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    Titan in the Playground

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    Jan 2008

    Default Re: Warhammer 40K Tabletop XXIII: I Do Not Like Green Tides and 'Hann

    Building on a Budget: Chaos Space Marines
    The other half of Dark Vengeance. If you've never played the game before, or you don't have a lot money, the Dark Vengeance kit comes with the big rulebook, and Templates. How are you not saving money right there!?

    Let's recap our rules for BoaB.
    Rule #1; The goal is to get to 1850 as cheaply as possible, while
    Rule #2; Not being bad.

    It's actually pretty easy with Chaos Marines. There are just so many options.

    Spoiler: Dark Vengeance
    First up, let's buy a rulebook and some Templates.

    Chaos Lord; Power Sword, Plasma Pistol, Aura of Dark Glory - 110 Points
    Vrosh Tattersoul - 65 Points
    Cultists (x10); Flamer - 55 Points
    Cultists (x10); x8 Autoguns, Heavy Stubber, Shotgun - 65 Points
    Chosen (x6); x1 Power Axe, x1 Power Maul, x1 Power Fist, x1 Pair of Lightning Claws - 193 Points
    Helbrute - 105 Points

    Total: 593 Points. 0.29. Great. Looking good. The Chosen are, well, bizarre, and 20 Cultists isn't the best. But, that said, if you've got a friend who wants to trade you his Chaos half of DV for your Dark Angels half of DV...DO IT!!! Your friend gets a second Captain, a second Librarian, and a bunch of Terminators. That's a lot of diminishing returns. While you now have 40 Cultists, and a bunch of Chosen models that you can use as unit Champions. With a pair of Helbrutes, you're well on your way to making Helbrute Formations that are actually really good - but we're getting ahead of ourselves.
    If you want to head to eBay with your Dark Angels...Well, that sucks for you. The Librarian and the Ravenwing are worth money. But, not so much for anything else. The Chaos half of DV is just 'worth' more in the long run, since people who already play Dark Angels definitely don't want diminishing returns, while people playing Chaos Marines always need more Cultists, and a handful of Chosen models. Basically, it's a wash, both sides have units that don't particularly do anything, but the Dark Angels have it worse.

    If you also happen to have Crimson Slaughter you can add another 80 Points to your Dark Vengeance kit. But, if the book is $83, and you get 80 Points out of it, that's 1.04, and bad. In the long run, you absolutely want Crimson Slaughter due to how powerful some of the stuff is in it, for no additional cost (unlike Black Legion). Speaking of Crimson Slaughter, like the Dark Angels, you get a sweet expansion box.

    Cultists (x5); x3 Autoguns - 23 Points
    Chaos Terminators (x5); Power Fist, Chainfirst, Combi-Melta, Heavy Flamer, Gift - 201 Points
    Raptors (x5); Meltagun, RC; Power Weapon, Gift, Melta Bombs - 135 Points
    Chaos Land Raider; Dirge Caster - 235 Points

    Total: 594 Points. 0.34 (close, but no cigar). The Cultists are awkward, since Cultists come in minimum squads of 10, and you have 3 of one type, and 2 of the other. But that's why you have the Dark Vengeance kit, so now you have 25 Cultists (12 + 13), so it's not a loss. But even if you don't have a use for the Cultists, you're still getting the Raptors/Warp Talons for half price. I've built the box as Raptors, since they get Melta weapons - including Bombs - and Warp Talons don't. Besides, for Warp Talons to be proper useful, they need to be accompanied by an IC with an AP2 weapon, and we don't have one of those. Even the Chaos Lord with Jump Pack that you can buy, comes with a pair of Lightning Claws, and that's not exactly helpful. We've still only got two Troops units, and they're Cultists with 6+ Armour, so they're going to die really fast.

    Let's do a quick run through our Troops kits, Chaos Marines have a lot.

    Spoiler: Troops
    Cultists come 5 to a box, with weird wargear. 23 Points for 0.61. Which isn't great at all.

