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Friday, September 3, 2010

Chaos Space Marine Army Lists 'Competition'


Well thanks to Txt44x who reminded me about this! I completely forgot. For those of you not ‘in the know,’ at the conclusion of the Chaos Space Marine Armies in 5th series I laid down the gauntlet for people to put together the best possible CSM list based upon the series they had just read. The winner will get their list (un-edited) posted in the CSM Summary thread (lucky them) and the adulation of all their peers. So we ended up with 7 entries (5 2000, 2 1750) from Joshy Bear, Bigbaboonboy, Txt44x, Behemoth, Borkai, Kjetil and Kildash. All of them can be seen here.
A quick look shows most of the list authors have clearly read and paid attention to the Chaos series so they all deserve pats on the back for that. I’ll discuss the overall strengths and weaknesses of everyone’s list (you should be able to extract this and apply it to your list) for a better learning experience and then reveal the winner. Or scroll down for the winner first.

The obvious strength of CSM generally lies in their Oblits. These bad boys and are excellent at long-ranged anti-tank and with an impressive midfield presence provided by their Troops these are two common factors throughout all of the lists. Also common throughout the lists are Daemon Princes in various forms. Nurgle DP w/wings & warptime are really the only cost effective way of running them unfortunately (lash should in particular be on a sorc who can hide in a squad) and whilst most of the lists did this there were a few exceptions. However, a few of the lists leave it at that and put too many points into their midfield or backfield and don’t support the DPs. Threatening your opponent with Oblits, 3+ saves in midfield and winged T6 creatures doesn’t give your opponent enough to think about and they will focus on the Princes early which will generally leave them at a significant advantage against your Oblits. The more successful lists did this.

A quick note, I’m surprised no-one did any lists without DPs. Whilst they are awesome combat monsters, Sorcs do have a place in terms of utility (Lash & Bolt) and are a lot cheaper. Any reasons why? Did I maybe not support them enough in my posts? Moving on.

Another huge thing which was common and I didn’t like, PFists on Plagues. Even if Plagues are your only Troops, don’t give them PFists. Much like Tacticals or Sternguard from Marines, these guys aren’t good in combat and giving them a PFist is basically throwing good points after bad. CSM is a different story as they can get 30A base on the charge and 20 when charged. A couple of supporting poof attacks are nice there. If your Plagues get into combat a PFist isn’t going to help, they need another squad to bail them out. That said, most of the Troop choice selections and wargear options were pretty good. Good job there.

Let’s get down to the 3 finalists and into a bit more list analysis. Drum roll…Joshy Bear, Txt44x and Bigbaboonboy. We’ll go back to front in our analysis.

Bigbaboonboy’s list is one of the lists I really thought would of preferred the Sorc over the DP as there’s really alone out there. The Troops and Dreads are a bit of a let-down though and I think if the CSM were 10 strong and the Dreads had one heavy weapon + a DCCW this list would have been a lot more powerful. The bikers are an expensive but excellent way to slow down the approaching enemy and the 20 CSM + Dreads would be no slouches in delaying combats whilst the Plagues hold an objective and the Oblits pour in fire.

Txt44x’s list looks pretty solid too and supports the Princes with some Dreads (though why ML over MM?). The Preds over 3x oblit squads are a nice change and add some armor saturation to the list. The Troops though are a bit mis-matched. At first I thought there were 2x plague units but with only one, well at 2k I’d prefer to see two but no Fist which makes me happy! The CSM are solid picks but with 2 squads of them not sure the Zerkers are needed. One or other of these squads needed to be dropped I think for some more Plagues and another Dread perhaps (Rhino upgrades wouldn’t have been amiss either). Solid overall though for CSM.

