Tuesday, 4 July 2017



Oh-my-lanta!  What the hell is going on here?  3 posts within a month of each other?  I'm back so soon to start delving into the Chaos index. This one is gonna get deep with tactics and stuff.  Remember, I've only played a couple games, so I essentially know nothing.  Take it all with a grain of salt.

The Index: Chaos is on the smaller side of the indexes coming in at a mere 128 pages.  It covers Heretic Astartes, Daemons, and Questor Traitoris (GW nerd talk for Renegade Knights).  This first set of posts will cover the Heretic Astartes, and I'll get into the others when I have time.  Yeah right...

But first the salt must floweth...

OK, I want to talk right to GW for a minute, join me over here on camera 3, just the two of us...  what... the... fuck... where you thinking?  These books have got to be the most poorly organized books I have ever seen.  They seem to be filled with mistakes, not explain certain things, and be just plain old confusing.  Oh don't worry, I have examples.

My first beef is that basic wargear is not included in the cost of the model from the Heretic Astartes units if you are using points for Matched Play.  Now, it just so happens that most of the basic wargear has a cost of 0, but not all of it does.  When you compare that to the Daemon Entries, there is no Daemons points values weapons list.  So why does a Rubric Marine's Inferno Bolter cost him 2 points when it's standard wargear, but a plaguesword doesn't cost a Herald of Nurgle or Plaguebearers anything?

Next up is simple organization.  Lets take a look at the fucking hoops you have to jump through just to equip a unit of simple fucking Chaos Space Marines (page 26).  First up, we determine the squad size, lets go with 10.  How many points is 10 Marines?  It doesn't say on their Dataslate, so we go to page 118, but if we haven't also read page 114 we would not know that Aspiring Champions actually cost the same as a regular Marine.  Every past edition we have had to pay for that, so you might be looking for that for a while.  Back to page 26 to figure out what weapons they should have.  They all have their basic wargear, which is no longer actually included in the models points cost, so we will have to jump to page 119 quickly to make sure none of it actually costs any additional points then back to 26 for upgrades.  The Aspiring Champ is the first on the list so we have to go to the Champion Wargear list to figure out what he has access to, page 11.  I can't decide whether to give him a Power fist or Lightning claw, so I have to go to page 124 and 125 to get their profile, then go to page 119 to compare their cost.  Now back on 26 I see that one model can take a weapon from the Special or Heavy weapons lists on page 11, and if I have 10 models I can take two Special or Heavy weapons.  The cost of said weapons is on page 119 and the profiles are on 122 and 123.  I also have the option of taking a Chaos Icon, rules found on page 10, but cost is back on 119.
Just to equip a unit of Chaos Space Marines I have to visit pages 10, 11, 26, 118, 119, 122, 123, 124, 125, and maybe 114 if you haven't read every page before trying to make a list.  10 pages that need to be flipped back and forth to and that needs to be done for each and every unit until you can memorize all the things you need to know.  While I'm on the thought of memorizing things, what the fuck is up with bull shit points cost?  Only about half of all the points costs of models, weapons, special wargear ends in a 0 or 5.

As a second example, lets look at the Lord of Change.  It has one Dataslate.  In that Dataslate is weapon options for a baleful sword and a rod of sorcery, but good luck finding the baleful sword in the weapons points list cause it's not there.  The rod of sorcery is, but not the sword.  So how do you find out the cost of the sword, well the Lord of Change has 2 entries in the model points list, one with the sword and one without.

My final beef is the blatant looking errors.  Now maybe I'm wrong on this, perhaps they did this on purpose, but I doubt it.  The first one I found is that there is an item in the Heretic Astartes other wargear price list called an Instrument of Chaos for 0 points, but I'll be a fucking monkey's uncle if I could find what unit can take one.  Next up is the difference of Typhus and the Lord of Contagion.  They have the same stat line and every rule that the Lord of Contagion has Typhus has, then Typhus has a shit load more rules that makes him way better BUT he costs less points.  While we are on Typhus and the Death Guard, why is it that Terminators are not in the list of units can can be taken in a DEATH GUARD army (page 57)?  That is just a damn shame.  I understand that I can take a separate detachment and get terminators with the mark of Nurgle in the army, but they won't be able to benefit from the Death Guard keyword.  Do I need to remind GW of the Deathshroud and the Gravewarden?  I'm going to assume that this is going to get rectified when the Death Gurad codex comes out shortly, but why is it something that has to get fixed?