    Chaos Space Marines (x10) - 225 Points
    [Close Combat Weapons], Meltagun, AC; Power Fist, Gift
    Mark of Khorne, Icon of Wrath*

    Chaos Space Marines (x10) - 230 Points
    [Close Combat Weapons], Meltagun, AC; Power Fist, Gift
    Mark of Tzeentch, Icon of Vengeance

    Chaos Space Marines (x10) - 230 Points
    Plasma Gun, Heavy Bolter, AC; Gift
    Mark of Nurgle, Icon of Vengeance

    Chaos Space Marines (x10) - 230 Points
    [Close Combat Weapons], Meltagun, AC; Power Sword, Gift, Melta Bombs
    Mark of Slaanesh, Icon of Excess*

    *The big deal about Chaos Space Marines, is that they don't have ATSKNF, which means that they can be Swept in Assault, and that's really, really bad for units that actually want to be in Assault. Also, Fearless Troops units are just really, really good in general. But, with that said, Khorne units get access to the Icon of Wrath, which gives them Furious Charge and !Fleet during the Assault phase, which is super good - but then you wont be Fearless. Slaanesh are in the same boat with their Icon. FNP on Assault units is really strong, it helps them travel up the board better, and, most Melee attacks don't not ignore Armour, they also don't ignore FNP. But, again, you lose the opportunity to be Fearless. Guess what though, you've got Chaos Lords, who can hand out Fearless to anyone they want.

    In general though, look at those units. Same box, different Marks, using all the same parts, you can get roughly the same points out of any box. So it doesn't really matter what particular Chaos God you want to follow, you get the same efficiency; 0.27. Wow. That's actually really good for a Troops kit. But, that just happens to be the case since loyalist Marines don't get the same toys that Chaos does.
    inb4; UnMarked Chaos Marines are terrible. Don't bother.

    But, Chaos can also Mark their Chaos Lords.

    (0.22) Khorne Berzerkers (x12); x2 Plasma Pistols, BC; Gift, Melta Bombs - 283 Points
    (0.34) Plague Marines (x7); Plasma Gun, PC; Power Sword, Gift, Melta Bombs - 213 Points

    (0.31) Noise Marines (x10) - 285 Points
    [Close Combat Weapons], Blastmaster, Icon of Excess
    NC; Power Sword, Gift, Melta Bombs, Doom Siren

    What's happening?
    For starters, the Khorne Berzerkers are all plastic and come 12 to a box. The Plague Marines are Finecast and come 7 to a box. While the Noise Marines need an upgrade kit, on top of the base Chaos Space Marines kit which slightly inflates their currency cost. But, let's take a look at how these models compare to Chaos Marines. The Berzerker kit sucks because it doesn't have dedicated Champion parts (Power Fist!), and, Khorne units - especially ones that are already Fearless - really, really, really want the Icon of Wrath, which the Berzerker kit doesn't have. However don't forget that you have a bunch of Chosen models from Dark Vengeance that have really bizarre wargear and don't exactly fit well together as one unit.
    Compared to the Chaos Marines kit, Berzerkers get an extra point of WS, and some Plasma Pistols. While Chaos Marines get to re-roll their Charges thanks to their Icon - which also gives Furious Charge - and, with the inclusion of a Chaos Lord, can be Fearless anyway. It's kind of like Daemonettes and Furies of Slaanesh. What makes Daemonettes mostly special, is all done by Slaanesh, which Furies can also take, rendering the 'specialness' actually kind of lame since another squad can do the same thing. Still, Berzerkers come 12 to a box, and you really can't beat 0.22.

    Plague Marines are functionally identical to Chaos Marines, except have FNP, Plague Knives and Blight Grenades, for the 'low' cost of -1 Initiative. That's actually pretty good. The trade-off is, that you get less models than a Chaos Marine squad for roughly the same points. But that doesn't really matter, because you're Fearless. You don't take Morale checks regardless. Good job.

    Noise Marines are solid, mostly because of the Chaos Marines kit that you need to build them, which gives you an Icon model, as well as the funky wargear. Sonic Blasters are not strong. Yes, they Ignore Cover, but they're not AP4, so it doesn't really matter.

    Like, what do you pick? Berzerks and Noise Marines are under 0.33, and Plague Marines are so close it doesn't matter, and any way that you build a Chaos Marine kit is pretty much 0.27. Whatever you get (aside from Cultists) is going to pass Rule #1 for BoaB. Obviously, you save the most money by going straight up with Khorne Berzerkers. But does that comply with Rule #2?

    You may also be asking the same thing with a Khorne Lord of Skulls for 888 Points makes 0.19. Orks did it with a Stompa, right? Well, yeah, but a Stompa is really, really strong for only 800 Points. The other problem is, look at the Chaos Marines book in general. The only way you can really put a Khorne Lord of Skulls in your army, is you spam Cultists, and, while spamming Cultists is actually really good in general, it doesn't work for you, because you don't have any money, which means that a Khorne Lord of Skulls, ends up breaking Rule #2 if you want to BoaB.

