- Chaos Spawn Review – Mutated Beyond Reason
- Obliterator Review – How the Mighty Have Fallen
- Chaos Space Marines Review – The Few, the Proud, the Fallen
- The Chaos Sorcerer and How to Make Him Effective
- Maulerfiend Review – Unleash the Daemonic Hound
- Defiler Review – What’s My Battlefield Role?
- Forgefiend Review: So Much Dakka
- Chaos Cultists Review – The Cannon Fodder of the Dark Gods
Obliterators are another unit I used to use a lot in 7th edition. In 7th they were an amazing shooting units who was capable in close combat. They were affordable and did damn near anything you needed.
However, 8th rolled around and Obliterators got adjusted. Now, I find them a shell of their former selves.
Obliterator Rules & Info
An Obliterator is effectively a 3-wound Terminator at its core, however, they come in a much smaller unit for a much higher price. You’re paying more than double the price of a Terminator for an extra wound and a wonky shooting weapon (more on that below).
As with most infantry, Obliterators have Death to the False Emperor. They also have Daemonic (5+ invulnerable), and Teleport Strike (deep strike). Again, very much like Terminators.
Obliterators now come with Fleshmetal Guns instead of the old method of choosing a weapon. The problem is that the Fleshmetal Guns are random.
Fleshmetal Guns: 24″, Assault 4, S6 + D3, -D3 AP, D3 Damage.
Yep, the damn gun is random. What the hell?
I don’t mind a little random, I love Spawn, but random on this scale is unforgivable to me. The problem here is weapon’s randomness can go from terrible at killing nearly anything to amazing at busting vehicles. The weapon has the potential to be great, and on average it should be decent at least, but that randomness alone makes it hard to work with.
You could be planning to shoot at a Knight and roll terrible for weapon stats. Now, instead of firing on the Knight you might decide to fire on infantry instead, something the random profile is more likely to kill.
I’m not saying the gun is terrible, only that I prefer weapons with a reliable profile for obvious reasons. Three Oblits with Fleshmetal Guns could do some heavy damage, or they could be playing tickle with their target.
Back in the day, Obliterators also had power fists. This made them an amazing unit for Chaos, a Swiss army knife, but 8th edition removed their fists.
Use on the Battlefield
With an unreliable weapon profile, shooting is probably best spent on elite infantry. The strength of the shooting will be wounding at least on 3’s (typically), and may get up to 2’s.
A full unit of Oblits (3), will get 12 shots, of which 8 will hit, and 5 will wound (based on 3’s to wound on average). From there the random makes it hard to work out. You could be doing 5 wounds or 15 with -1 to -3AP.
Again, the potential for damage is there, but the randomness of the Fleshmetal Guns just rubs me the wrong way. Is it too much to ask to know prior to picking a target what your weapon will do?
Thanks to LazyGitWargaming for reminding me of this. One nice thing you can do with Oblits is to give them Mark of Slaanesh. Then you can use the Endless Cacophony stratagem to fire a second time with the unit. This costs 2CP, and then you can dump our 24 shots with a full unit.
Still, you’re dealing with random weapons, and uncertainty in targets, but with 24 shots something should be getting vaporized. As LazyGit mentioned, if you get lucky with the rolls (-3AP, 3 Damage), you could pump out (in a perfect scenario) 72 wounds. It’s food for thought if nothing else.
This was once a thing for them in 7th, but no longer. While Obliterators are S5, they have nothing special in close combat. So, they’re relying on great armor and an invulnerable to keep them alive in combat. It can work as a tarpit, but that’s all their combat ability is good for now I’m afraid.
It’s sad to see the fall from grace this unit has had. Where once they were an auto-include in any list, you now have to consider them.
I’m also, despite what it may sound like, not one of those people who hates change for the sake of change. I can see the need to adjust Obliterators for 8th edition, and I completely understand that. However, I’d rather see them with a weapon profile you can choose, or predict than rely on dice rolls for.
Obliterators vs Havocs
Currently, I feel that Havocs are a better choice than Obliterators are. The big advantage Obliterators truly have is being able to deep strike. While deep striking is nice, especially in 8th, the unreliable firepower that Oblits have really pushes Havocs ahead.
Havocs can field lascannons and missile launchers, which are both amazing weapons at dealing with vehicles and monstrous creatures. You may pay a little more for a full squad of Havocs, but you will potentially be dealing out 24 wounds a turn, and also have 5-6 ablative wounds/bolter shots.
Modeling is somethingthing I like about Obliterators, well Chaos Space Marines in general really. You have the luxury of doing whatever you want. Well, except buying those hideous Games Workshop models they make. Man are those things ugly.
For Obliterator alternatives, a lot of people will use Chaos Terminators as a base model and add some green stuff. I chose to use loyalist Terminators and green stuff fleshy bits onto them. I’ve seen some amazing scratch-builds for them as well. If it looks like it has a 2+ save and a lot of shooty parts then you’ve nailed it.
Conclusion on Obliterators
Again, regrettably I feel Obliterators just are OK, but not great. I used to love this unit, and I do still love them in general, just not on the table. I’m sure I’ll give these guys a second chance at some point, just not right now.
Do you like Obliterators, or are you more of a fan of the armored support options instead?