IA Apocalypse: Review of the 40k Chaos Marine Units
Finally, the long wait is over! This whole weekend has been a reading spree and a huge boon to Chaos Marine players, or at least just me. Just the other day I reviewed the Black Legion supplement and found that while the rules for the legion weren't strong, it did still open up some new possibilities. Now with another book that adds to the army, I really feel that Chaos has made some advancements for the better. Without further adieu, lets get to the good stuff!
Chaos Storm Eagle
The Chaos Storm Eagle is mostly as it was before, though now it has a few more options which make it more appealing to Chaos players. It still transports a wonderful 20 models, and can now take a Dirge Caster, which offers a bit more utility to units assaulting around it. In addition to the two twin-linked lascannons, it can now take hellstrike missiles, and an additional upgrade for the heavy bolters, it can take a havoc missile launcher. I'm not sure either of these are worthwhile, but it's always nice to have a few more options. In general, I think it's actually a pretty worthwhile transport, though the biggest problem is still that it has to hover to disembark it's cargo, meaning it'll probably get shot down shortly after delivery.
Chaos Spartan Assault Tank
The big daddy of land raiders is finally 40k approved! It's considerably more expensive than a standard land raider, but has double the lascannon output, and more than double the transport capacity. With AV14 and HP5 it's a real pain to kill, and add on the fact that Chaos Marines can now take it with Armoured Ceramite, it's really going to be a nightmare for many opponents to kill. Slap on a dirge caster, and frag launchers, and you have a transport that's over 300 points but is certain to get the job done. I definitely see a pound and a half of resin rolling across the board in my future.
Chaos Relic Predator
I really feel like Forgeworld is doing Chaos Marines a solid here, like their loyal counter parts, Chaos Space Marines have access to a huge variety of options for their predators. Of the new ones, I feel that the Plasma Destroyer is the most viable, giving you 3 plasma cannon shots (that don't get hot), and for only 10 points more than a twin-linked lascannon. The Heavy Conversion Beamer is also a brutal weapon, but the long-range requirements and the inability to move and shoot really hamper it's usefulness. This also looks like something I'll have to convert in the near future.
Chaos Contemptor Dreadnought
The Chaos Contemptor is, well a lot like the loyalist Contemptor. It cannot get skyfire, but it can still get a lot of effective options (2 butcher cannons for 8x S8 shots with BS4 isn't a bad idea). The dedications of chaos are still around, letting you get it Will not Die, Grenades, or Rage/Rampage, though sadly the Tzeentch one is questionably useful, only letting you re-roll 1's for it's invulnerable save and making it's heavy flamers have Soul Blaze. As before, it carries a hefty price tag, but with front armour 13, it's certainly something to consider as an elites choice for your Chaos Marine army.
Decimator Daemon Engine
Sadly, the Chaos Decimator is largely unchanged from it's experimental rules. It went up a few points, but gained Deepstrike and Daemonic Resilience. Generally I think this is a weaker option compared to the Contemptor, but with Dedication of Nurgle, it really does become a nightmare to kill.
Blight Drones of Nurgle
I was surprised to see the Blight Drone included in this book, since it was already published recently in the Aeronautica book. The Blight Drone has gone up a substantial 25 points, but in returned has gained Daemon of Nurgle and Daemonic Resilience. Overall they're still a decent choice like before, and with a 3++ jink might actually live a little longer too.
Blood Slaughterers of Khorne
Of anything to get an update, I think this made the biggest improvements. It is a moderately priced AV13 walker that is brutal in combat, with WS5, A3 and Rampage and +D3 attacks on the charge instead of +1. The Impaler Cannon reduces your attacks by 1, but gives you a 12" krak missile that can drag the model it hits 2d6" towards you, with a unit of 3, if you're lucky rolling to hit, you could quite easily drag a vehicle or monstrous creature directly into combat, where you count as charging. They only move 6" a turn, I was really hoping for 12" like a Maulerfiend, but I think the dragging cables really helps negate this. The downside? Well there are two really... The first is that you have to have a unit of Berserkers to take them. The second is that they must move towards the nearest visible enemy model, and must charge the nearest visible enemy. You can get around this with the Impalers by shooting at something further away (since you must charge what you shoot), but it's still something that could get you in trouble.
Plague Hulk of Nurgle
Yes, this beast is now available for Chaos marines (as long as you have Plague Marines)! It has the same stats as a Soulgrinder (except BS2), and costs the same as a Soulgrinder with Daemon of Nurgle, which effectively means you're getting a 36" S6 Ap3 5" blast gun for free, as well as a S5 Ap3 poisoned (3+) flamer, holy crap! Honestly for the points I think this will quickly become one of the better heavy support choices for Chaos Space Marines.
Giant Chaos Spawn
Last in a list of new toys for the Chaos Space Marine army is the Giant Chaos Spawn. This super cheap monstrous creature is quite hard to kill, can potentially get FNP2+ in combat, and has a hefty D6+2 attacks with Rage. Like many others in this list (read: all), this is honestly a good unit to consider. Sadly though, there is one downside... it is not a beast. So while your other Chaos Spawn will be bounding forward at a blinding pace, these need to meander up the field, but again, for the cost, it really is surprisingly good.
Overall I've got to say that all of this is big news to Chaos Space Marine players. I really am blown away by the Giant Chaos Spawn for how super cheap it is (close to the cost of a bare bones predator), and it's an Elites choice, which is the least used choice for Chaos Marines. Add on top of that more Predator options, some better ASSAULT transports and four AV13 walkers and we're talking some serious business. Man, I really need to get some Giant Chaos Spawn... Damn you Forgeworld!