Sunday, October 21, 2012

Chaos - Lessons Learned

So, after a couple of weeks of really studying the new Chaos Space Marines Codex and dreaming up units and combos, I finally got a chance to play with the new codex for the first time this weekend.  All I can say is wow...
So, first off, let me say, I felt a little bad as I screwed up several things, especially as it pertained to my winged Daemon Prince of Nurgle.  I guess that's what happens when you recycle old lists...I left the Prince in an entry that showed FNP, so I did not even bat an eyelash about him having FNP considering he was Nurgle.  My mistake and it would have led to a slightly different outcome, but as this was a test game for me anyways, the out come didn't much matter to me.

Regardless, despite some HORRIBLE rolls and luck in the first three turns, I was incredibly impressed with the performance of this army.  I won't give a full battle report, but I will give some assessments.

First with the HQ.  I took a Khorne Lord on a bike with the Axe of Blinding Fury.  While he under-performed thanks to some really bad armor saves and then rolling a 1 for the Daemon Weapon, I was still very impressed with his potential.  He still got a good number of attacks against a Dread Knight, and wounded 3 times (my opponent made 7 out of 8 5+ invulnerable saves, and said Dread Knight should have died, but instead he lived and proceeded to kill my Lord).  The way I see it, this was absolute worst case for this lord and I would highly recommend this lord to anyone contemplating him, regardless of his performance in this game.  I invested some points into the lord, but his killing potential was immense.  I also took a full unit of chaos spawn to accompany the lord, and I must say, that while they failed to hurt the Dread Knight, they still performed admirably and held the Dread for 3 turns.  My other HQ was a Nurgle Prince with wings.  Once again luck was against me and he got grounded immediately (and took a wound from limited snap fire), but he then proceeded to tear apart my opponent's Terminator Inquisitor and 2 Grey Knight Squads.  He also put 3 wounds on a Dread Knight.  It was also at this point where I screwed up with his rules and he should have died in the first round of combat with the Dread Knights, but as it was he stayed and cost my opponent a Dread Knight.  However, regardless of this SNAFU, I must say this guy was amazing, although he is definitely not made to take on 2 Dreads at once.  He makes for an awesome unit to take on any enemy infantry and honestly any units that do not have the ability to cause Strength 10 attacks will die against him.

On the troops, I took 2 smaller units of Berserkers, 2 units of CSM with meltas and plasma (one also had a Lascannon), and a group of cultists.  The cultists performed incredibly well as bubble wrap and as the distraction unit they were meant to be and I would take them any time.  The regular marines were also admirable performers and did what they needed to do.  However, my Berserkers were underwhelming at best.  I personally think that they need a boost and if they are going against Grey Knights, they are simply not going to cut it in assault...this is especially problematic as they have no shooting ability to speak of.  So, I believe in future lists, I will not be fielding these guys...or if I do it will be a larger tarpit unit for dealing with Dreads and such and tying them up for a while.  I think in my next game I will see how Chosen do with a mark of Khorne and geared for assault.

To round out my army, I took a Heldrake and a Hellbrute.  Both did fairly well, although the Heldrake takes the MVP title.  The Heldrake is simply amazing and killed 3 Grey Knight units.  The Hellbrute also took out a squad with the help of a minimal bare bones Plague Marine squad.  These plague marines were also decent in helping to soak up attacks and keep the Dread in the fight.

So, at the end of the day, this list tabled my opponent on turn 6.  Now, the Prince was way off, but as I discovered, I also had payed for a second Heldrake and boons of chaos (which I forgot about).  So, I think the results would have been very similar regardless (Not to mention even average die rolls early on would have made a world of difference).  Going forward, I am already working on a more competitive list and we'll see how it does.  But, I am definitely leaning toward 3 Heldrakes (one with cannon instead of flamer) and dual princes along with regular CSM, cultists and maybe a Maulerfiend/Forgefiend and Chosen as support.


  1. Yea, I'm not worried about the outcome either, as it was a gun game, and very educational for me too (so don't feel bad).

    I came very close to using my birthday money to go all chaos, and I still might, except I expect that by this time next yea, Chaos will be one of the weakest 6th edition books - I might do it anyway, after all, I did buy 2 Dark Vengence boxes for the Chaos...

