What, is it time for new Chaos Space Marine rules again!? Apparently it is, and I have had a quick read of the book, and I thought I’d give my impressions! This time I want to go more in depth, and really break down some of the big stuff, since this is what we Chaos players have been asking for since the 6th edition codex, 4 years ago. So, let’s get right to it, starting with general changes:
– Veterans of the Long War (VoTLW) is now free to all models who can take it so long as they are a legion detachment.
– Legions cannot be mixed and matched, like Space Marine Chapter Tactics. To get another Legion, you need another detachment.
– Each Legion has its own relics, warlord traits, tactical objective, and decurion style detachment, however there are only two new formations, one for Plague Marines and another for Noise Marines. Both are pretty bad.
– Unique characters can only be fielded in their appropriate Legions, with the exception of Huron Blackheart, Fabius Bile, and Be’lakor, who cannot be taken by anyone (as well as any other non codex unique models, such as Forge World, right now).
– Marked Psykers may now choose to roll all their powers on their God specific table.
– Heavy restrictions of Marked units for many Legions, more on this later.
I think this is the basics, any differences will be mentioned as I talk about the Legion rules themselves. I will gloss over the relics and warlord traits unless one really jumps out at me, since we only have a limited time on this Earth.
– Can take any marks or marked units.
– VotlW units have Hatred, and re-roll to hit in all rounds of combat against Armies of the Imperium.
– Chosen and Terminators can be taken as troops.
– All non-vehicle units have Fear and Crusader.
– You can roll for Deep Strike reserves starting on turn one, and the warlord and his units can choose to automatically pass the roll.
+ The ability to deep strike turn one is really nice. Make Abaddon your warlord, and have his bodyguard Terminators come in automatically, allowing for some intricate tactics.
+ Army wide Hatred makes Black Legion a really viable close combat army.
– Regular Marines are still awful, Chosen aren’t much better, and Terminators are a very points inefficient way to fill out troops slots.
– The formations required for the decurion will make this a very small model counts army.
– Fear, really?
– No unique characters allowed. At all.
– No marked units or marks allowed.
– Chosen are troops.
– Chosen, CSM, and cultists all gain infiltrate.
– When your warlord is killed, nominate a new character your warlord and generate a new trait. You can keep doing this until you run out of characters, at which your opponent will get still only get 1VP for slay the Warlord. Yes.
– Non-vehicle units have Shrouded turn one.
– When a unit of Cultists is destroyed, on a 4+ an identical unit is put into ongoing reserves. You roll even when new units are destroyed.
+ Infiltrate and shrouded are a very nice combination to have.
+ Impossible to get Slay the Warlord out of the army without being tabled.
– Heavy focus on basic infantry, which still have poor morale and low hitting power.
– Doesn’t really specialise in anything, there aren’t many strengths for the Alpha Legion to play to.
– No unique units.
– No marks or marked units. Still ouch.
– VotlW units re-roll to hit against Imperial Fists in combat, who get Hatred (Iron Warriors) in return.
– VotlW units also get FNP 6+
– Obliterators and Mutilators are troops choices. Oooooooooooh yeah!
– Re-roll to pen buildings, +1 to pen results on buildings.
– Havocs, Oblits, and Mutilators have Tank Hunter. Mmm.
– Barrage and Blast weapons can re-roll scatter.
– Non vehicle units have stubborn, and are fearless on buildings.
+ Troops choice Oblits. Need I say more?
+ Tank Hunter on said Oblits. Self explanatory.
– Weak Detachment bonuses. At least they didn’t give us fear.
– No marks means squishy T4 Oblits. That hurts.
– No bonuses to Daemon Engines? Or even mentioning Daemon Engines?
– No unique units.
– No marks or marked units.
– VotlW units gain Night Vision, Stealth, and, of course, Fear, which is taken at -2 Ld.
– Raptors are troops.
– Re-roll failed charges. Ok.
– Can choose night fighting, and if so non vehicles add 1 to cover saves. In addition to Stealth.
+ Surprisingly durable with all the cover save buffs.
+ Raptors are pretty solid, and could make a mean list used as troops.
+ Very good detachment, that can be taken with mostly Raptors, which is what you were going to be taking anyway.
