Chaos Space Marine Tactics

Warhammer 40k Khorne Berzerker Chaos Space Marine

In the age of the Great Heresy a full half measure of the Space Marine armies where corrupted by Chaos these corrupted Space Marines becomes the Heretic Astartes, or Chaos Space Marines!

On this page we will have a look at the Chaos Space Marines and their tactics.

Chaos Ability: Death The False Emperor

Most units in the Chaos Space Marine army get an additional ability called ‘Death To The False Emperor ‘. This reflects the Chaos Marine belief that the Imperial Emperor is not the savior of human kind and needs to be removed through revolution.

How this ability works is that in the fight phase, and when targeting Imperial units (Space Marines, Guard, and friends), units with this ability get to have a bonus attack for each hit roll of 6 (before any modification). Note that bonus attacks cannot generate more bonus attacks. Note also that these bonus attacks need to hit, wound, and etc. Also note that these attacks can be target a different unit from the initial attacks.

Note that this ability only works in the fight phase, but both fight phases. So you need to get into the fight!

Marks of Chaos

There are four Gods of Chaos. Khorne who loves violence for its own sake. Tzeentch who loves to trick, lie and confound. Nurgle loves decay, rot, and purification. Slaanesh loves sensory excess, pleasures of the flesh, exquisite pain, drugs and rock and roll!

Some Marines do not follow a single Chaos God, but Chaos in its raw form,. These Marines are said to follow Chaos Undivided.

Each Chaos Space Marine Legion follows one of the four Chaos Gods or Chaos Undivided. If you want to mix and match units with different marks of Chaos then you will need to have multiple factions.

Chaos Space Marine HQ Tactics

Every army needs a leader and this is where you will find the Chaos Marine leaders. Chaos HQ tend to be better at close combat fighting. They also have abilities that empower the troops around them.

The HQ section is also where you find the Chaos Psykers. Psykers use the power of the warp to Smite your foe directly and/or use their power to empower your troops too. You will note that there are no Khorne psykers. This is because the god of Khorne places brute force above all else.

Chaos Space Marine Psychic Powers

Soul Steal SpellAll the Chaos Psykers know the Smite Psychic power from the core rules. Most of them know one other power too. These Chaos Marine powers can be found on page 11 of the Index: Chaos.

There are three Psychic power to choose from. You can either just select which additional power your Psyker will have or roll for a random one. Obviously you would usually just select the power that best suits your play style and will help the most against whichever opposing army you are playing against that game. Usually you will be able to choose your power after you know which army you will be facing, and hopefully after you have seem the models on the table. There may be time when you agree to roll for your psykers power. You only want to do this if the opposition has more psykers that you, or because you have negotiated some other bonus for yourself!

Abaddon The Despoiler Tactics

Traditionally the biggest, baddest, Heretic Space Marine. Armed with a nasty power fist with built in storm bolter, and a Daemon blade and wearing master crafted Terminator Armour.

Hopefully Games Workshop will release a new Abaddon model soon. The current one is out of scale with the new Chaos Terminators!

Cypher Tactics

Cypher by name, an enigma by nature! Even though Cypher appears in the Index: Chaos, Cypher  and the Fallen are not a Chaos units. They are Imperium that fight with the Chaos Armies!

Cypher is a master pistolelio! Master Crafted bolt pistol in one hand and plasma pistol in the other he can blaze away with both weapons even if he has advanced or fallen back! A slippery character indeed!

Cypher is quite keen in close combat, but not fantastic. If you get in to close combat you will need to back him up with some close combat troops too.

Chaos Lord Tactics

The Chaos Lord is the standard Chaos Space Marine HQ choice. He can come on foot, on a bike, in terminator armour or with exotic transport like a Juggernaut of Khorne or Disc of Tzeentch.

The Chaos Lord is designed to be in the thick of the action, backed up with some good men. Load the Lord and his men in to a Rhino or Land Raider and charge in to the enemy front line!

