I’ve been trying to figure out just how I want to build a ‘new’ Chaos army, now that I’ve had a chance to read and analyze the new Chaos Space Marines codex. We’ve been talking about doing a slow grow campaign early next year, and I’m torn between wanting to return to my beloved traitors or expand a Dark Eldar battleforce I picked up. The biggest problem, at least from a painting perspective, with the Dark Kin is doing the small details justice. The studio paint scheme is not particularly simple, and while I’ve gotten decent results speed-painting, I just don’t see how I am going to crank out four to six skimmer vehicles with glowing lines without losing my mind.
So I’ve started looking at how I could easily build up a Chaos Space Marines force, using the models included in the Dark Vengeance starter box and the ‘new’ Chaos Space Marine Battleforce set. As far as battleforces go, the Chaos one is always a little harder to fit into a viable list. The last time around you got Berzerkers, which I usually find have limited usefulness, and have become sort of a ‘meh’ choice compared to some of the other assault units out there. I don’t remember if you got Possessed in the last one (I think so), but this is another one of those units that you either like if you enjoy the background, but hate if you’re putting together something competitive. They’re much better this time around, with a D3 table giving you more utility with them, but they’re still somewhat pricey, and you still have to get them where you need them before they get shot into tiny little daemon pieces. The new battleforce gives you the standard Rhino and ten dudes, which are always useful – even if my meltagunners have been woefully incompetent in every army I wind up playing! Finally, the new addition is a squad of Bikers. I never really used Bikers with the last codex, as I had plenty of stuff to fill up my lists without going to the dismal variety of Fast Attack choices. This time around, you get sexy new Raptor models, which can also be assembled as Warp Talons (which I want to love from a fluff perspective, but have glaring weaknesses such as no assault grenades, for an exorbitant points cost) and now Spawn are slightly less useless and have been bumped into the Fast Attack slot. Oh, and you have a cool flier in the form of a Heldrake, which I have grown to sort of like, even though it has a gaping hole in the rear and looks like a Godzilla movie monster.
Anyways, I started looking at what I could do using all of the Chaos models in Dark Vengeance, adding all of the models in the Chaos battleforce, and then adding in some of the new and old plastic kits to fill out the Fast Attack and Heavy Support slots. This is meant as a total beginner army, it’s not tournament optimized or anything, but it gives someone the option to learn the rules for a lot of different units and models, and it keeps painting from getting boring by keeping multiple units to a minimum. The list is meant as a jumping off point once you build and paint the Dark Vengeance models and a battleforce. It’s possible that picking up the Black Crusade Tome of Blood supplement for followers of Khorne had a little bit to do with this, but the Crimson Slaughter – the invented warband for purposes of Dark Vengeance I guess – is supposed to be sort of aligned with Khorne more or less. At any rate, they’re mental, so they fit a Khorne theme well.
Starting off, we have the basic Dark Vengeance models. A Chaos Lord in power armor, a unit of Chosen with a variety of power weapons, a Helbrute/Dreadnought, and 10 cultists kitted with close combat weapons, 10 cultists with autoguns. The cultists are your troops, and the whole thing comes out to a little over 525 points or so. Maybe fun to play around with for a bit, but you’ll soon find that cultists, while very useful as fire magnets, speed bumps, and tarpit/harassment units, are actually a pretty poor choice to take and hold objectives. So the first order of business is to get some troops who can actually hold up to some punishment. Enter the battleforce, with a squad of 10 Chaos Marines.
Keeping with the Crimson Slaughter theme, I decide to keep these cheap and shooty, so I gave the champion a power sword in case he has to challenge, and gave the squad two plasma guns and called it a day. They also have a Rhino they’re going to ride around in with a Havoc Launcher, which is actually 3 points cheaper this time around – it was worth it for the points in the last codex IMO, so you want to think hard about taking this or a combi-flamer, depending on how you want to deploy the squads inside.
The Possessed are going to be a support Elite, maybe held in reserve or deployed in cover or a building to act as a surprise ambush unit. Don’t forget about your surprise ambush units you put inside buildings! I do that all the time. I gave the champion a Gift of Mutation, which is fluffy and will probably give him something cool, and left it at that. A small base 5 model unit of just about anything is not going to last long in the open, so be wary.
Finally, I gave the bikers a power fist and 2 meltaguns. Maybe if they’re on bikes they’ll be confident enough to hit something. With the added toughness, I’m going to take the chance with the fist and use these guys as a throwaway walker/tank assault unit. The mobility can get you close, the toughness keeps you alive, and you can try to knock out stuff like dreadnoughts or monstrous creatures if you’re feeling lucky.
So with the addition of the battleforce, depending on how you equip it, you should have about a 1000 points to start playing with at this point. Where do we go from here? Well, it’s entirely up to you, but I added a whole bunch of unique units and even some Khornate Daemon allies to build the entire thing up to 2250, which is pretty much the maximum points limit I play. Take a look, I hope it inspires you to do something similar! I added the Aspiring Champion model (which just seems to fit better aesthetically with the Chosen, and he adds another power weapon) and gave the Lord and everyone in his Chosen retinue a Mark of Khorne. It also gives me a nice number of eight I can deploy in an additional Rhino, which corresponds to the points of the Chaos star and Khorne’s ‘unholy number.’ Very fluffy. Also, you should always give your units and champions names! Well, I think its fun, at any rate.
KRANON THE RELENTLESS, CHAOS LORD – HQ
Power Sword, Plasma Pistol, Aura of Dark Glory, Mark of Khorne
DRAZNICHT’S RAVAGERS: CHOSEN (7) – ELITE
Draznicht - Champion: Power Maul
Lightning Claws – Power Axe x 2 – Power Fist – Combi-Bolter
Mark of Khorne
CHAOS RHINO – Destroyer Blades
MORTIS METALIKUS: HELBRUTE – ELITE
Multi-Melta, Power Fist
THE WARP-TOUCHED BRETHREN: POSSESSED (5) – ELITE
Ur’kuth – Possessed Champion: Gift of Mutation
HERALDS OF SLAUGHTER: CHAOS SPACE MARINES (10) – TROOPS
Xarus - Aspiring Champion: Power Sword - Plasma Gun x 2
CHAOS RHINO - Havoc Launcher
SECT ANARKUS: CHAOS CULTISTS (10) – TROOPS
Anarkus – Champion: 2 CCW
Flamer, 8 Cultists: CCW and Autopistol
SECT TETCHVAR: CHAOS CULTISTS (10) – TROOPS
Tetchvar – Champion: Shotgun, CCW
Heavy Stubber, 8 Cultists: Autoguns
SONS OF VENGEANCE: CHAOS BIKERS (3) – FAST ATTACK
Kulrath – Biker Champion, Power Fist - Meltagun x 2
VOIDSCOURGE: HELDRAKE – FAST ATTACK
DECIMUS: DEFILER – HEAVY SUPPORT
NIHILUS: CHAOS PREDATOR Battle Tank – HEAVY SUPPORT
Autocannon, Heavy Bolter Sponsons, Havoc Launcher
BESTIUS METALIKUS: FORGEFIEND - HEAVY SUPPORT
Ectoplasma Cannons x 2, Additional Ectoplasma Cannon
ALLIED DETACHMENT - CODEX: CHAOS DAEMONS
SAR’VOHK THE UNRELENTING - HERALD OF KHORNE HQ
Blessing of the Blood God, Fury of Khorne, Death Strike, Juggernaut
BLOODLETTERS OF KHORNE (10) TROOPS
BLOODCRUSHERS OF KHORNE (3) ELITE