Warhammer 40K 7th Edition: My Chaos Space Marines

Chaos Space MarinesI will let the blogs more suited to discussing the overall impact of Warhammer 40K 7th edition do just that. Instead, I wanted to ramble a bit about how the changes of 7th edition affect me.

I have pretty exclusively been playing my Chaos Space Marines for the past few years. I’ve had a hard time going back to my Space Marines after pledging my cause to Chaos. My Orks have not seen the table since the tail-end of 5th edition, though the upcoming Ork codex has me excited. It’s hard to not love Orks. So, for now  I’ll keep my discussion regarding my Chaos Space Marines.


Overall there were few wide sweeping changes with Warhammer 40K 7th edition that requires me to reevaluate my army as a whole. The new psychic phase is an obvious one but I have never been a heavy psyker user either. With more psychic power access now though I may start using them more frequently but I doubt it’s something I’m going to cling to either. Spell familiars, if they weren’t already, are going to be a requirement with the increased chance of perils. I do like the consideration the new rules gave to Chaos Space Marines and the need to take a god power. Now, Chaos will get their rolled for god power, the primaris god power plus whatever else they roll. That means a mastery three Chaos Space Marines psyker will always get four powers, which I like.

Flying Monstrous Creatures

In the same vein there are Daemon Princes, which I have always loved but have been a bit of a red-headed stepchild for Chaos Space Marines. Generally I have taken them just because I like them, not out of effectiveness. Now though, they have an odd place. Not being able to switch from swooping to gliding and charge is a HUGE change, though it’s nice that if they are knocked down that they can charge that turn. Couple that with the change to smash being only a single attack and Daemon Princes are less the close combat utility monsters they were. However, the addition of the psychic phase, and subsequent changes to psychic tests not being a LD test, changes to grounding checks and the previously mention flight mode changes just means my Daemon Princes will be flying around casting powers most of the time. In this capacity they got better I feel and close combat for them is going to become more a chance of opportunity than intent.


Challenges being able to cause wounds to the squad is a big change for Chaos Space Marines. Gone are the days of being feed Sergeants to simply keep a squad alive. Now when I run Soulgore, my Chaos Lord on Juggernaut, with Spawn I won’t be handicapped on the charge and over-killing the enemy character. Wounds from the squad combat can come into the challenge now as well but that’s where the Spawn retinue is going to really shine for Soulgore. Chaos Space Marines will take a hit here with the Champion of Chaos rule but the gains I believe will offset it, at least with assault oriented HQs.

Vector Strike

The other big impact my army will see is the changes to vector strike. It’s mostly for anti-flyer defense, which makes sense. I have been running my Heldrake lately with the hades autocannon and I foresee continuing with that most of the time now. Less vector strike attacks on flyers means I will need the additional fire power to do the job. The baleflamer did get better though now being able to roast dudes in an open-topped transport but the meta in my area has very few of those.

I also see taking my Heldrake as less of a requirement now. You could always lose a vehicle to a single lucky shot but with flyers having a 33% chance to crash and burn on an immobilized result is harsh. I feel it was needed to help offset the power of flyers, no complaints here, but it’s a consideration in my lists going forward. Jinking with a Heldrake is now an option too where it never made sense before and that is the other reason I like the ideas of continuing to use the hades autocannon.

Chaos Space Marines Wrap-up

I could no doubt go on and on with smaller considerations with my Chaos Space Marines and 7th edition but that really covers the larger considerations I have. It’s going to take quite a few games to really come to grips with everything and I’m looking forward to it.

  • TheRhino

    I think you’re well-positioned for the edition change with the models you’ve been working on. Warforce will be extra useful, as will the Helbrutes.
    I’m excited about how the game works now. Everything seems to have a small counter to it now. I think my only minor concern are Lords of War, but after I fully read the rules for them (a busy holiday weekend is a tough time to read and digest new rules), that might be unfounded. I am tempted to spend a ton on a Typhon Heavy Siege Tank though…lol.
    It’s looking like my plans to add some small Raven Guard units might be useful as well. The change to charge distance through difficult terrain is HUGE for Assault Marines, and many other middling assault units.
    As much as the change to challenge wounds hurts me personally, I really like it for balance reasons. It was pretty shitty to have a chump sergeant hold up a melee powerhouse and potentially tip a fight when it shouldn’t have been. Even worse against blob Guard who had several chump sergeatns to throw at the big bad guy.

    • Yeah, I have no complaints on how 7th plays out with my Chaos Marines. The -2″ charge into terrain might finally let my Raptors get into combat! ;) Psyker-wise, I think Chaos is well positioned. Access to spell familiars, cheap psykers (barring a Prince), as well as one of the few M4 psykers in the game with Ahriman. I also think we’ll see a return of daemon weapons now for obvious reasons.

      The challenge change is one of those small things that has a huge impact. I agree, it was lame being feed chumps to stick in combat, more so for Chaos. There were times I would have happily had Soulgore sit out of combat by refusing a challenge and let the Spawn maul the squad but I had no choice. I still have no choice but at least it’s far more worthwhile to me.

