domingo, 6 de diciembre de 2015

Chaos Space Marines Basic Review

I think that it's appropriate that my first article is about chaos, as it is my favorite army, the one that I've played most, even though I believe they are pure crap in this edition. So I'll start with a unit by unit review:
Abbadon the Despoiler: There is a quite generalized hate to this character, and that has a reason. Rules-wise he could be badass, he has tons of AP2 attacks and a quite decent durability... But he isn't worth 265 points... It's true that Chaos is an expensive army but this is just to much. You can take him in non competitive games though, its fun to play him with ten Bringers of Despair terminators from Black Legion and deep strike them into the enemy's heart.
Huron Blackheart: Kitted with a heavy flamer, a power axe and a mutant dog that gives him powers, the Tyrant of Badab is one of the chaos named characters you could consider taking in a half competitive environment. For me his best characteristic is his warlord trait, that enables him to infiltrate 1d3 infantry units. I usually infiltrate him with flamer chosens (this can be improved, but I'll explain that in a advanced tactics article). Also the psychic powers can be good if you're lucky.
Khârn the Betrayer: This was my first chaos named character, and I've used him a lot, so believe me when I say this is one of the best suicidal units in the game. Some people like to put him into a unit of berzerkers, chosens, possesed or other close combat unit, but I've discovered something that gives Khârn an advantage, people FEAR Khârn. And they should, as he will tear to bits almost everything he charges, if he charges, which he won't, as that FEAR will make people shoot him. You don't know how many times I've thrown Khârn into the enemy so he will be shot down and let my other units charge almost without losses. It's usually a good idea to give him a Rhino (I once gave him a land raider for extra fun) and go suicidal into the enemy's lines, just to see how my twenty possesed survived and avenged him.
Ahriman: This is one of the only three level 4 psykers in all the game. He is quite expensive, but he can be fun in a friendly game with thousand sons. I really don't have to much to say about him, he's just like a sorcerer on steroids.
Typhus: Two words, plague zombies. Though he's hard as a rock and all that stuff he has something better than everything else, the capability to sacrifice cultist shoot attacks for Feel No Pain, which is great half the times, as cultist will just be holding down objectives, filling the two troop compulsory choice or meat-shielding. Also a good option in a 10 man Nurgle terminator squad, as they will be the hardest pain in the ass.
Lucius the Eternal: This guy can do wonders if correctly used, being unstoppable against high WS opponents as his attacks will increase. I've seen a lucky guy (not me sadly) defeat an Avatar with this fella. If you really want to use him get him in a possesed or power weapon chosen 9 man squad and get him into a land raider.
Fabius Bile: The heretic side of an apothecary, he can improve chaos space marines units, which could be good, but it isn't, even though giving +1S could be great for other units your CSM shouldn't get into close combat too much, so I would pass on him unless you have a thematic terata army (which could awsome, I've thought of it a couple of times).
Chaos Lord: Our first generic character, the chaos lord is, with the sorcerer, the HQ you will most use. It can be kitted to do lots of things, so I will difference between them.
• Basic lord: Power armor, power weapon (maybe a relic), bolt/plasma pistol or combi-weapon, even sigil of corruption if you're feeling generous. His function is to fill the HQ choice and give you close combat power in low points battles.
• Bike lord: As the one before but in a chaos bike. Put him in a bike unit for survivability and extra punch. Also you can do this with a juggernaut, a disk or a Slaaneshi-horse-beast for extra resistance and/or punch. A pair of lightning claws suit him well in several occasions.
• Tanker: The roll of this lord is to go with his unit and receive punishment, which, in my opinion, can be done by two ways: Put him in a terminator amour or put him in a nurgle-chair and combine with terminators or plague marines.
• Jump Lord: Kitted with a jump pack the jump lord can jump straight into the enemy in a jumping unit like warp talons or raptors and you'll be jumping all over the table! Put him a pair of lightning claws for Night Lord skin.
Sorcerer: The sorcerer has all the variants off a Chaos Lord, but trades the extra damage the lord can make for psyker abilities. Really just pass on the chaos powers and go to telepathy and biomancy.