Chaos Dark Apostle Tactics

The Dark Apostles are the Chaos Space Marine version of a Chaplin. He fulfils a similar role too. In the Fight Phase nearby friendly units of the same Legion can re-roll missed hits. This means that his main strength in in close assault surrounded by his mates! A popular tactic is to have a Dark Apostle in with the Chaos Lord and his posse.

Chaos Daemon Prince Tactics

Warhammer Chaos Lord with WingsIf the Chaos Gods are pleased enough with a Chaos Lord they can get promoted to being a Daemon Prince.

Daemon Princes are more Daemons than mortal, and as such take on many of the features of the Chaos Daemon army. The Daemonic 5+ save is an example of this.

Daemon Princes must take on an allegiance of one of the 4 Chaos Gods. You are not allowed to have an unaligned Prince. It is most usual to take on the allegiance that matches the rest of your Chaos Marine army.

Chaos Daemon Prince Psychic powers

If your Daemon Prince is aligned with Tzeentch, Nurgle, or Slaanesh, then he is a psyker too. As a psyker he will have the Smite psychic power plus one from the Chaos Space Marine psychic power list.

Might Over Magic Ability

If your Daemon Prince is aligned with Khorne then you will not have any psychic powers, but don’t worry! you will get the ‘Might over Magic’ ability instead. This ability gives you one extra attack in close combat.

Chaos Daemon Prince and Wings

The Daemon Prince has the option to have wings. If you have.already built your Daemon Prince, this option may be moot. However if you are about to build your Daemon Prince, or if you have magnetised your Daemon Prince so that add or remove the wings at will, you will want to know if wings are worth the points!

If you are playing open games or games using Power points, then there’s no additional points for adding wings, so do it! If you are playing points matched games then the wings adds 24 points to the model. For these additional points the movement speed goes up to 12″ a turn and you get the Fly keyword.

Not that Daemon Prince, the other Daemon Prince!

There is another Daemon Prince listed in the Index: Chaos. On page 105 you can find the Daemon Prince for the Chaos Daemons army. In many ways the other Daemon Prince is better. The two entries are for the same model, and both entries accommodate for all the build options that come in the Daemon Prince box.

Before we look at the advantages we need to look at a couple of things you loose by taking a Daemon army Daemon Prince. The first is that you loose the Heratic Astartes and <Legion> keywords. This may be important if you are designing a themed army. The next issue is that the Daemon army, Deamon Prince is one Power point more, although no extra points if you are playing a points matched game.

So what are the benefits of the Daemon army Daemon Prince? First off, you get 10 wounds!! That’s right 2 extra wounds for the same model. Even with the extra wounds the Daemon Prince does not get a Damage table, so he fights at full effectiveness to the last wound!

The next benefit is that nearby Daemons with the same alliance as the Daemon Prince get to re-roll hits of one! Chaos Marines don’t get this benefit from Chaos Marine Daemon Princes!

The last benefit is that the Daemon army get the additional Daemon Chaos faction that your Prince follows. For example the Tzeentch Daemons have a +1 to invulnerable saves, allowing the Prince to have a 4+ inv save! And Khorne Princes get +1 strength and attack on the charge ( or heroic intervention ) making 6 attacks at strength 8!

Chaos Space Marine Sorcerer Tactics

Space Marine Sorcerers are the Psychics of the Chaos Space Marine army. This does not mean that they are no use in a fight!

Chaos Marine Sorcerers have a number of transport options.

Where are the Khorne Sorcerers?

The Chaos God Khorne despises magic / psychic trickery. For this reason there are no Khorne Psykers. If you need one you will need to co-opt one that has a different Chaos alliance.

Warpsmith

Space Marine Techmarines are not beyond the corrupting influence of Chaos. These corrupted Techmarines are called Warpsmiths.

The main use of the Warpsmith is to repair vehicles that have received damage during the game. The Warpsmith needs to be within 1″ of the vehicle at the end of the vehicle to repair it.

