Disciples of Twilight (Chaos Space Marines): 1,650 Tournament List

The January tournament at my FLGS will be 1,650. As we (the players), always tend to do, once we know the points limit we start working on lists and practicing. I’m going to make a very solid attempt to work through a list, and not change it up week after week like usual. One of my biggest weaknesses as a player is that I bounce between lists a lot. I often judge the merit of a list from one game, one opponent, when I know better. Plus, I never get comfortable with the list. When you’re comfortable with a list you know the strengths and weaknesses of it, and as a result can play to that and improve your games.

To that end, I have a list I’m working on. This list is tweaked a bit from one I played last week. In the game I played last week, the list did very well and held up. I lost the game, but I did do a ton of damage, and had a fair amount left on the board. The failure of the game was a few mistakes on my part, the type of thing that list familiarity will overcome. See how that comes back around?

Disciples of Twilight (Chaos Space Marines): 1,650


  • Maelstrom (Sorcerer) – Psyker (Mastery Level 3), Combi-bolter, Force Weapon, Terminator Armor, Spell Familiar


  • Vengeance (Chaos Space Marines) x 5 – Veterans of the Long War, Plasma Gun
    • Aspiring Champion – Melta Bombs, Combi-plasma
    • Rhino – Dozer Blade
  • Redemption (Chaos Space Marines) x 5 – Veterans of the Long War, Meltagun
    • Aspiring Champion – Melta Bombs, Combi-melta
    • Rhino – Dozer Blade
  • Cultists x 10 – Autoguns, Heavy Stubber
    • Cultist Champion – Shotgun

Fast Attack

  • The Unbound (Spawn) x 5 – Mark of Nurgle

Heavy Support

  • Forgefiend – Ectoplasma Cannon x 3
  • Devastation (Obliterators) x 3 – Mark of Nurgle
  • Havocs x 10 – Veterans of the Long War, Autocannon, Missile Launcher x 3
    • Aspiring Champion – Melta Bombs


  • Mayhem Pack
    • Deathcry (Helbrute) – Power Fist, Missile Launcher
    • Hellscream (Helbrute) – Power Fist, Multi-melta
    • Helbrute – Power Fist, Multi-melta

My Sorcerer will join up with the Obliterators and do his thing. Lately I have gone full Telepathy with him to focus and work on getting Invisibility. Plus, I also like the other powers in Telepathy. I want my Sorcerer to support the army and I feel Telepathy does that very well.

I played last week with the Havocs and was pretty pleased with them. Going for a larger squad to have some padding before you start losing heavy weapons is damn handy. They did pretty well in the game too, so I’ll keep working with them and see how it goes. Oh, the odd autocannon in there is because it’s what I have for models. I need to get another missile launcher at some point.

The Mayhem Pack is a change from last week’s list. That list had two Helbrutes, so with some shuffling I got the third to run the formation. That will let them deep strike, gain It Will Not Die, and they roll on the Crazed table each turn. I’ve run the formation a few times before and I liked it. Honestly, the rules they gain from the formation should just be normal rules for them. Maybe some day…

All-in-all the list is more balanced than I tend to run. Like I said, I ran this last week (mostly), and I was very happy with the list, despite losing the game. So, I’m going to stick with it, get comfortable with it, and see what happens at next month’s tournament with it.

Feedback, comments, and suggestions always welcomed.

  • I like the Havocs. I think long range anti tank is something your lists have always missed out on. The ablative wounds really help keep the heavy weapons going for longer. One thing I’ve found from full Devestator squads in the past is that you have to be mindful of your positioning when deploying to exploit fire lanes. Do you leave the heavies exposed to maximize fire lanes, or compromise your ability to fire in order to put bolters in front or get heavies in cover for better survivability. There’s so much in the game now that can shred power armor from range. Being the “softest” long range unit on the board from turn one will make the Havocs a priority target until the Helbrutes arrive.

    • I’m growing to like them as well. They were easily one of my better performing units last week. The list having more ranged fire support than usual will let me sit back and bide my time until those Helbrutes arrive.

      Good points on the Havocs. That’s why I need to play through my lists, so I can learn those nuances that make a unit more effective, and to not waste them with poor choices, be it deployment, target priority, etc.

  • Ming

    1. Drop the dozer blades on the Rhinos and replace them with either combi-meltas or Havoc Launchers. Havoc launchers are what makes CSM Rhinos unique! Seriously!

    2. I’d consider trimming back the havocs and meltabombs and use points saved to get the Havocs a Rhino (with launcher or CMG) – which they either keep OR you use for the Cultists.

    3. Replace the cultist Heavy Stubber with a flamer (or two) – especially if you can get them a the Rhino.

    4. Screw the combi-bolter unless your force weapon is unwieldy. Use the points to bolster something else that needs protection or firepower.

    I wish I had a copy of your codex…I bet there is other low hanging fruit ideas.

    • 1. I’m trying to stay WYSIWYG, so no combi weapons for the Rhinos at this point. Havoc launchers are good weapons but I’d rather have increased mobility (dozer blades), than a havoc launcher. I’d need to do more than drop both dozer blades to do it too.

      2. I own no other Rhinos. It’s something I need to rectify soon. If I start trimming back Havocs I also start losing their value as I lose heavy weapons sooner.

      3. The flamer I can do but you need 20 to get the 2nd weapon in there.

      4. Terminator armor comes with the combi-bolter, it’s not a choice, like the storm bolter is for loyalist Terminators.

      • Yeah, dozer blades are a must if you plan to get anywhere. Keep ’em.