    Part of me wants to cop-out, hard.
    The Kranon model comes with a Power Sword, making him perfect for the Mark of Slaanesh.
    The Vrosh Tattersoul model looks totally sweet, and comes with an Axe, meaning we can upgrade him to a Chaos Lord with the Mark of Khorne and the Axe of Blind Fury.
    So, having two Chaos Lords with different marks gives you a unit of Berzerkers (285) Points and a unit of Noise Marines (283), both as Troops. Which also means stacking on a huge amount of points to the 'Vrosh' model and saving even more money.
    But, I know what you're thinking; Khorne hates Slaanesh. Yes, that's why you Forge A Narrative each game and keep a count of who kills more models and which Lord is better.
    (If it's not the Khorne Lord, you're doing it wrong. A Khorne Lord with an AoBF has a million at-Initiative AP2 attacks, while a Slaanesh Lord has AP3 and nowhere near as many attacks. Although, a Slaanesh Lord could take a Burning Brand, fluff it as a better Doom Siren, and go from there)

    Let's recap though; We have two Cultist units, that are just going to die. We have Raptors and Terminators that aren't going to stay in our DZ at all, and, we have a Land Raider that only fits 10 (or those five Terminators).
    What we need is a unit that can stay on Objectives, and not die, because Cultists can't do it, and our other units so far are rushing. It would also be nice if we weren't paying over 250 Points per unit, because everything in the Chaos book is really expensive, and we can't spend all our points on Troops...

    (0.34) Plague Marines (x7); Plasma Gun, PC; Power Sword, Gift, Melta Bombs - 213 Points
    (0.34) Plague Marines (x7); Plasma Gun, PC; Power Sword, Gift, Melta Bombs - 213 Points

    It also means we have to give a Chaos Lord the Mark of Nurgle, that's fine, because making your Warlord T5 can't be a bad thing.

    Okay, we know what Troops we want (finally!), so now we have an idea of where we want to go.

    Spoiler: More List Building
    Core list...

    (W) Chaos Lord - 155 Points
    Power Sword, Plasma Pistol, Melta Bombs, Sigil of Corruption, Gift
    Mark of Nurgle, Blight Grenades

    Vrosh Tattersoul - 65 Points

    Cultists (x12); Flamer - 63 Points
    Cultists (x13); x11 Autoguns, Heavy Stubber, Shotgun - 80 Points
    Plague Marines (x7); Plasma Gun, PC; Power Sword, Gift, Melta Bombs - 213 Points
    Plague Marines (x7); Plasma Gun, PC; Power Sword, Gift, Melta Bombs - 213 Points

    Chosen (x6); x1 Power Axe, x1 Power Maul, x1 Power Fist, x1 Pair of Lightning Claws - 193 Points
    Chaos Terminators (x5); Power Fist, Chainfirst, Combi-Melta, Heavy Flamer, Gift - 201 Points
    Helbrute - 105 Points

    Raptors (x5); Meltagun, RC; Power Sword, Gift, Melta Bombs - 135 Points

    Chaos Land Raider; Dirge Caster - 235 Points

    Total: 1658.
    The 'core list' pretty much takes all the points. That's upsetting. 192 Points left. No room for HQs, no room for Elites, even though I really don't like the Chosen loadouts. There's a Power Axe and a Power Fist in there, and, so far, the list has way too many Power Swords (so, no, we don't need even more AP3 Warp Talons instead of the Raptors), especially since Chaos Marines have to Challenge, and will hit a brick wall the second they come across 2+ Armour (Lychguard say hello).

    Your most cost-efficient is Possessed, and they're terrible. Although once you eventually pick up Crimson Slaughter, you can start using Possessed-as-Troops, then they're actually usable. Besides, you're already using all three of your Elite slots, and while you certainly could buy some more Terminators, you don't need 'em. After Terminators, the next best choice is Mutilators, but, you've got no Elite slots, so...Pass again.

