Chaos Space Marine Tactics for Warhammer 40k 8th Ed

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.

Index: Chaos or Codex Chaos Space Marines

There are two rule books available with the rules for Chaos Space Marines. These are the ‘Index: Chaos’ rule book and the ‘Codex Chaos Space Marines’ rule book, so which do you get? Well the Index: Chaos was released right after the Warhammer 40000 8th edition rule book was released as a stop gap. This rule book allowed players to get going while the full Codex was being lined up for release. The Codex Chaps Space Marines has all the unit rules but also adds rules for special equipment, stratagems, and mission objectives. If you have the choice I highly recommend going for the Codex!

So what are the Data Cards and do you need them?

If you look at the Chaos Space Marine Essentials on the Games Workshop or re-sellers web sites you may see Chaos Space Marine Data Cards for sale. Data cards are packs of playing card sized cards with the most used rules from the Codex: Chaos Space Marine on them. For example the psychic powers, command point stratagems, Chaos Space Marine themed mission objectives. You do not get the rules for Chaos Space Marine units. For those you need the Index: Chaos or Codex Chaos Space Marines.

General Chaos Space Marine Tactics

The Chaos Space Marines are not just your vanilla Marines in spiky suits. There are a number of differences that make a huge difference to how they play.

Many players that are new to the Chaos Space Marines see the army as a close combat specific army. The reason for this is that there are a lot of close combat units available, specially for the popular Khorne themed army ( see Marks of Chaos below ).

Warhammer Chaos Lord with WingsRemember that the Chaos Space Marines are only half of the Chaos army. Much like the Imperium Space Marines have the Imperial Guard to back they up, the Chaos Space Marines have the Chaos Daemons as easy allies too. The link between these two forces in so strong that you can see some of the Daemon units slip in to the Chaos Space Marine too. If you are building a CSM army I highly recommend giving the Daemon army list a look over too.

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 Abilities

On page 116 the Chaos Space Marine Codex introduces a couple of abilities that are shared between many of the Chaos Space Marine units. Also on page 155 additional Legion specific abilities are added.

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 saviour 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. Also 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!

Daemonic Ritual

Age of Sigmar chaos Blue Horrors of Tzeentch.. or how to get some reserves on the table fast!

How this ability works is that on a turn where any characters has not moved or arrived on the table in the movement phase, those characters can each summon a unit of daemons with the ‘Daemonic Ritual’ ability.

When you look at the army lists you will find that there are only four units that can be summoned ( but the rule has been left open for possible expansion ). The units are Khorne Bloodletters, Tzeentch Horrors (mixed units of Pink, Blue and Brimstone Horrors), Nurgle Plaugebearers, and Slaanesh Daemonettes.

There are limitations on what can be summoned, and as usual with the Chaos armies, if the summoning goes wrong there are consequences! First off you can only summon units that match the Character Chaos alignment. This means that Nurgle characters can only summon Nurgle Plaugebearers. Note that unaligned characters can summon any of the four daemonic units. This may be a factor when you choose the alliance for your character.

Units summoned using this ability does count as reserved and can only be brought in if you have enough reserve points. If you are not playing a point matched game, feel free to summon as many units as you like!

How you summon daemon units work like this. At the end of the movement phase pick your first character. Roll 3D6. Select a unit of Daemons who’s power level is equal or less that the dice total. As the average of 3D6 is 10.5 this should not be a problem. Place the unit of Daemons within 12″ of the character and beyond 9″ of and enemy units. You can repeat this process for any other Character that has not moved that turn.

Now here is what can go wrong. If you roll a double on your 3D6 roll then the character suffers a mortal wound. This should happen 1 in 12 times. However if you roll a triple then the character suffers D3 wounds. This should happen once in 216 times. I am expecting that the triple roll damage replaces the double roll damage and is not accumulative because in a triple you will always find 2 doubles!

Chaos Space Marine Stratagems

8th edition Warhammer 40000 introduced Stratagems and published 3 basic ones in the rule book. You can sometimes get extra stratagems at part of some missions, but in the Chaos Space Marine codex you get another 24 tailor made Stratagems! I feel like a kiddie in a sweet shop!

Chaos Space Marine Data Cards

Warhammer 40k 8th ed Chaos Space Marine Data CardsOne issue I have with the number of Stratagems / Special Chaos Space Marine Mission Objectives and Psychic powers is that I loose track of them, special during an intense game. I find this happens more often when using the e-book versions on the codex, but does happen when using the paper Codex too. Yes this is a memory issue and not a fault with the game. My advice in the past has been to focus on using one or two Stratagems or powers until you get use to them and expand from there. However these days there is another option, the Data Cards.