If you have two Warpsmiths there’s no point keeping them close together. A vehicle can only have one Warpsmith attend to repairs per turn, so if you spread them out you can repair two vehicles a turn.

Not got a vehicle to repair? Then how about jinxing an enemy vehicle? If the Warpsmith is within 18″ of an enemy vehicle, on a roll of 2+ on 1D6 he can inflict a mortal wound on the vehicle.

Warpsmith’s are available from the Games Workshop as a web store exclusive. There may be some available on eBay & similar.

Chaos Troop Tactics

Chaos Space Marines have two troop choices, Chaos Space Marines and Chaos Cultists! This is not a great selection, but they are very flexible. With a bit of imagination the two unit choices will fulfil most needs.

Chaos Space Marine Tactics

Chaos Space Marines are the backbone of the Chaos Marine army. They can be configured for close combat fighting or more general / tactical role. The tactical role is where the Space Marine units excel. They can lay down withering fire clearing objectives or defending objectives, or fight at close quarter fighting.

Chaos Cultist Tactics

Chaos Cultists are the gun fodder of the Chaos army. Their stats are similar  to the Imperial Guard trooper, but costing only 3 power points for a unit of 10, you don’t expect much!

So if Cultists are so cheap, why take them? Well even cheap troops with a lot of shots can cause damage, even to Imperial Knights and Meknoughts! Otherwise you arm them with close combat weapons. This gives you an expendable close combat unit. Use this unit to defend tactical objectives, or as a moving shield for Characters or elite units.

For every 5 models in a unit you can take a Heavy Stubber or flamer. If you are planning to use your as a defensive force, load them up with Heavy Stubbers. Place them high and they will be able to give covering fire for advancing units. Assaulting units are best tooled up with flames. You can take a pot shot with these in the shooting phase before piling in for the fight. Assaulting units also find flamers useful if they are about to receive a counter assault.

Chaos Space Marine Elite Tactics

The Chaos Space Marine army has nine different elite choices. This could tempt you spend most of your points on Elite units. Avoid this temptation! You need a good volume of troop units and just a small number of Elite units.

Chaos Terminator Tactics

Chaos Terminators are veteran Space Marines in super though Terminator Armour. This armour gives the Terminators a 2+ basic save and a 5+ invulnerable save.

Terminators are classically used to weed out opposition from fortified positions. Their Teleport Strike allows them to get close to the enemy, and with a change of charging in on the turn they arrive. Their tough armour means that they can take on numerically superior units for several rounds, and their weapons will rip through tanks and monstrous creatures alike!

Khorne Bezerkers

Warhammer 40k Khorne Berzerker Chaos Space MarineKhorne Bezerkers are Elite Chaos Space Marines that have dedicated themselves to the Chaos God Khorne. The Chaos God Khorne is the god of war, and wanton destruction for it’s own end. They go in to a frenzy in battle, specially if you call them ‘bunny ears’!

Khorne Bezerkers are close combat specialists. To aid this role they have +1 strength and +1 attack over the basic Chaos Space Marine. However there is more! If the Bezerker had a chain axe they get an additional attack ( that’s 3, and 4 for the Champion). On top of this they have an ability ‘Blood for the Blood  God’ which effectively doubles the number of attacks Bezerker gets.

Khorne Bezerkers cannot take heavy weapons. You can arm your Bezerker Champion with a Bolter or Combi-Weapon from the Champions equipment list, but this is a waste. This means that your Bezerkers will be armed with short ranges pistols and close combat weapons. This means that Khorne Bezerker tactics is easy, get them in to the fight and keep them fighting for as many rounds as possible!

Khorne Bezerker Ability – Death to the False Emperor

Khorne Bezerkers get the ‘Death to the False Emperor’ special rule. This rule allows the Bezerkers to get a bonus attacks each time they hit, if they target and hit Imperial units and hit on a roll of a 6.

 

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