List Review: Chaos Space Marines 1,750

Last night I played a 1,750 game with my Chaos Space Marines against Iron Hands. Normally I would do a battle report but the game was rather chaotic and it’s hard to put it into something coherent here. Instead I wanted to focus on the list I was using since the game was a play test for it.

I put up a list a few days ago asking for feedback and I got a lot of great responses. I took the advice, coupled with what I can do with the models I own, and revised my list. The list I tried out was this.

Chaos Space Marines – 1,750


  • Grimtech: Warpsmith – Bolt Pistol, Power Axe, Mark of Nurgle, Aura of Dark Glory, Blight Grenades, Melta Bombs


  • Chaos Space Marines (9)-Meltagun x 1, Icon of Vengeance
    • Aspiring Champion – Meltabomb
    • Rhino – Dirge Caster
  • Chaos Space Marines (10) – Plasma Gun x 2, Icon of Vengeance
    • Aspiring Champion – Meltabomb
    • Rhino – Dirge Caster
  • Cultists (10) -Autoguns, HeavyStubber
    • Cultist Champion – Shotgun

Fast Attack

  • Heldrake – Baleflamer

Heavy Support

  • Maulerfiend – Power Fist x 2, Lasher Tendrils
  • Defiler – Battle Cannon, Reaper Autocannon, Twin-linked Heavy Flamer, Power Fist x 2, Dirge Caster
  • Obliterators (3) – Veterans of the Long War, Mark of Nurgle

Formation: Mayhem Pack

  • Helbrute – Power Fist w/Heavy Flamer, Multi-melta
  • Helbrute – Power Fist w/Heavy Flamer, Multi-melta
  • Helbrute – Power Fist w/Heavy Flamer, Multi-melta

Overall I was happy with the list. The big thing I was trying out was the Mayhem Pack. What this does is lets you deep strike the Helbrutes. You make one reserve roll for the formation and they arrive together and deploy separately. The Helbrutes get it will not die and every turn roll on the crazed table once for all Helbrutes. Being able to deep strike these guys in is the big reason I wanted to try it out and the rest is just a bonus.

As for how they did in this particular game, meh. They didn’t arrive until turn #4. One of them mishaped and died. It’s not a huge deal in terms of points, the loss, but it did affect my ability to score points. The two that lived did alright but coming in so late just made them prime targets with combats going on and having little else for my opponent to fire at.

I lost my poor Maulerfiend on the first turn in the game, as is typical. As I said in comments on the other article, I don’t own a second Maulerfiend yet but it’s a planned purchase once I get the cash. Still, the list packs five walkers even if there’s only one Maulerfiend.

MaulerfiendThe Warpsmith did reasonably well this game. He fixed the immobilized result on the Defiler, went on with his unit (the CSM with a meltagun), to charge and destroy Centurions and later got stuck in combat with an Ironclad. Grimtech (Warpsmith), went down to the Ironclad but not before taking an arm off it and holding it up for three assault phases.

WarpsmithI did lose the game 15-12. The game was great. My opponent started off with a 6-1 lead after the first turn and mid-game I took a few point lead over him. The late arrival of my Helbrutes hindered me and he regained the lead again and I just couldn’t snatch it back.

I do like the list and I feel it’s just a matter of getting more practice in with it. The list is fluffy, themed and fun to play so now it’s a matter of getting better with it.

For your viewing pleasure, here’s the rest of the shots of the game.

What do you think of the list?


  • Knight_of_Infinite_Resignation

    sorry your Helbrute formation didn’t work out. At over 1500 I usually have an Imperial Bunker (much the same as bastion but mysteriously cheaper) with comms relay to help with reserves rolls if using the Mayhem Pack + Oblits. I put some cultists or something in it. Fortifications themselves are scoring in this edition, so even an empty building can hold an objective! With the Comms Relay almost everything will come in turn 2. I sometimes hide or reserve everything else turn one.

    I’d be very tempted to lose the Icon of Vengeance in the Warpsmiths unit and rely on his Leadership of 10. Those 25 points could buy a combi-melta for the sarge of that squad, a combi-plasma for the other squad and perhaps a dozer blade for the rhino. I’d also lose the dirge caster on the plasma squads rhino (how often have you actually used it?) and give that a dozer blade too. Dozer blades facilitate hiding behind terrain which you can crash through with impunity the next turn.

    You could also save a lot of points on the defiler, there is really no point in the extra weapons as they can only be snap shot if you fire the battle cannon (which you always will).

    • Getting reserve manipulation would certainly be a boon. I rolled on the strategic warlord traits to try and get the +1 for reserves but didn’t manage it. Obviously a random warlord trait is not the way to go.

      You have a point on saving points (no pun intended). I could certainly move things around to get more effect out of what I’m putting down. The Defiler though only has a Dirge Caster for anything extra. All those weapons are stock on him.

      • Knight_of_Infinite_Resignation

        oh you are right, just had a look at the defiler in the codex. It has been ages since I ran one so I’d forgotten. I always swapped out the autocannon for the extra powerfist IIRC to get the most attacks.

        • Gregory Swanson

          Have you ever thought of mounting your warpsmith on a bike and running him with spawn or bikes? I have used an attack bike in the past to provide mounts for characters that way you can always put a magnet on the bottom of the base so he can either be on foot or the bike. Seems like you are heading towards more speed especially if you are getting a second mauler fiend.

