Friday, 5 October 2012

The Voice Speaks - Chaos Codex Gut Reaction Review

Abaddon: Makes chosen troops. Cant insta gib well armored toughness 4 models anymore as you either hit hard at ap 3 (claw) or hit less hard with more attacks with ap 2 (daemon weapon)

Typhus: Probably the biggest disappointment for me. All due to one stupid word. I hope its an oversight and gets faq’d but I'm not holding out hope. Hes pretty good as a character but his crowing glory was to be the fact he turned cultists in to zombies. Scoring fearless troops with feel no pain..but…”who cannot take any OPTIONS”…and under options is where you buy extra guys….GREAT!! so I can have 6 x 10 zombies maximum. **slow clap** Well done GW, well done. Expect internet Raw vs Rai arguments. Its clearly meant to be a zombie horde idea which I love as a concept, but once again slapdash rules writing fells it at the last hurdle. Don’t get me wrong though, get him close to the enemy and hes a beast.

Arhiman: Has a nice warlord trait giving the d3 infiltrating units. Can spank out lots of witch-fires Shame all the tzeentch powers are a bit garbage.

Huron Black Heart: Cheap and ok. Gets a random psychic power a turn. Has the infiltrate warlord trait too. I like him hes solid. Only a 3+ save though.

Lucius: Basically has a lightning claw and doom siren and gets more attacks the higher the ws of his challenge opponent. A bit meh.

Fabius Bile: Pretty good. His unit buff is very handy and stacks well with assault units with no downside now.

Kharn: A beat stick that works like he always did . Goes very well in cultists for some sacrificial lambs to take the gorechilds rolls of a one. All but nullify's psy powers for the unit too. Can tear up anything up to and including a landraider. Has the warlord trait to give his unit hatred…heeeelllo….

More COOOOOL shit after the break...

Deamon Prince: Nice set of stats J . Funky marks. Can get pretty expensive. Jury's out on weather the expense can equal damage output. Lord: Big Winners. Very customizable. Makes cult marines troops for budget price if you don’t want to go with a SC.

Sorcerer: Probably best as a Slannesh sorcerer to help noise marines out with his sonic buff power or unmarked to get access to up to 3 levels of mastery in a book discipline for cheap. Dark Apostle: Hes, well, beige. He has ok stats, with nice enough ld rules but nothing amazing. And the reroll for the table is useful. Nice model, but as a character he seems a bit diffuse.

Warp Smith: Cheap and has good utility. Able to reduce the cover saves in opponents deployment zone, so will find some good use in a shooty list especially with his repair rule if you have a few vehicles Will work very well alongside Forgefiends adding to their resilience and making their shooting more effective by reducing the enemy's cover saves.

Troops (yes I've put the cult units as troops not elites as they should be, but really? Its like wracks, they are very rarely going to be used as actual elites)

Chaos Marines: I like – I like that fact that you can throw points at them to do specific roles. I like the fact you can keep them nice and cheap. I like the fact you can take them in squads 5 to 20 with marks that you pay PER MODEL and none of this “50 points per unit”. Solid customizable scoring unit. You will see a lot. The veterans of the long war option may show up a lot with the preponderance of marines in the tourney scene but I'm not sure. Extra close combat weapons x2 special weapons and some form of mark and/or the long war vet option may be a popular “I'm a Grey Hunter really” build.

Cultists: Cheap troops that can deck chair at the back or swarm forward putting lots of bodies in the way. Love em. Guard blob squads are popular for a reason. And while these don’t have the utility in power weapons, heavy weapons and splitting up etc, they do offer chaos army's something they have been needing for a while, cheap cannon fodder. Can also be marked. T4 chods running up field might cause some worries.

Berserkers: Lost an attack but got new rage and counter attack. But I have such a hang up about Random Charge Distances myself which is a shame as I love Kharn the betrayer and World Easter fluff wise. With the reroll charge range banner that they can have however they may get some table time but between you and me a khorne marked unit of normal marines with the banner and a fearless character in them is cheaper, has some actual special weapons rather than over costed plasma pistols and chucks out a similar amount of damage. Take 20 and chuck Kharn in there and you'll never notice the difference. Noise Marines: I love these guys. Can take a FNP banner. Cheaper than they were with i5 and weapons that ignore cover saves. Aegis defense line that Mr Blob Squad. At 20 points with a sonic weapon they are good but I suspect having them as just fearless i5 marines with close combat weapons might be how we see them run as 17pts is a bit of a steal, the pay off of course is that they can ONLY take sonic weapons, so no flamer, melta or plasma. 

