Saturday, December 13, 2008

Outnumbered! Cult Chaos Marines

Hey all. I could not make it to a local gaming shop for a tournament so thought id do Outnumbered! Chaos cult marines now. NOTE im not going to actually go into the fluff of each legion talked about here. There fluff explains why they have certai nstats and certain limitations.

What do I mea nbut Cult armies? Well what i mean when i say that is an army devoted solely to one god and to me in order to be a "true" cult army you need to use there specific special troop choice and not just a chaos marine squad with an icon. So basically: Noise Marines, Plague Marines, Beserkers or Thousand Sons Rubric Marines. Essentially an army devoted to one of the cult legions. The army is as much a fluff army as it is specialized. So no Sorcerer with lash in a Khorne Army. Also other infantry units tend to be given the icon of that god as well. Basically the army is built to fit the fluff of that legion.

So the legions are for those of you that may not know are: Emperor's Children (devoted to Slaanesh). Deaht Guard (Devoted to Nurgle), World Eaters, Devoted to Khorne and Thousand Sons (Devoted to Tzeentch). So a cult army would pick a legion and the appropriate troop choice for that army. The question to ask now before you make your list is to go with Favored number or not.

Favored Number you say? Each God has a sacred number and they are: 6 for Slaanesh, 7 for Nurgle, 8 for Khorne and 9 for Thousand Sons. Now there is no benefit for going favored number anymore aside from being fluffy. So do you do it or not? I say it depends obviously 6 man squads are a bit on the small side. However you can also do multiples ( ie. 6 or 12 for Slaanesh) this can keep the theme of favored numbers alive for slaanesh and keep your units alive. This can become expensive however.

Ok so what do you do for an HQ? Well that is up to you. You could make it really cult like and field the appropriate special character or a generic HQ option with appropriate mark. This is up to the player. Id go wit ha special character just because I think it helps give the feel of a cult legion.

Ok a few overall pointers. These armies are specialized and with all the icons and potential upgrades being bought it can quickly become a small army. Be careful. Noise Marines do not al needsonic weapons for example (although it is cool). The troops are expensive but are general superior in one way to normal chaos marines (T5 on plague marines for example). Also all your troops are fearless remember that. This is a good thing as it keeps your dice rolling down a bit. As we all know even with Ld 10 after enoug hdie rolls we fail them eventually. Alright now it is time to get to the heart of the matter. NOTE all cult troops except for Thousand Sons can upgrade to have a champion for +15. Thousand Sons are different and ill explain in there section.

Emperor's Children: These guys are devoted to Slaanesh and as such there troops are Noise Marines. Favore number is 6. These troops are the cheapest starting out of the cult troop choices. They can quickly become one of the most expensive. Every unit can upgrade there weapon to a sonic weapon of some kind. at 20 point base with the basic sonic weapon upgrade being 5 point that means 25 points a model minimum. The other sonic wepaon cost 40 points and is for one marine only. So what are these guys good at? Well two things. One is they have initiative 5 which means they strike first against most other troops and even elites of most armies. This means that while not assault specialists they can recieve charges better then regular chaos marines and are better at charging. With there sonic weapons they are the ebst foot sloggers in this codex as the weapons are all assault weapons. Essentially a squad of storm bolters plus the basic one can be assault 2 or heavy 3. The other one has two profiles one that is an assault weapon the other is heavy. So you can Rhino push and still have decent small arms fire which is really good. You can also walk them foward and back keepign the enemy in range all the while. If you dont move you can really put the hurt on light infantry with heavy 3 shots per basic sonic weapon depending o nsquad size you can potentially wope out decent size units. So do you favored number them? My opinion is have one or two units of 12 with full sonic weapon upgrades and kit out your champion for assault and give them rhinos. Any other squads upgrade as your discretion. With two units of 12 with full sonic weapons you can whittle down horde armies rather well. This army while having high initiative is more shooty so supplement your noise marines with some anti tank punch. Shoot a lot and then steal the assault with your I5 guys. This armies weakness is all the upgrades. each marine troop choice that falls is 25 points a model if with sonci weapons. All the basic anti marine weakenss apply here as well (massed small arms fire etc etc).

