Tuesday, May 21, 2013

Chaos Space Marines- Army Test And Thoughts

I got my first game in with my Chaos Marines today. Vanguard Strike deployment with Purge the Alien as the objective. I lost the game, but came away with some observations.

First off, my current army has a lot of Victory Points to give away. A lot of them. This was a major contributing factor to my loss. Not the only one, but a big one.

Second, Heldrakes have a 5++ save. I forgot this today, and it may have unneededly cost me a dragon. Sure I was taking a multi-melta to my tailpipe, but there was a 33% chance I would have survived.

Third- YOU MUST DECLARE WHICH WEAPONS ARE GOING TO FIRE BEFORE YOU ROLL ANY DICE. This was another instance where remembering the rules may have saved some minis. Demitra may have wasted a missile or two trying to nuke my Heldrake instead of firing them at other targets.

Fourthly, I heart autocannons. These were the all-stars of my army, and whatever Demitra claims about fluffed armor saves, I believe that the odds evened out over the course of the game with me offing most of the Devastators on turn one, and then killing fewer marines as the game went on. Hitting on 3s and wounding on 2s is great. Lots of shots rocks too. Also, 115 points per squad doesn't suck. Granted, it is this cheapness that led to me coughing up so many Victory Points, but 230 points cranking out 16 S7 AP4 shots per turn is nothing to sneeze at. Sure they're not scything down Space Marines left and right, but not too much does.

Fifth, and finally, Land Raiders full of Death Company are scary. It's hard as hell to de-mech them, and once they hit your lines it is Very Not Good. Seriously, I must thin these dudes out before they hit me. Of course, failing to slay the Chaplain in three separate challenges over four rounds of close combat is ridiculous. I wounded that dude a ton, and he kept making Rosarius saves. That dog of the False Emperor simply led a charmed life, nothing more.

How did my army fare overall? Pretty darn well. What won the game for Demitra was the Death Company pure and simple. They accounted for most of his Victory Points, and basically point-click-deleted the left flank of my army, claiming two of my Chaos Marine squads, my Lord of Chaos, and my Sorcerer warlord. There's five of his eight scored Victory Points right there. Not getting First Blood didn't help (despite claiming the first turn for a change) and I need to focus on that. Two VPs for one squad is worth it.

I really think my idea to trade out the Obliterators for a squad of lascannon Havocs panned out. Even though it can't more than ding the Land Raider, the squad distracted more than its fair share of firepower and killed quite a bit. The Obliterators would have just taken a couple of high Strength hits and gone *pop* from Instant Death.
Honestly, I need to either ignore the Land Raider and just feed the Death Company inside a Chaos Marine (or even better, Chaos Cultist) squad with no characters in it before shooting the snot out of them. That should work just fine, since the big honkin' mob o' hate won't be in combat long enough to hide with all the re-rolls and oodles of attacks it brings to the table. After that it's clobberin' time.

My deployment needs tweaking as well. I should be setting my guys up in a staggered battle line rather than in a series of blobs. This will minimize blast damage as well as allowed semi-ranked fire with minimal crossing of fire over my own squads. The exact formation is difficult to explain, but I've got it in my head- now if I can only set it up on the board.

I've got a finalized list for the army, and I'll post it soon along with a picture of my (for now) unpainted grey plastic horde. Once my Lascannons arrive in the mail I'll finish up the conversions I'm planning and throw up pictures here.


  1. Call it what you want. 16 Autocannon shots have a miniscule chance of killing 8 marines in a single turn. That one turn of wonky dice had a cascade effect on the rest of the game as my return fire was far less effective, though it did open the door for the equally wonky Death Company heroics. It was nice to put my hard won experience, that gun lines are nice but fold quick when hit in melee, to use and have it be a decisive factor.

    Good catch on the declaring weapons thing. While magnetizing the Lascannons for the Stormraven I got to thinking about them. The Multimelta is going to be enough AT by itself I think, so the Lascannon is a nice but perhaps unneeded backup. The alternative is keeping the stock Assault Cannons (I don't know that Plasma Cannons make sense so I'm not considering them). I've seen the internet math that says an AC is better AT than a LC, but I'm not sure I agree. What I think anyone will agree with is that AC > LC for killing many mans.

    1. I'm not saying that offing that many Devs in a single volley wasn't flukey, just that the odds eventually evened themselves out.

      Forget Plasma Cannons. They can glance their own vehicle, so it's really not worth the risk. Also, they can't engage flyers. The Assault Cannons may very well be the way to go- save some points and get more shots. Plus there's four S8 AP1 missiles- more than enough armor killing.