The Data Cards are a pack of playing card sized cards that have the special Mission Objectives, Stratagems and Psychic powers for that army, printed one per card. For an army like the Chaos Space Marines that adds up to a big pack of cards! 73 cards in total. Now these cards do come at an extra cost and are not essential to playing Chaos Space Marines like the codex is, but if you are playing Chaos Marines on a regular basis, or a member of a club that shares rulebooks & etc, then they are very useful!

The best way to use the cards is to split them in to 3 piles. Place the Stratagems you will use in one pile, the mission objectives in a second pile, and the psychic cards that you will use ( if any ) in a 3rd pile. These cards will act as a reminder to use these option and as a quick reference to their  rules.

It is a pity that the Chaos Space Marine units don’t have a similar card deck, say in A5 size. This would would make it easy to have just the information for the units that you are fielding to hand without having to flick from page to page to page to page in the Codex or on a tablet. The bes5t option I have found so far is to screen grab the pages from the eBooks for the units I am using and print them off. You could just photocopy pages from a paper Codex (for your use only!). The quality may not be great, but it does speed up the game!

Chaos Space Marine HQ Tactics

Warhammer 40k Chaos Space Marine LordEvery 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 two other power too. These Chaos Marine powers can be found on page 161 of the Chaos Codex.

There are nine Psychic power to choose from. Six in the main ‘Dark Heretics Discipline’ list and then one each for the 3 Chaos alliances that can have psykers. 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, badest, 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 Chaos Space Marine Codex, 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.

Cyphers Ability: No-One’s Puppet

The Errata for the Codex Chaos Space Marines added an ability for Cypher that stops him from performing a Daemonic Ritual even though he has the ‘Chaos’ and ‘Character’ keywords.

Chaos Lord Tactics

Warhammer 40k Chaos Space Marine LordThe 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 Lord Abilities

Death to the False Emperor

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.

Chaos Space Marine Sorcerer Tactics

Warhammer 40k Chaos Space Marine SorcererSorcerers are the Psychics of the Chaos Space Marine army. This does not mean that they are no use in a fight!

Chaos Space Marine Sorcerers are closely linked to the power of Chaos that is the source of all psychic powers in the Warhammer 40k universe. Because of this they can cast two psychic powers in each of your psychic phases. Each Sorcerer can pick two powers from the Dark Heretics Discipline list.

Get Familiar With You Familiar!

In Warhammer 40k Chaos Familiars are not places on the board as models like Age of Sigmar, however they can be found in the Chaos Space Marine Stratagems (page 159). For 1CP Chaos Space Marine Psyker can swap on of his psychic powers for a different one. You can pick any of the powers from the Dark Hereticus discipline list. This is really useful if you started out with one psychic power for a specific job and halfway through the battle you find that it is no longer useful. In this case you can just call on your familiar and swap that power for one that will be useful here on in. Note that when you swap your power you keep the new one for the rest of the battle. Well unless you use this stratagem again later in the battle!

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.


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 Space Marine 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.

Khorne Bloodletters Tactics

Tzeentch Horrors Tactics

Age of Sigmar chaos Blue Horrors of TzeentchAaagh! You kill one and two smaller ones pop-up, and they can throw Smite bolts around too!

Tzeentch horrors are tricky things. First off they come in 3 sizes and in the Chaos Space Marine Codex, you can have all 3 types in one unit. Also they are psykers. for simplicity the whole unit is treated as on psyker. Don’t expect a 30 model unit of Horrors chucking out 30 Smite bolts! Even so, having psykers as a troop choice will sent your foe in to utter panic. This is specially true now that psychic powers have been beefed up in 8th edition 40k. If that was not enough, Pink Horrors have 18″ A2 shooting attacks too.

Nurgle Plaugebearers Tactics

Slaanesh Daemonettes Tactics

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

Warhammer 40k Chaos Space Marine TerminatorsChaos 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.



WH40k Chaos Space Marine Black Legion Tactics for WH40k 7th Ed

If you have been playing Chaos Space Marines for a while and you are looking to add a bit more character to your army then you may be interested in the Black Legion Black Legion Codex Supplement that adds extra rules for the Chaos Space Marines that follow Abaddon the Despoiler and the Sons of Horus (a Chaos Space Marine army and not some Heavy Metal pop group!).

