Thursday, September 29, 2016
Chaos Space Marine Blues (editorial)
Hi everyone it's your ever friendly Black Blow Fly swinging through your neighborhood again to spread yet moar mischief and the rot. Today I want to discuss the present state of Chaos Space Marines (CSM) and their rank in in the current meta compared to some of the other top tiered codices... so hope onboard this Chaos train... it's going to be an interesting journey.
First let's define the problem... entitlement. You see there is a bitter group of veterans that still long for an out-of-print codex that's over 10 years ago. I remember going to large tournaments back during the heydays of CSM - quite often over 70 percent of the armies you'd see were CSM which is very similar to what we see now with certain armies like Eldar.
Now don't take what I say the wrong way... it was in my opinion one of the best written codices ever released by GW. You had an incredible amount of customization with very specific detailed rules for all the legions including both the cults and undivided plus their was an amazing amount of wargear and separate sets of really good psychic powers for each Chaos God excluding Khorne (of course). For example Emperor's Children could take sonic weapons for their terminators and dreadnaughts. On top of all this Chaos daemons were included in the CSM codex as well. So you had the ability to create very powerful armies that reflected their background well using only one codex. The good news is it can still be had albeit a different route.
The veterans I mentioned above still have an expectation that GW will or should release something very similar again for them. They belly ache every time anyone has anything good to say about CSM which is very unfortunate because really there are some great things you can do. We can look longingly to the past or we can move forward. I think the vets are going to be waiting a long long time for what they want which is one codex that's very powerful and has everything in it much like Eldar... They will continue to be disillusioned and cast a shadow on anything good CSM has to offer.
If you are open to change and willing to embrace the modern concept of using multiple sources then you can build powerful armies that are fun to play and have a strong theme... this is really where it's at now. I'm talking mixing together codices such as Black Legion, Chaos Daemons, Crimson Slaughter and Khorne Daemonkin (KDK). I have witnessed games and even played some myself where Chaos via combination has taken down super powered armies such as Eldar, Super Friends and even Tau.
I'm a big fan of KDK seeing Khorne is and has always been one of my go to Chaos forces. There are other really great things now right at your fingertips such as the new psychic Cabal and they have access to pretty much the same new set of the psychic powers for their Imperial counterpart - Space Marines. My advice to new players is don't stick your head in the sand and don't waste your time trying to appease those that are still disgruntled. Nothing good ever comes from being unhappy. I know players that are happy enough and winning some games... these are mostly those who are unfamiliar with the ancient CSM codex and that's a good thing for them too.
The old vets need to get over it or give other armies a go... it won't kill you to try something new and really everything eventually changes. To be honest it wouldn't surprise me if their comes a day when the likes of Eldar and Tau finally take a seat back from the top tier... it will happen for whatever reason too.
I haven't discussed what Forge World has to offer but that's yet another great source for Chaos in general and there's even a fairly new book dedicated to the forces of disorder. Renegades for example are a thing now for sure.
All the tools you need are out there... use them and prosper. BBF over and out !