CSM Codex: Is it too late to chime in?

AChaos Marinesfter all the buzz has passed beyond the CSM codex and onto newer releases, I finally convinced myself to buy the book and return to the Dark Gods.  And I’m glad I did!

The book is REALLY nice.  Great illustrations and artwork, even the borders of each page are decorated with tentacles and skulls and evil Xmas tree bits.  And the rules… I didn’t vote on the Creative Twilight survey in time but I think i’d go with “Kicks Ass” on this one, though there are some things I’m not thrilled with.

6th Ed Trend: As seems to be the trend, everybody is getting better and better and all the quirky disadvantages that armies used to have are being phased out.  Bigger and stronger for everyone, it seems.  Which for the most part is good but I think it takes some of the fun out of the game in favor of just being kickass and increasing the odds of victory.  For example, The Hellbrute (chaos dreadnought) still has the crazed rule, but no longer shoots the closest models be they friend or foe, just foe.  Good from the “competitive” perspective, but I thought that was kind of a fun factor.  I’ve had my dread go crazy and shoot the hell out of my own units.  Doesn’t help win but it sure livens things up!  Another example is Fabius Bile’s enhanced warriors–there’s no more chance of them going crazy and ripping each other apart.  I had a squad of them bottled up in a rhino and they went berserk, killing most of their unit.  Huge waste of points and contributed to my losing the game, but it made a cool story!

Daemons: The biggest thing I’ll miss is summoning daemons.  I suppose this goes hand in hand with having allies now, but I always liked the ability to call up your patron god and ask for some assistance.  Made sense to me.  Along the same line, GW seems to be phasing out the generic daemons in general–even the Daemon Princes MUST be of a particular god.  There’s some logic to that but it seems too restrictive for the nature of Chaos to me.

Options, lots of options:  I like that they brought back the old Chaos Rewards system of having a big list that all your characters can go to for all their slaughtering needs.  Fun way to accessorize your models and champions.

Spontaneous Mutation:  The battle field rewards that champions can earn by winning a challenge is truly Chaotic in nature.  Very fitting, and very fun!  A champion can gain a favorable mutation or potentially be turned into a spawn or daemon prince right in the middle of a game!  Awesome!

More Monsters: Even though the Dark Powers tooketh our daemons away, they giveth more monsters.  Defilers got way tougher and have been joined by other vehicular behemoths, like forgefiends, heldrakes, and maulerfiends.  That’s what I’m talking about!

Bring on the Minions:  Cultists!  Great fodder for entertaining the gods.  And if you have Typhus you can make your cultists Zombies instead (which would be even cooler if a infantry or biker modeled killed by zombies rose to join them at the end of the combat on a 5+!)

There are a lot of small and individual changes throughout, some new units that I would likely never use, some old favorites that got slightly better or slightly worse.  Overall, I was afraid they’d screw up my Chaos Marines but (other than stealing my generic daemons) they only got better!  Death to the False Emperor!!!

J. D. Brink



  • I’m a fan of the codex as well. I too miss being able to summon a Greater Daemon or bring down some Lesser Daemons but it’s a minor annoyance in the face of all that Chaos gained. They became what I was hoping they would, which is basically the Vanilla Marine codex equivalent. By that I mean it’s a solid codex, well rounded and units stand on their own. There’s no one thing, other than a Heldrake, that’s a must-have in there; it all has value.

    The ability to build exactly what you want is there too. Sure, making a mono-god build can be pricey and maybe not the most efficient use of points but the option is there for those that want it and really that’s all most players wanted, the option.

    I could go on and on but suffice to say that I agree it’s a great codex.

  • I would LIKE to have a Heldrake, they are pretty damn cool, but at 170 pts I don’t know how much i’d use them (I’m not riding the flyer bandwagon) and at 75 bucks I can’t justify to myself spending the coin. (75 for one model?? Ridiculous.)
    I am at heart an Eldar player even more than a Chaos player and I get excited off and on for the new codex. I think overall it’ll also be a delayed purchase for me.

    • It is an expensive model but it’s the most used individual model I own. That thing is in every single list I make and well worth the investment.

      In my area flyers are popular but really nobody is doing a crazy flyer list. Most of us run a single flyer, two isn’t uncommon, but that’s about it. When they first came out, oh yeah, everyone had as many as they could field but the phase has past in this area thankfully. Running a single flyer isn’t going to mark you out as a bandwagoner in my opinion.

    • Eldar were my second army and I’m pretty excited for the new codex. Phil Kelly is the writer so I imagine that most of our current models will still be viable, but I’m sure there will also be some shiny new toys available. The Heldrake is sweet but I think you’re smart to wait and see before you spend your cash.

      • I have some conversion ideas for my Eldar but I’m kind of holding off to see what new stuff comes out. Right now i’m not expecting to buy any more models for eldar — i have plenty! — but you never know… Damn this hobby.

    • I think one flyer would be good with me and when my buddy fields one it is just one. and if i ran any it WOULD be the heldrake. I would like to have one just for the monstrosity value, besides it being badass on the table, but i’m going to wait. I have no trouble finding ways to fill my points on any chaos list so it’s not like there’s a big hole in my army waiting to be filled.

  • Oh, and my third army is my Crimson Fist Marines. Definitely not umping on that codex right away. I expect it to be 95% exactly the same as the one we have, just wrapped in a more expensive cover. But I’m a pessimist…

    • Oh, I agree. The flyers for them will get rolled into an actual codex, maybe some point tweaking and such, but overall I don’t see the next one being a big departure from the current.

  • I don’t play Chaos, but it looks like a solid codex to me. After flipping through it I had to resist the urge to become a Chaos player! There are a lot of cool options available and the modelling opportunities are endless.

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