The rule for the Black Legion come from the Codex Supplement: Black Legion. You can buy this from the Black Libaray to download, or from online stores like Element Games. You will need the full Codex Space Marines to use this supplement, so make sure you have a copy of that first, or easy access to a copy!

What’s in the Codex Supplement?

In the Black Legion supplement you get :

  • Black Legion special rules.
  • Chaos Space Marine Artifacts for the Black Legion.
  • Black Legion Warlord Traits
  • 7 Black Legion formations
  • 8 Black Legion themed Missions
  • Black Legion Tactical Objectives

Chaos Artifacts of the Black Legion

The Black Legion supplement comes with rules and points for 6 Black Legion artifacts. You do not need to limit yourself to these artifacts if you are playing a Black Legion army, you can still choose artifacts from the Chaos Space Marine Codex, or from the mission special artifacts, if the mission has them.

Be careful when adding artifacts to your heroes. Their points can add up quickly. You may find that the points would be better used by adding more models to the force However if you have no models to add and you want to use the points up then they could be worth considering!

Black Legion Formations

The main reason a Chaos Space Marine player will want the Codex Supplement is the army formations that are detailed in the supplement.

  • The Bringer of Despair
  • The Chosen of Abaddon
  • The Hounds of Abaddon
  • Daemon Engine Pack
  • Cyclopia Cabal
  • The Tormented
  • Black Legion Warband

Black Legion Missions

There are 8 Black Legion themed missions included in the Codex Supplement.

  • Altar of War: Speartip Strike
  • Altar of War: Kill Them All
  • Echoes of War: Slaughter at Jason Lutein
  • Echoes of War: Spilling the Blood of Angels
  • Echoes of War: Death Comes to Relorria
  • Echoes of War: Defiance on Ildanira
  • Echoes of War: The Blood-trial of Khorne



Great 4 Handed game highlights armies strengths and weaknesess

On Saturday we had a great game of Warhammer with 2 Chaos forces ( Chaos Space Marine and Daemons of Tzeentch) face 2 forces of Order (Using AoS) armies of Space Marines and Tau.

Richard and I had a quick pre-game match to get use to our new armies. Ghks was the first time I have played Chaos Daemons in 40k so I was flipping back and forth through the Codex getting use to the Daemon Special Rules. Richard also got to grips with the raft of new weapons availible to the Tau since the last Codex.

In the afternoon Lee and Mark arrived for the main battle royal. Lee brought Space Marines with him and Mark had Chaos Space Marines. This is what Richard had suggested would be the case so no big surprises there.

As Richard and Lee where long time 40k comrades and because it made a better match to the background fluff Richard and Lee teamed up as the forces of order against Mark and I who where the new comers championing  the forces of Chaos.

My first surprise was when I saw the army that Mark brought. As we where playing 1000 points per player I was surprised my how HQ heavy and troop unit light his force was. It did not bode well as my force was fast and light but a bit short of solid troop and heavy support units. This brought up the first learning point, where possible, in a two handed game, check with your team mates what they are bringing to the battle or you could end up with a mismatched force.


It was great fun testing out my Chaos Tzeentch Daemons in a WH40k game, even though it was not a winning outcome! Many thanks to Richard, Lee and Mark for the battle.


Chaos Space Marine Tactics Updated

Warhammer 40k Khorne Berzerker Chaos Space Marine
Warhammer 40k Khorne Berzerker Chaos Space Marine

A Chaos Marine Khorne Berzerker.

Having spent a good few weeks updating the Tyranid Tactics and adding new and improved Tyranid Pics on the website it is now time to update the Chaos Space Marine Tactics for the 7th Edition of Warhammer 40000.

At the moment the Chaos Space Marine Pages are short of decent pics. With this in mind I have a marathon painting session in progress painting Chaos Space Marines that you will be able to see soon!


40k Supplementary Rules for WH40k 7th Ed

Space Marines dfend a power plant in a Planet Strike gameFrom time to time Games Workshop release supplementary rules for Warhammer 40000. You do not need these rules to play 40k, but if you have been playing a while they add some alternatives to the game to keep it interesting.

