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"Pink isn't a color. It's a lifestyle." - Chumbalaya
"...generalship should be informing list building." - Sir Biscuit
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Sunday, November 21, 2010

Email in: Chaos Army List win

"Hey Will,

So I sit here in court waiting patiently for the judge to call my cases and have been looking at your webpage on my phone. Having played Warhammer since the early 90s and having collected Chaos, Space Marines, Space Wolves (in 2nd edition), Eldar, and recently Sisters of Battle. I started looking through your critiques of several armies and I honestly have to say that I agree with most of your outlooks on armies, psychic powers and the sort but the one thing that was like nails on a chalkboard for me was the list you have in the Chaos section. The “winner” now I read what you were looking for and the use of greater daemons and dreadnaughts? WOW that is probably one of the worst lists I have seen out there. Mixing heavy weapons in your CSM squads. Using plague marines as forward anti tank. Yikes. I was just wondering if there was something about this list that I am missing? I am not trying to be a ass and I am far from an “elitist” I am just wondering why would you recommend this list?

Johnathan L. Teske"

Hope everything went okay and glad you like the blog overall :).

The list in question can be seen in this post here and was the winner of the lists posted in the comments. So quickly, the list isn't 'the best' one could make of Chaos but it's quite solid and was the best given to me for the classroom setting. I'll basically be explaining everything that I've covered in my Armies in 5th articles of chaos but this will be condensed and I'll be focusing on a few aspects on Johnathan's email.

First, Dreadnoughts. This is the only place in the whole Chaos army you get mobile MM. Ask SM how important this is. Their unreliability in terms of not doing what you want all the time is an issue but they provide solid mobile anti-tank and combat prowess in a rather weak FoC slot for Chaos (the only other solid choice being Chosen which are basically a suicide unit; Termicide is an option but less reliable and doesn't add to mech saturation). Importantly (and combined with the Greater Daemon, which isn't a great choice but it does provide saturation) it provides more saturation not along the lines of mech (armor value) but tough targets to crack such as the Nurgle Princes and Oblits.

Second, Troops. This is where Chaos again have issues; their lack of mobile and effective melta in FA/Elites. FA is just too expensive and Elites have their own issues. Whilst Chosen are rather good for the job and Dreads bring an MM to the table (whilst being unreliable) you don't really want your Elites to be throw away melta units as they are usually expensive. This leaves the burden of anti-tank on Oblits because we also don't want to simply throw away our Troops as they have to secure objectives. Plague marines obvioulsy do this very well with T5 FNP but they are also the most efficient way to get double melta; add in their T5FNP makes them hard to move off objectives regardless of where they are and they make an expensive paperweight as a plain old objective holder and ya, they work as aggressive units. They still hate combat and I wouldn't put PFists on them myself but double melta in a 5 man squad with T5FNP is much better moving forward than sitting on an objective when you consider the limitations of the Chaos codex.

For that reason you need some backfield/midfield holders which CSM do okay. Not as great as tacticals (especially without an MM) but okay which is why a ranged heavy gun works. Sure you could just load them up on double melta and send them forward, too but that's a very expensive and excessive body count for two meltaguns which can score. Adding the heavy weapon means they can actually do something from afar if needed. Necessary? No but it makes them less one-dimensional and adds to the suppression capabilities of the Oblits.

I hope that explains it a bit more. Remember, the Chaos codex has issues with over-expensive models, rather lack-luster Elite/FA sections and relies on their Oblits a lot. You don't want to be throwing all your Troops away just to get into melta range of tanks and you need firepower after that to kill what's inside transports, etc.

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