Wednesday, October 31, 2012

Thoughts on the Codex Chaos Space Marines

We have had almost a month with the new Chaos Marine codex, I have been pouring over the codex and even tried out some games with it. Now it is time for me to share my honest assessment of the codex.

Let me start off by saying that I had high hopes the Phil Kelly would do the Traitorous sons of the Emperor justice. I will say that the codex has tons of options and you can build viable lists with it; with that said I think the codex is a huge missed opportunity.

It has some really glaring flaws. The Champions of Chaos special rule may extremely good from fluffy standpoint, but it totally screws up the effectiveness of squads, leading to a lot of dead aspiring champions. This rule should only be forced onto Independent Characters only, this way we could have a great fluff driven rule without screwing every unit in the codex.

I don’t understand why they stripped the teleport homers from the Icons: did I miss the memo where this was breaking the game? Also with the vast amount of ways to snipe specific models out of squads Icons are universally overpriced. Cause if you opponent wants them dead, they will usually die.

There is no free imbalanced army wide rule like ATSKNF. Hell Veterans of the Long War could have been free, and then it would at least have appeared that GW was throwing Chaos Marine players a bone. Now I am not complaining that CSM don’t have ATSKNF, I don’t think they should, but think about it, most of them live in warp anomalies and see hellish nightmares every day. So they should not easily brake from losing combat, they certainly should not be swept away by losing an assault. They could have easily made a rule that just stopped CSM units from being swept when falling back from an assault.

Two of the new “assault” units just don’t seem finished. Warp Talons and Mutilators feel very last minute, and dedicated assault units without frag grenades make them even worse, seriously.

There also should have been a more robust system for force organization shenanigans. Yes it is nice to be able to move the cult units from Elites to troops, but I think that Bike or Jump Pack Lords should move Bikes or Raptors from FA to Troops.

This codex should easily be twice as big as it is to properly represent Chaos Marines properly. Since GW seem dead set on keeping all the forces of Traitor Marines in one book. I know many with disagree with me and that’s fine, but let’s imagine if all Loyalists were represented in one codex.

Here is a list of the things that I believe should have been in the codex, but are not.

Chosen Terminators similar to GK Paladins, seriously Chaos should have a really elite yet expensive as hell Terminator unit to represent the best of the best that the traitors have to offer.

There should be a Cult terminators entry, please don’t tell me marked terminators are good enough, because they are not.

Where are the legion specific rules? How are we supposed to represent the Night Lords or Alpha Legion properly on the tabletop?

I see a severe lack of god specific Wargear and gifts, seriously each god would favor their followers in specific ways.

A Chaos version of the Whirlwind, it is a heresy era vehicle that does not seem all that hard to maintain since it is on a Rhino chassis.

An assault based Chaos Land Raider variant, for goodness sake most Chaos forces are assault based, you’d think they might strip out the Lascannons for some extra transport capacity since their loyalist brothers have shown that is can be done.

The codex is missing a proper Chaos Marine flyer; while the Heldrake has some great background, did it have to really look like a Fraking dragon?

A Chaos drop pod or mass integration of the Dread Claw. For Crap sake if they had just added this option the codex would have been 10 times better received than it is.

Let me wrap this up again by saying, it's not that I think the codex cannot be used to make some really diverse interesting list. It can and has the options to do so, but it still fails to properly cover the forces of Chaos in my eyes.

Wednesday, October 24, 2012

New 40K blogosphere Service Coming Soon

My long time buddy Adam, notably from the Space Wolves and Wahammer Tau blogs has a fantastic announcement for the 40k blogging community, but I will let Adam tell you all about it!


Hey Warhammer 40K fans, I'd like to share some info with guys about a new website project I'm working on -and it's pretty big. Really big infact.

Now I'm a big fan of the 40K blogosphere and personally I prefer following the blogs to trawling through the forums.

Only problem is, I've found myself struggling to find the good stuff this year and it's for 2 reasons.

1) From The Warp stopped being the hub of 40K blogging
I used to be able to find loads of great stuff on From The Warp's blogrolls from really obscure little blogs, but very talented bloggers non the less.

I understand that all these blogrolls became too much for From The Warp to manage.

2) Bell of Lost Souls changed how they manage their blogrolls
One upon a time everyone and his dog could get on the BoLS blogroll.

Then after a couple of overhauls, only the small blogs that don't post very often were allowed on the blogroll, while only the big sites were allowed on the Elite Blogroll, provided you wrote content for BoLS of course.

And that kind of screws over all the medium blogs in the middle and kind of holds the bigger blogs to ransom.

It's tough for new bloggers
While there are other 40K blog hubs out there, they don't drive anywhere near as much traffic as these two sites did.

Because of FTW and BoLS not serving the community as they once did, getting 'discovered' in the blogosphere is really hard for new bloggers starting out.

Don't get me wrong, I've found some truly amazing stuff by trawling through the blogosphere, but I've had to do some major blogroll trawling, Google image searching, you name it.

