Chaos Space Marines: More Lessons from the Table

This past Saturday I played in a 1,650 tournament at my FLGS. Next month is the Standish Standoff, a 24-player 40K tournament with lots of prizes and such, so this month was essentially practice since it’s also 1,650. So, I brought along my list I created for the Standoff to play test this month, which is:

Chaos Space Marines – 1,650


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


  • 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

The Games

I don’t plan to review the games, just what I learned. If you’re curious though, I lost both games and had a bye round. So, I lost the games I played and got to sit around for just over two hours in round #2. Not my best day. However, I did take away some valuable lessons and ultimately that was the point of the day. If I didn’t learn anything then that would have been more upsetting than the ass kickings I got.

Here’s some shots I managed during the day.

Daemon Prince – Flying Monstrous Creature

One of the biggest take-aways was that I don’t need to baby my Daemon Prince. I have not done much with flying monstrous creatures in 7th, this list being my first real return with them, and so I began by being very careful with him in my games. Now, he’s a Daemon of Nurgle, which means he has Shrouded. That of course means he can jink and get a 2+ cover save. The result is I don’t have to be quite so careful with Ghostwrath, my Daemon Prince. I don’t always need to be flying with my Prince and in fact I should fly less. Not being able to charge after landing was a big change and in one game on Saturday I completely brainfarted on that fact and boned myself. Sure, flying and being hard to hit is nice but so is being able to charge something when you need to charge it. You can try like hell to plan ahead for when you should be landing to get into something but you can’t account for all possibilities. Plus, a Prince flying is an annoyance but a Prince on the ground is a threat and presenting plenty of threats helps keeps things alive.

Play to Your Strengths

Something else I hammered home, as I won’t say I just learned it, is I need to play my list the way it was designed. In one game against TheRhino I held back too much. He had a White Scars biker list and my plan was to hang back a bit, bait him in and then cut him off. The trouble was that bikers are fast (surprising, right?), and hard to pin down. Couple that with hit and run from White Scars and nailing them down is nearly impossible. I should have gone all-in to try to tie up as much as I could; he’d have to fail some hit and run rolls. Basically, I didn’t play my list to its strengths and paid for it.


Nobody likes losing but at least I came away with some great lessons that I can in turn apply in the bigger event next month; which was ultimately the goal of the day for me. That being said, I did alter the above list a hair. I gave my Daemon Prince mastery 3 to get a second Biomancy power in hopes of keeping him alive while I fly less. To do that I had to drop his Gift of Mutation (which was purchased with spare points anyway), drop a Dirge Caster on a Rhino and Veterans of the Long War from the Obliterators who have Huron with them for Fearless anyway. I curbed my innate desire to completely revamp a list, which I notoriously do even this close to events, and just tweak it based on play testing. We’ll see how those small, but hopefully meaningful, changes work out on Wednesday.

  • Don’t think of it as losing so much. Think of it as a “strategic withdraw” or a large scale “feint”. You didn’t blow up my ork walkers…you just saved me the time of having to disassemble them!

    • That’s one way to look at it ;)

      On the plus side, I played last night and swung things around to give Chaos a strong win. It’s highs and lows with these guys, rarely any middle ground.

      • Sounds like playing orks. But orks is more like..

        lose, lose,lose…completely table the other guy, lose lose.

        • I hear that. My Orks were always the same way. Usually that “table the other guy” game would be against some unwitting opponent who knew nothing of Orks too.

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  • JD Brink

    I think you have a strong, well-balanced list there. Not a lot of any one thing, but a fair amount of everything. Comes with expensive units, i guess. I hope you’re taking advantage of Huron’s outflanking ability too. Kinda sucks for melee units now since they come on the board and ask to be shot, but outflanking a shooty unit or rhino full of guys would be nice. (I’m big on outflanking and coming from unexpected angles.)
    Also have to say: Nice pictures! I Everything looks so much cooler when everybody’s painted up! Also making me wish I’d have sent my chaos stuff to Japan instead of my eldar… but that’s okay. I probably won’t make much time to paint anything anyway.
    And at least tell me that the mauler fiend ate some unltramarines, please!

    • You know, I keep forgetting about outflank. It’s such a point heavy list that keeping something off the board never crosses my mind; I have so few units to start with. I will have to keep that in mind though since it’s a useful ability and I can no doubt find the right situation for it.

      I think the Mauler killed off two Bikers and then they used hit & run to escape him. Damn White Scars tactics!

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