  • Also see: Warhammer 40k Kill Teams. Kill Teams is a skirmish game using the full Warhammer 40k rules with a small  200 points force. It’s great if you are short on time or want to try out a new squad type.
  • Also see: Warhammer 40k Cities of Death. Cities of Death is an add-on to the full Warhammer 40k rules that adds extra rules and scenarios for fighting in cities and built up battlegrounds.
  • Also see: Warhammer 40k Planet Strike. Planet Strike adds rules to simulate the first few days of land fall when an invading force tries to get a foot hold on a new planet. These games can be really brutal and are some time over on 2 rounds. Be prepared to add plenty of house rules here.
  • Also see: Warhammer 40k Spearhead. This is a great rules expansion for tread heads and tanks fanatics. 40k Spearhead adds rules for full tank formations and tank on Tank battles. I hope that you have a good sized gaming board to accommodate these battles!

Chaos Space Marine Heavy Support Tactics for WH40k 7th Ed

The Chaos Space Marine army us configured to work better as a close combat army. However this does not have to be true. And even if you are playing a close combat army, having some heavy fire power to clear the route in is always useful.

Most heavy support options have big guns so they do not have to get so close to the enemy to do dammage. Unlike most other armies the Chaos Heavy support nomally have some close combat ability too. This means that the Chaos Space Marine Heavy Support can move up the table during the game giving troops some close support fire power, or leave them sitting on objectives knowing that if one of the opponent squads turn up to take the objective then you don’t have to give it up without a fight!

Chaos Havoc Space Marine Tactics

Havocs are regular Chaos Space Marines that have a special fondness for heavy and special weapons.

Unlike the Imperial Space Marine Heavy Weapon squads the Chaos Space Marine Havocs can be configured to have either a heavy weapon role or a close support role by arming the Chaos Havocs with special weapons.

Remembrr that all Havocs have have a Bolt Pistol, frag and krak grenades. This means that if you need them to, they can act as a half decent assault squad too.

Space Marine Havocs with no special weapons

You do not have to arm your Havocs with either heavy weapons or special weapons. This allows you to create some more tactical squads at the same points cost. Remember that in the 7th edition all units can capture objectives. This means that if you drop a Havoc squad on an objective and have them hold the objective and provide fire support at the same time.

Flakk Missiles

The Havoc missile launches can be upgraded to have Flakk missiles. This upgrade does make the missile launchers expensive in points costs, but it does give your army some anti-aircraft abilities. If you think that you will be facing flyers then this upgrade is well worth the points.

Obliterator Cult Tactics

Obliterators are Chaos Terminators chat have been further corrupted by the forces of Chaos. This coruption means that they can morph and change during the battle to allow you to pick and choose the best weapon for the jot that turn.

There is a limitation to picking which weapon to use though. That is that you cannot choose to use the same weapon on two consecutive turns. With this in mind, it is useful to think at least a turn ahead so you do not pick a weapon thiis turn that you will be better off using next turn.

Another feature of Obliterators is that they are slow. Obliterators do not come with transport by default. You can deep strike the Obliterators on to yhe table, however yhis means that they are not av ailable for the first turn, and maybe for the first few turns. One solution to thi may be to team them up with a Land Raider. The Land Raider ca hold a unit of 3 Obliterators easily, and transport them around the table relitivly quickly. The down side is that the Land Raider will need a seperate Heavy Support slot and has a hefty point cost.

Obliterators are Daemons in Terminator armour. This gives them 2+ regular saver and a 5+ invulnrable save. Obliterators also have Power fists like Terminators do too. This means that they are tough in a close combat fight too. Be careful though, as there are only 3 Oblitorators in a unit tops, you will be in danger of being out numbered.

Defiler Tactics

The Chaos Space Marine Defiler is a walking battle tank that has a crab like appearance. There is nothing like this in the Imperial armies.

The Defiler has a number of configuration options. This will allow you to configure the Defiler as a close combat creature or as a heavy weapons platform. If you know your opponent ahead of time then you may be able to pick one of these configurations, however if you are going to be facing a number of different opponents then you may wish to configure the Defiler with a mixture of both close combat and ranged weapons to give the Defiler a more flexible tactical unit.

Strength and Weapons

As the Defiler is a walker it has the ability to assault other units. In assault it is armed with two power fists. So it gets one extra attack and this is has the strength doubled to the maximum of S10. An interesting upgrade is that the Defiler can swap it’s Reaper Cannon for a third power fist giving the Defiler two additional attacks.

Introduction to Forgefiends and Maulfiends

The Chaos Forgefiends and Maulfiends are new additions to the 2012 Codex Chaos Space Marine, so I thought that they could do with a bit of and introduction. If ;only because then I will only have to write it once, and not once per entry!

To simplify things, Forgefiends and Maulfiends are oversized, Daemon possessed walkers. The Forgefiend is configured for medium range ( 18 to 24 inch weapon range ), and the Maulfeind is configured for close combat.