– No morale bonuses, so multiple Lords are going to be mandatory.
– Guess what? Still no unique units allowed.
– Pre marked units (like Cult Troops) are a no go, but marks can be taken.
– Harness warp charges for conjuration powers on a 3+.
– Possessed can be troops. Just what you wanted.
– VotlW units re-roll to hit against Ultramarines in combat, who get Hatred (Word Bearers) in return.
– Zealot from Dark Apostles becomes a 6″ Bubble.
– One character per turn may receive a boon. You cannot pick the same one twice.
+ Errr, huddling around Dark Apostles is nice?
– Still peril on any doubles when summoning, so unless you want to dump all your points into Daemon Princes, it is still a problem.
– No offensive bonuses, so you are still effectively roughing it with the standard codex.
– That detachment. It’s just bad.
– Can take Kharn! But no other unique models.
– No Psykers allowed.
– You must take Mark of Khorne if possible, and no other marks or marked units allowed.
– Berzerkers are troops.
– Units with VotlW gain Adamantium Will, Furious Charge, and Fearless. Oh my!
– After set up, each no vehicle unit can move 2d6″ before the game begins. They can still move and charge on the first turn.
+ Basic Marines become combat monsters. Tool up for murdering, and let em go!
+ Built in resilience to witchfires is nice.
+ The detachment can really improve your odds of actually making it into combat with your angry super men.
– Why would you take Berzerkers?
– Can only take Ahriman and Magnus.
– Only Mark of Tzeentch allowed, and must be taken if possible.
– VotlW units affected by a blessing gain +1 to their invuln.
– Re-roll against Space Wolves, and they get Hatred back. We know how this works by now.
– Rubric Marines are troops. Shocking.
– Can re-roll perils results.
– Psykers can cast one extra power per turn.
+ Units with good invulns will be very tough to kill when affected by blessings, such as Rubrics and Terminators.
– Detachment is ok, but you get any more dice to cast said extra power.
– Mark of Tzeentch is still a waste on the majority of units, so sticking to a few, expensive units is going to be a sad necessity.
– Only Typhus allowed in the Death Guard character club.
– Mandatory Mark of Nurgle, all other must get lost.
– Plague Marines not allowed. No I’m joking they’re troops.
– Units with VotlW reduce their initiative by 1, but gain FNP and Fearless. Oh my Gaaaaaaawd! (Typhus and Plague Marines are not affected).
– VotlW units also gain relentless, because why not.
– Re roll FNP rolls of 1.
– If a unit shooting you is 18″ away, you gain stealth.
– -1 initiative, but who really cares anyway?
– Plague Marines are pretty redundant.
– Only Lucius. Fabius Bile can get fucked.
– Noise Marines are troops.
– Can you guess what the rules is about marks?
– VotlW units gain Fearless and FNP 6+. An icon of excess makes that 4+.
– If a VotlW model dies before it gets to fights, it can still make a single attack.
– Big ol table of Combat Drugs. It’s pretty sweet actually.
+ Said Combat Drugs. I hear they’re pretty sweet.
+ Army wide moral immunity is a Gods send.
– No real ‘wow’ factor to them. Not bad, just not amazing.
Phew, that was quite the marathon, and I think it is fair to say that they are quite a mixed bag, which I have sorted into the following categories according to how I feel the rules have treated the Legions:
Big Winners – Death Guard, World Eaters
Winners – Emperor’s Children, Iron Warriors, Night Lords
Okayers – Black Legion, Thousand Sons
Losers – Alpha Legion
Big Losers – Word Bearers (Sorry)
But overall, without considering the new Psychic powers, updated God powers, and the many other things, this is a really solid book. Although I question why there isn’t a brand new codex at this point, I’m not complaining. A few predictions for popular list I think are going to be the unkillable Death Guard Decurion, the Obliterator Warriors, and the Night Lord Raptor Flock, amongst many others. I hope you enjoyed my thoughts on this long awaited book, and tune in soon for some freshly painted Necrons! Be sure to check out my Tumblr at renegade-girl-blog for more sporadic updates on whatever I’m working on. Thanks for attending Antagonists Anonymous!