I don’t often play a list more than once, at least not the exact same list, yet in prepping for the Standoff this year I played my list a lot and I came away with some insights that some may find useful with Chaos Marines.
Last month I went over Chaos Marine squads so I won’t reiterate everything I said there. In short, they are a cheap (relatively speaking), scoring unit that does their job well. Check out that linked article for more info on my thoughts with them.
Daemon Princes are still viable, at least the flying variety. One of my favorite setups in the last codex was two Daemon Princes. They just scream Chaos to me. I did this in 5th before they were flying and continued briefly into 6th until the new Chaos codex. With the new codex and the loss of eternal warrior I sadly set them on the shelf. For this tournament though I brought them back out and they did very well for me.
The big thing with these guys is to make sure they are not the only fast threat to your opponent. If your whole army sits back and shoots and you have one flying Prince, well that Prince is toast. If you have two Princes then the odds get better. If you add in other fast moving threats then the odds are very good the Princes will do their job.
Speaking of the job of a Prince, it’s simple, smash things. I have run the super expensive variety that’s M3 with all the trimmings and though it’s fun, it’s not the most efficient use of points in my experience. If you want some psyker support then grab a Sorcerer. My Chaos Marines Prince gets his mark, I’m fond of Tzeentch, armor and wings. His job is to get into units and destroy them or smash a tank or two and that’s all he needs for that job.
I also found I really like the setup of Princes from the Daemons codex, especially in the role of being a melee threat. Daemons get access to rewards so you can easily, though randomly, get rewards to increase your survivability. Getting the extra wound with it will not die is great, a that 4+ FNP or the Grimoire. Overall you can’t go wrong with rewards and they go a long way to keeping a Prince alive. If you want a psyker Prince though then I suggest the Chaos Marine Princes for the spell familiar.
A big deviation for me in running this list was not having a Heldrake. I had come to rely on that bad boy. By not using the Heldrake I had points to spend in more fast unit saturation to help ensure something of mine hit the enemy lines and caused havoc, ultimately being more valuable with this particular list of mine. I already had two flying Princes to try to deal with enemy flyers and I may not have had the ability to nearly wholesale remove entire squads with a baleflamer but I could keep squads locked up in combat, thus allowing me to position my scoring units. So, while I do love the Heldrake I did find I can survive without it too.
My other big take-away from all this was using Daemons as allies. I avoided it forever for various reasons I’ve mentioned but they work really well with Chaos Marines, unsurprising I suppose. With access to lots of cheap bodies, and some very effective for their cost (IE: Flesh Hounds of Khorne), it helped offset my very top-heavy list. I’m going to be looking more in-depth at Daemons going forward and continuing to try to use them to fill gaps in my lists.
I’m sure I could ramble on and on but I’ll leave it there. It was nice to play a list enough to really come to understand the nuances of it and I did much better gaming as a result. I took away a lot in play testing and now I’m anxious to work on some new lists and apply what I’ve learned.