        Go for a flamer on the Cultists if any special weapon at all.

      • Ming

        I still would choose more dakka whenever possible. Dozer blades only count if you have area terrain to drive through or out of. And even then only have value 1/6th of the time. Going with two Havoc Squads of two or three weapons each would be better…having the ability to throw more dice can trump everything and give you an edge. Can you put combiflamers on the rhinos? Heck – do what i did – wrap colored pipecleaners on weapons to change their type! Nobody will fault you for not being perfectly wysiwig at CRGs…as you said – improve the list. Worry about the medel once you know it is an improvement. Each game. Between now and the tournament event. Try it. Improve it. Use a box for a Rhino proxy. Just give it a try.

        • Fair enough.

          I do want to give it a run or two and evaluate from there. Right now there’s really no place to easily pull points from. I’d have to look to reduce unit sizes to really pull points, and before I do that I want to see what it needs.

        • Knight_of_Infinite_Resignation

          I think the dozerblades are essential. Means you can rush your rhinos forward through cover. If they were rhinos for a Havoc squad to sit in and shoot out of (or from behind) then I’d agree with you, but Havoc Launchers slow you down and rhinos without dozerblades are too risky.

          Sometimes I have put a combi-weapon on a rhino for another melta shot but they rarely get to use them these days, the passengers always seem to reach the enemy lines on foot!

          • Exactly my line of thinking on the Havoc Launcher and Dozer Blades. The combi-weapon I’m not so sure about. My Rhinos don’t often last all that long, and unlike a Hunter Killer Missile, combis aren’t infinite range.

            • Knight_of_Infinite_Resignation

              thats why I don’t take them any more. Its a very poor substitute for a razorback for pretty much the same number of points :-(

  • I like the list, the Mayhem pack always delivers. Remember to roll for Crazed before roll for reserves. Really important as it will dictate where you try to place your Helbrutes. And man, coming in with fire frenzy is just killer.

    I used to go all Telepathy (Invisibility and Shrouded are good, the rest are ok) but after rolling up crap spells time and time again I usually go all Biomancy nowadays (Enfeeble and the Burning Brand ftw!). My sorcerer is more of a beat-stick than a force multiplier.

    • Good point on Crazed. I don’t use the formation often enough and would have brought them in and then rolled.

      I’d like to build a beat-stick Sorcerer but it’s tough on a 2 wound model. Then again, getting Iron Arm really helps out there, to avoid instant death, and then of course getting Endurance and Warp Speed really helps. I love doing it on a Prince, but I just feel I get more out of my Sorcerer when he’s supporting.

      • I run my sorcerer (unmarked) on a bike with a unit of Nurgle bikers, sometimes with a Nurgle biker Lord too. T5 mitigate the worst instant death risks.

        If you can find the points I would squeeze another sorcerer in there, ml1, terminator, familiar. It would increase you chances of get the spells you want and you get more warp charges. You can run them as Master and Apprentice.

        • Ah, gotcha. Yeah, hitting that T5 mark is the key and a Bike does that easily without having to go Mark of Nurgle.

          I ran this with an M1 Sorcerer previously, and I just felt like I was wasting points. I kept him cheap and just bought the Aura (75pts), but I didn’t see much gain from it. By dropping him, and moving some points, I was able to snag the Mayhem Pack, which I feel is a better investment.

  • I love the Mayhem Pack. Such a fun Formation, and it really helps fill in some of the mobility issues that CSM can have. I just wish it were also available as a DK Formation with BftBG.

    I find that Autocannon and Missile Launchers actually mix just fine. I ran a Havoc Squad with two of each for years before I got around to converting more Autocannon. The extra bodies are really nice, but Morale can start to become an issue there, as they survive to take more Tests. Also, 9 are basically as good as 10 if you need just a few more Points. Still hit that break-point on the first Morale Test, which is one of the big benefits.

    • True on the Havocs. My last list had 9 of them, so I could easily do that to get some upgrades.

  • Knight_of_Infinite_Resignation

    I actually really like this list.

    The only thing I’d definitely change is to split the spawn up into 3 units of 2,2 and 1. You’d be surprised how much more utility you’ll get out of them. You can run a pair alongside each rhino to give it cover. They will allow you to score more objectives, you can multi-charge units without losing your charge bonus and of course they are harder to kill at range because your opponent risks overkill.

    The solo squad of cultists is useful, but I would go with a single Vengeance Weapon Battery with a battle cannon as more efficient use of the points. AV14 all round and can hold an objective in your deployment zone.

    Something I’ve found great lately is a ML1 Nurgle Herald with minimum unit of Nurglings as an allied contingent. Roll on summoning. Hide him somewhere in cover and summon fleshhounds until your Terminator sorcerer arrives. Dirt cheap. I try to fit him into every list these days.

    • Thanks.

      Good point on the Spawn. I’m so used to using them as a bodyguard, that when I’m not, I just keep it as one unit out of habit.

      I don’t have anything to use as a Vengeance Weapon Battery sadly, and I also lack any Nurgle Daemons at all to do anything with. My only Herald for Daemons is of Khorne; not so good for summoning!

      • Knight_of_Infinite_Resignation

        the new “Start Collecting” Nurgle box would sort that out! And a box of Dire Wolves or Chaos Hounds to count as Fleshounds!

        Vengeance Weapons Battery (normally 2xBC)has won me more games than any other unit since I got it. Makes up for the shortcomings of CSM quite well. Sits there claiming an objective or two and occasionally hits an enemy unit.

        • I’ll definitely check it out!

%d bloggers like this: