Chaos Renegades: Elites and Troops Analysis
So the other week I brought you my analysis of the special rules, equipment and HQ options for Chaos Renegades, this week I'll be continuing on to discuss the Elites and Troops of the army. So without wasting any more time, lets get into it!
Renegade Marauder Squad
The first option of "elite" infantry, the Renegade Maruader squad represents a band of raiders and mercenaries paid to fight alongside the forces of Chaos. Their base point cost isn't too bad, considering they have WS4 I4 A2 base, and the leader comes with a second wound, but to add more models to the squad, you're paying 10 points per model, and if you want to add up to 2 Brutes (stats of an Ork Nob with +1W and Rending), you're talking a whopping 30 points per model. As they're "In it For the Money" the unit is unable to regroup for any reason after failing a morale test, which means once they fail a LD8 test, they're effectively gone from the game. The upside is that they get one of 3 special traits for free, either Stalkers (outflank, stealth, move through cover), Murder Cultists (furious charge and crusader), or Hereteks (4+ armour save and krak grenades). I think the only way you could make this unit work is by keeping them cheap, taking 2 meltaguns and having them outflank in a Chimera or Arvus. Oh and to make matters worse, you can only get them if your Warlord does not have a Covenant. So yeah.
Renegade Chaos Spawn
Available to Vraks Renegades as an elites choice, and regular Renegades and Heretics as a Troops Choice with your Covenant of Tzeentch warlord. They're identical to their Chaos Space Marine counterpart, except that you get 3 for the low-low price of 55 points, but you cannot add any more to the squad. When it comes to cheap (and Obsec in a R&H CAD), fast, and resilient scoring unit, you really can't go wrong, they're also good at mopping up smaller units with their sometimes large number of S5 attacks. If you need to fill up some points, these are always an awesome choice.
Renegade Disciple Squad
The second squad of "elite" infantry, the Renegade Disciples are essentially WS3 BS4 renegade infantry, and come with the Fanatic rule to help get them some better leadership. Equipment-wise they're much like a standard Astra Militarum infantry squad, able to take a single special and a single heavy weapon team, though the rest of the squad can have either autoguns, shotguns, or pistols and CCWs. Their base cost is very reasonable at 35 points, though much like the Marauders, adding onto the squad is fairly expensive, at 10 points per body (which only averages out to 8 points per model on a 10-man squad, assuming 5 points for the Champion upgrade). If you want to make them tougher, they have the option to buy carapace armour for 20 points for the squad, meaning it's far more cost efficient on large squads. If I'm going to take these at all though, it's going to be in a cheap 5-man squad for a BS4 lascannon, larger squads wouldn't be bad if they could get more than one special or heavy weapon.
Renegade Ogryn Brutes
Like Chaos Spawn on steroids, each Brute is Fearless, with Hammer of Wrath and Rampage, which means with their base D6 attacks, you could potentially have 11 attacks per model on the charge, gross! One brute can be upgraded to a Packmaster, which loses Rampage, but allows you to take up to 6 Chaos Hounds, which has some impressive combat stats (WS3 S5 T5 W2 I4 A3), and they allow you to roll 2D6 picking the highest for Sweeping Advance. They can be dedicated to chaos gods for about the price of a typical power fist, giving them either 2D6 picking the highest for their attacks (Khorne), Feel No Pain (5+, Nurgle), Fleet (Slaanesh), or an additional close combat weapon with Soul Blaze (Tzeentch). Additionally for a flat rate, you can give the squad Flak or Carapace armour, which means with Nurgle, they could be quite tough to kill. Overall, I quite like the unit, though would be hard pressed to take more than a single squad, since a squad of 5 Nurgle Brutes with Carapace armour is looking at a whopping 360 points, but they're likely to wreck anything they make it into combat with. Option B is taking a couple individual ones for holding objectives, but you can get a squad of 3 spawn instead for the same cost.
Renegade Blood Slaughterers (0-1)
If you're running Khorne, these are your special Elites choice, for 130 points per model, Blood Slaughterers aren't actually that bad when comparing them to other combat walkers. They're got the magic front armour 13, with WS5 and A3 (plus 2 CCWs). They come stock with Rampage, and Fury of Khorne (+D3 A on the charge instead of +1), which could mean up to 10 attacks per model on the charge, and to make it into combat a bit easier, they come with Fleet! Being a Daemon means they have a nice 5++ save, can deep strike and ignore shaken/stunned on a 2+. So the downside? They MUST always move (and if they run) as far as possible to the nearest visible enemy model. If you don't mind giving up an attack, you can give them the Impaler, which is a 12" Krak Missile which always hits on a 4+, and if they cause a wound to a Monstrous Creature, or penetrates a vehicles armour, that target is moved 2D6" towards the Slaughterer, and if they make it into base to base contact, the Slaughterer counts as charging. Using the Impaler you can actually get a charge off after deep striking by dragging them to you. I would always run these in a unit of 2-3 with Impalers, giving you a fair chance to drag a transport or monstrous creature into combat, though even a single one can really cause problems if they get deep into the enemy lines.
Renegade Blight Drones (0-1)
Like the Blood Slaughterer, Nurgle gets access to a Daemon Engine as elites and are taken in squads of 1-3. Blight Drones are probably the most obnoxious flyer in the game. Decently armoured at 12/11/10, but only with 2 HP, being a Daemon of Nurgle, if they jink they've got a 2+ cover save, making them really a pain to deal with. Their weaponry includes a reaper autocannon, and a maw cannon which can either fire a S6 heavy flamer, or a 36" S8 Ap3 large blast. If I was running a Nurgle themed army, it would be very hard to say no to taking a unit of these.