Joshy’s list is similar to Txt44’s but no Zerkers and more plagues. The plagues have Fists though which is really a waste of points. Joshy has also put in a summoned GD, an interesting choice but some solid hitting power for an extra 100 points. Combined with the Dreads this gives some very solid support and fire saturation in relation to the Princes. The midfield is pretty solid as well with 4 Troops split into 2x5 Plagues and 2x10 CSM though an extra combi-melta for the CSM squads would be a worthy investment. Upgrades on the Rhinos as well such as combis or havocs would be nice. Backed by the Oblits and this is another solid list for CSM.

So the verdict… for me it has to be Joshy’s list. Whilst there are some changes I’d like to make (dropping the Plague PFists for combi’s on the CSM and Havocs on the Plague Rhinos) there’s an excellent balance and synergy amongst the list though one would have to be careful to not overextend their Princes or play too passively or aggressively with their CSM. Txt44x and Bigbaboonboy’s lists were pretty good as well but I think the Troops need a bit of shaking up. For the other lists I didn’t mention directly, well I will now lol.

Behemoth: too much in your midfield. 16 plagues and 20 CSM is going to be hard to move but expensive and it leaves your Princes out to dry without much support. Since you were going termicide this would have been another list which could of benefited from a Sorc HQ but then you’d be very weak in terms of combat.

Kildash: like Behemoth, too much in troops. 20 plagues would be a bit on the weak side for 2000 points but doable. Those Zerkers points should then be dropped into Dreads and maybe bikers if there were any left over. Lash should also go on Sorcs, not DP. Lash is decent as a utility spell to throw units away from your line, into cover, out of cover, off objectives, etc. but Princes have a hard time hiding and a lot of people will target this guy first. He’s still evil in combat with his statline but he’s the weakest thing out there.

Kjetil: Biggest let down was only 15 scoring models. Whilst they all have FNP and are in Rhinos, Chaos really don’t have the saturation to be able to get away with that. Up the scoring numbers a bit and drop the Fists on the Plagues and you’ve got a solid baseline though using your Elite slots would help as well. Dreads would be very beneficial.

Borkai: Again the DP really need to be Nurgle based. Whilst the Tzneetch DP isn’t “bad” it’s not good either and is very points efficient. At 1750 15 Plagues is a bit more passable but points could be freed up by dropping the Termies (or downgrading to a Dread) and Tzneetch Prince to Nurgle for upgrade one squad to 10 men or grabbing some CSM instead. I’d lean away from the Deflier though and perhaps got with Preds for armor saturation. Your Dreads and Princes want to get close which reduces the effectiveness of your Defiler’s battle cannon.

I hope this exercise helps everyone and congrats to Joshy Bear!

7 pinkments:

mad-doc said...

The problem with sorcs is i think that you have to put them into a squad, and these are expensive.
Also when using the sorc(lash) the squad can't do anything most of the time.
This together with the fact that csm is expensive as hell, a DP comes out ahead for most people.

Ian said...

Guessing that Txt44's dreads have ML so that getting a fire frenzy result doesn't screw over your own vehicles, like it well might with a MM.

Txt44x said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Txt44x said...

Hey Kirby thanks for your input! Yep like Ian said, I fear the MM fire frenzy, and ML has more versatile range.

And I believe I read an article on Warseer that stated PFist were excellent on PMs since they're already at I3 anyways... are you telling me Warseer lied to us??!? :D

Joshy Bear said...

Really enjoyed the articles Kirby. Glad you like my list for the most part. Almost makes me want to start Chaos.

VT2 said...

Powerfists aren't really weapons as such.
You should have maybe 2 for every 1000 points.

Kirby said...

Editting screwed up on that one o.O.

@mod-doc; you've already bought squads (i.e. Plagues) that are short-ranged. Very little trade-off in that regard.

@Ian/Txt44x; depends how you play LoS of the Dreads and regardless, if they lead your army's advance there should be nothing in front of them to shoot.

In regards to PFists, they don't make a bad combat unit good in combat, it just provides the illusion of doing so. When Warseer is right, I'll paint myself pink :P lol.

@Joshy Bear; glad you enjoyed them. My cheque clears when?

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