Crimson Slaughter and what they bring to CSM
So I've had a bit of time to digest the Crimson Slaughter supplement, and as a loyal Chaos Marine player, I feel it's my duty to share with the community my thoughts on how this affects the Chaos Marine army.
Harbingers of the Tormented
This little rule gives all the models in the army fear. It's not huge,
but it does at least give the whole army the weaker part of ATSKNF, fear immunity. Since it's so hard to get into combat these days, this rule isn't all that spectacular, but could be fun if it kicks in at key moments. In short, it's free for a reason.
Slaves to the Voices
Perhaps the most iconic part of the Crimson Slaughter, their units of Possessed become troops and have a slightly better chart to roll on. Another buff that's interesting and fluffy, but not terribly good. It is worth noting though, that all 3 mutations help to protect them as they advance, or make them advance more quickly, so they are a bit more likely to make it into combat compared to their cousins in the regular CSM book.
For a few points you can give a unit of Chosen Preferred Enemy... This could be okay? I mean, Chosen aren't that fantastic, but if you had a desire to take some (particularly with Melta or Plasma Guns), then I'd probably spend the extra points to re-roll 1's.
Renegades of the Dark Millenium
So the Crimson Slaughter are a recent convert to the cause of Chaos, which in short means no Veterans of the Long War, except for cult troops. While at first this may not seem that bad, it does have some bad implications, especially for Obliterators and Havocs, which were quite happy paying a couple points to not run after a couple casualties (or 1 in the case of Oblits).
They are Battle Bro's with Chaos Marines, no shock there, some people say you can ONLY ally with Chaos Marines, which might be true if these rules weren't specifically stated to be in addition to the normal Chaos Marines rules.
Sadly, like many Warlord Traits Tables, this one just doens't appeal to me. The coolest one is probably a -1 penalty to enemy units LD within 12" of the warlord, with an additional -2 LD for fear checks within that range, though shrouded is nice too. The big stinker on the table though is very risky as it gives him Rage and Furious charge, but if there is an enemy within 12" of the warlord or his unit, they cannot shoot and must attempt to charge. That right there is a big enough reason for me to never want to use this chart.
Relics of The Crimson Slaughter
Lets face it, this is the meat and potatoes of the book, and probably what you're reading this for.
Crozius of the Dark Covenant - First up is a magic power maul for the Dark Apostle, which is an unfortunate place to force any relic to be. If you are so inclined to run a Dark Apostle though, with this fancy stick, all your units within 6" are going to gain Zealot. Not fantastic, for the cost of 2 marines, but could be handy for keeping your units from running off the board.
Blade of the Relentless - The weapon I love to hate... Honestly, if it had Daemon Weapon, I'd be all over it and never look back, but instead for a melta bomb less the cost of the Axe of Blind Fury, it only gets equally as good (except for the bonus attacks) after killing 5 models, and once you hit 10 models killed by it, you'll be doing Instant Death. I really do want to like this, and if you're running a Juggerlord with some of the other options below, it might be okay, but I'd probably rather take a fist/claw.
The Slaughterer's Horns - Nice cheap upgrade which gives you Furious Charge, Hammer of Wrath and Rage. Due to overlapping rules, it's not fantastic on a Khorne marked character, but could be nice on almost any other combat character.
The Balestar of Mannon - If there's one reason you need to play Crimson Slaughter, this is it. 10 points more than a Spell Familiar and you get a Spell Familiar, plus access to Divination... Sweet baby jesus! Want some Prescience for your Obliterators? Me too! Seriously, this is a fantastic item that should never be forgotten. Between this and the Last Memory of the Yuranthos on a Black Legion sorcerer, I think you can finally start making a Tzeentch themed list that isn't completely miserable.
Daemonheart - This is my second favorite piece of gear in the book, finally Chaos Marines get some Artificer Armour, and while you're at it, you get It Will Not Die. I can see a bright future for many Nurgle bike Lords, Juggerlords and other combat characters in the Crimson Slaughter book.
Prophet of Voices - This upgrade is a bit pricy, though it has some interesting rules associated with it. In short, it turns a character into possessed, which means Daemon, Fearless and Fleet, plus he gets to roll on that sweet possessed chart I already mentioned. The downside? You can only join units of possessed. Well, that killed it for me.
The book does a few good things for chaos marines, allows you to make more survivable characters, as well as use Divination, both things were sorely missing in the CSM book. I don't think most of the special rules in the book will be used very often, nor will the relics beyond the Balestar, Daemonheart and possibly the Slaughterer's Horns. That said, I always welcome more tools for my Chaos Marine army, and I certainly will at least get some play out of this.