for late game charges. I managed that but my combats were ineffective since my units geared for close combat were either dead or damaged. I have the feeling that Stealthy would have loved to have gotten into my army sooner but his scatter on Terminators didn’t allow for it.

My List

I was pleased with my list. I didn’t expect to hold up at all against Grey Knights but I did and hung in for the draw. I’m going to stick with this list for a bit and see how it does. I need to finalize a list sooner than later for the tournament in November not only from a hobby perspective but also for play testing. I’m not aiming to win the day, just not get stomped, and this list might just manage that.

How’s that for pictures folks? I think I might be on to something with these battle reports now ;)

  • Wow that was a close battle. I didn’t know you could gate out of combat…that’s nuts!!!!

    • Gate is really powerful. You can use it to scoot around the board for objectives, get better firing angles, general maneuvering and yes, for getting yourself out of unfavorable combat. I often use my Spawn to tie down units I don’t want wandering the board, like Draigo, but being able to Gate out was tough to deal with.

  • Nice pictures! They don’t help explain what’s happening as well as wide overhead shots would but they do add quite a bit to the post.

    Sounds like a tight game too.

    • Thanks. What I was aiming for was to get some shots to accompany the report itself, to lend visual the discussed moments. Table shots aren’t very inspiring and seeing as I’m not aiming to lay down strategies and tactics in my reports, I figured cool closeups would fit better.

      Very close game. We were always within a few points of one another. Grey Knights ability to really hammer on daemons had me worried, as I have a fair share of “daemons”, but I held it together for once.

  • TheRhino

    Interesting game. I wonder how differently it might have gone in either direction if he’d used PAGK squads instead of vanilla Marine Tactical squads. Do you think the massed force weapons would have been more dangerous, despite lower numbers?

    • I think there’s a balance to be struck between bodies and force weapons and I think Jeremy is right there with it. If he had fewer/smaller squads but more force weapons then I think I would have had a far easier time of it. My target priority would have been easier and I could have shielded my multi-wound models easier, less angles he could come at me from.

  • Knight_of_Infinite_Resignation

    Interesting to see vanilla CSM on the table. I find them too expensive since they tend to run away, and only really use them in a blob with a Lord. Icon of Vengeance just gets sniped out too often, so on the odd occasion I go mech with them I tend to use VOTLW for a leadership boost instead. Did you give them the extra CCW?

    • I’ve had really good luck with them honestly. I do lose the icon now and then but not a lot, otherwise I wouldn’t do it. Normally when I lose the icon it’s because things have gone wrong and an orbrital bombardment is landing on their head or a Basilisk gets a direct hit, something like that.

      Even if I lose the icon at some point it normally provides enough use prior that it was worth the cost. I take VotLW now and then as well, and it’s cheaper, but even LD10 can fail a morale test and I see those extra 15pts over VotLW worth it.

      I don’t give them a CCW. With the Icon of Vengeance they run 15.5pts a model, which isn’t bad for some fearless Marines, albeit not permanently fearless.

      Anyway, that’s been my deal with them. If I played somewhere that had a lot of snipers and barrage weapons then my tune would be different but thankfully that’s not the case where I play.

      • Knight_of_Infinite_Resignation

        I play a lot against SM, Eldar and AM, the Icon of Vengeance always dies to Wyverns, mortars, Thunderfire or that awful barrage gun the Dark Reaper Exarch has.

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