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Happiness is success... (Buddha)

Sunday, June 16, 2013

Chaos Cultists as your Main Troop Choice

I have been following the major national events this year and it looks like cultists are in while Chaos Space Marines are out. As I predicted many of the competitive Chaos players are now using both the Chaos Space Marine and Daemon codices to build their winning armies. Daemons are the preferred choice for the primary detachment. Chaos Space Marines are an ally and what you typically see is as follows:

• Flying Nurgle Daemon Prince with the Black Mace,
• One to two squads of cultists,
• One Heldrake,
Maybe one squad of Obliterators

No Chaos Space Marines.

I knew that cultists would be popular and that allies is the right way to go but I am both surprised a bit and sad to rarely see any Chaos Space Marines. I suppose the underlying thought is Chaos Space Marines are too costly and not worth their points. Cultists on the other hand are cheap as chips and are there only to score objectives. Typically cultists are held in reserve to lengthen their life on the table... When they arrive they jump on top of an objective and go to ground - it's just that simple.

I have been having good success with both Khorne Berserkers and Plague Marines. You have to build your list around Berserkers to a certain extent since they need land raiders to be effective. Plague Marines on the other hand are much more resilient and can work in rhinos. Thousand Sons still have all the same problems as the last codex... Namely easy cover negates the effectiveness of their AP3 bolters. I don't think Noise Marines are all that competitive either - you are spending a lot of points for a small blast S8 AP3 template that ignores cover.

At this point the meta still seems to greatly favor shooting over melee but I am seeing some assault heavy armies dominating the national level at this point in time which was quite evident at WarGamesCon a couple of weeks ago. In fact neither of the two Saber platform|Thudd gun heavy armies were able to crack the top three and only one made it into the top five. Assault was the king. Super shooty gun line has problems scoring objectives outside their deployment zone.

It's still too early to say which way the national scene will go with the inclusion of Forge World 40k approved units... It seems to be an even split so far in terms of events allowing its use or not. Maybe the release of the new Imperial Armor book from Forge World scheduled for next month will help TOs to decide one way or another going into the 2014 season. Based upon what I've seen so far the use of Forge World doesn't seem to have all that much impact with the exception of some formidable anti-flyer defense.

So back to the topic of cultists and Chaos Space Marines (CSM)... Like I said I'm a big fan of CSM and they will be featured in all of my Chaos armies. I think they still have a role to play in competitive 40k. One of the major shortcomings of the CSM codex is the lack of reliable delivery. Space Marines have their cheap drop pods which has helped to keep them competitive. Rhinos on the other hand seem to be more of a liability than anything else. Daemons have plenty of fast resilient units such as Daemon Princes, some of the Greater Daemons (BT & LoC), Flesh Hounds and Plague Drones. The main question is how do you make CSM be competitive and worth their points versus other units that are less points, more resilient and more Killy ? Obviously it requires a certain type of build and I think that Plague Marines are the best choice... Sure they aren't cheap but they are both tough and quite Killy. A mono Nurgle list using both CSM and Daemons can work - this will be my next project so expect to see more here soon.

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