Forgefiend Tactics

The Chaos Forgefiend is a monstrous creature sized Dreadnaught configured for medium ranged fire support for your assault troops, or to thin out horde troops like Tyranids and Orks, and maybe Imperial Guard.

Maulerfiend Tactics

Like the Chaos Forgefiend, the Chaos Space Marine Maulerfiend is a daemon possessed monstrous creature sized dreadnaught. However the Maulerfiend is configured for close combat.

Chaos Land Raider Tactics

The Land Raider is an iconic Space Marines and Chaos Space Marine main battle tank. Unlike the Imperial Space Marines the Chaos Space Marines only get the standard Lascannon version of the Land Raider. You can upgrade the Land Raider with the usual Chaos Tank upgrades like demonic possession, if you don’t mind the odd Terminator being swallowed in the interest of repairing a hull point every now and then.

Land Raiders great for taxing assault troops around the battle field. The Land Raider’s armour 14 all round will keep your troops fairly safe, and the Assault ramp allows the troops disembark and assault in the same turn.

Chaos Vindicator Tactics

The Chaos Vindicator is similar to its loyalist Space Marine counterpart. It offers a lot of short ranged punch. It works better on smaller tables and built up areas.

Chaos Predator Tactics

The Chaos Predator is a upgraded Rhino that can be configured for a verity of different support roles.


Chaos Space Marine Fast Attack Tactics for WH40k 7th Ed

The 2012 Chaos Space Marine Codex has added a few new options to the Fast Attack section. This means that you have plenty of choices. This is good as the Chaos army does tend to like fighting close up, and the faster you can get there the better!

The Fast Attack units are getting more important with the 7th Edition of the 40k rules. The Maelstrom of War missions and the tactical objectives are forcing armies to move around the table a whole lot more during the game. This means that the army with fast, hard hitting units will prevail over gun line armies that ruled the roost in the 5th and 6th edition of Warhammer 40k. If you have not considered adding fast units to your army before, then now is the time to start!

Chaos Bikers

The Chaos Space Marine Bikers are very similar to their Imperial Space Marine brethren. By that I mean that they are small unit that can move around the game table quickly if they have the space to move.

Two Chaos Bikers can take special weapons. This means that the Chaos Space Marine Bikers are useful to attack weak spots in your opponents lines and disrupt his plans. The special weapons are useful to hit a hole in weak rear armour on most tanks and for punching a hole in monstrous creatures too.

Big Units

Unlike the Imperial Space Marine Bikers, the Chaos Space Marine Bikers can come in larger packs of up to 10 in a unit. A unit this big really adds up. Over 200 points for a basic unit. To spend this much for a biker, you will need a very good reason.

Marks of Chaos

The Chaos Space Marine Bikers can take Marks of Chaos. These are reasonable priced e except for the Mark of Nurgle. For this you will pay a premium, but it does make the Chaos Space Marine Bikers T6, or tough enough to need 6’s to wound up from most bolsters and lasguns. I. It also means that the Nurgle Chaos Space Marine Bikers can not be instantly killed by S10 weapons.

Chaos Spawn

Chaos Spawn are Chaos Space Marines that have been warped beyond all recognition. The Chaos Spawn are so warped that the are now use the beasts special rule rather than moving like regular troops. This means that they can cover twice the distance that foot troops do over open ground, and move through difficult terrain quickly. This means that Chaos Spawn are good for games on smaller tables ( ie the standard 6 foot by 4 foot sized tables or smaller ).

If you are playing on a large table, say in a game using the Apocalypse rules, then  you may want to load the Chaos Spawn in to a Chaos Space Marine Land Raider. However remember that the Chaos Spawn take up extra room up in a vehicle so you can not have full sized units.

Strength and Weapons

Well the are easy, The Chaos Spawn just use teeth and claws. However the chaotic nature of the Chaos Spawn means that there are two dice rolls two see if the attacks are modified and how many attacks you get. This random element means that it will be difficult to accurately work out how many enemy models that the Chaos Spawn will kill each turn. This means that you may need to tackle smaller units with your Chaos Spawn than you may otherwise do.

Another use for the Chaos Spawn is as a ‘speed bump’ . By that I mean rushing in to assault a larger unit to slow it down so you can get other units in to assault on your own terms.

Spawn and Overwatch

By default the Chaos spawn do not have an armour save. This means that things can get messy quickly if you charge massed ranks of infantry. If possible look for smaller units that have become separated form other units. These will give you a fighting chance to get in to assault.