    Then we hit Obliterators. Two of them, with the Mark of Nurgle costs 152 out of the 192 Points you have left. Perfect, maybe? Obliterators pack Lascannons and Plasma Guns, which we've established that you don't have, and therefore are something you need. The other important thing is that each and every one of them pack Power Fists, which is some more of that AP2 Melee attacks that you haven't really got anywhere else. The two best ones, Mark of Tzeentch gives them better Invulnerable saves, and Mark of Nurgle makes them T5, 2+ saves with Invulnerables, and that's the meta. So, do that. Then realise that your Warlord also has the Mark of Nurgle, so while your Terminators are filling the Land Raider, your Warlord needs somewhere to be where he can't be easily killed, which he couldn't do if he had the Mark of Tzeentch - although he can always join the Cultists to make them Fearless. The problem is that you'll have a third Obliterator that you don't really know what to do with. You've got 40 Points left, and you need 36 more to fit in the third Obliterator...

    The Terminators have one model with a Combi-Melta, dropping that one, gives you exactly the 36 Points you need. Dropping the Terminators down to 4 models, and leaving a seat in the Land Raider. Unfortunately, that means at 4 models, your Terminators actually lose the Heavy Flamer. Sad Face. So, keep the Combi-Melta. Now, if you've gone this far into the guide, and are still wondering what in the Warp to even do with Vrosh Tattersoul...Well, Vrosh puts a second Combi-Melta back into the unit, and he brings a Power Axe for the AP2, and Vrosh sits in the Land Raider with the guys, and now he doesn't stick out like a sore thumb.
    When it comes to putting your Terminators together, make sure the model you give the Heavy Flamer to, is equipped with either the Power Maul, or the tentacle-arm. While the Heavy Flamer is extremely useful, for this, specific list, he can't be used - only 4 models. So, when you drop the model, make sure that you're not also losing one of your Power Axes.

    That gives you five points left. The Chosen with the Power Maul is the 'official' Champion, so give him Melta Bombs. You can declare that any Chosen model is the Champion, but, the one with the Maul is designed to look the coolest. You're probably better off making the model with the Power Axe the Champion, and giving him Melta Bombs. Strictly speaking, the model with the Power Fist is easily the best choice for Champion (for Challenge reasons), but, the fact is that only the Chosen Champion can take Melta Bombs, and a model with a Power Fist doesn't want to waste his time with MBs, when the same points could be spent on another model that doesn't have a Power Fist, and now you get two useful models, instead of wargear-stacking one model - which is bad - Rule #2.

    Spoiler: Chaos Marines, CAD
    (W) Chaos Lord - 155 Points
    Power Sword, Plasma Pistol, Blight Grenades, Melta Bombs, Sigil of Corruption, Gift
    Mark of Nurgle

    Vrosh Tattersoul - 65 Points

    Cultists (x12); Flamer - 63 Points
    Cultists (x13); x11 Autoguns, Heavy Stubber, Shotgun - 80 Points
    Plague Marines (x7); Plasma Gun, PC; Power Sword, Gift, Melta Bombs - 213 Points
    Plague Marines (x7); Plasma Gun, PC; Power Sword, Gift, Melta Bombs - 213 Points

    Chosen (x6) - 198 Points
    x1 Power Axe*, x1 Power Fist, x1 Pair of Lightning Claws
    Chosen Champion; Power Maul*, Melta Bombs

    Chaos Terminators (x4); [x2 Power Axes], Power Fist, Chainfirst, Combi-Melta, Gift - 160 Points
    Helbrute - 105 Points

    Raptors (x5); Meltagun, RC; Power Sword, Gift, Melta Bombs - 135 Points

    Obliterators (x3); Mark of Nurgle - 228 Points
    Chaos Land Raider; Dirge Caster - 235 Points

    Total: 1850 Points
    *One of these models should be the Champion, I've chosen the Power Maul model, because the fluff says that he actually is the Champion, not because the rules say so. Although if you're in a meta where T3/4+ Armour is the standard, the Power Maul is the better option, since the S6 Maul will Instant Death T3 models and not care about their FNP if they have it, and you get to go at Initiative.

