Tuesday, September 12, 2017

1 The Good, The Bad & The Panda: Codex Chaos Space Marines Review #7 Fast Attack

"Speed is the essence of war.  Take advantage of the enemy's unpreparedness; travel by unexpected routes and strike him where he has taken no precautions."  These Sun Tzu words still apply in the 41st millennium as speed will, without a doubt, let you catch your opponent off guard especially if he does not possess the foresight to predict where your units will strike.  This review focuses on the Fast Attack units that are at Chaos Space Marines disposal.  Each of them are a threat in their own way and each of them can hit their prey before they even know what has hit them.

Chaos Bikers
Overview: Your Son's of Anarchy in the 41st millennium.  Chaos Bikers are one of the fastest moving units in the Codex and as such they can make any table look small. Units come in at 3 to 9 models per unit and they are suited for mobile shooting platforms and for alpha/beta strikes.

Good: Toughness 5 is one of the best things going for this unit as it makes them highly resilient.  Throw in the fact that they have 2 wounds each and it quickly becomes apparent that despite their small unit size they make up for else where.  Two of the member can take a special weapon on top of their other wargear or replace their bikes "Combi-bolter" with a special weapon.  The last option is a waste of your time and efficiency so don't bother and here is why. Keep the "Combi-bolter" and take the special weapon for the biker to wield as you get to fire both of them in the shooting phase.  This doubles the output for those two Chaos Bikers. The units Champion can replace his bolt pistol for one item from the Champion list; most likely a "Combi-weapon" as it increases the shooting output once again.  That is a good chunk firepower from just three models.  The best part about Chaos Bikers is that they can move 14" plus they are guaranteed a 6" advance from their "Turbo-Boost" ability for a total of 20" a turn.   

Bad: Not much bad can be said about Chaos Bikers except maybe for lack of options when it comes to close combat; specifically AP punishing weapons.  Having just 1 option via the Champion in leu of taking a "Combi-weapon" leaves them out of the mix to be considered a melee unit.  Their ability to take "Chainswords" does give them the ability to push out more attacks but that is not enough to deal with a combat orientated units.  

Panda: I like keeping my squads at 3 per unit and fielding multiple units of them for a couple of reasons.  The first being that I can maximize the amount of special weapons in the squad.  The second being that they are now not susceptible to morale.  I think one of the most interesting options out their is to use them in an Night Lords Legion and with a Mark of Nurgle on them.  Their extreme movement lets you slide them to where their tactic (-1 to all enemy units within 6" of a Night Lords Unit; max of -3) is needed the most.  The Mark of Nurgle lets you double down with them by giving them a Icon of Despair which will throw out another -1 to enemy units' Leadership values.  Combine in their ability to throw out a ton of dakka and they are killing models in multiple phases.  If you prefer a large squad of 9 Chaos Bikers I would look at a Mark of Slaanesh to use the stratagems "Endless Cacophony" and "Veterans of the Long War" on them.  I would also look at fielding a Slaanesh Sorcerer (from the Chaos Index) on a Bike to hit them with "Prescience" especially if you decided to take plasma guns for special weapons/combi-weapons.  

Chaos Spawn
Overview: A slithering mass of tentacles, claws, talons, spikes and other ungodly appendages make these beast of Chaos a dangerous foe on the battlefield.  They come in units of 1 to 5 and are suited for Close Combat only.

Good: Their movement of 7" allows them to move fairly quickly, while having a Toughness of 5 along with their 3+ armour save and 4 wounds each give them some great durability.  Their "Hideous Mutations" ability gives them a nice punch in close combat with a strength of 5, AP -2 and a Dmg 2 profile.  Once in close combat their "Mutated Beyond Belief" ability gives them a nice bonus stat regardless of what you roll on the D3 table.

Bad: First thing that smacks you in the face is the variable D6 value for their attacks which can and will smack you in the face when you least expect it.  Their lack of the keywords Infantry and Daemon makes them an invalid target for most stratagems and psychic powers.