Chaos Raptor Tactics

Chaos Raptors are the jump pack troops of the Chaos army. As usual with jump pack troops, they are armed with short range bolt pistols and close combat weapons, however there are a number of weapon and Chaos gift upgrades. These upgrades do add usefulness to the Raptors so I highly recommend that you have a careful look at these upgrades.

One change with the 7th edition of the 40k rules is that the Maelstrom of War missions and the tactical objectives are forcing armies to move around the game table more. This is a role that the fast attack units like the Chaos Raptors excel in.

Chaos Warp Talon Tactics

The Warp Talons are Raptors that have become possessed Chaos Space Marines with jump packs. The possession grants the Warp Talons the Daemonic special rules and an option to take two mutations for the champion, however there seems too few improvements over the Chaos Raptor to warrant the 13 points per model point cost hike. If I am wrong, let me know!

Chaos Heldrake Tactics


Chaos Space Marine Troop Tactics for WH40k 7th Ed

Troops are the hart and life blood of an army. The main way that this manifests in Warhammer 40k is that usually only troop units can capture and control objectives. This means that you have to have enough troop units at the end of the game to control the objectives, or else all you hard work is in vain!

The Chaos Space Marine army has 2 troop choices as standard, the Chaos Space Marine units and the Chaos Cultists. These 2 options are often expanded to include one of the Elite unit types depending on the HQ choice that you pick.

Chaos Space Marines

The Chaos Space Marines are the Chaos corrupted version of the Imperial Space Marine. This means that if you are familiar with the standard Space Marines then you will be able to adapt to the Chaos Space Marines quickly.

Know no Fear? Oh yes they do!

The main difference that you will come across if you are moving across from the Imperial Space Marines to the Chaos Space Marines is that you loose the ‘ And they know no Fear’ special rule.

In practical terms this may mean that you will need to take more pinning and moral tests. However you should find that their LD9, and LD10 for the Aspiring Champion will mean that you will pass leadership tests most of the time.

> Also: Buy Chaos Space Marines at Disount Prices from Amazon

Chaos Cultists

The Chaos Cultists are a new and welcome addition to the 2012 Chaos Space Marine Codex. As your troop choices are ever more important when it comes to winning the mission objectives this new option that allows you to have some large cheap units provides a number of tactical options. If you have the Dark Vengeance box set and have taken a look at the missions in the getting started booklet, you will see that some of the missions use the Cultists as cannon fodder distracting the enemy as your tougher more elite troops go in for the kill. This can be a very effective use of the Cultists. In large numbers units of Cultists will take the enemy time and effort tomorrow down the Cultist units. Another favourite tactic is to have a large unit of Chaos Cultists defending an objective. If the Cultists are in cover they can be difficult to dislodge and the overwatch rule really benefits them too

Is that all there is?

You may be thinking that this seems a short list for troop choices, specially is you have been using the 2007 Codex: Chaos Space Marines rulebook. Well you can still use some of the Elite choices depending on the HQ choice you take, and the upgrade options you take for them. There is more about this in the Chaos Space Marine Elite Tactics section.


Chaos Space Marine Elite Tactics for WH40k 7th Ed

Warhammer 40k Khorne Berzerker Chaos Space Marine

A Chaos Marine Khorne Berzerker.

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

> Also: Chaos Terminators at Internet prices from Amazon

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.

Deep Strike

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.

Small Units

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.

Multiple Weapons

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

Warhammer 40k Khorne Berzerker Chaos Space Marine

A Chaos Marine Khorne Berzerker.

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.

Plauge Marines Tactics

Noise Marines Tactics


Chaos Space Marine HQ Tactics for WH40k 7th Ed

Warhammer Chaos Lord with Wings

A Warhammer Chaos Prince with Wings. This model can be used in Warhammer 40k game too.

The Chaos Space Marine Army benefits from having a strong leader, and the Chaos army list has a number to choose from. Be careful here though, many of these HQ choices can cost a packet in points. You will want to make sure that you do no spend more that 25% of your points on HQ choices, otherwise you may find that you do not have enough points left for an army to back up your hero.

Named HQ Characters

The Chaos Marine army has a number of special characters that you can choose from. Be careful of the points cost for these characters. One man alone will not win the game for you, specially when they can not claim objectives.

Abaddon The Despoiler

Abaddon The Despoiler is the most powerful of the Chaos Space Marine special characters, and has the highest points cost.