Daemon Prince: This guys are real bastards. When you throw in a buch of upgrades (power armour, axe of blind fury/murdersword, psyker, wings and Skalathrax flamer) they get almost unstoppable, but also gets pretty pricey. Sometimes when you're playing huge games it's fun to do squads of flying princes to go throwing out powers. Also because they're demons and can be psykers they 're a good option for Malefic Daemonology (though not as good as heralds).
Warp Smith: Can come in handy when playing lots of vehicles but are even better for their ability to sabotage covers and enemy vehicles. Also very fluffy for Iron Warriors.
Dark Apostle: I know that some people play them, but I can't really see the point. Maybe they could be good when playing lots of cultists but really, the leadership boosts aren´t so necessary. I would spend my points in a Chaos Lord or Sorcerer unless doing Word Bearers or something like that.
Chaos Space Marines: This is possibly the weakest part of the Codex. A ten man unit with mark, icon and heavy weapons rises it's price over 200 points, and that´s unacceptable. It's been a little less than a year since I last played one of this. It's true that a Nurgle or Slaanesh unit can get pretty resistant, but plague marines, terminators or bikers do that better.
Cultists: I just don't like cultist. I didn't start CSM to have lots of cannon meat running around but, sadly, that's one of the best configurations available. They are the best option to fill the compulsory troop slot if you aren't taking a marked lord or sorcerer, they make great meat shields and they are a more or less good option for holding objectives, getting actually good when taken like plague zombies.
Chosens: This is one of the units I most use of the codex as I love their tactical flexibility. With 2 base attacks and access to a lot of equipment you can get a melta unit, a power weapon or even a dual lightning claw one, though they can get very pricey with this (their major drawback). Though kitting them with a melta is the most simple option there are lots of competitive configurations available for them, which I'll talk about in another article.
Possessed: Capable of making an obscene quantity of strength 5 attacks, possessed are a good offensive unit, though they're easy to take down and get quite pricey. They will really make good use of a land raider, and shine with all marks (Tzeentch being the worst, but still usable). This unit is quite fun to play, though you can't depend on them as they'll get wiped out easily.
Chaos terminators: They are as expensive as durable, which is a lot. 2+ armor means they will survive well everything except AP2 weapons, which you should either kill or run from. For friendly games is actually fun to take a 10 man squad with power/chain fist and combi melta (give them Abbadon or Typhus if you have enough points) and deep strike them into the enemy's lines.
Hellbrute: The chaos version of a dreadnought, this bad boys can take a lot of different weapons for different play stiles (I like the dual close combat weapon, but I don't use to play them). Basically used as support units and they get better if you use the formations available for them.
Mutilators: Arguably the worst unit in the codex this close combat version of obliterators are the avatars of crap. Capable of changing through a panoply of weapons you should spend your points and elite slots in something else unless you are playing... Well I just can't see a reason for fielding them.
Khorne Berzerkers: Though not terrible berzerkers are not great either as they're too expensive for the damage they can actually do, so when I want close combat units I prefer taking possessed, but zerkers can be fun to play in big units (or maybe I just want them to, as I've got 28 of them painted) as they can unleash a lot of attacks (S5 if you pay the icon).
Thousand Sons: Also known as thousand points, because though the rules look good (AP3 bolters, 4++, a psyker...) they are so expensive they aren't worth it. And the sorcerers can only choose from Tzeench, which is worse than bad, or for Daemonology, which will get him killed, so basically use his warp charges in another psyker.
Plague Marines: A great choice in the codex (CSM standards, it actually isn't that great of a unit) plague marines are good as keeper unit (this will actually be useful if using some units from Imperial Armor 13 or Siege of Vraks). Also remember that they have Poisoned, so sometimes you can get some monsters down with them (my brother Tyranids suffer from this guys).
Noise Marines: Not just cool but also useful, this unit can unleash 30 shots that ignore cover (don't forget the blastmaster). It's true that fully kitted they get awfully expensive but, if used correctly, they can be worth it (chaos standards too).