These guys no longer exist.
End of rant.  That went on for a while but I have to mention that very few issues have anything to do with rules.  It's simple organization and lack of consistency that dives me up the wall.

Starting with Heretic Astartes, we have the keywords.  Most of the entries have keywords inside angular brackets like <LEGION> or <MARK OF CHAOS>.  This means that you can insert whichever legion you want.  There is also mention of Renegade chapters, but there doesn't seem to be any further explanation or list of what we can use.  This is likely for those fanboys out there who have created their own fallen chapter with their own name and story and not for the gamey douchbags who want to name their fallen chapter Howling Griffons so they can take Obliterators with their Space Marine army that also has the same Keyword.
In any case, when you replace the keyword <LEGION> and <MARK OF CHAOS>, all other references in that unit are replaced with the same keyword.  The example they give is a Chaos Lord from the Word Bearers legion.  The <LEGION> keyword on his datasheet is replaced with Word Bearers, and now his Lord of Chaos rule will only affect other units from the Word Bearers Legion.

Next up we have the new version of Veterans of the Long War, now called Death to the False Emperor, and it's way better.  In the FIGHT phase, when you roll a 6+ to hit you may roll an additional attack (these do not generate more attacks).  Now, after a little looking, this is determined AFTER any modifications.  So if you get a +1 to hit modifier (wait till we get to the psychic powers), you will generate extra attacks on a die roll of 5 or 6.  Of course this only works if you are attacking armies with the IMPERIAL key word but we all know there are shit loads of those out there.

Each of the 4 gods once again get their banners followed up by an unaligned banner.  Khorne allows a reroll to charge distances.  Slaanesh turns Death to the False Emperor into a 5+ (meaning that with prescience you're getting extra attacks on a 4+).  Nurgle hit enemies within 3" with a -1 to Ld.  Tzeentch dishes out a mortal wound to the closest unit on a 4+.  And the undevided grants a +1Ld to the unit. They are all the same points, but I think Khorne and Tzeentch come out looking like winners.  The Slaanesh banner is good, but only works against Imperial armies, and poor Nurgle once again gets the worst banner.  If the range was changed to 9" or even 7"(keep it fluffy) it would make it a viable item, but it's short range limits it drastically.

The last bit before we get into actual units is the new psychic powers.  There are only 6, 3 for everyone, and 3 for Death Guard only.  First up is Infernal Gaze, roll 3D6 and for each 4+ the target takes a mortal wound.  That one will not get much use as Smite is better and everyone gets it.  Warptime targets a friendly Heretic Astartes unit within 3" and they may move as if it was the movement phase.  That one is good and I will get into it later but you can probably see the potential for it.  The last is Prescience, it also targets a friendly Heretic Astartes within 18" unit and gives them a +1 to their hit rolls.  This one is good too, especially with a Lord nearby handing out re-rolls.  You'll likely never miss.
The Contagion discipline has a decent set of powers, one granting a friendly Death Guard unit a boost making them yet more resilient giving all units attacking it a -1 to hit.  The next gives a de-buff to an enemy unit with a -1S, -1T, OR -1A.  If you're having troubles with hordes, Plague Wind can help, rolling a D6 for each model in the target unit, a roll of 6 will inflict a Mortal Wound to the unit.  Of course this one works on smaller elite units too, where one wound means a lot.

