Hello folks, Rob here to reviewilate the very first codex of 6th edition for your reading pleasure! Codex: Chaos Space Marines! That’s right people; the much less resplendent, much spikier marines of the 41st millennium were also the first ones to get the 6th edition treatment. This will be the first part of a comprehensive series where we’ll go over the book itself, the unit selections in the codex, and some general thoughts on list building with the army.
Given that this book was following up the highly controversial 4th edition ‘dex, in addition to being the first book of 6th, it would be an understatement from the warp to say people were waiting on the edge of their seat for this bad boy. Phil Kelly being penciled in as the author only served to raise the anticipation level for the book (before the creation of the fabled GW design team). When it finally dropped in November of 2012, Chaos players across the globe crammed into their FLGS for a copy.
As stated above we will be going over each section and units contained in those sections during future parts of this review, for now let’s take a look at some of the rules the codex added to the army.
- Veteran of the Long War– An upgrade option for mostly everything in the book, varying in cost and intended to represent the fact this model was a veteran of the storied Horus Heresy, this rule gives every model in the unit the “Hatred:Space Marines” special rule. By Space Marines, they quite literally mean every single space marine that is not one of your spiky brethren; everything from Grey Knights to Dark Angels will feel your wrath! I feel like this is a very cool USR that can add a lot of personality to your army, got a squad of Chosen you thought of a unique background story for? What better way to expand their background then by making them a survivor of the greatest war in 40k history? On top of which you get hatred against over half the armies in the game, not too shabby a deal in this writer’s opinion.
- Champion of Chaos– Nothing drives the warriors of the Chaos legions more in battle than the idea of gaining favor in the eye of one of the gods and receiving their demonic gifts in return. To gain this favor a champion of chaos will always issue a challenge in combat whenever possible, even at times where the task seems insurmountable. This has proven to be one of the release’s more polarizing rules, with some going so far as to call it the worst USR in the game. Nay I say! This is a very sensible rule within the context of the army lore, admittedly, it is frustrating when you a forced to issue a challenge against a Hive Tyrant or Greater Daemon. Though remember we are at a point in 40k where we lovingly refer to our Sgts and such as “challenge meat”, if that’s what they’re already there for what harm is it in simply forcing the decision? Especially when we’re talking about an army full of power hungry super soldiers! Besides, it’s not like they don’t offer some kind of benefit for having to do this……
- The Boon Table– Hey man, you gotta issue a challenge anyway right? If you win it you get to take a roll on the wheel of hell! This sucker is a MASSIVE random table that is rolled on every time a model with the Champion of Chaos rule (see above) wins a challenge! With over 25 different options that offer everything from the Adamantium Will USR, to a straight transformation into a Daemon Prince! As with the Champion of Chaos rule, this has become one of the more polarizing features among the community, with opinions ranging from amazingly fun to god awful mess. Being the optimist that I am, I’m more inclined to go with the first opinion. I mean, how do you beat a chance at getting an (almost) free Daemon Prince!? With that said, I can see some areas of frustration, my friend had is Kharn turned into a Spawn the very first time he ever rolled on the table, trust me it was as horrible as it sounds! They probably should have given a safeguard for named characters to avoid that kind of thing (well they SORT OF did, but more on that when we get to the HQ’s!). For a regular Chaos Marine Aspiring Champion, however, even becoming a Spawn is a pretty good upgrade! Not to mention most of the table really isn’t THAT helpful or hurtful (seriously becoming a spawn is like the WORST case scenario), just some very cool, but very mild powers.
- Mark of Tzeentch– +1 to the model’s invulnerable save (max 3+), pretty nifty and can get pretty powerful when combined with the right items.
- Mark of Nurgle– +1 to the models toughness, more durability, is that ever not good?
- Mark of Khorne– Model gains Rage and Counter Attack special rules. Yeesh, someone needs a hug. I love this mark to be honest, not a popular choice but if used on the right models it can get mean.
- Mark of Slaneesh– +1 to the models initiative; not bad, you hit faster so they no get to hit you too!
Next article we will dive into each section and discuss the units available in them, as well as more specific special rules for these units. Until next time friends, Ralshenik out!