    Replace the Chosen. Stat. They're just sub-optimal. The problem with the Chosen is that they happen to bring a Power Axe, and a Power Fist, and you need those. Mutilators (x3) with the Mark of Nurgle come in at 183 Points, and can swap indefinitely between Chainfists and Power Axes, and, instead of hanging back with Obliterators or Plague Marines, your Warlord can move forwards with a 'brick' unit and actually get into Challenges because you're playing Chaos Marines, and not uber-wussies. Still, your Warlord has AP3, and - pun unintended - that just doesn't cut it when it comes to Characters who must be in Challenges.
    Another fun option is a Heldrake. They Fly, they shoot AP3 Templates, and they can Vector Strike opposing units with invaluable AP2, and they can VS Fliers - you don't currently have any Flier defense! At all! Maulerfiends are also very good choices, but come in at 0.72, and that's not cool. Especially since replacing your Chosen models means you're already 'losing' money by not using models that you own. Forgefiends are also solid, since they're at least 50 Points more expensive than the Maulerfiend from the same kit. More points, same money = More cost-efficient.

    You can make the Land Raider a Dedicated Transport to either the Terminators or Obliterators. But, you're not hard-up for Heavy slots, so you don't need to do that. So, just decide during Deployment which unit best goes in it when time comes.

    If you don't want to buy 'proper' Plague Marine models (because you're a really good painter/modeller and can just convert that noise), feel free to buy regular Chaos Marine boxes to represent your Plague Marines. There's a Plasma Gun and a Power Sword in the CSM box, so the list stays identical. But, bits-wise, you have a total of six extra Marines, two more Meltaguns and two more Flamers, as well as two more Power Fists. If you've already decided that you're a good enough painter/modeller to make Plague Marines out of standard Chaos Marines, you're certainly good enough to turn Chaos Marines into Chosen. Using this method, using the Power Axe and Power Fist models you already have...

    Chosen (x5) - 180 Points
    x2 Power Fists, x2 Meltaguns
    Chosen Champion; Power Axe, Melta Bombs

    Swap one of the Meltaguns for a third Power Fist (because you actually have two spare), bring the unit to 195 Points, which almost makes it an even swap for the Chosen you're currently using. Obviously not as strong as Terminators (no 2+ or Invulnerable save), but they're certainly a better idea that the current hodgepodge of wargear that you get from using the models from Dark Vengeance straight. In fact, you're spending less money to do it even, because Plague Marines are Finecast and cost a bunch more than they need to. But, you actually need to know what you're doing, since how are you using 'Plague Marines', and not simply Chaos Marines with the Mark of Nurgle?

    Kranon's Helguard: It's okay. Not great, but okay. You've got the models for it. You also happen to have a spare Chaos Lord and a pair of Plague Marine units, which is enough to form the Formation and a CAD. So, solid. It's basically free rules, and you trade Objective Secured on the Cultists for the Formation. If you make your Warlord part of the CAD (why not?) he can re-roll his Warlord Trait if you hate it.
    If you have Crimson Slaughter, giving your opponents -1 to their Fear checks isn't bad. Fear sucks because it's so easy to pass (or ignore). If you can make it not-so-easy to pass, it's like free Invisibility against models that don't have ATSKNF/Fearless. Just Charge your opponent's face, and leave your Objective Secured Plague Marines on your home Objectives, cleaning out their ObSec'd units with your Melee units.

    Helcult: Your Cultists lose ObSec, but gain Fearless (and later, Zealot). That's kind of great, and your Helbrute gets marginally better. As long as you still have two Troops units, you can still form a CAD and still have ObSec, which you do, because you've built your army correctly (or, rather, I built it). If one of your friends wants to trade you his Dark Vengeance models, DO IT. You're basically getting a free Helcult, or are two-thirds on your way to making a Mayhem Pack. I don't know if you actually want to go out of your way to buy more Dark Vengeance models, but if you can get them for 'free' (by losing your Dark Angels models), you should really seriously think about it.

    Total: 0.32 Solid. Remembering that you also get a rulebook and templates out of the deal, and you can maybe sell some Dark Angel models if you really want to. If you already happen to have a rulebook and templates, you can maybe sell off some of your spare stuff and put that money towards buying some Multilators or a Heldrake (leaning heavily towards the latter) to replace your sub-optimal Chosen.

    Spoiler: The Not-Nurgle Disclaimer
    Rule #1. This BoaB is not for Tzeentch or Slaanesh. Tzeentch wants Ahriman, Sorcerers, and definitely Crimson Slaughter, which doesn't come out of super-efficient Dark Vengeance sets, and Slaanesh straight up needs money to be effective.

    Rule #2. Don't bother with Khorne Chaos Marines; Look to Khorne Daemonkin instead. Same models - except better!
    Last edited by Cheesegear; 2015-06-06 at 11:57 PM.
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