          • I would LOVE to put the Warpsmith on a bike but sadly he does not have the access to get one. Techmarines know how to ride bikes but apparently Warpsmiths don’t…

            • Gregory Swanson

              Sorry didn’t have my codex handy

              • All good. Getting access to bikes, jump packs and such is something more Chaos HQs need.

        • I’ve thought of swapping it out and probably should. The reaper works alright as a potential flyer threat, when no good battle cannon targets are around, but seldom does that matter and another fist is never a bad thing.

      • Did you remember to reroll your result? I know I tend to forget that when using a standard detachment that is battleforged.

        I think you just had bad luck on your reserve rolls. If you had more reserves, I’d consider the points investment. A better investment would probably be some sort of homer or something if a unit could take it to prevent them scattering.

        • I did. First I got the night fight one, something useless, and then I got the -1 to my opponent’s reserve rolls. It wasn’t useless, and worked that game, just not what I wanted.

          The only way to get something to prevent scatter is to take the Dimensional Key artifact. However, it only activates once the bearer kills someone in close combat. That’s very unlikely to happen early enough to be worthwhile. I miss the old Chaos icons.

          • I can see why CSM players are always bitter about their codex, when you miss tools like teleport homers, or bikes for some of your hq’s. Hopefully an update soon will restore some of this!

            • Agreed. It’s just some small things like that which need addressing. I don’t mean small in terms of impact but ease of fixing. A few simple things and the codex would go from good to great.

            • Knight_of_Infinite_Resignation

              yes, and the things that are supposed to compensate (like the Dimensional Key) are really useless to the point where you know they were never playtested. It would be OK if the Daemons icons and instruments worked for CSM and vice versa. They are Battle Brothers in name only, they can’t join each others units or use each others special rules.

              • Chaos really gets shafted on the whole “battle brothers” thing for sure. It’s hard to not be bitter at times when the entire Imperium can ally as battle brothers and everything just slots into place perfectly.

                • Knight_of_Infinite_Resignation

                  the saving grace is IA13, there is some really great stuff in there. The Rapier batteries, Sicaran, Fire Raptor are A1, the Giant Spawn is good, and the Renegades and Heretics list has lots of potential and is true Battle Brothers with CSM. I am writing lists at the moment and they look strong. Adding some big blobs, bargain artillery and cheap spawn into a CSM list improves it no end.

                • I think the codex is written to specifically nurture the bitter rage toward imperials that is key to the flavor of Chaos Marines. ;)

                  • You may be on to something there.

    • khorneinquisitor

      The bunker is cheaper as it is lacking the 4 heavy bolters. Also, the bastion is very much an “as modelled” type of thing as it is all glue on and just lists numbers, so if you want you can literally put all 4 heavy bolters and all 8 fire points on one side and still be in accordance with the rules. Yeah…it’ll piss people off, but technically it’s correct and really, it’s not game-breaking since you can easily glance them to death.

  • khorneinquisitor

    You should try using a defense line with this list. Then, you could take a comms relay, and post up your defiler behind it for a 4+ cover, as well as defilers. Looking at 70 points total. OR, upgrade it with an ammunition dump for rerolls to 1 in shooting phase. HUGE benefit as it makes your oblits effectively BS5 and defiler a little better too.

    Overall, deepstrike is handy, but I like the shooty hellbrutes much more personally. The timining is so critical with the assault ones that if it ends on your turn the hellbrute eats lots of melta. Tag onto that the fact that everyone and their uncle has krak grenades, they suffer from that. Picture 2 or three shooty ones with rerolls to 1’s and a 4+ cover? Yeah…ugly….or you can use a promethium pipeline and have them STILL get a 4+ cover (with the risk of an explosion that can’t hurt them) and benefit from those heavy flamers being torrent weapons. Really makes them a medium range killer as well.

    • Shooting? What’s that? :P

      Sitting back and shooting, no matter how damn effective it is, or can be, has just never appealed to me. I want my lists to cave in heads in close combat. I run Khorne lists in all but name really.

      That being said, I do need a few more games though before I can really see what needs tweaking. Bad reserve rolls don’t always happen and not everyone is packing as much grav weaponry (which is annoying as shit to a mech list), as Carl was.

      • khorneinquisitor

        In THAT case, drop the oblits, add in mutilators!!!! It would also free up like 70 points!

        • Man, i want to love Mutilators but every time I use them it just never works out. More importantly though, in this list I have the Oblits starting on the board. With a Heldrake in reserves, 3 Helbrutes in reserves I already have a bit not there on turn #1. Toss another ~220pts in reserves via-Oblits and what I do have is going to get hammered. However, I have considered ditching the Heldrake and that pretty well buys the Mutilators while keeing Oblits; best of both worlds…maybe.

          • khorneinquisitor

            I think mutilators would work pretty well in this list if you deep strike them. At that point it would be target over-saturation. What does the enemy shoot at? Mutilators? Hell-Brutes? Oblits?

            • I’m all for trying anything. Maybe I can finally make Mutilators work.

  • This is awesome stuff. I always enjoy reading about people having fun with a CSM list. Can’t wait to see when you get that second Maulerfiend, ah-yeah!

    • Thanks.

      You really have to like Chaos and just have fun with it to play them in my opinion. It’s not worth trying to be competitive with them, just create cool armies and enjoy the games.

  • Pingback: Battle Report: Chaos Space Marines vs Iron Hands | 40K()

%d bloggers like this: