Chaos Marines: Time to Refocus

FocusI spouted off the other day about my terrible luck with my favorite army, Chaos Marines. Well, that evening I put up the article I sat down and did a lot of thinking and realized a few things. One, I need to stop trying to fit the square peg into the round hole with how I approach my lists. Second, I need to finally accept that allies are here and avoiding using them is not doing me any favors at all.

My list approach lately has been to try to adapt to the shooting nature of 6th edition by trying to get as much shooting into my lists as I can with regards to my collection. There’s a few problems here. First, my collection doesn’t feature a lot of shooting units and when I try to make it happen I end up with a haphazard list. The list has a focus and a theme but it still lacks cohesion as the models I own are limiting. There’s also the fact that Chaos Marines don’t exactly excel in the long-range fire department, even with more appropriate models. Second, and more importantly to me, is I simply prefer assault based lists. When I put down a list that has such a heavy focus on shooting I just do not enjoy it as much as a list meant to run up and punch heads in. From time to time to change things up and keep things fresh I don’t mind doing a heavy shooting list but not as my go-to list.

With regards to allies, I’ve avoided them forever. I kept telling myself I wanted to build out my Chaos Marines more; get myself a solid core and then look to bring in allies. The collection process has slowed down, however, due to my indecision with the army and how I want to approach it. All the while I have not been utilizing allies and restricting myself as a result. Having a goal is great but letting that goal hinder yourself is not productive at all. I have Orks that I can ally in and a fledgling Daemon army as well, plus some Imperial Guard I’ve begun collecting for this purpose. It’s time to stop putting it off. Plus, in working with allies I may find some enlightenment to my Chaos Marines collection, how I want to proceed with it.

On that note, with all this thinking I also drafted up some lists. One was a list with what I own and another was a list with models I do not own but can easily, as in it’s not super expensive to buy should I like what I try. Both lists focus on close combat and my aggressive nature. I should note that it’s not just close combat I enjoy, it’s more that I enjoy aggressive lists. Sitting back on the board edge firing for 5-turns bores the shit out of me. Having a bunch of guys drive forward into the enemy’s face and jump out to rapid fire and/or assault is more my nature. That’s where I’m going with my lists ideas.

The ally I opted to try first is Daemons. Being battle brothers with Chaos Marines is a factor and also that I own painted models as well. Plus, they fit the bill of being an aggressive army, working well with my approach and Chaos Marines in general.

The list I want to try is this:

It’s a pretty straight forward in-your-face list. It’s almost like how I approached my Orks in that dealing with armor is mostly going to come down to melee. What little shooting I do have is mid to short-range. As I’ve said in the past, making balanced lists has never been my preference. I prefer to have a focus even if it gives me a glaring weakness.

I may lose motivation from time to time with 40K or hit a low point where game after game I’m getting my ass handed to me, but I love this game. I’ll take some time to lick my wounds but ultimately it serves as a time of self-evaluation. If I’m doing poorly then it’s not the fault of my opponent or the game itself, it’s something I’m doing wrong. It’s in these moments of realization that the chance to become a better gamer presents itself and only a fool would ignore it.

  • Steven Morrow

    i play the same way. I find gunline armies are just boring. I want to tear stuff up not hide in the back. Some mythical super competitive ideal and math hammer doesnt appeal to me. I can fight that way and fully understand how it works but i burn out real quick forcing it.

    • I find it’s best to rely on experience more than mathhammer. I don’t need to know exactly how many hits, wounds and theoretical kills I will get but just that the unit I put into combat against another unit is capable of winning. Experience is always the better guide.

  • JustHippie

    As long as you play on a table with lots of Line of sight blocking terrain this list should do great. The 3 FAST elements will certainly put the pressure on your opponent. If it still struggles against the stronger shooting lists I’d suggest the Disc Herald ML3 with Screamers. Yesterday I had that unit with 2++(4++ from forewarning and +2 from Grimoire) and since it is Tzeentch they reroll 1’s. Now that is durable and FAST.

    • I had a list with the HoT in it and Screamers but opted for the most blunt instrument that is Khorne. I can see the list working with either honestly. The HoT will balance my list out a bit more and give me some support where the Khorne approach just pushes that assault element. I ultimately picked what I did as more of a theme than anything.

      • Warren Falconer

        Ya know after playing hippie twice yesterday I was kind of left with the feeling that khorne isn’t all that strong in assault. I mean it is what they do, but on the daemons side they are a glass cannon to the extreme, I4. 1 A base, and instability kick their butts. I have been reworking my list some with what I learned from my thumpings to get some psychic power force multipliers in there in a fluffy way to attempt to help their durability.

        • You definitely need to choose your fights because of instability. I’ll have to do some thinking.

  • mathhammer

    the most important thing I have learned about 6th ed Chaos Marines is the codex plays to the warband style not the chapter style.
    So it’s a core of marines with a lot of other stuff (read a lot of cultist)

    • I agree. Reaching a rounded and balanced list with Chaos is a whole different affair than loyalist Marines. I also don’t find it works very well for me either, hence the singular focus on my lists most of the time.

  • stealthystealth

    I would still like to see a 4th if not 5th troop choice at 1500 points.

    • A 4th troop is pushing it, unless it were Cultists, but a 5th in 1,500? I’m not playing Orks where my guys fall over every time someone looks at them :P I tend to adhere to the 1 troop per-500pts. The only troops Chaos has worth taking in quantity are cult troops: Berzerkers, Thousand Sons, Plague Marines and Noise Marines. I can put down more Chaos Marines but I lose some of that fast threat I’m pushing for and ultimately water it down.

      • stealthystealth

        Right and I thought that would be your answer I would drop the mauler fiend for a troop. Just a better chance of winning the game in the end. There is no doubt that this list can win a fight but maybe no the end game.

        Give it a shot without if you find you struggle with end game then add more troops.

        • JustHippie

          He could also take the portal glyph with his Exalted reward if the mission has more objectives. Lay that down and let the Daemons pop out like Daisies (Daemonettes can run like crazy, Plaguebearers are tough and Horrors can shoot when they come out)

          • stealthystealth

            That’s a really good idea

  • I’m glad you’re finally jumping into allies. I know demons were a key part of your lists in the last codex so it must feel like a long awaited reunion to bring them back in!

    I’m not real familiar with the demon units but overall this looks like a list that fits your play style well. It should feel a lot more satisfying to play which will make you much more effective with it.

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