Let's start with the bosses, and at the top of the list is the boss of all bosses, the big baddie himself, Abaddon the Despoiler.  Tipping the scales at 253 points, his impressive stat line, weapons, and special rules drastically overshadows his old model. 2s to hit and save, 7W and 6A is pretty good, particularly with the weapons he comes with.
The Talon of Horus is a dual purpose weapon with a Combi-Bolter that deals D3 wounds, and a power fist without the to hit penalty.  Rounding out the weapons is Drach'nyen with +1S, AP-3, D3 damage, and the old familiar daemon weapon rule.  The cool thing now is that even if you make all your attacks with the Talon, you will still get the 2-6 attacks from Drach'nyen in addition.  Unless you roll a 1...but that's what command points are for!
His Dark Destiny grants him a 4++ and halves all damage he suffers(rounding up).  This is a bit controversial as it doesn't really say when you half it.  Do you half the damage immediately?  If he is hit by 2 lascannons, do you halve each one, or total the damage and then halve it?  Either way it's pretty good and keeps him safe from big guns.  He also has 2 really good aura buffs, one allowing all Heretic Astartes units to auto pass morale tests when within 12", the other granting re-rolls to hit for friendly Black Legion units. All to hit roll.  That's pretty good even if it is only 6".  He is a no-brainer and I'm betting you will see him everywhere.  Rise of the Black Legion.

Huron Blackheart is next in line coming in at a measly 125 points, but don't let that fool you, this guy has some punch.  He has the stat line of a Lord but rocks some decent weaponry and special rules that make him seriously worth the points.  The Tyrant's Claw is both a heavy flamer and a power fist combined in one, he has a power axe, a 4++, and he is a psyker able to cast and deny 1 power.  With him is the Hamadrya, which is a familiar that actually is it's own model, has a single wound and while it's still alive it allows Huron to cast an additional power.  His final, and in my opinion best, ability is very much like Abaddon's in that he has a 6" aura that allows Red Corsair units to auto-pass morale tests.  Auto passing morale is going to be very important in this edition, trust me on this.  With the low points cost I see him being played by anyone who already has a Red Corsairs army painted up and just needs an excuse to use him.  You could pair him with a Sorcerer or a Lord for the re-rolls as that's about the only thing he is missing to make him an auto-include.

Next up is the cowboy himself Cypher.  His claim to fame is he can shoot his supercharged plasma pistol(2) that doesn't get hot and his 16" bolt pistol(3) ALL THE TIME.  Even after falling back or advancing.  That's pretty much it for him, but he is only 110 points so let those trigger fingers fly.  Cheap, hard to pin down, can pack a punch but is kind of squishy to small arms fire so keep him hidden, which actually hurts his effectiveness.  I don't really see him being taken too often,

Fabius Bile is the cheapest of all named characters at only 109 points, but regaining D3 wounds back each turn he could be difficult to put down.  However we all know why we are taking this guy, he has the ability to enhance a unit of non-Character Heretic Astartes Infantry that are within 1" of him at the end of the movement phase.  While he may only enhance a unit once, he can enhance one unit per turn.  The affected unit may gain +1 S, T or A but you must roll a D6 for each model and on a roll of 6 the unit suffers 1 mortal wound.  Despite his low cost, I don't see him being used a lot.  If he could enhance the same unit multiple times, perhaps increasing the chance of them dying, then he might be worth it, but as it is the buffs he grants won't tip the scales often enough to be worth it.

I'm going to jump around the book a little and keep going with the named characters, Kharn the Betrayer being the next one to cover.  Kharn rocks a plasma pistol that always supercharged, a 4++ and Gorechild, a +1S, AP-4 D3 damage axe that always hits on a 2+ regardless of modifiers.  To counter that, any to hit rolls of 1 can not be re-rolled or modified and will hit a friendly unit within 1".  If there are no units within 1" then the dice are discarded.  Now for 173 points he has got to have more than just that, and he does.  World Eater units within 1" of him can re-roll all failed hit rolls which is a big deal, just ask Abaddon.  With the range of this power only being 1", he will likely only be in range of 2 units, but if those units are a couple of Forgefiends, or a couple units of plasma toting Chosen, this has some serious potential for damage output. He can fight twice in each fight phase, and thanks to the recent FAQ, we know that this means he counts as 2 units when choosing who to attack with, and thus can be chosen twice.  This means that if he charges, he will make both of his sets of attacks before the enemy goes(barring any silly rules that interrupts those attacks)

