Ever since the current Chaos codex came out I had decided that undivided was going to be my route. That’s not to say I do not take marked units or cult units but that I do not follow a particular patron. The codex lends itself very well to an undivided approach and so I’ve run it that way ever since.
Now, there’s a fair amount of pissing and moaning about your basic Chaos Marines. Apparently for 13pts a model people want everything. I don’t disagree with every complaint people have about them but I’d rather find something that works than rage about it.
When I began using them in the new codex I gave every Champion a power weapon. I figured if they need to deal with challenges, which they do, then they should have a fighting chance. Of course generally the people who take the challenge are doing it to minimize damage to their squad or because they want to get stuck in combat and that power sword doesn’t scare them. Suffice to say that those 15pts spent on the power weapon ended up wasted far more often than not. In addition, I was buying VotLW (Veterans of the Long War), for the squad to raise their LD +1. So, with the Champion alive I would be at LD10 (not bad at all), and then LD9 for the rest of the unit. Naturally my Champions would die and I would be testing on LD9 and then dealing with modifiers from combat. I have had these units run down far more than I probably should have. Not to mention running off the board at the worst times.
What I’ve started doing lately is not buying the power weapon for the Champion, not buying VotLW for the squad, and for the exact same points buying the Icon of Vengeance. The icon makes the squad fearless so long as the bearer is alive and adds +1 to combat resolution. It’s not perfect but it’s workable. I put the icon on one of my special weapon Marines and keep him wrapped with bodies. No sense putting it on the Champion who will get challenged out and killed. I’ll let my Champion die before I let my icon die because with this setup my Champion does very little for me. He’s useful if my icon goes down but that’s about it.
Of course the icon bearer can be sniped out, there’s no getting around it, but I have found the points spent on the squad this way far more useful than what I was doing before. The unit can’t go to ground with the icon, which can be rough, but having fearless has paid off far more often than going to ground ever has for the squad. I’m also far more confident in the squads run this way. I have lost the icon, been run off the board or swept, but by contrast to before it happens a fraction of the time and having troop units you can depend on is pretty crucial.