Greetings again my good readers! The herb keeper returns to continue his miniseries review of the Chaos Space Marine codex! Last time we touched on some of the special rules that could be found in the book as well as glossing over some of the general points of the ‘dex (in case you missed it http://twentyfirstlegion.com/2014/03/07/chaos-space-marine-codex-review-part-1/). This time we’re going to roll up our sleeves and dive right into each special character and grade them based off of; A. Fun Factor (how cool is this guy?) and B. Competitiveness (if I put him in a tournament list will it be worth it?). Hopefully once we’re done you will feel the need to expel the false emperor from your life and stray down the path of glory and darkness! (Kidding, don’t tell anyone I said that, the other writers on here may exterminatus my house). While reading these reviews also consider every one of these characters has the Fearless and Veteran of the Long War special rules. Without further ado…..
- Abbadon the Despoiler: The O.G. baddie of the Chaos Space Marine codex returns as big and terrifying as ever! With all 4 marks of chaos, terminator armor, and 2 different close combat weapons that allow him to have a solution for practically everything if he assaults it. One being the Talon of Horus; which is best described as a claw of pure face f@*# for any and all with a 3+ armor save (good day Wraithknights and Hive Tyrants), oh yeah it has a combi-bolter! The other being Drachnyen, which is an Ap 2 Daemon Weapon (good day everything else). Mr. Abbadon is quite simply one of the most powerful single models in the game. Though slightly expensive, he packs more than enough of a punch to justify his points. The critical thing is to make sure you get him in those situations for him to shine.
Fun Factor: A (he’s Abbadon and you’re playing Chaos Space Marines. ‘Nuff said) Competitiveness: C+ (a huge point sink for someone who may not even be able to earn his points, god help your opponent if he makes it there however.)
- Huron Blackheart: The fearless leader of the Red Corsairs pops up as one of the most cost efficient, reliable HQ’s in the codex. Seriously, I heart this dude hard, touting the best Warlord trait in the book (which allows you to infiltrate/outflank up to 3 units potentially!) and a lightning claw with a built in heavy flamer that gives him +2 str and Armourbane. All this along with combat familiar that gives him access to a random psychic power each turn and a 4++ save. With all these features this guy is practically guaranteed to make his points back before the game even starts!
Fun Factor: B (Random powers each turn and infiltrate whoever you want basically, frickin awesome) Competitiveness: A (His price, potential grab bag of powers, and infiltrate trick make him one of the books best HQ choices if you’re thinking “WIN!”)
- Kharn the Betrayer: Another classic Chaos Space Marine character returns as angry and hateful as ever. Mr. Kharn is reincarnated every bit the combat monster he once was. Easily capable of cleaving through infantry and tanks effortlessly, Kharn’s only drawback is a slight durability issue when having to go toe to toe with some of the better characters in the game. If you keep him away from Hive Tyrants, Warbosses, etc he will dispose of most other things with little issue. Unlocks Khorne Berserkers as troop choices.