Our next characters just so happen to the big and little brother of Tzeentchian fame, Magnus and Ahriman.  Now these guys are almost the same in their psychic power casting abilities.  Each can cast and dispel 3 powers, each get a bonus to casting and dispelling.  The big difference is that you can almost fit the cost of Ahriman(125) and 3 Sorcerers into the cost of 1 Magnus(415).  Now Magnus is a Lord of War and has way more wounds and bigger weapons and is stronger, and his Smite does D6/2D6 wounds, etc etc, but being that big allows him to get shot where as Ahriman and the Sorcerer's can be hidden.  Magnus plays a dual role in that he can cast powers and beat face, while Ahriman can only really cast powers, but you have almost 300 points for backup so this is really a preference call in my opinion.

Typhus, Host of the Destroyer Hive and all other afflictions is one tough son of a bitch.  T5, W6, 2+/4++, FNP(5+) this guy is one of the toughest characters in the book.  Plus he can lay the smack down with his Manreaper at S+3, AP-3, and 3 damage.  He is also a psyker that can cast 2 and dispel 1 and takes his powers from the Contagion discipline.  The Destroyer Hive is represented as a 2D6 pistol that ALWAYS hit on a 5+ and is S4 AP-3.  That's awesome for taking out any and everything.  The number of shots shows potential for horde control, and the good AP works on tough units and its a Pistol which means you can shoot it at things your in combat with, or that are in combat near you.  That's not all the Destroyer Hive does as it also pumps up nearby Poxwalker units with a +1S and T bonus.  Finally, all Death Guard model within 7" of Typhus are surrounded with plague.  Enemy units that are within 1" of such a model at the start of your turn will take a mortal wound on a 4+.  So why doesn't everyone play Death Guard?  Typhus seems like an absolute beast for 164 points.  He is god awful slow.  M4" and his Advance moves are halved.  The only thing that can really mitigate this is that he can teleport on the battlefield.  Still once he is there he is easily avoided, just like "real" zombies.  So he hits hard, but is slow as molasses.  I can see him being used in a Land Raider, or as a buff for your speed bump of Poxwalkers.  I feel that with the way charges and pile in moves work, speed bumps and defensive walls are going to be pretty important.

Just behind Typhus are the Lord of Contagion and the Malignant Plaguecaster.  They are, combined, not as good as Typhus so I'll not talk about them.

Our last named hero walks on the scene for 115 points and, honestly, Lucius the Eternal doesn't really show much for it. Armed with a D2 power sword and a couple of assault projectile weapons, he range is not great and his stats are average.  His armour gives him a 5++ and will cause a Mortal Wound on a 4+ when he makes a successful saving throw.  It's not clear as to whether or not it's for each saving throw, which would change things considerable.  If half of all the saving throws I make would turn into Mortal Wounds on the enemy, that would definitely make Lucius worth his points.  His other great boon is that if he directs all of his attacks against another character, he may make an additional 2 attacks.  I really don't see him being used that often unless his armour actually does do multiple Mortal Wounds.  I guess we will have to wait and see.

That wraps up the named characters and brings us to the generics.  Starting with the Chaos Lord who is your swiss army knife of characters.  There are 7 different entries for him with various mounts and bits of armour ranging in starting cost of 74 to 125 points, but some things remain the same.  He grants the typical re-roll of 1's bonus and he comes with a 4++.  Depending on the weapons he gets and what he is riding or wearing, he can do just about anything.  However I have noticed that he is not the beatstick he once was.  With just the standard array of weaponry he just doesn't have the punch to really stand out as a serious threat the way that many of the other named characters do, but is fantastic as a support unit.  Put him in a vehicle with a hard hitting unit and watch them hit harder, you can also use him to support that unit for the counter charge when he can Heroically Intervene to get some hits in while staying relatively safe from enemy attacks (since they didn't charge him they can't attack him).