Noise Marines and Sonic Dreadnought
In the Renegades and Heretics list, if your warlord has the Covenant of Slaanesh, you can take a single unit of Noise Marines and/or a Sonic Dreadnought. Overall, I don't find the choice that impressive and I can't imagine ever really taking advantage of it over the other covenants. Noise Marines and Sonic Dreadnoughts though can bring you a couple S8 AP3 small blasts that ignore cover, but I'd probably rather stick to some of the renegade heavy options if I wanted to ignore cover (like Bombards and Wyverns).
Onto the meat and potatoes of the army!
Renegade Infantry Platoon
A Renegade Infantry Platoon simply consists of 3-5 Renegade Infantry squads (one of which will serve as the command squad), which are fairly sub-standard infantry (WS/BS2 guardsmen). These squads are incredibly flexible, can be taken in squads of up to 20 models (30 for the Master of the Horde), and are dirt cheap to add to (3 points), can be upgraded to WS/BS 3 at a flat rate, which ends up being 1/2 point per model on a 20-man squad, can be given some surplus Ork t-shirts for half as much as that, and krak grenades as well. One per 5 can take a special weapon, or a Vox-caster or Chaos Sigil. The Sigil is a must as it'll keep your unit on the board no matter how bad their LD ends up being, so after that you're probably good to start stacking up special weapons. One per 10 can be upgraded to a heavy weapon team giving them even more guns. Here are the three equipment set ups I prefer on my squads:
- 20 Renegades: autoguns, militia training, krak grenades, 2 Meltaguns, v0x-caster, chaos sigil, 2 autocannons, champion with covenant of tzeentch (BS2 snap fire), letting them shoot fairly effectively at flying targets, or even firing the autocnanons on the move, and if they get too close, a pair of BS2 melta guns at a flyer will most likely force a jink at the very least. All of this comes to a fair price of 155 points for a squad of 20.
- 20 Renegades: autopistols, close combat weapons, 3 flamers, chaos sigil. Pretty straight forward, you're talking 80 points for 20 bodies who bring 3 flamers so their BS2 doesn't mean a thing, and the chaos sigil means they're actually fairly hard to move. Add in an Enforcer for extra good times, and if you're feeling wealthy, you can give them a renegade champion with melta bombs, but I'd probably forget the 20 points for the covenant. If you're using a Heretek Magus then giving the squad FNP (6+) for 10-points is basically a must.
- 10 Renegades: shotguns, militia training, 2 meltaguns, in Chimera with two heavy flamers. For 115 points, you've got 2 meltaguns in a Chimera, what more could you ask for? Save points by taking heavy flamers on the chimera, so you don't care about it's poor BS2 and you're golden. These are solid choices for both filling out the 3 required infantry squads, and for adding a bit of utility and armour to the army.
Renegade Infantry Veterans
Priced the same as Disciples, but are Troops and lack the Fanatics rule. They cannot take any heavy weapons, but for every 5 models, you can get a meltagun. 10 in a Chimera with 2 Meltaguns is 45 points more than the infantry squad above, so I'm not sure that's a good use for them, and instead of being BS4 like Disciples, they're WS4, meaning they want to get in combat, but in the end, they're still only getting two S3 attacks... You can pay points to give them one of a variety of rules: Carapace armour, scout, furious charge, deep strike, tank hunters, but overall, I think you're just tacking a lot of points onto a unit that's probably best left ignored.
Instead of filling up your massive hordes with renegade infantry, you can instead go with the hungry masses of mutants dwelling deep in the underbelly of the Imperium. They have the same base cost and stats as a Renegade Infantryman, and can be taken in squads of up to 50, giving you a truly massive horde. Their upgrades are limited to taking sub-flak armour at a trivial point cost for the whole squad, but their champion can take a covenant, meltabombs, and power weapon. A horde of 50 of these, led by an Enforcer to keep them in the fight is a very effective blob, you can either give them the Covenant of Nurgle to make them a bit tougher, or Covenant of Khorne for some extra combat punch, Covenant of Slaanesh might be alright too for Fleet, but Tzeentch is almost entirely worthless.
Plague Zombie Horde
Because Nurgle didn't get enough awesome stuff, they were given the most amazing tarpit in the army. They have the same stats as standard Renegades, and can take no upgrades other than more bodies, which can give you up to 50 in a squad. They're fearless, slow and purposeful, and come with the amazing FNP (4+), making them surprisingly hard to kill, and difficult to shift. If they do somehow manage to beat you in combat, either by wiping you out or forcing you to flee, they get to add D3 more zombies to the number, nothing huge, but kinda fun. Vraks Renegades can take more than one unit of these, while Renegades and Heretics are restricted to 0-1, either way, if you're playing Nurgle and you don't have at least one of these units, you better have a good reason!
Wow, that was a lot of writing, more than I expected. As I was writing this, I really started to think more about Disciples... though it could just be me wanting to convert a squad of them for fun, more than for their effectiveness in game. Overall, it is definitely all about hordes, which is probably unsurprising, taking 60 combat troops with 9 flamers only runs you 240 points, which is just awesome to think about... Anyhow, don't blink, because, next time I'll be talking about Fast Attack!