Panda: Their "Fearsome" ability gives them nice value in a Night Lords Legion as they now can help contribute to the morale phase beat down by giving all enemy units within 1", -1 to their leadership.  The trick is getting them into close combat and keeping them alive in it.  With their low price tag its a great unit to fill out your army with 1 or 2 units of 1.  They work very well in a mechanized force as they can almost keep pace with the vehicles but more importantly they can use them for protection thus ensuring they make it into close combat where they are effective. I like giving them a Mark  of Slaanesh when fielding a Slaanesh Sorcerer for hitting them with a 5+ FNP for extra durability. Like wise, a Mark of Tzeentch is handy as well with their Sorcerer giving them a 5++ invulnerable save.

Overview: Chaos' fearsome version of Jump Troops.  They are what nightmares are made of and its almost like they have the ability to jump right into the minds of their prey.  They come in units of 5 to 15 Raptors.  They are suited for a variety of roles; alpha/beta striking and vulture duty (preying on weak units).

Good: Their mobility, movement 12", is what gives them value especially with their ability to deepstrike in via "Raptor Strike".  Their ability to ignore and or jump over/up terrain gives them a dangerous reach.  They can take two special weapons on two of the Raptors and the Champion can take a close combat weapon and or a "Combi-weapon" for more dakka.

Bad: Once again they suffer like that of Chaos Bikers in that they lack the ability to field more than one close combat weapon that has a punishing AP value.  Having just 1 option via the Champion in leu of taking a "Combi-weapon" leaves them out of the mix to be considered a melee unit.  Their ability to take "Chainswords" does give them the ability to push out more attacks but that is not enough to deal with combat orientated units.  

Panda: Their "Fearsome Visage" (all enemy units within 1" of them suffer -1 to leadership) ability gives them nice value in a Night Lords Legion as they now can help contribute to the morale phase beat down not once but twice over.  They double down with their Night Lords trait as they have the keyword Infantry.  Hitting them with a Mark of Nurgle lets you triple down with them if you give them a Icon of Despair which will throw out another -1 to enemy units Leadership value.  At this point it should become obvious that a Sorcerer or a Daemon Prince nearby will add value as can they get them nice and close to the enemy via "Warptime".

Warp Talons
Overview: If you thought that Raptors were a nasty unit but wished they were suited for close combat then look no further then Warp Talons.  They come in units of 5 to 10 and are suited for close combat only.

Good: What sets them apart from Raptors is that they are each armed with a set of "Lightning Claws". These will allow you to shread your way through your opponents armour thanks to their AP -2, ability to re-roll failed wounds and a +1 attack.  They are a "Daemonic" unit which means they get a 5++ invulnerable save and in their case are blessed with the keyword which lets their Daemon kin character buff them if they share the same as them.  Their ability "Warpflame Strike" lets not only deepstrike but prevents units from overwatching at them the turn they enter the battlefield.

Bad: Not a single option for any dakka in this unit.  Like I said they are a close combat unit.

Panda: I like my Warp Talons in maxed out squads of 10 to get bang for my buck via stratagems and or psychic powers. Khorne marked Warp Talons are excellent in World Eaters army for the extra attack and having a Herald of Khorne on a Juggernaut nearby buff their strength up to 5 which is great for wounding units.  Hitting them with the stratagem "Fury of Khorne" is a great way to crumple your opponents backfield in one foul swoop; pun intended.

These Fast Attack units offer a variety of options to the various Legions.  I highly recommend that you include at least one of these units in your army as they can change the ebb of the battlefield.  With all but Chaos Spawn they have the ability to shrink the battlefield with their unreal movement.  Renegade Legions will love these units for guaranteed turn 1 assaults.  Next review will take a look at the Heavy Weapon options.  I hope you have been enjoying these reviews and don't be afraid to leave a comment now and again.

1 comment:

  1. So leave combi-bolters on bikes, give 2 bikers plasmaguns and the champion combi bolter? Thats a lot of firepower! But comes to 103 points.. could get another biker for that. Great unit either way I reckon cool review.