Fun Factor: C (he’s red, angry, and chops stuff….occasionally his own people…that’s cool right?) Competitiveness: C (Kharn is very meh competitively; he won’t make or break your list)
- Ahriman: Ohhh Ahirman, what you could have been. Ok let’s start with the positives here (cause there are some); the guy is a psychic boss with ML4 and a staff that allows him to fire up to 3 witch fires at once. Access to every discipline in the BRB outside of Divination and Telekinesis, his Warlord trait is the best one in the book (see Huron), and he has a 4++. Apart from that, he unlocks Thousands Sons as troop choices and has a bolt pistol with inferno bolts. So what’s the bad news you ask? Well for starters he’s HORRENDOUSLY overpriced, a psyker who costs 65 pts more than Tigerius should just be better than this IMO. The ML4 is good but because he is Mark of Tzeentch he is forced to take one of their less desirable powers. Thousands Sons are also a bit of a meh troop choice (which we’ll get to in another article) so this hurts his chances as well. Finally it doesn’t help that his best trick (his warlord trait) is already available on a much cheaper character (see Huron). Not trying to be a Debbie Downer but he simply just doesn’t stack up to the other high lvl psyker characters (Eldrad, Fateweaver, Tigerius, etc)
Fun Factor: C (He has a lot of powers he can potentially take and unlocks thousand sons as troops) Competitiveness: D (Too expensive and underwhelming to ever be seriously used in this type of game setting)
- Typhus: The big stink himself returns and what a great HQ choice! Clocking in at the same points as Ahirman, Typhus packs quite a few tricks that make him worth the point sink. For starters, he is pretty damn tough; with terminator armor, toughness 5, and the feel no pain USR. He is by no means an easily disposed of fellow, once more he carries a daemon/force weapon that’s capable of cleaving through enemy troops like a hot knife through butter. If that doesn’t work you can pull his trump card; a giant destroyer hive on his back explodes, covering all those nearby in Nurgle’s pestilence for some AP2 goodness! Unlike Kharn, Typus can potentially hold his own against monstrous creatures, needing to only cause one wound for a chance at destroying them completely (be wary of smash attacks however). He unlocks Plague Marines as troops and that’s not all! He can also take those boring old Cultists of yours and turn them into scoring zombies! (granting them Feel no Pain at the cost of mobility) That’s right folks, you can have FREAKIN ZOMBIES!
Fun Factor: B (Zombies bro….zombies….) Competitiveness: B (Being a beefy hitstick who can give an already ridiculously cheap troop choice Feel No Pain. Couple that with him unlocking one of the better cult troops and Typhus has himself a good case for being one of the stronger HQ choices in a competitive setting)
- Lucuis the Eternal: Lucuis can be best described by a word that follows everything Slaneesh quite frequently…..strange. Seriously, this guy is one of the oddest HQ choices in the entire game. He has the thin durability of Kharn, yet rules and a background that almost demand you try and get him in challenge (accent on the ‘demand’ in Veteran of the Long War’s case). In his defense, he is a serious troll when you get him in combat, for starters, his ATK characteristic is equal to his opponent’s WS (hello Captains). Dude’s gear is also really nifty; power armor that gives him a 5++ and during combat it causes a str 4 ap 2 hit to the opposing unit for each armor save he passes (with ignores cover?). His weapons are a lash that reduces the ATK characteristic of an opposing model in base with him by 1 and gives all his close combat attacks the rending special rule. A power sword for some Ap3 action, a Doom Siren for some Ap3 Flamer action (Lucuis doesn’t like power armor). Finally he unlocks Noise Marines as troops and that is just awesome!
Fun Factor: A (He’s a unique dude, with some crazy cool abilities. Fielding him should always provide some fun to be had!) Competitiveness : C (The inherit problem with Lucuis is he just isn’t durable enough to be the challenge monster his rules encourage him to be, he’s cheap enough that it doesn’t kill you taking him, but there are wayyy more cost efficient ways to get Noise Marine troops )
- Fabious Bile: Full disclosure, I love Fabious, there doesn’t seem to be much excitement for him on the interwebs or in the 40k community in general. Me thinks this has a lot to do with the cold treatment standard chaos space marines have received from these same groups. Now I will preempt this by stating I like the regular marines just fine, I will have a Troop Section review coming soon and I will discuss this point more in detail but there you have it. Anyways Big Daddy Bile has some cool tricks up his sleeve! For starters, he can grant any unit of normal chaos marines +1 Str and the Fearless special rule for the rest of the game. His wargear is a buffet of nastiness; his spidery harness, The Chirugeon, that grants him +2 Atks, +1 Str, and the Feel no Pain special rule. The Rod of Torment (insert joke here), which makes his close combat attacks cause instant death and of course, his Xyclos Needler, which is a poisoned (2+), assault 3 18” range pistol.
Fun Factor: C (cool rules, just nothing that gets you and your opponent terribly excited about the game) Competitiveness: B+ (SUPER underrated, reliable HQ choice) Well that’s it for today folks! Next part will be up shortly and we’ll go over the non-special character HQ’s! Until then, Ralshenik out!