It's tough for readers
I think I'm subscribed via RSS Feed to about 8 blogs, because they're the big ones that update regularly. And that's simply because it's convenient. I don't have time to trawl the blogrolls all the time.

But in an ideal world, we'd want to see all the best bits from the entire blogosphere without having to dig for it, right?

That means we'd be able to find great painting guides, conversions or battle reports from absolutely anyone. Not just the big blogs that update all the time.

Alright, alright. You're probably thinking that I'm going to create another 40K blog hub, well, you'd be have half way right.

What's going to make this blog hub as good as From The Warp back in it's hay day and better than all the other hubs and networks that have sprung up over the past year or so?

Two things actually:

1) Readers will be able to read and filter articles from the blogosphere without blogrolls

That means any blogger's articles can be found, so your blog doesn't need to be as big as Fritz40K for people to read you.

2) The site will rank in the top 3 Google search results for Warhammer 40K, 40K and all of the Warhammer 40K races.

Yes, that is a BOLD statement. But as some of you may know, I work in Search Engine Optimisation as the Link Building & Content Manager for a leading agency in the UK. It's going to take some hard work, but it's achievable.

But what it means is that the site will get lots of exposure from all the rankings, loads of traffic and as a result the blogs will receive far more visitors, subscribers, etc.

Meanwhile, my girlfriend is incredibly technical and will be bringing my creative concepts to life in simple, fast loading functionality for you all.

This is a real top-level explanation of what we're up to. I didn't want to delve too deeply into the details and there's loads more stuff that this website will do for the online community. This is the real tip of the ice berg.

If you have any questions, I'd love to answer them! It's probably best that I explain all my reasons for creating something for the community in the Comments below rather than fill up this article with personal stuff.

But for now if you could head over to my old 40K blog and bookmark or follow it, we'll keep you up to date with all the developments right up to the big launch in January!

And I just wanted to say "thank you" for all your years of kindness and suppport.


Tuesday, October 16, 2012

Soul Reapers and the New Chaos Marine Codex part 2

So here is part 2 of my series about the interaction of the new Chaos codex and the Soul Reapers. I have dropped all the the Soul Reapers entries for the Basic Chaos marine entries to slim out the codex back to a mini-dex. I am still debating dropping the Reaver squads and allowing the Reapers to take Khorne Berzerkers to represent these maniacs. 

I will not be dropping the Dreadnought entry however; I will not call my Dread a Hellbrute ever, but I will adopt the new crazed rules, which are  a total step up from every version so far. 

So lets look at some of the changes I am making the Soul Reapers special rules, additional icons and their psychic discipline. All of these changes are in the early stages and have only seen the tabletop 3 times so far.

Fear is for the Weak: The Soul Reapers have been in the service of Chaos for ten millennia and are driven by the knowledge that the Dark Gods watch over them.

Soul Reapers are subject to the Stubborn USR found on page 76 of the MRB. Additionally they always use their unmodified leadership even when they attempt to regroup if the squad has been reduced less than half strength through casualties.

Any squad in a Soul Reapers army may purchase Fear is for the Weak for one point per model; Independent Characters can take it for 5 points.

Icon of Perpetual War for 10 points: The Soul Reapers bear this icon have been slaughtering their enemies with ease and brutal precision for millennia.

A unit that bears this Icon gains the Crusader USR.

Note: All units in a Soul Reapers army that can take icons in the Codex Chaos Space Marines may choose to take the Icon of Perpetual War for the points listed above.

Soul Reapers Psychic Discipline

Primaris Power

Imbuement of Chaos: Any friendly squad that is affected is imbued with the raw power of the Warp; this allows them to easily shred the toughest armor as if it were paper.

This power is a Blessing.

Pick any friendly unit within 12 inches including the caster himself; all affected models gain the Rending USR on all close combat attacks until the casting players next turn.

Warp Charge 1

1-2: Chains of Torment: The Apostle creates small warp rifts under his foes, launching ethereal chains that rend flesh to the bone in an attempt to drag the targets into the warp.

The Chains of torment is a Witchfire power with the following profile.

Blast, Strikedown, Blind

Warp Charge 1

3-4: Warp Lightning: The Apostle shoots powerful bolts of lightning from his fingertips, arcing into the enemy leaving a wake of incinerated bodies.

Warp Lightning is a Witchfire power  with the following profile.

Assault D3+1

Warp Lightning will ‘Arc’ into the nearest enemy unit within 6 inches; this will only happen if all the hits scored against the target unit cause wounds (before any saves are rolled); if the target is a vehicle all the hits must either glance or penetrate to ‘Arc’.

Warp Charge 2

5-6: Daemonic Terror: The sorcerer sends unhinging visions of the warp into his foes mind that debilitate them in combat.

Daemonic Terror is a Malediction power with a range of 24 inches.

The target unit loses D3 from its leadership value, it may not conduct Overwatch fire and all of its close combat attacks become unwieldy until the Sorcerers next turn.