Rhino: Our only vehicle, as the land raider must be taken separately, the Rhino is a mandatory choice for all those units you want getting close to the enemy. It's quite cheap, but it isn't resistant and it has no weapons (havoc launchers are just a good option if you have spare points, wich you won't, as you are playing chaos). All this said, rhinos are great at one thing, blocking line of vision, so if you take four or five you can advance with your units at the back without being shot down (your rhinos will be eventually destroyed though).
Chaos bikers: This unit can really shine if used and kitted correctly, which is a lot of small teams of three with two meltas/flamers and a mark of Nurgle for Toughness 6. If used for quick striking, doing combined charges here and there and shooting their special weapons where needed this can be one of the best units of the codex.
Chaos Spawns: Well though I believe they're fine, lately chaos players have been loving them. Maybe is for a three wounded beast with S and R five? I don't know, because I don't like them too much, I have a pretty bad luck with dices and I've been stuck with one attack each too many times.
Chaos Raptors: Though generally disliked by the community, I use raptors as cheap bikers and they can get pretty useful. Also depending of the table in where you're playing having some jump infantry can be very useful.
Warp Talons: The bastard son of a raptor and a possesed who has been kitted with a pair of lightning claws, a warp talon is a killing machine expensive as hell, so you won't be fielding them too much. That said one of the best games I've had was with a unit of ten of this with a lord, three malefic disc heralds with grimoire at the back boosting them and a winged demon prince with The Flamer and The Key that allowed them to Deep Strike with another two five man squads of raptors with two flamers in the ranks of a tau army and obliterate them (one of my few victories to tau with CSM).
Helldrake: Possibly the best unit of the codex, helldrakes are great units, combining flamers and autocannons. Why? I don't really know, I just know that when I field them they make a very good job. Possibly it's the combination of an AP3 torrent flamer, vectorial strikes and a flying vehicle with 5++ and It Will Not Die.
Havocs: The chaos version of a devastator, they can be nice for fielding heavy bolters, missile launchers or lascannons They can be usefull though you have to be sure that taking obliterators wouldn´t be cheaper or better as it will give you more optionas and flexibility.
Obliterators: The other unit in the codex liked by common CSM players, oblierators can change from weapon to weapon, are very expensive and have horrid miniatures (yeah, I don't like them that much). For me the problem about this guys is that they are incapable of unleashing lots of shots, as most of their weapons are Heavy 1.
Defilers: Too expensive for low point battles, defilers start shining when taken in big groups in big armies, basically because of its battle cannon and dreadnought close weapons. Taking three is a quite solid option (though expensive) that you can use to smash vehicles in close combat and destroy space marines at the distance.
Forge fiend: The shooty version of the two chaos dinobots, the forge fiend is a good unit (oh yeah 8 S8 shots for the blood god) great at tearing appart vehicles (the ectoplasm option also is useful at terminator-destroying). BS 3 sucks, but it's bearable.
Mauler fiend: The close combat version of the dinobots it isn't as good as it's twin brother, though can be a competitive option in building-packed tables, getting much better when taken in pairs, as it increases the chances of one actually surviving and charging something (yes, chaos is so bad that the best option for something to survive is to take two, and even that can fail).
Chaos land raider: Usually good as it gives your units a high chance of surviving AND charging the enemies, you will never regret giving your close combat units a land raider. In one of the biggest games I've played I fielded five land raiders with four ten man dual lightning claw chosens and one with nine possessed and a lord with key and flamer, which enabled Abbadon and ten terminators to arrive (I lost that one, I was so outnumbered).
Chaos Vindicators: Who's the idiot that doesn't want big S10 AP2 blasts? Though short range sucks vindicators are great units in any siege or defensive army.
Chaos predators: Though three lascannons or autocannons are always usefull, there are better ways to field them (yes, obliterators and havocs).

Well with this I've analyzed every unit in the core codex, giving just basic information and opinions, but I'll make a post as soon as I can analyzing the units of Imperial Armour 13 (which improve and complement the codex) and a latter post explaining more complex builds mixing both of the books, with also some additions from Imperial Armour Siege of Vraks and the Crimson Slaughter and Black Legion supplements, as mixing all of them can make some competitive builds that will surprise your opponent and increase your chances versus harder armies as Eldar or Tau (this doesn´t mean winnig´it means that you won´t be totally obliterated).

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