Abaddon is a one man army, but he costs more than the points you pay for a Chaos Land Raider. This means that for every turn that Abaddon is not doing something then you have a sizeable section of your army redundant. This in turn means that you will need to get Abaddon on to the gaming table as fast as possible. A popular way to do this is to use the Terminator teleport system that is built in to the Terminator armour. This will mean that Abaddon will start in reserves ( if reserves are allowed). However the delayed arrival is usually offset by the speed that Abaddon can get into fight.

Abaddon’s Strength and Weapons

Abaddon has some fearsome weapons. For starters the two close combat weapons give Abaddon 4 + D6 attacks at S5. The other one that allows you to re-roll any missed wound ( but not re-rolling missed hits) at S8, means that Abaddon will be wounding most characters and monstrous creatures on a 2+ ( with that re-roll). This will mean that he will be able to walk through most one on one close combats. Be careful that you are not out numbered. If there enough returned hits Abaddon will eventually succumb and fall.

Abaddon also has a twin linked bolter. This is not as good as the Storm Bolter of the Imperial Space Marine Terminator as it is still a single shot per turn rapid fire weapon, but it does allow Abaddon to re-roll missed hits.

Abaddon’s Toughness and Special Rules

First off Abaddon is wearing the super tough Terminator armour. Even if he did not have any other special rules, this would make him a tough nut to crack. However as well as the Terminator armour he has the mark of Nurgle as this adds 1 point of toughness to his stats, and because he has the mark of Tzeench he has a 4+ invulnerable save instead of the usual Terminator save, and if that is not enough Abaddon also has the eternal warrior special rule so he can ignore the instant death special rule too.

Abaddon has the Black Crusader Chaos Space Marine special rule. This gives you the preferred special rule for Space Marines. This will give you an extra advantage when fighting them in close combat or when shooting weapon.

Note: Abaddon has the marks of Khorne and Slaanesh too however the bonuses that these marks give Abaddon have been added to his stats already so don’t go thinking that you can add extra attacks and initiative to his skills! The good news is that you should find that what he has is plenty enough.

Also note that the +1 leadership for the ‘ Veterans of the long war’ rule has no effect as Abaddon already has L10.

Huron Blackheart

Kharn The Betrayer



Typhus is the named Chaos Lord for the Nurgle. Not only is he is warlord but he is a level 2 psyker too.

Typhus’s Strength and Weapons

Typhus does not have any shooting weapons however as a psyker he may have some shooting options using his psychic powers.

To make up for the lack of shooting weapons Typhus has a Daemon Weapon ‘ Manreaper’. This is a S6 AP2 Force Weapon.

Typhus has a close combat special weapon ‘The Destroyer Hive’. This is a one shot weapon that works best when Typhus is in close combat with a number of models. Be careful though this weapon is as dangerous to your friends as it is to your enemies!

Typhus’s Toughness and Special Rules

As a named character Typhus has a number of special rules. You will be well advised to get very familiar with all the extra rules and may be to have a 4×3 card with a reminder of the rules so you can review them quickly during the game.

Typhus has the mark of Nurgle so he gets the usual +1 toughness. Note that this is already added to Typhus stats so don’t go thinking that you can upgrade his stats to T6!

Typhus has Terminator armour. This gives you a great way to get Typhus in to the fight quickly. As Terminator armour comes with teleport built in, so if you pair him up with a Terminator squad and you have a hard hitting squad that will dole out some real pain.

If you don’t like the idea of teleporting your very expensive HQ unit in to the either, then you will need a Land Raider as a taxi to make sure that Typhus gets in to the fight.

Plague Zombies

Everyone loves a good Zombie! Ok not everyone, but I imagine that we will see Typhus fielded more often just so they can have a 35 model Zombie unit on the table!

Note that Zombies don’t have to be just units of walking dead. They make great units for holding objectives too, specially if they can hide in cover too.

Lucius The Eternal

Fabius Bile

Chaos Lord Tactics

A Warhammer Chaos Prince with Wings. This model can be used in Warhammer 40k game too.

Chaos Lords are the most powerful generic characters that you can choose for your Chaos army. The Chaos Lord will usually be the general for your army too, unless you have a named lord in your army too.

Marks of Chaos

The Chaos Lord will usually have a mark of Chaos as these marks are very useful. For example most of the marks allow you to take one of the elite units as troop units. Note that the mark of Tzeentch does not bestow this benefit.