Warp Charge 1

Sunday, October 14, 2012

Soul Reapers and the New Chaos Marine Codex part 1

I like everyone else have been waiting for the release of the new codex Chaos Space Marines for the last few months, I had really high hopes. Unlike your average chaos marine player on the planet I as y’all know, took matters into my own hands and created codex Soul Reapers to fix the problems I had with the last codex.

My hopes for the new codex were of the thought I could drop almost everything in my Soul Reapers codex and make it basically a character and a couple of special units for the Soul Reapers supplemental mini-dex.

Most of these hopes were dependent on what they did with the non-cult units in the codex and from early rumors I was really excited and thought that they finally realized that the basic Chaos Marine was over-priced compared to every other marine unit in 40k.

Well the codex is out and it seems it is business as usual at GW; the basic chaos marine is going to remain a poor cousin to every other marine in 40k. Now I am not saying that the Chaos Space Marine codex is bad, because it is full of options and that is a great thing.

On the other hand I really believe that having a large amount of options is not going to save you if you do not focus on cult troops or buying an expensive icon for Fearless that can be sniped. Without Fearless troops I honestly believe that you are going to struggle uphill in the late game.

Some of this is caused by the extremely background driven Champion of Chaos rule, but this is a case where background hurts the army in game. It also sets the sun on the Power Fist Champion, cause in a challenge you want to strike at initiative if you only have one wound.

Phil did get it right with the lowered cost on Raptors and Bikes, which is a real gem that finally makes Chaos fast attack choices worthwhile. I think we will see Bikes a bit more than Raptors because they are the clear winner choice in the codex in the points reduction department.

So with all that said I have decided to go with the minimalist approach for the Soul Reapers anyway. I will however allow any units to purchase the old Fear is for the Weak rule from the older versions of the Soul Reapers project.

Next time I will look at what will be remaining in the mini-dex, the additions to the Armory and revamped psychic powers.

Thursday, October 4, 2012

2k of new Chaos Marine madness

Here is my first list using the new Chaos Marine codex, it is utilizing models that I currently have so it missing the new stuff.

With the Champions of Chaos rule, I have decided for me it spells the end of power fist champions. Having to issue and accept all challenges, I'd rather get my swings in. So enter the day of the Power Maul and Power Sword.

As for basic Chaos Marines, they did get cheaper if you wanna give up one leadership and your close combat weapon. I won't do that, I'll pay the 16 points per model to have +1 leadership and my CCW's, plus hatred Space marines.

With the addition of Flakk missiles to the Havoc squads I am seeing a gain in 3+ boots on the ground in my list. Which is great in my opinion!

Bikes are amazing now with a base cost of 20 points per model. Holy crap! They are my go to unit for fast attack. The mark of Nurgle is only 6 points per model; so 26 points for toughness six bikers, yes please!

I see a lot of moaning about Chosen marines, I think they are better overall than before. (again in my opinion) They lost infiltrate big whoop, they gained an attack and one point in cost, but they are still rocking Bolters, Bolt Pistols and CCW's base. That for the math challenged is 3 base attacks! I feel that Chosen will shine with a mix of special shooting weapons and specialized CC weapons; making for a very versatile unit.

Chaos Lords have become amazingly cheap, but be warned it is easy to overspend on these killy monsters! I think that the average Lord is gonna run around 150 points which is pretty good for a killy character.

Be warned, all of our generic HQ's have lost their inbuilt Invulnerable saves, you must now purchase them. Another thing of note is that only the Chaos lord and Daemon Prince are Fearless.

HQ (145pts)
Chaos Lord Sevetus
The Black Mace, Sigil of Corruption, Vet of long war, Ichor of Blood
Total: 145pts

Elite (280pts)
Chosen squad Anamayus (8)       
Flamer, 2 Melta, Power Fist, Power weapon, Vets of long war
Champ with Power weapon
Rhino: dozer blade
Total: 280pts

Troops (894pts)
Marine squad Decimus (10) 
2 Melta guns, x-tra CCW, Vets long war, Icon of Vengeance
Champion with Power weapon
Rhino: dozer blade, havoc launcher
Total: 282pts

Marine squad Barbarus (10)
2 Plasma guns, x-tra CCW, Vets long war, Icon of Vengeance
Champion with Power weapon
Rhino: dozer blade, havoc launcher
Total: 292pts

Marine squad Grakus (15)
2 Plasma guns, x-tra CCW, Vets long war, Icon of Vengeance
Champion with Power weapon
Total: 320pts

Fast Attack (207pts)
Bike squad Agron (6)
2 Melta guns, Vets long war, Mark of Nurgle
Champion with Power weapon
Total: 207pts

Heavy Support (470pts)
Havoc squad Ludo (10)
3 Missile launchers with Flakk missiles, 1 Lascannon
Total: 235pts

Havoc squad Mercion (10)
3 Missile launchers with Flakk missiles, 1 Lascannon
Total: 235pts

 This list has 70 3+ save models, heck yeah! As my buddy Chase would say "Come at me Bro!"