There is no doubt about it, with the Chaos Space Marine army you do have a good selection of Elite choices to choose from. It is very easy to max out the Elite spots on your army list. But be careful, it is the Troop choices that win the games and not the Elite units. The solution to this a careful selection of your HQ choice as the right HQ selection can make selective Elite units available as Troop units too.
Chaos Chosen Space Marine Tactics
The Chosen Chaos Space Marines are similar to the Codex Space Marine Veteran Squads. They can come in relatively small squads of 5 Chosen Marines and if you upgrade one of the Chosen Marines to a Chosen Champion, then all 5 Chosen Marines can be given special weapons.
Arming a 5 man Chosen Chaos Space Marine squad with special Weapons means that you have a very hard hitting but expensive unit. This means that you need to have a plan for your Chosen Marines. If you can do this when you are building your army list, please all the better!
Chaos Possessed Space Marine Tactics
Possessed Chaos Space Marines are Chosen Chaos Space Marines that have been corrupted and warped by the forces of Chaos that they worship. In the warping they picked up 1 point of strength and a mutating ability that changes at the beginning of each fight sub-phase ( so once for your turn and once in the opponents turn if you are still in combat ).
What the Possessed Space Marines do loose is the access to all those lovely wargear upgrades and each model costs about half as many points again that the already expensive Chosen Space Marines do.
One of the downsides of all this chaotic mutation as far as tactics is concerned is that they have a number of random elements that you do not know until the start of the game and in the case of the “vessel of Chaos” special rule, at the start of each round of combat. The best practice to create strategies with all this randomisation going on is to be as familiar as possible with every possible outcome. This is a lot of possible combinations, so you will need to allow some time to do this.
Strength and weapons
Possessed Space Marines do not have any ranged weapons. This means that your strategy will need to be to get your Chaos Possessed Space Marines in to combat as soon as possible and keep them in combat as soon as possible.
Chaos Terminator Tactics
Chaos Helbrute Tactics
The Chaos Helbrute is the Chaos version of the Space Marine Dreadnought. In earlier Chaos Codexes you will see this choice listed as a Chaos Dreadnought, so if you have an older model then this is the army list entry to use. You get one Helbrute in the Dark Vengeance box set.
As Helbrute are walking tanks they take some of the rules from foot troops like charging and running, and they take some of the rules from the vehicle rules like Hull Points. They usually take the best of each set of rules which ends up making them tough opponents, for example all the close combat hits are worked out against the front armour 12 and not the back armour if 10.
Helbrute Strength and Weapons
The Helbrute comes with a Multi-melts and power fists as standard. These give the Helbrute a substantial short range destructive power, and acts as a great can opener against heavy armour. The Helbrute’s multi-meltas also works well against monstrous creatures at close and medium range too.
The standard Helbrute configuration is not so good verses massed attack by soft troops. The Helbrute will eventually overcome the troops as they rarely have weapons that will hurt you. However cutting through massed troops will take time, so if you are expecting to face massed troops then the heavy flamer options will be worth taking.
Helbrute Toughness and special rules
With an armour value of 12 and 3 hull points the Helbrute is a tough nut to crack. And remember that close combat attacks are resolved against the front armour, so if you can keep your back covered from shooing attacks the you can expect the Helbrute to be around for a while.
Chaos Mutilator Tactics
The Chaos Space Marine Mutilator is a new elite unit choice for the Chaos Space Marine army.
The Mutilator is a close combat version of the Chaos Space Marine Obliterator, or a Terminator that has lost its invulnerable save and gained mutated close combat weapons.
Mutilator get deep strike, and as this is a great way to get the lumbering Mutilators in to the fight quickly. But remember that the Mutilators do not get a invulnerable save, so watch out for those AP2 shooting weapons like Melta weapons.
You are allowed to have a unit of a single Mutilator. However a single Mutilator will be easy pickings for your opponent. A squad of three Mutilators is expensive but will be much more useful.
One of the unique features of the Mutilators is that they have a number of close combat weapons that they can choose from each turn. Note that you can not use the same weapon in two successive turns however this should not stop you from choosing the best weapon for the first combat round. After all if you do not live until the second round of combat then there would no chance of using your best weapons later.
Khorne Berserker Tactics
Khorne Berzerkers are the favourite elite choice for many Chaos Space Marine players. The reason is simple. The Khorne Berzerkers are excellent in close combat. All the Khorne Berzerkers get a +1 ws, two close combat weapons, and a couple of special rules to help you in the fight. The general tactics for Khorne Berzerkers then is quite simple, get them in to close combat as soon as possible! You may find that a Rhino will be very useful for Khorne Berzerkers.
Khorne Berserker Special Rules
The Khorne Berserkers get Furious Charge. This means that if you initiate the assault then you get +1 Strength that round. Note that you loose this bonus if the enemy assault you first, or if you make a disordered charge ( assaulting 2+ units). This means that you need a little care when you pick your targets, and do your best not to fail a charge.
The Khorne Berserkers also are fearless. This means that they will pass most Ld based tests. The specific tests they pass are Fear, Moral Pinning and Regroup tests.
Thousand Sons Tactics
The Thousand Sons are the Tzeench elite Marine units. The main bonus that comes with the Thousand Sons is the ‘inferno bolts’. These are AP3 rounds that the Thousand Sons bolters use. Basically they will rip through Power armour as if it was not there. The Thousand Sons also get the ‘Veterans of the Long War’ free too. This makes the squad Ld10 and allows you to re-roll shots and close combat hits against Space Marines ( including Dark Angels, Blood Angels, Black Templars, Space Wolfs, and Grey Knights). If you are facing a Space Marine player that has not seen the Thousand Sons in action, their reaction to seeing their shiny marines fall to a hail of bolter fire is priceless!
The next benefit that come with the Thousand Sons squads is that they come with a L1 Psyker, an Aspiring Sorcerer. With the Version 7 40k rules psykers are back in favour, and having an extra power dice in the pool is a big bonus.