    I fact, I still might order them, but I want to fight against them a few more times first (fighting agasint them is almost as good as proxying them to find strengths and weaknesses)

    Be careful about over investing in daemon princes. They rocked against my Grey Knights, and against most things, but most other marine armies can field terminators with storm shields, and you don't really have enough shooting to deal with those any way but assault (which is going to hurt)

    Anyway, it was a good game, and our re-match will be the tourney, if you make it.

  2. You may be correct, but as Chaos has always been one of my armies, I'm enjoying the fact that they are competitive again. If you don't decide to get Chaos, let me know if you are interested in getting rid of some of your DV stuff.

    As for the Daemon Princes, you may be right as far as Storm Shields, but the nice thing is that most Terminator armies are much lower model count, and 7-12 AP2 attacks with the potential for toughness tests with no saves of any type allowed is still going to hurt even Storm Shield Termies...especially considering that I hit on 3's (rerolling on the charge), and wound on 2's. and the Termies are only going to hit me on a 5. Or Vector Striking for auto hits still wounding on 2's.

  3. So, your comment about Storm Shield Terminators made me think...what exactly can I expect from this Daemon Prince against a unit of 5 TH/SS termies. So, I have math hammered it out (I have included every contingency based on all possible rolls on the Daemon weapon whether the daemon charges or not and using a basic Terminator Stat line).

    I would have included the chart, but it was messy looking in the comment...So, I'm looking at between 1 and 3 dead terminators...this takes into account the reduced WS from rolling a 1 on the Daemon Weapon). Now if we further add the Toughness test, we look at between .33 and 1 more extra kill with no saves allowed, so we are now looking at between 1 and 4 dead terminators in a smaller 5-man squad. 10-man squads become more problematic, but more terminators actually die thanks to the toughness test. So to see what the terminators will do when they hit back...We will consider both when the Daemon is at WS8 and WS9.

    So, even if the terminators charge and hit at full strength, they just barely come out on top as far as killing the prince. Considering that on average 2-3 terminators die in the first round of combat, the more likely scenario is a prince with 2-3 wounds left and only 2-3 terminators left standing. The second round of combat will usually see the end of the terminators with the prince surviving with 2-3 wounds left. This also doesn't take into account Hammer of Wrath, nor does it take into account some of the nastier boons...or the Black Crusader warlord trait. This is pretty much the basic prince with the Black mace.

    1. What if the terminators go first (because they force you to charge them into cover), would that make a difference? I am thinking no, at least with just 5.

    2. if the termies go first, they are being charged which only amounts to 10 attacks for them. This allows them to cause 2-3 wounds average...they then lose 2-3 termies in the first round of combat and will lose an additional 2-3 in the second round before they get to go. So, either way, you are looking at a Daemon Prince winning the combat with 1-2 wounds left. Obviously the TH/SS termies put up a good fight and can hurt the prince, but a single unit of them is not going to reliably be able to kill the prince (of course with "Basil Dice" who knows :p)

  4. I would also like to point out this from the rulebook FAQ...I didn't realize this, or else I would have made the Smash attack against the DK's.

    Q: The rulebook says that you halve your Attacks characteristic if
    you perform a Smash attack. However, if a Monstrous Creature has
    an uneven number of Attacks, (3 for example), but has charged that
    turn, does it receive the bonus Attack for charging before or after
    halving its Attacks? (p42)
    A: You halve the model’s Attacks characteristic first, then
    apply any additional modifiers. In the example above, the
    model would halve its Attacks first (rounding up to 2), then
    receive a bonus Attack for charging.

    So, reading that, I would only lose 2 attacks total (halving the attack Characteristic rounding up leaves me with 3 attacks). after Halving I would still get to add the D6 attacks, so I would have been wounding on 2+, and likely would have caused that 4th wound. Good grief, I swear I thought I had a good handle on the new rules. Apparently I still have a lot of studying to do.

  5. What advantage does smash give you though, Dread knights are monsters, not vehicles (or does it double strength in addition to re-rolls to penetrate?) Don't remember off the top of my head.

  6. Doubles Strength to max of 10. So I would have been wounding on 2's instead of 4's.