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"Pink isn't a color. It's a lifestyle." - Chumbalaya
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Tuesday, April 5, 2011

Chaos Space Marines Codex Review: Elites

The Elites section! This is the most exciting part of many a codex, for Chaos it's not. But that doesn't mean we don't review it, we will as that's how we are: unselfish. Alrighty, let's start:

Chosen Chaos Space Marines

VT2: Pseudo-sternguard, in a sense. Also pretend-vanguard - really, really, really wannabe, actually.
The chosen themselves have your standard marine profile, with +2 to leadership. Man, the excitement - it gets to me! I don't think I can take much more of this.

Chosen can select guns. This is good.
Chosen can also pack combat gear. This is bad.

Good? Bad? Let me explain.
Being Chaos marines, all members come with the standard kit, but outside their boosted leadership, they offer very little.
A grand total of five dudes can lug around plasma-, meltaguns, or flamers - which is nice.
Too bad it costs a fortune, however, are the points well-spent? Sometimes.
Oh, chosen have a special rule to! Jesus, Gav! Must have worked your ass off to grant them 'infiltrate'.
If you want to, you can give five dudes fists, claws, power implements, combis and the ever useless plasmapistol. Uhh, don't do this. Why?
Even Dark Angel Veterans are 2 attacks base - unlike your chosen.

I can feel the might, the awe and the terror, carried like a shour 'round these ten-thousand year old veterans of combat. They've seen the start, ruled entire system, enslaved populations, yet they're 1 attack base. Hoorah, Gav.

Zjoekov: Honestly, this is the most disappointing entry in the book for me. It's almost impressive how they made such a bland unit. How to use them? Well Chosen give you the option to bring another Rhino with special weapons in it. That's it. Sorry.

Chaos Terminators

VT2: In case you hadn't noticed, these are significantly better than pretty much everything else in the codex. By virtue of complete coincidence, chaos terminators lucked out and got themselves new plastic during development of this book. Yes, it was just coincidence - Gav was absolutely not under order to push Terminators, or to make everything else worse in comparison.

Not only do Termies bring more special weapons than chosen, have better durability than possessed and more combat presence than dreads - they're also cheaper by far and unlock non-heavy support Land Raiders for any Berzerkers you might decide to include.

I play X more points and I get a 2+ save, at least as much dakka, 5++, power weapons, deep strike, relentless, can take more dudes with special weapons if I make the squad larger, add a heavy, upgrade my powerswords to bigger things, +1 attack base and can make dudes champions for an additional attack? Yeah, okay - not pushing models. No way.

Now that we've gotten that out of the way, yes - you must add terminators. You should run at least 3x3, with each squad being a nominal 105 points. This brings 3 dudes and each of them will have a combi-whatever, terminator armour plus a power implement.

Not only do the terminators bring special weapons, but they are one of only *two* 'combat units' available to you - the other being Berzerkers.
No, the Prince isn't a combat unit, no matter how much you cry and whine.

Downside: Combis are 1 use only.
Important: large squads should purchase one serving of chaos glory, for morale re-rolls.
Proper gear (expensive bullshit) lets your terminators sorta have a chance at other elite combat units, but it's not worth the investment.

Zjoekov: I'll add a more critical view to balance the glory-story of VT2. Terminators indeed look great because they outperform most units in the Chaos codex with ease... but that's because those units mostly suck hard. Deepstriking in is a nice option, but without reserve modifiers and/or a proper way to reduce scatter (no, Icons aren't everywhere on the field and they cost points) it's becoming less attractive. Still an alright unit though, but not nearly as mandatory as VT2 claims in my opinion.

Possessed Chaos Space Marines

VT2: Horny vanguard veterans. Magically more expensive. Used to get a sarge with a powerfist, but now realistically only gets an expensive stick.

Possessed have a random ability, which you roll for after deployment. This is much worse than it sounds, because you can't plan for them at all.
They are so special, they have a 5+ invulnerable. You know, like terminators, only without the combi-weapons, the armour, or the power weapons?
Potentially have as many attacks as Ork Boyz (so like Berzerkers you can't control and that cost more) on the charge, but potentially gets to scout 6 inches forward and that's that.

Amusingly enough, the official art shows a possessed marine killing a fire warrior. If you ask me, that's a match made in heaven.

Avoid these.

Zjoekov: Not much to say, they pretty much are inferior Berzerkers. You can try hard and make them look okay, but they aren't. GWvsJohn did a post on Possessed already in which he makes a list with them, check it out if you really want to use them sweet models. Without those sweet models people probably wouldn't even try to defend them, which some people on some forums do. A classic: "they are the best bodyguard for Khârn because of their invulnerable save". GTFO, really.

Chaos Dreadnought

VT2: A gimped Dread, available at a slightly lower-than-averege cost in points. Chaos Dreads have spent over ten-thousand years killing and murdering people, honing their killer instinct to a razor's edge. As a result, they have one more attack than loyalists Dreads. Yeah.

Dreads carry multi-meltas. That's all they ever do. No, really.

Because Gav hates you and Jervis' concept of insane Dreads must be upheld at all costs, Chaos Dreadnoughts will do dumb things very, very often. How often? A third of the time. When your Dread is not busy rage-fleeting, it'll refuse to move at all and will shoot whatever model is closest twice.

In some gaming circles these have the magical ability to shoot out of their own asses, while in others they can only target friendly stuff if it's within the 45 degree arc of their guns. This would be very sad, complicated and hurtful if the Dread wasn't a bad unit, blessed with a bad expensive metal model and actually had something going for it.

As it stands, Chaos Dreads should be avoided.

Rather than thinking about adding a mobile multi-melta wiht a 33% chance of not doing what you want, add another 3 man Terminator squad with combies. This boosts your combat presence, gives more shots and the terminators can be deepstriked to save time walking.

Zjoekov: Nothing to add and thus I fully agree.

*sigh* Terminators are a pretty okay unit, chosen are passable in rhinos with a few specials and Dreadnoughts are interesting when you are all into rules debates. I'm not personally. Oh yes, Possessed are bad, the internet hates/hated rightfully on this unit.

I need coffee.

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