      It’s going to change challenges all around now too. If you put that chump in a challenge he’s no longer shielding your squad, so do you really want to do it? It’s not an obvious decision any more and I like that.

      I’m looking forward to getting in a game tomorrow, that’s for sure.

  • Old Man Torm

    G’day mate. Old Man Torm here, I’m an old time Chaos player too, since early 4th edition (oh the halcyon days of yore :p). I’ve read your little blurb about your Chaos Marine army and I have to admit, taking the Hades Autocannon is more viable now than it was before, but if I bother to take the Heldrake (as I am a fan of flooding the field instead with a bunch of units that move 12″ in the movement phase, have T6 and can assault :D) I still take the Baleflamer. Devastator units, Havoc squads, Pathfinders (Tau) and sniper units are still all very real things, and I have a heck of a time digging anything out that’s in the upper floor of a ruin somewhere my poor, bloated beasties can’t get to. Add to that the new jink rules giving betters saves than ever and I am in dire need of things that can soften up that Plasma Talon unit in my face without giving them their all-important cover save.

    So, you’ve got a Chaos Lord named Soulgore eh? Lord of Khorne on a Juggernaut most likely? Do you give him the Axe of Blind Fury so that he can cleave entire units on his own in single rounds of combat? Ain’t it great that being challenged by a single dinky wolf guard or leader of an IG unit will no longer penalize you for being forced to accept any and all challenges? Aaahahahaha, it feels almost like the good ol’ days again!

    I’m also really happy that vehicles have gotten more durable. I love my Defiler, but he’s a point hog and the Maulerfiends are less likely to get blow’d up on turn one anymore unless they’re being focused down by a fair portion of firepower. Granted, they’re not as good at beating things up as their big brother is, but what they lack in power they make up for in aggression. 12″ movement walkers who ignore terrain are a great way to take some heat off my leading spawn or biker unit. Add to that their relatively cheap point cost and I’ve got my front like basically set up. 2 – 3 Nurgle Spawn units, Chaos Lord of Nurgle Feculous with the Black Mace (of course) and 2 of my Maulerfiend pups to escort them into the heat of battle! :D Add to that a couple rhinos who’s sole job is to get up slightly ahead of everyone for the Dirge Caster effects and you’ve basically got one of my favorite lists on your hands.

    Which is another thing I think I enjoy a lot. I mean, it’s been here since 6th of course, but with 7th’s changes making vehicles at least a bit more viable, the Rhinos are usually a lower priority target except for first blood. And my opponents are oftentimes too worried about my entire fast moving army to have the luxury of doing that. So the Dirges survive, my opponent doesn’t overwatch me with plasma and I get in to do my work. Alternatively, if points allow, I would take the above list but add a Raider with dirge+dozer and a nice contingent of 8 Khorne Berserkers, my trusty boys in red. But only with their boss, my friend, Khorne Lord Terribad with the Axe of Blind Fury, a Sigil of Corruption, Veterans of the Long War and a jetpack, for those situations that require him flying off on his own to take out a pesky unit of soft but troublesome enemies that are otherwise out of reach. That and the wings look really cool on him Thanks to him turning the berserkers into troops, they don’t feel like much of a burden and in fact can deal some serious damage when thrown against the proper units. The Dirge their raider carries provides them with some nice insurance and all is as well as could be. It’s also nice that someone with a jetpack now just counts as bulky and so I can get away with giving him this piece of wargear and still tuck him safe and sound inside the giant Metal bawks.

    So, always nice to see a fellow Chaos player! Hope your games go well for you, and that the Ork book was all you had hoped it would be. Peace out!

    • I think you win for longest comment ever here ;)

      I have been sticking to the Hades on the Drake. Anti-infantry is not something I’m generally lacking. However, the Baleflamer is great for sure as you said to dig out entrenched units and I may have to give it a shot again not that you mention it.

      Indeed, Soulgore is a Khorne Lord on a Juggernaut with the Axe of Blind Fury. He sat out for a bit near the end of 6th but the change to Challenges has him back in action. Now he can run with his bodyguard of Spawn and still be effective. I’m still not a fan of the Champion of Chaos rule but at least now it’s not all bad.

      I should consider Dirge Casters on my Rhinos. They never did live long before so I rarely bothered. I find my Rhinos are still a priority target though in 7th where they are now Objective Secured. A 35pt model that can steal objectives gets a lot of attention where I play.

      With 7th I’ve also dug out my Berzerkers. Having an Objective Secured unit that’s Fearless is great for throwing at the enemy to try and steal objectives. They don’t usually make it through a game but tend to live long enough to do their job though.

      The Ork codex is good but I’ve also come to realize I just prefer my Chaos Marines. CSM is just a better fit for me but my Orks have done well when I’ve used them so no complaints there.

      Thanks for stopping by. Always nice to see more Chaos players out there. We seem to be a rare breed in the sea of stronger codices.

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