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"Pink isn't a color. It's a lifestyle." - Chumbalaya
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"I buy models with my excess money" - Valkyrie whilst a waitress leans over him

Wednesday, March 30, 2011

Chaos Space Marines Codex Review: HQ

Little introduction required here, this post will simply cover the generic HQ choices. Boy oh boy you can tell I'm excited can you not? No indeed I'm not, but as VT2 wrote his stuff months back (when he was actually funny now and then!) at least it makes up for some entertainment. Hopefully.

Deamon Prince

VT2: Budget monstrous ceature, with limited durability. Well for 110 points (10 more than a marine captain), you shouldn't ask for much.
Oh, hey - what's that under his 'wargear?' A special rule!? My god, Gav! I thought you completely forget about them.
Yes, boys and girls, out of the three core characters, only the prince has a special rule that's actually 'special.' So special, it was snatched up and made a USR in the following edition.

Despite all the whine and lawish praise the internet throws at this guy, there's not a whole lot to say. Wings, mark of nurgle. Alternatively, wings, mark of slaanesh, and lash. Fly around, annoy. Tank something. Kill a rhino.
Die to tactical marines, or sternguard, or stray shoota bullets. Turn 3.


Has all the psychic powers of the sorcerer, actually. Which brings that guy's reasons for existing into question.
Mark of magic, tagged with his beloved wings, lead to slightly more survivability, and two to three Ap1 shots before the princes drops dread, but is much more expensive.

Zjoekov: Little to add except the most important thing why the Prince stands out: He adds more stand-alone targets in your army. See, when you take a lord he has to ride with a squad. When the transport of that squad gets blown up both your squad and Lord/Sorcerer are pretty crippled. Now when you have a Prince and he dies; chances are that's a rhino untouched. In reverse: Rhino dead? Maybe your Prince actually lives now to do something. In order to make this concept work though, Princes gotta draw the same fire as Rhinos. Do they? Well yes; especially when you give them Mark of Nurgle. See it's not that easy to kill T6 MC's with just S4 and S5 fire... And higher S weapons kill your rhinos too. Result: Your Princes always 'works', either he does something (he is rather killy) or he's at least soaking up some damage and he's fairly alright in soaking up damage compared to his cost. Don't forget: He's fast too with wings so you can force your oppenent to deal with him. Missiles make Princes kinda sad though, but those make Rhinos kinda sad too so it's still not enough to make the Prince a bad choice. Verdict: You can take 2 of these on any point level without gimping yourself and usually it will improve your list too.

Chaos Lord

VT2: One-dimensional and overpriced, chaos lords stride into battle with absolutely no remarkabable qualities whatsoever, armed with the same bog-standard power weapons and fists that everybody else gets, warded from damage by less defense than imperial guard, and shooting their pistols once before they charge and died to tactical squad powerfists. The one thing setting mister badass apart from his peers is a 'mighty' weaponskill of 6, that even for its time, was pretty inconsequential.

Yes, for the low, low price of +40 points, he can have a powerful +d6 attacks. Truly, the lord will rock the world with his martial prowess. At strenght 5.
And if he rolls a 1, he hits himself, forfeiting his chance to strike.

Should the planets be aligned, the moon full, and your prostate weak, you might feel the need to cripple yourself and your game in obvious fashions. The one time each year this is the case, what is proper and just is a chaos terminator lord, who'll accompy your other terminators, gracefully sharing his three wounds with the designated carrier of the squad's reaper autocannon.

Zjoekov: Let's see, he's got the option for Marks too! To sum them up:
Mark of Khorne: Don't combine this with the Deamonweapon, EVER, unless you're a true masochist and in that case you're playing the wrong game. Otherwise it's alright for an extra Lightning Claw attack.
Mark of Nurgle: This gives you acces to arguably the best Deamon Weapon: Poisoned attacks which is kinda good in 5th edition. Well he still hits himself at a roll of '1' so it still sucks of course. Otherwise this makes you thougher against 'normal' attacks, Fists still own ya though.
Mark of Slaanesh: S4 instakill Deamonweapon, yay? It's alright, for a Deamon Weapon that is. I6 is cute, so you can consider it when going for a Lightning Claw lord too.
Mark of Tzeentch: Yay, we can get a 4++ making him a more expensive vanilla Captain! Gawd I love this codex. Oh it gives him the option for a Deamon Weapon which shoots, totally gangstah. Yeah you'll hit yourself on a 1 with shooting too, sorry.

All mounts suck, because it doesn't let you ride in a rhino anymore. If you must: No forget it, no mounts. I haven't EVER seen one either, did you? Little kids tend to take the Khorne Deamonweapon sometimes though, which one time killed my GUO (was playing Deamons) in 1 round of combat, but that aside.