The Chaos Lord can take a number of weapon and wargear upgrades. Be careful here. There are a good number of options available. You will be advised to keep your focus on the role that you want the Chaos Lord to fill. If you don’t you could over spend points on options that you do not use, and these points could be better spent elsewhere in your army list.

Chaos Marine Sorcerer Tactics

In the Chaos Space Marine army psykers are called Sorcerers. And the Sorcerers in the Chaos Space Marine army are some of the most powerful psykers in the game. You need to look to the Eldar, Dark Eldar, and Chaos Daemons for a psyker with equal power.

One difference between the Chaos Sorcerer psykers and psykers from other armies is that the Chaos Sorcerers are fairly decent in a fight too.

Daemon Prince Tactics

Warhammer Chaos Lord with Wings

A Warhammer Chaos Prince with Wings. This model can be used in Warhammer 40k game too.

With a basic points cost of 145 points the Daemon Prince is the most expensive generic HQ choice (ie. Not a named character). So what do you get for the points and is it worth it?

Well for starters you will need to think of the 145 points for the Daemon Prince as a starting point and not the final bill.  For starters you must take a mark of Chaos ( and only one), and each one has a points costs. On top of this you may want to add Power Armour and may be wings or other upgrades. So have a think about how you would use the Daemon Prince in a game and what upgrades you will need. My advice would be to keep the upgrades down to the minimum needed to do the job.

Chaos Daemon Prince with Wings

Yes,Yes. mostly yes!

Wings have a hefty points cost, but the extra speed that it adds to your Daemon Prince is well worth it. A Daemon Prince with wings is a Flying Monstrous Creature. Flying Monstrous Creatures have their own rule section on the Warhammer 40k rule book. You will need to read and study this section because Flying Monstrous Creatures are a halfway stop between foot troops and Flyers like Jets and Fighter Bombers.

Chaos Daemon Prince as a Daemon

As the name suggests the Daemon Prince is a Daemon. This means that it gets all the Daemon special rules like a 5+ invulnerable save and cause fear. This 5+ inv save can become 4+ if you have the mark of Tzeentch.

Be aware that there are a number of special weapons in the 40k universe that have special Daemon special rules too.

Chaos Daemon and Marks of Chaos

The Chaos Daemon mus be upgraded with one of the four marks  of  chaos. You can only have one mark of chaos so choose carefully. Otherwise as all the Daemon Princes look the same regardless of the marks, so have a go with all of them and see which mark suits your playing style. Also as different marks of chaos will give you different advantages against different armies, so if you are tailor making an army list to fight a specific army you may want to take a specific mar of chaos.

Daemon Prince of Khorne

Daemons of Khorne can not have any psychic powers. What they do get is Furious Charge ( +1 attack on the charge ), and access to the ‘Axe of Blind Fury’ Chaos Artefact. The Axe of blind Fury will give the Daemon Prince +2 S and an AP2 close combat weapon. This will give the Daemon Prince a Strength of 8, and 9 on the charge. The Axe of Fury does cost 1 WS point ( as well as the points cost ). This will leave the Daemon Prince with a WS8 score which is plenty enough for most situations.

Chaos Daemon Prince and Psychic Powers

You do not have to add Psychic powers to your Daemon Prince, And if you have chosen the Mark of Khorne for your Daemon Prince then Psychic powers are not available at all ( move along to the next section, nothing to see here! ). However if you have chosen on of the other marks of Chaos, then I would recommend upgrading to a L2 psyker and possibly a L3 psyker if you have the points available.

When you start picking your psychic powers one must come from the discipline mark of chaos you chose for the daemon that game. My advice would be to that power first. The mark of chaos psychic powers can be found in the Chaos Space Marine Codex. Once you know what power you have from the mark of chaos powers set you can think about getting another mark of chaos power ( it has to be the same mark ), or choose to take a generic power from the Biomancy, Pyromancy, or Telepathic powers.

Chaos Space Marine Warpsmith Tactics

The Chaos Space Marine Warpsmith is a new addition to the 2012 edition Codex: Space Marines.

Dark Apostle

Dark Apostle are the Chaos Space Marines version of the Chaplains and are often used in a similar fashion. This is usually in leading a close combat unit in to assaults as often as possible.

Invulnerable Save

The Chaos Space Marine Dark Apostle gets the same 4+ invulnerable save that his Imperial Space Marine counterparts do. This means that you can be a bit more daring when you are getting your Dark Apostle in to combat. But do be careful as the unit that the Dark Apostle is with will not get this save!