Tuesday, August 29, 2017

0 The Good, The Bad & The Panda: Codex Chaos Space Marines Review #3 Troops

Tempted by the path of Chaos; gifts from ruinous Dark Gods of old and new.  Servitude to those powers comes with great rewards for the devoted and blood soaked warriors.  To become a champion of these Gods is the ultimate reward.  For those of lesser standings to serve the Dark Gods is a reward in itself.  No matter the path these followers do so with no fear of repercussions; especially that of death itself.  For to die in their name is an honour that many will never truly understand.  These are the followers of Chaos. 

Last week we finished reviewing the six possible choices for your run of the mill HQ choices, baring special characters.  Topping that list were the Chaos Lord/Sorcerer in Terminator Armour or with a Jump Pack and of course the Chaos Daemon Prince.  This time around we will be examining your core choices; troops.  There is actually only two units that fill this role for the bulk of your Legions; Chaos Space Marines and Chaos Cultist.  We will ignore the options for World Eaters and Emperors Children as they will be covered in my Elite unit review next week.  As for the various Daemon Troops that are presented in the book we will cover them latter this week, even though they purpose some issues with gaining your traits.  So without further ado, Ladies and Gentleman lets delve deep into the abyss of Chaos once again.

Chaos Space Marines
Overview: Coming in Squads of 5 to 20 they offer you the ability to fill out your detachments with Troops so that you may field a Battalion Detachment. Suited for securing backfield Objectives and or in MSU (minimum squad units) in mechanized armies. 

Good: Average cost and able to take either a special or heavy weapon for the first 5 then a second one for the next 5 Chaos Space Marines (CSM).  Not being pigeon holed into taking a special and heavy like Space Marines this gives you flexibility and maximum output for those two weapon upgrades.   

Bad: They lost their ability to have a Bolter, Bolt Pistol and a Chainsword.  This hurts them a lot as units of Havocs and Chosen end up stepping on their toes especially if you are willing to field Vanguard or Spearhead Detachments.  

Panda:  Once Chapter Approves is released the addition of Object Secure for Troops will help rise the value of CSM units.  I fear that without all three weapon choices, as mention above, it will still not be enough to see Chaos Space Marine players fielding CSM units.  If they are fielding them I would be looking at squads of 5 in rhinos with a "Plasma gun" or "Melta gun".  They will be used as late game objective stealers as you only need 1 of them to survive and you can potential rob a non-troop choice from taking a objective.  Squads of 20 would be more viable if you could take up to 4 special/heavy weapons as they would provide a ton of firepower in this setup.  If they were be dedicated to Slaanesh, a Sorcerer could bless them with "Delightful Agonies" for a 5+ FNP save. Even if you are restricted to 2 special/heavy weapons giving them 2 plasma guns is still ok if you use the stratagem "Endless Cacophony" on them with the Psychic Power "Prescience" when in rapidfire range.  This would amount to 38 bolter shots with 4 "Plasma gun" shots, not once but twice thanks to "Endless Cacophony" for a grand total of 76 strength 4, AP 0, Dmg 1 shots and 8 strength 8, AP -3, Dmg 2 shots.  All of which would at essentially BS2 thanks to the +1 to hit from "Prescience" with no fear of overheating on the plasma shots.  Overall, they are an average unit to take but with a few tricks you can make them into a deadly choice.

Chaos Cultist
Overview: Squad sizes range from 10 to 40 Chaos Cultist which will offer you the ability to field a Battalion or even a Brigade Detachment for a mucho Command Points. Suited for securing backfield Objectives and providing a counter alpha/beta strike bubble to your army.

Good: A Cheap viable option if you are willing to take a Dark Apostle to buff their morale.  If you are an Iron Warriors take the Warlord trait that makes units within 6" of a the Warlord immune to morale. Your last HQ option is for Black Legion followers as Abadon provides a 12" auto pass morale bubble to all Heretic Astartes units. Every 10 models allows you to take a "Heavy Stubber" or a "Flamer" which are both great options.  The "Heavy Stubber" allows them to contribute in the backfield while the "Flamers" will punish units in the overwatch phase that attempt to charge them.

Bad: Their morale sucks balls, leadership 6 punishes the crap out of them when combined with their 6+ save.  Basically what ever shoots at them will kill them in droves.  The last thing you need is that many more running away in the morale phase.  Get them a baby sitter as mention above.

Panda: Large blob squads will be the direction I'm heading as a squad of 40 will only cost you 160pts. There are several tricks that can be used on them; most notable the stratagem "Tide of Traitors".  This stratagem lets you remove one Chaos Cultist squad off the battlefield at the end of your movement phase and place them back at their original unit size anywhere on the table as long as they are within 6" of a battlefield edge and more than from the enemy.  This stratagem will force your opponent to kill the entire squad of 40 or be forced to see them back on the table at full strength, over and over till you run out of command points.  You can mark them which gives you the ability to buff them with a Sorcerer if they are either Tzeentch, 5+ invulnerable, or Slaanesh, 5+ FNP.  Either way expect to see Chaos Cultist as the primary troop choice for all Chaos Space Marine armies especially when they too will be getting objective secure.

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