Death Guard. These guys are devoted to Papa Nurgle. Favored number is 7. I think 7 is safe for these guys but if you dont want to be limited by favored number then nothing over 10 unless its an apocalypse game. These guys have toughness of 5 and feel no pain. This is huge making them have high staying power. They are tied in first for best staying power troop choice in the chaos codex. Tied with Rubric Marines (ill explain in there section). Now in 4th they were the king of staying in the chaos codex but with the changes to feel no pain they are a little bit weaker. These guys weigh in at 23 points a model. the champion can get the usual weapon upgrades. What is nice to note is they have in addiotn to frag and krak grenades the blight grenade. This is a defensive grenade and it helps them deal with ther weakness which ill explain later. Now the unit can have two marines upgrade there bolter to a special weapon (melta plasma etc) but not heavy weapons. This isgood because you can move and shoot everything albiet at a reduced range. But you can have two melta guns plus the combi melta power fist champion can make a mean anti tank squad. Combine that wiht a rhino with combi melta and you got an anti tank unit that can move. This can be done with plasma of a flamer as well. So you can have a anti terminator plasma squad and an anti horde flamer squad. Feel no pain works with gets hot so you have a bit more staying power with that. These guys are great at sitting on objectives. In cover these guys are hard to get rid of and being fearless they wont run. put in a rhino they can rush an enemy objective and with there higher toughness they can contest for longer. I would back up these troops with nurgle bikers. Toughness 6 bikes is nothing to laugh at. the Nurlge Icon is one of the better all purpose ones. T5 havocs to give some long range punch to the army for example. This is an army that can deal with massed small arms fire better then any other chaos army. This armies weakness is that plague marines are I3. Now there blight grenades help with this and of course T5 also helps with this but should a large asault army or unit hit you guys T5 and feel no pain can only help for so long. Also it is imporant to keep in mind feel no pain. Doublt strength power weapns and ap 2 or 1 (and str d in apoc), and rending will bypass your feel no pain. this means that rending wounds and plasma wound which used to not bypass I believe will now bypass. This is critical with armies that have the ability to get ap1 like Witch Hunters with that faith power. This isnt a critical weakness as its built into the rule that they have but it is important to remember. As you will be outnumbered by even regular chaos armies. However they can soak up str 4 and lower weapons better then other troops.

World Eaters. These guys are devoted to Khorne. There favored number is 8. While I would run a squad or two with the favored number I would suggest going 10 man for more attacks in close combat. THey are 21 points a model. These guys are close combat monsters. WS of 5 Furious Charge and base 2 attacks in there profile means many attacks and on the carge they hit harder and go before other marines and at the same time as noise marines. Keep in mind they have a pistol and close combat weapon so on the charge thats is 4 attacks a model (5 for the champion unless he has a powerfist then he has 4). So a squad of 10 wit ha champion with a powrfist has a total of 40 attacks on the charge at I5 str5. Thats huge especially againt horde armies. Remember that the powrfists are str 9 on the charge not 10. Back these guys up with some khorne raptors for fast hits or with defilers to give long range shooting with there cannon. What I would do is take Land Raiders. Armor 14 with lascannons and being an asault vehicle will get your beserkers into the fray fast. Every Beserker squad should have a transport either rhino or Land Raider. This armies Weakness is that they are devoted solely to assaulting. The troop choice only has pistols for shoting. You can give plasma pistols and I would give 1 per squad at most if at all. You have to be careful if you shoot your pistols and the unit runs at the end of the phase your unit is high and dry and will be shot to bits. Backing these troops up with transports and things that can shoot farther (Land Raiders, Defilers even predators) is critical. This style of army is harder then people think. You cannot just run foward without a plan. Being able to maximize your assaulting while utilizing shooting attacks is a delicate balancing act.

