Battle Review: Chaos Space Marines vs Space Marines

ThorLast night I played a 1,600 Warhammer 40K game against Ming’s Space Marines with my Disciples of Twilight, Chaos Space Marines. We played The Spoilers of War mission, Maelstrom of War mission with three cards, you cannot discard objective cards and your opponent can claim your objective cards.

The list I brought was this:


Chaos Space Marines – 1,600


  • Soulgore (Chaos Lord) – Bolt Pistol, Axe of Blind Fury, Sigil of Corruption, Juggernaut of Khorne, Mark of Khorne, Melta Bombs


  • Mutilators (3) – Mark of Nurgle


  • Chaos Space Marines (10) -Meltagun x 2, Icon of Vengeance
    • Aspiring Champion – Meta Bombs
    • Rhino
  • Chaos Space Marines (5) – Plasma Gun x 1, Veterans of the Long War
    • Aspiring Champion – Meta Bombs
    • Rhino
  • Cultists (10) – CCW,Autopistol, Flamer x 1
    • Aspiring Champion

Fast Attack

  • Spawn (5)
  • Heldrake – Hades Autocannon

Heavy Support

  • Obliterators (2) – Mark of Nurgle, Veterans of the Long War
  • Obliterators (2) – Mark of Nurgle, Veterans of the Long War
  • Forgefiend – Hades Autocannon x 2

I wanted to experiment with Mutilators again; something I find myself doing periodically to try to make them work in a list.

The Game

I had first turn and deployed everything but Mutilators (deep strike), the Cultists (reserves) and of course the Heldrake (reserves). I learned my lesson from the last time I played against a Drop Pod heavy army. In that game I put a lot in reserves which of course let my opponent drop in and nuke what little I did have on the board.

I mostly advanced while holding back Soulgore and the Spawn to see where they would be needed. Ming arrived with a Drop Pod on my right flank with Sternguard and Tigurius and another to my left with Tactical Marines. My Oblit squad on the right were destroyed by meltaguns and I lost a Rhino on the left and with it four Marines. Tough start.

My shooting phase was largely ineffective. Soulgore and the Spawn got into the Sternguard. Soulgore tore through the Sergeant and Marines and Spawn lended their aid but the Marines stuck.

Things started going downhill quick here. His Stormtalon showed up and the next Drop Pod. Ming concentrated on controlling the board center and pouring fire power into my army to reasonable effect. Eventually my Forgefiend lost both hades autocannons. In combat Tigurius held his ground against Soulgore while having Fiery From up for the 4++ and making all five saves. Soulgore managed to save the force weapon wound that came through and the combat stuck.

The game was close but Ming started pulling away by snagging objectives. His Land Speeders were zooming around being a nuisance and proving effective at getting points. I was trying to play catch-up and just couldn’t manage it and Ming took a 15-8 win in the end.


Despite a pretty significant beating in points the game was close in terms of body count. There were a few critical moments as well. Tigurius holding up Soulgore as long as he did helped Ming a lot. I had the card to kill a psyker and figured I would end up killing Tigurius on his turn so I discarded it. Since Tigurius was making those 4++ saves the combat went longer than expected and I did kill him on my following turn. Under normal circumstances I think it was the right move but the wrong one in this particular game.

I also screwed up a few times and gave away some easy points. I moved a Rhino off an objective, leaving it for Cultists, and paid for that move. At another point I moved my Forgefiend away from an objective and the Land Speeders swept in to take that one.

My Heldrake held up like a champ though. He took an amazing amount of shots from the Stormtalon, Stalker and assorted other units who snap fired and only took a single hull point the whole game, which it later recovered from It Will Not Die. So, it wasn’t all bad luck and terrible maneuvers but those bad choices on my part was my undoing.

The Mutilators didn’t do horrible but certainly weren’t worth their points in this game. They assaulted a Tactical Squad along with Soulgore and Spawn to wipe it and later charged a 4-man Tactical Squad and could only kill off two. Mutilators are a unit I want to love but I just have never seen them be effective.

It was a good game and some valuable lessons learned. Sticking with the same list is definitely helping me out. This list is varied a bit from my previous but still about 90% the same, so close enough that it plays out mostly the same.

  • TheRhino

    Interesting. The 1600 point list I’d brought last Saturday was intended to pull similar shenanigans regarding objectives. I had Speeders that were intended to move 12″ in the Movement phase, and then Flat Out up to 18″ more in the Shooting phase to ensure I grabbed vacant objectives.
    I think the two things that are crucial for combating the fast-moving units in Maelstrom missions are Objective Secured and proper spacing of your units around the markers. That particular mission also favors the fast army, as every objective is up for play, sometimes for multiple points from multiple cards between both players.

    • I completely agree and that’s the big thing I screwed up on, I underestimated the Speeders. As a result they helped him net around 5pts out of the 15pts he had.

      • TheRhino

        My nightmare would be coming up against a pure Eldar jetbike force in that mission. You’d expend so much effort blocking movement that target priority becomes tougher.

        • I can tell you that objective secured Wave Serpents are fun first hand.

  • Fast, inexpensive units have always been handy but now that they can score objective points and move on they’re fantastic.

    Sticking with a list, or at least a core, does make a huge difference. It seems like you’re narrowing in on your core units and how to use them together. It’s too bad the mutilators aren’t working out, they are a pretty cool unit that could generate some awesome conversions. It’s silly that they’re slow and purposeful. A demon-beast dedicated to tearing things apart in melee should be fast enough to get there once in a while.

    On a side note, it’s interesting that the picture you used has both of us in mid-roll!

    • Yeah, a SnP melee unit that has no frag grenades either is tricky to say the least. They get 4 attacks on the charge, not bad, but with only 3 per-unit it’s not a ton of attacks either. It’s a quality over quantity thing but getting them stuck-in is tough.

      haha! Hadn’t noticed you were rolling too. That’s awesome.

      • They’re one of those units that could have potential if used right, but it seems difficult to find the right place for them. Maybe you could pair them with a faster assault unit for a 1-2 punch. Push Soulgore/spawn towards something tough you want to lock down with a turn 2 charge. When the mutilators show up drop them near that combat so the next turn they can join in to break the combat and free Soulgore. It could also be a good way to deal with tarpits units. This could be really useful if you had something with hit and run: the mutilators can come in to hold the enemy unit while the other one breaks off to go hunting.

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