So what do I suggest? Well not the setup VT2 suggests, no not at all. See the Chaos Lord has 1 cute option: Wings. That's a Jump Pack right? Yes, but a Jump Pack which lets you embark into a rhino! Well this makes that he's a little less crappy (but just a little bit). So that's an automatic choice. After that you want a combimelta and then either a Powerfist with Mark of Khorne (to Fist something) or Lightningclaws with some kind of Mark.
Alternatively: Power sword + combimelta for a budget Lord. Yay.

Now the final argument people of the Chaos Lord fanclub bring up in discussions (I've been there too many times...B&C, not even Warseer) is this: "When you compare them to other Captains they aren't that much worse!" Yes and that's why nobody takes those in a competitive list. Ever seen a Blood Angels Captain? Thought so. Vanilla Captains at least get a S6 power weapon and a 3++ but usually it's a Bike Captain or Vulkan for the army wide things they do. Oh yes and Wolves get to make a real combat character of their Lord because he rides a wolf.

Verdict: Bad because he doesn't do anything you want nor something really awesome. That's pretty close to my definition of a bad choice.


VT2: It's a combat libririan.

Has one less point of weaponskill than the lord, but starts with gear. Because Gav hates spiky libririans, he magically left his psychic hood at home, his powers cost extra points, plus he can only have one.Various pieces of kit void the 'thou shalt have only thy one powah'-limiter, but that's standard.

Gav is a generous god, giving you a choice of seven magic spells to pick from.

Doombolt is the nerfed, spiky version of smite. Psychic shooting attack, with fair range (18"). Kinda usefull.

Gift of chaos gives you a very tiny chance to turn any single model in close proximity to a spawn. A 'start-of-your-turn-or-never'-power, it's got a stupidly short range and most things you want to spawnify only ever tun to masses of hulking flesh on 5's and 6's.

Warptime is ninjamagic, granting re-rolls for pretty much all offensive rolls you do during your own, or your oppenent's, turn. Very nice.

Wind of Chaos: 4+ poisoned flamer, with Ap2, only it doesn't say that. Glances armour on 4+. Is, quite obviously, a psychic shooting attack and totally on par with the loyalist avenger-spell. Fair.

Lash of submission (mark of kiddy fiddling only). Used to be good, now is a whole lot less so. Why? Rhinos. RHINOS! The enemy hides in METAL BOXES, the cowards! The fools! And since you're playing chaos, you have issues dismounting dudes. Overrated and bad. Owns all the seals still, despite years having passed since release. Also is a psychic shooting attack.

Nurgle's rot (don nurgle's servants only). Very bad. Maybe if you're stuck close to 100 guard infantry, it would be usefull. Does also count as a shooting attack. Pretend it doesn't exist.

Bolt of Change (master of magic only). It's like a lascannon, only not at all. The Ap1 makes it rather potent, but the average range and single shot profile bring the rating down. It's expensive too. If you don't have Lash, you have bolt.

For 5 points, your sorcerer-dude can know an additional power and splashing on the mark of magic too.

Same options as the lord.

What you want to do, is give him terminator armour, combi-bolte,r familiar, warptime and doombolt. Basic and effective.

Other options include wings, mark of perversion, lash and little else - which is good, too. As good as bad HQ's get anyway.

Really, you shouldn't be investing points in chaos HQ. They're not exactly value for the cost.

Zjoekov: My opinion is a little bit different on some powers: Doombolt is awefull. Who cares about 3 S4 shots? Exactly. No the Ap3 doesn't change this.
Nurgles Rot on the other hand isn't as bad as VT2 makes it sound like. See, S3 doesn't sound impressive but when you automaticly hit any models within 6" you're looking at quite some wounds in a crowded area. This power actually got nerfed in the Deamons codex to S2... apparantly GW thought it was too awesome, which it's not of course.

Additional setups from my side? Always wings as explained in the Lord entry. Being able to jump out of a rhino is also golden (well more like shiney iron) here. Then you could do things like a plasma pistol or combimelta and Warptime. Marks doesn't matter much; you could try and go for a Tzeentch Warptime Sorcerer pretending that you're an awesome Character slayer. (Hint: you're not)

See what kills him for me is the lack of the Psychic Hood. When you're up against other Psychers they can block you but you can't block them and that's unfair when you invested more than 100 points into the guy. Well I think it's unfair at least. If he had a Psychic Hood? Oh then I'd take him.


The Deamon Prince is actually... good I'd say. When I'm thinking about the Chaos codex and what makes it kinda not-so-good at the moment then I don't think it's the fault of the Prince. It does what it should do, for a reasonable price. A Prince would be a serious consideration in other Meq armies too. (yes Chaos is just another Meq army, don't pretend otherwise please)

The Lord and the Sorcerer.... not so good. Bad actually. They don't make your army really better... When you take them you try to limit the damage they do to your list. Hint: When you try to think of reasons why a certain unit isn't as bad as people say it is, then it's almost always a bad unit you're dealing with. Congnitive dissonance it's called. (somebody taught me this fancy term in the chatbox!)

What have we got next? Elites? Damn, looking foward to it!

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