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.
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.