Tuesday, 22 March 2016
In this episode we are going to take a more tangible look at some of the more popular army choices that the Chaos Codex can field and a quick look at how they are played and what their strengths and weaknesses are and what some alternate versions of the list look like.
One of the more popular options I have seen since the release of the book is the large units of Spawn with the MON. This makes them T6 which is incredibly durable, but with their lack of a save, they can still be dropped rather quickly by massed shooting. This is where taking a Sorcerer boosts the survivability of the unit tenfold. Thrown on a bike with no Chaos mark, he is usually given powers from Telepathy in the hopes of getting Invisibility and/or Shrouding. Invisible, this unit is a nightmare to try and kill and it will sit in combat all day slowly grinding your units down. Often times the Sorcerer will bail from the unit, typically just before it is going to charge or be charged because you don't want him to get challenged and killed while in combat. You don't want him to bail out and be standing in the wind all on him lonesome, so make sure you have a unit tagging along that he can join up with. Often times this unit is Cultists because I can afford to have a 50pt unit doing nothing but running to catch up with the Spawn.
To take this to a higher level and bring it into an actual army, you would typically see 2 units of Spawn, 2 Sorcerers, 2 Maulerfiends, and some Cultists. From there things can vary slightly but another high level Psyker is usually seen such as Bel'akor or Fateweaver in a second detachment.
Now you might think that this is a plain and simple push it forward and smash style list, but you would be wrong. A little more finesse is usually required to make sure that all the defence mechanisms are in place
The guys at The Long War have done a couple really good battle reports where they dub over a sped up video of their game and talk about what tactics they use and what they are thinking. They also use some handy graphics to point out some locations of the things they are talking about and highlight some things that they don't actually mention is their play by play.
The next popular Chaos army found is Typhus and friends. This list is built around Typhus and as many Zombie cultists you can fit, which is a lot at 35 per unit. While they are fearless and ObSec, zombies don't kill things which means that the rest of the army has to be full of things that do lots of damage, Obliterators and Heldrakes come to mind. Zombies alone are usually never the sole troops choice as Typhus makes Plague Marines troops and there are usually at least 2 units of Plague Marines in Rhinos with double melta-guns for that ever important tank busting.
IA 13 can also come in to help us out by adding Plague Drones to the mix. A pretty hard hitting flier with a S8 AP3 large blast cannon and a small amount of anti-air in the form of a Reaper Autocannon. Another great addition is the Relic Predator tank, being able to take some of weapon upgrades such as the Heavy Conversion Beamer entices your opponent to be not so far away, helping corral the enemy into your Zombies.
This list is a little more point and click that the previous one and there are 2 main tactics and oddly enough, your opponent usually determines which one you use.
First, if your opponent chooses to target the zombies, you use them as a distraction and use your offensive units to kill his. Target priority is key here as you want to focus on the enemy units that can kill your offensive units first. Don't worry about the zombies and let his front line units deal with them, with any luck he has wasted enough firepower for you to wipe out his support units and you can then begin taking out his front lines.
Your second option is if your opponent tries taking out all your damage dealing units before the Zombies can hit their lines. Now, as I said before, your zombies aren't going to kill anything, so you have to get them into grips with the enemy ASAP and prevent them from shooting. The good thing is that since they aren't getting shot, there is going to be a lot of them when they get to grips. You will have to play a little "cagey" with your non-zombie units, hiding them when possible and taking potshots.
The biggest issue with both of these tactics is that zombies are slow, so finding some way of getting them up close is a challenge.
Another thing that the Chaos codex can do extremely well is to overload the table with special weapons. With Chosen and Havocs being able to take an ass load of special weapons each, you can get close to 25 plasma guns on the table. This has potential for a really devastating alpha strike against certain armies, however, should you get second turn or, god forbid, "seized" on, you are in a world of trouble.
Since you're looking at around 1200 points for those 6 units armed to the teeth and in rhinos, You don't have a whole lot of left over points but you have some options. You can go all out and get a couple units of Plague Marines and double down on the plasma, or you can go cheap with a couple cultist units so you can get a couple Heldrakes.
Keep in mind that every single loss body is a hit on your damage output so you will have to play cagey as fuck and know that when you put that unit in position to hammer the enemy with double tapping plasma guns, you will most likely loose that unit.
Now, to take this to another level, you can use the Black Legion supplement and take 6 units of Chosen as your troops. They will cost a little more than if you take them from the normal codex because you have to give them VotLW. So for just over 1400 pts, you have 6 untis, with Rhino's, that are objective secured with 30 plasma guns and 6 combi-plasmas. Add another 60 pts to that for Combi-plasma on all the Rhinos. Again, you can add Huron to the list to get the Chaos Infiltrate Warlord Trait, or try to get the good Infiltrate one with the Battle Forged Re-roll.
This list is designed to be a sacrificial style list. Unit gets out of Rhino, annihilates target, gets killed, repeat. Since Rhino's are only tanks, IA 13 can step in and get us places we need to go swapping out a couple Rhinos with Dreadclaw drop pods or Stormeagle Assault ships. You can't do it with too many as you only have maybe 300 pts to play with after you add in an HQ and such.
So there are a couple popular army builds that Chaos can pull off, try them out and respond back with some info. Tips on how to make them better, or if they just don't hold up in today's meta.
Until next time, keep them dice rollin.