Now, if you're wanting some dedicated support for a hard hitting combat unit, the Dark Apostle is your guy.  He grants a re-roll failed hits in the fight phase and use his Ld for morale tests aura.  Pretty good for 72 points.  He does have a 4++ but isn't the most durable guy so keep him safe and let him buff the beat sticks.  I see him being carted around in a transport with some Bezerkers, Possessed, or alongside a Maulerfiend or 2.  Or even getting him to show up right when some Warptalons drop in.

Now for everyone's favourite, the Daemon Prince.  He got a pretty serious make over a points reduction with a base cost of 146(170 with wings).  Now you're saying that's pretty much the same cost, but just about all his stats have improved by 1 point except for his attacks witch have dropped to 4.  However, since he hits everything on 2+, it pretty much makes up for that.  He is a Psyker and can cast and deny one power and comes stock with a 3+/5++.  His weapon options are pretty powerful, but can be costly.  The Daemonic axe and Helforged sword are 45 and 42 points respectively, while a second set of Malefic talons only set you back 10 points.  The axe grants +1S, AP-3 and D3 for a -1 on your to hit rolls, wile the sword only has AP-2 it still has D3 and no penalty to hit.  Being the weaker of the 3 weapons at AP-2 and D2, the talons grant an additional attack when the model fights, or 3 additional attacks when equipped with 2 sets of talons.  You can also buy a Warp Bolter, something that has been lost since the 3.5 Codex in which it was called the Kai Gun.  It's an assault 2, 24", S4, AP-1, D2 projectile weapon for 9 points which is a steal of a deal.  I find that for the savings in points, 2 set of talons, the Warp bolter, and wings for 189 points is a really good option.  Yet I'm not done with him as he also has a re-roll 1's to hit aura that works not only on Heretic Astartes of the same Legion, but to Daemons of the same god.  Probably the best candidate for the Warptime psychic power if I have ever seen one, it gives him a 26-36" charge range with 7 attacks(8 attacks at S8 if he's a Khorne Prince and charges).  Plus he is a character with less than 10 wounds, so he can't be targeted by shooting unless he is the closest model and that is fucking golden.  The Daemon Prince is almost an auto-take in a Heretic Astartes army.

Like the Chaos Lord, the Sorcerer has multiple entries all sporting different mounts and armour, the only one that missing, for obvious reasons, is the Juggernaut of Khorne.  Ranging from 90 points, for the basic Sorcerer in power armour to 140 whopping points in Terminator armour, he is more expensive that the Lord, yet worse in every way.  Worse stat line, no special force multiplier rules, the only thing that makes him worth the points is that he is a psyker and can cast two and dispel one power.  This means he know Smite and the 2 power that matter from the Dark Hereticus discipline.  So, I could go into several ways to use this guys here, involving multiple different units and different tactics, but I think that I will save that for each of the units entries and maybe for some army theory at the end of the series.  I'm going to say, that it's safe to say, that this guy is going to be a popular choice.  Oh, and he can take some special weapons, does that make you happy?

Our final candidate for the "Will see the table again" awards goes to the Warpsmith at a base 74 points.  Armed with an ass load of guns and BS2+ he will hit and kill stuff.  He comes with a flamer, meltagun, and can upgrade his pistol to a plasma pistol or a combi weapon.  His only special ability is to repair a friendly vehicle within 1" for d3 wounds, or to inflict a single mortal wound on an enemy vehicle within 18" on a 2+.  This is not a shooting attack and happens at the end of the movement phase.  That means he could potentially pop out of a vehicle turn two, 20ish inches up the table and unload 2 meltagun shots hitting on 2+ after tossing out a mortal wound to a vehicle just for shits and giggles.  With all the trimmings above he comes to around 125 points.

So there we have all the HQ units.  That was a lot of typing, but we are not done yet.  There is still a lot of book to go, but I will have to cover that in another post.  Well at least this 8th edition of rules is giving me something to write about.  I hope you all enjoyed this post and I look forward to hearing from you.

Until next time, keep them dice rollin.

1 comment:

  1. Demon Prince with Mark of Khorne no psychic ability. Enjoyed your write-up.