Apologies for putting these articles out at the pace of a disabled snail, I am hoping to be more prompt in the future as I finally have more time to write. Anyways, finally we continue our look into the CSM codex, here we take a look at the non-special character HQ choices as well as the powers and abilities they may choose from. For those of you who haven’t read the first part, you can find it here http://twentyfirstlegion.com/2014/03/13/chaos-space-marine-review-characters . This time around we’re going to take a look at the non-special character HQ choices and some of the options available to them.
Chaos Lord: The book’s flagship HQ choice is a great deal for an insanely customizable character, in true Space Marine fashion, they can be built to take on pretty much any job you assign them. Want them in the backfield to reinforce a scoring unit? No problem. Need them to break the enemy line and absorb fire for the rest of your army? Sure thing! Seriously, I could sit here and go on for days about various ways to build a CSM Lord. A topic I will discuss in a follow up article sometime. For now as far as this review goes, they find themselves toward the top of the heap in the HQ section IMO. Fun Factor: C (Unlocks any cult troop you wish outside of Thousand Sons) Competitiveness: A (Cheap, versatile, customizable, everything a good HQ should be)
Sorcerer: MAGIC! As with the Lord, these guys are super customizable, having one less wound however makes them a little bit more fragile than their less magical comrade. Having access to the BRB powers (the exceptions being Divination and Telekinesis) more than makes up for it however. The one issue I have with them doesn’t lie with the unit so much as it does the overall bleh powers that are available in the god specific disciplines… Fun Factor: B (Magic and Thousand Sons) Competitiveness: B (Versatile HQ who can potentially make several units in your army better).
Tzeentch: Primaris: Tzeentch’s Firestorm (A 24″, AP – blast that can be anywhere from Str 2 to Str 7 and causes extra hits when you kill models with it) Bleh. Boon of Mutation (Hits a character, most likely the caster, with a Str 4 AP- hit then grants them a roll on the boon table if they survive) Eww. Doombolt (A Str 8 Ap 1 24″ beam that makes explosions go an extra D6) More Bleh. Breath of Chaos (An Ap 2 flame template that wounds/glances a vehicle on a 4+) Not bad, but shouldn’t cost two warp charges. Fun Factor: D (Spend a warp charge to punch yourself in the face for being Chaos, cause Phil Kelly hates you) Competitiveness: E (Soooo give Tzeentch the worst psychic powers in the entire game? The only usable one is crippled by having to pay 2 warp charges to use it, what an awful awful power set)
Nurgle: Primaris: Nurgle’s Rot (A 6″ nova spell that causes D6+1 Ap 5 poison 4+ hits) Too short of range to ever really be useful. Weapon Virus (A 24″ Malediction that causes all ranged weapons in an enemy unit to have the Gets Hot rule) Now this spell can be pretty handy, I don’t ever see it worth taking over Biomancy but it’s very much usable. Gift of Contagion (A 48″ range Malediction that gives an enemy either; -1 Atk/Shrouded, -1 Str/Unit cannot Run, and -1 Str/-1 Tgh) Ok this is pretty good, again nothing on Biomancy, but pretty good considering it’s MASSIVE range. Plague Wind (A 12″ Ap 2 Poisoned 4+ Large Blast) Crappy Range makes it not as good as it could be, if they had made it 24″ we’d be cooking with gas. Fun Factor: B (All the powers are pretty fun mechanically). Competitiveness: B (Easily the best power set of the three, while nothing stands out as incredible almost everything is usable, primaris power being the only exception IMO.)
Slaneesh: Primaris: Sensory Overload (A 24″ range, 4 shot, ap4 whitchfire that causes Blind, Concussive, and Pinning). Has potential but not enough shots to be a threat. Hysterical Frenzy (A 12″ range blessing that gives a friendly unit either; +1 initiative, +1 Str, or +1 Atk). Not a bad power but why only 12″ range? Another almost good power. Symphony of Pain (A 24″ range malediction that subtracts 1 from the WS and BS of an enemy unit. It also gives sonic weapons fired at that unit a +1 Str bonus). Again with the crappy range, so Nurgle can have a 48″ range malediction but the power that buffs guys with 48″ range weapons can only have 24″? Ecstatic Seizures AKA the imperial’s reaction when they read this suckfest of a power set (A 24″ range witchfire that makes all models in a unit take a single Ap – hit at their own Str. Oh for 2 warp charges) I guess Phil wasn’t happy with simply making the psychic powers terrible, it’s important we get you to use up all those pesky warp charges you may win with! Please don’t ever let Kelly touch Chaos again GW, keep him as far away from the design team as possible. Fun Factor: D (The crazy mechanics are just annoying when you realize how ineffective they are). Competitiveness: D (Don’t even think about it, the only thing making these powers even remotely appealing is they have the Tzeentch powers to compare themselves too)
Daemon Prince: Won’t go into too much detail on this fella as I am planning an article solely on DP’s in the future (CSM and Daemon variety). Versatile though not necessarily the cheapest things on the rack, in fact, they can get down right expensive with certain load outs. Setting these bad boys up right can be the difference between a flagship unit and a 360 pt sink. Fun Factor: A (These guys look cool and can do a lot of different things). Competitiveness: B (While they have some minor durability issues when compare to other MC’s. They do more than enough to hold their weight and to justify having one.)
Warpsmith: An odd HQ choice who was intended to represent a chaotic version of the Techmarine. His Shatter Defenses rule allows you to make the cover save of any one piece of terrain in an opponents deployment zone one worse. Sounds great, but the kick in the balls is this cannot be done to a fortification. Once again, it seems like Phil almost wrote something nice then went “Ohhh crap, I almost gave Chaos something good! Silly me!” After which he folds the good idea up and throws it in the draft bin for the Eldar codex…..sorry i’m ranting. Fun Factor: D (It’s an evil Techmarine…..who is not as good as a regular Techmarine) Competitiveness: C (Well he’s useful in a Land Raider list I suppose, by why would you use the HQ slot on him?)
Dark Apostles: Now i’m just getting angry, an ENTIRE character whose gimmick is based around the boon table. Now I’ve stated before on here i’m not as big a hater of the boon table as many others. That being said, I have to sit here and wonder did he ACTUALLY think this codex would survive the edition based on just that table?!? It seems like much in the book is built around you getting to roll on the table, did he really understand how rarely that was going to actually happen when he was writing this? Combat is dead this edition unless you use Flying Monstrous Creatures or a Deathstar, did he honestly believe “Marine Charachters winning challenges and becoming awesome!” was a formula for long term viability? I’m ranting again, sorry. Fun Factor: D (You’re a crappier, spikier Chaplain….AND YOUZ GETZ DA BOON TABLE!!!!!!!!!!! ZOMG!!!!!!!!!!) Competitiveness: D (If anyone has ever even bothered to field one i’d like to meet them)
That’s all for today folks! I’ll be back in a few days to cover the Troops section and do a little more Phil Kelly bashing! Have a good day reader peoples!