Thousand Sons. These guys are devoted to Tzeentch. There favored number is 9. I wouldnt field them in units larger then 9. Thats what you get in there box, 1 aspiring sorcere and 8 marines. By the way I dunno if this box will get an update but it needs one baaaad. Plastic tech has gotten better and im sure they could easily make these guys all plastic which would be much better then the hybrid plastic pewter they are now. Anways these guys weigh in at 23 points a model. While this is the same as plague marines these squads are probably the most expensive before upgrades. This is because unlike the rest of the troop choices they dont get a champion. They have an aspiring sorcerer that is required and costs 60 points. Also it must take 1 psychic power. These squad have a 4+ invulnerable save which is great as it makes them one of the best foot sloggers. They are Slow and purposeful which makes them relentless but slow when moving. This iswhy they arent the best foot sloggers hand down but are still really good. Keep in ind the aspiring sorcere is not slow and purposeful so if he is the last one left he can move normally. They also have inferno bolts. These make there bolters ap3 which is great against Marines and Marine like armies. This however doesnt do much againt horde armies that are used to not having asave against normal bolters. This being said we all know there are plenty of marine armies and other Marine like armies. They cannot take any upgrades and have no grenades. This is ok though because the aspiring sorcerer has a psychic power. I would suggest either doombolt or Bolt of Change. They are in my mind the best powers to give your aspiring sorcerers. Doombolt is good for increasing the number of shots and can help against horde armies. Bolt of Change is one attack at the same range as a bolter at str 8 and ap of 1 and it is an assault weapon. This is good because it allows the squad to be more versatile by allowing your sorcere to destroy vehicles. Gift of Chaos and Winds of Chaos are also good options if you wish. This is a shooting army that can walk itself across the board all the while firing there bolters at max range and denying armor save to all but 2+. With the amount of cover saves available now I would be careful and keep my distance while still shooting. They are equal to plague Marines in staying power because of there invulnerable save. Sure small arms fire hurts them just the same as normal marines but they can take a demolisher cannon and keep on coming. This is why i think they are equal because as troops are so important in fifth people will throw heavy weapons against them. The assault phase is there wekaness but they are not helpess. The sorcerer has a force weapon and the squad has a invulnerable save. This armies wekaness is that while they are good at footsloggin they are slow if you roll poorly for slow and purposeful. On average theyll move 4 inches a turn so they are slow. If you lock them in assault you can wither them down as only the sorcerer has a weapon that ignores armor. Do not count them out though as they do have a marine stat line so they can hold there own in the assault. Also another wekaness is there special rule of the sorcerer commands. This essentially means that if the aspiring sorcerer is killed the squad then only rolls 1d6 as opposed to 2d6.

Alright to wrap up ill talk briefly on the daemon weapons and steeds. The daemosn weapons vary for each god. Slaanesh causes instant death, khorne rolls 2d6 for extra attacks, nurgle always wounds on a 4+ and tzeentch rolls 1d6 for shooting and for assault. They all have there risks for if you roll a 1 you do nothing and take a wound. Khorne and Tzeetnch have the highest risks but also can do more damage. They count as power weapons. They are not essential for a lord and should only be considered if you plan to be able to use them. ALso only Chaos Lords can take them.

The Steeds are alright. I am not goign to go into them as the only one i really seen used was the disc of tzeentch which lets you move as jump infantry. They all have there uses but for this tacical read they do not change anything for being outnumbered. They can be used by Lords and Sorcerers.

Thats about it for a overview of cult armies and being outnumbered. Remember this is my opinion on the matter and the strengths and weaknesses are as I see them. In knowning these things you can develop lists and strategies for your armies.

I am not sure what I am going to talk on next. So ill keep it a secret. Until then I hope this helped.

1 comment:

eriochrome said...

Nice little run down for those of us who do not have every codex. I really wish that normal marines had a unit as good at camping objectives as plague marines. Tac squads do not have the long range firepower while sniper scouts will get chewed up in assault by pretty much anybody.

Vanguard marines are pretty similar to Khorne beserkers. I would take Khorne head to head but the upgrade options for the vanguard are nice allowing for many different weapons and still having expendable bolt pistol/chainsword guys. Honor guard are also pretty interesting but since they all have to have at least powerweapons it is hard to stomach the cost for a rhino full. Maybe a razorback.