Plague Marines: Fnp and toughness 5 with defensive grenades and poisoned weapons in case you run into anything gribbly. Very solid. Close run thing as to weather these or noise marines will be the cult that see more play time. At the moment by RAW they also have T6 :/ ….don’t expect that to last.

Thousand Sons: Poor poor Thousand sons. Once again got the short end of the stick . While the save and the inferno bolts look good on paper they are just too expensive (150 for the first 5 including a level one psyker)for their damage output and the fact they die just like expensive marines. Ho Hum.


Maulers: Cheap ish and resilient but ultimately they are a dedicated assault unit that cant have the weapons it wants 2 turns in a row and cant be taken in big enough squads to make them truly scary and cant RUN!!!!!. Not Fearless. Can be marked which is a small saving grace as slannesh I5 lightning claws can be handy. But really just avoid.

Hell Brutes: Chaos Dreads of old but don’t start going crazy a/ as bad and b/until they've taken some damage. Pretty cheap base cost with a multi melta like its imperial counter part Possessed: Much more reliable then they used to be but still only average I think. Can be marked, have fleet. Still think they are are a touch expensive

Terminators: Cheap terminators at 31 points before you start adding all your options. Much as they were though. Tzeentch marks for the 4++ save will be seen a lot methinks.

 Chosen: Same price, same options, lost infiltrate. Can be scoring with Abaddon. Scoring units with 4 special weapons might be be nice but your really paying for it.

 Fast Attack

 Bikes: How cheap??! 20 points pop. With all the usual mark options and special weapons etc. Could see these maybe being the sleeper hit of the codex.

Spawn: Beasts, that can be marked. Are actually reeeealy good what with being fast, not slowed by terrain and having a random combat buff. Nurgle spawn at t6 as well can be a scary prospect Raptors: Pretty much just assault marines that can be marked. Cheaper that imperial counterparts. But then that is a common theme in the codex as they are when you get down to it sub par marines – no atsknf and combat tactics- they should be a bit cheaper.

Talons: Can be marked. Nice rules. They are demons so get the save and can blind units they deep strike near, seems a bit risky when they are fairly pricey. Come with lightning claws.

Hell Drakes: Your only flyer outside of allies and forgeworld. Weapon options are useful (torrent ap flamer thing and the cannon) but you only get one of them. Solid but not outstanding. Though having at least one will be mandatory unless you have a plan with aforementioned Fw or allies options to counter other flyers or unless you fancy ignoring flyers all together and go flakk havocs. They have a s7 vector strike which hits the side armor Now if it have been the REAR these would have been scary, as is they just seem a bit over costed (as a lot of things seem to be)

Heavy Support 

Maulerfiends: Fast and cheap. Pretty resilient too if you have more than a handful of vehicles to diffuse the AT coming their way they can get into peoples lines, laugh at any over watch and then destroy troop units. I actually really like them and feel they could add a lot to a list. They are a heavy choice though and will be competing vs some other solid units. We're not talking the Nids elites slots here but I feel if they had been fast attack or elite choices we would have seen a lot more of them than we will do. The Khorne army I'm thinking about might have some.

Forgefiends: I like them actually. Though only bs3 they do pump out some nice damage with the Hades cannons and the forge rule letting you get some extra reliability for that one important turn. These behind some hard cover will be difficult to shift when combined with “it will not die”. Id be tempted to have a gun line of three behind an aegis with a warpsmith doing running repairs maybe. Landraider: Cheaper than its imperial counterpart. Useful enough and solid – especially if people start moving to high rate of fire weapons (autocannons and plasma guns) rather than spamming tank killers any more (melta and Lascannons). But still, necrons have made this tank a bit of a T-Rex methinks when it comes to top table gaming. It still hurts, its still tough but one metaphorical nose touching contest and its buggered.

Predator: Nothing different really to its vanilla counterparts. Solid fire support at the back in a slightly weaker 6th edition metal box. Defilers: Four hull points, it will not die, forge rule,a nice save and fleet all combine well to make a bit of a terror weapon. Not sure if its high points lets it down a bit though. Vindicator: As with all marines a very good terror weapon of a vehicle. Will always impact a game even if its just scaring things silly and then getting picked on until its dead.

Havocs: Lots of reasonably priced immobile fire power with, most importantly Missile Launchers – as they have Flakk missiles, it’s a bit pricey to upgrade but you get to keep your frag and krak too. I do wonder if realistically this is a decent counter to flyers though. As a sizable unit will still be killed in a turn from some dedicated shooting (probably the flyers they are they to counter in the first place..because they have SKYFIRE…not INTERCEPTOR -.-), which means then redundancy, so taking multiple units. Which means more points spent on static firepower that’s potentially not adding a lot when you face other army builds. This is really a case of seeing how the meta shakes out. They have the potential to be anything from “auto include” to “so 5th ed”. Tbd for me.

Obliterators: Lost fearless and are only ld 8 (9 with the vet upgrade) and cant fire the same weapon 2 turns in a row. Getting assault cannons and minimal points drop wont save them from dropping in popularity, but still its solid fire support with a 2+ save and 2 wounds. Can be marked (T5 anyone?)


Rhino: It’s a rhino. It can still have the combi weapon. Wargear and things of note • Some of the daemon weapons are pretty fun. The +2 strength ap2 one will turn up a lot. As will the torrenting ap3 flamer.

• The psychic powers are a bit under whelming. Tzeentch ones doubly so as they are supposed to be the better ones.

• The book specific warlord powers are actually pretty good on average. Though “fear” is a bit insulting as an ability but no less useless than a lot of the ones in the main book.

• The rule making all characters HAVE to challenge is…well..kind of irritating. Suddenly the seven stone weakling cultist champions think they are all that and start challenging the playground bully … and hes HUUUUGE!! Whhhhhy? hes not going to win :/. Which leads to....

 • Giving mutation to every champion is a must….maybe. He may get a buff that actually allows him to win some challenges and then snow ball. Or you might kill him off and get a spawn or Daemon prince meaning you wont have to annoyingly challenge every 200+point lord with a pointy stick that comes in range. As a rule it just seems to really hinder the chaos army, allowing enemy characters to kill off one model, lose the ld buff and then butcher and run off the squad in the next turn, thereby being free to charge another unit in their turn, not get shot and start the the whole process again. Its like someone sat down and thought of a way to make chaos marines actually worse in combat on purpose- because apparently they were too OP at the time. Its that or always make sure they are fearless somhow.

• The icons you can give marked units vary wildly from the awful fear usr for Nurgle and soul flame for Tzeetnch to the awesome Fnp for Slannesh and reroll charge range and furious charge for Khorne. • Every thing bar a handful of units are “ok”. There is one garbage unit (maulers) and a few better than average ones (noise marines, plague marines, bikes and spawn)

 • As a rule of thumb id say a good proportion of things are over priced rather than say just bad. The book is lovely, the background enjoyable and the rules portray the army nicely. Its just you cant make a list with any real TEETH!! No real terror units unless your paying over the odds for them. You can put scoring bodies on the table. Scoring will not be a problem. I just worry whats going to actually do the damage.

 • As a rule the Codex is passable but I don’t think it will be shaking the meta tree anytime soon.

Right back to nids for me. G


  1. THe book is good they sorted points for havoks raptors spawn, they improved all the old entries.
    The new stuff is a bit fail in my eyes. I expected a new nightlord Character (since the nightlord books got the best reviews and good sales).

    Icons dont prevent scatering anymore.
    But most anoying is no legion special rules, it would have taken 2 pages extra to make them.
    Seening what a nice job forgeworld did with the betrayal rulebook, I feel a bit dissapointed.

    I still think some stong lists will come out of it.

    2 helldrakes and some havoks could be a solid solution to necron and ig flying lists.

  2. Most people are disappointed - I think this is a reasonable book. Firstly, it's marines, so you have all that inherent reliability, next, we have some solutions to fliers - more than other books, FW options, Aegis aside - Chaos have the Hades Autocannon in spades for a reasonable cost (when considering the proliferation of foot units and large troop body count and the changes to army building this brings), the Heldrake is not bad at all, 170 is pretty reasonable for what it does..again in context of overall army.. and the Havocs.. well they are pricey ish for 5 dudes with flakk missiles..but at least they keep all 3 types for varied use, however the lack of interceptor is huge...Necron players can solve this with some tweaks - me, I'll just drop in 20 immortals in your back lines to slaughter the 5 marines.. job done.
    As for Heldrake, I believe we'll see 2 max in most lists, the amount of tesla Necrons can spam should take care of this..
    Re the Maluler/Forgefiend things.. this, and land raiders, are what gauss and more specifically Haywire weapons were created for.. Invasion Beams. Done.

    I agree with Dimitri.. I think there are some strong builds to come out of this book.. Bikes are cheap.. spawn are good too. Then marines. Nothing ever wrong with marines.

    I'll be playing around with some lists over the next week..heading into GW today to pick up some new toys.. :)

  3. At the moment by RAW they also have T6 :/ ….don’t expect that to last.

    page 30

    “When a Mark of Chaos is listed in a unit’s special rules, its effects will have already been taken into account in its profile, where applicable.”

  4. This is the problem with 40k : they must let Matt Ward do all the codexes or none.

  5. Seriously, this. Couldn't agree more.