Chaos Space Marines: What they REALLY Need

There’s a good chance Chaos Marines could get a new book this year. Here’s the design studio needs to put in there:

The current codex is rather bland to me but not quite as bad as the previous one. I would like to see changes that make the codex better able to field armies with more substance in terms of their original Legions background and more variety. There’s just gotta be more to fielding a CSM army besides bringing hordes of plague zombies and Heldrakes with a couple of Maulerfiends sprinkled in for good measure. This is not a total rant by the way either – it’s mostly some broad suggestions how to properly revamp the CSM codex.

Wishy Washy Renegades
I know the development team loves their renegades – that’s fine but I think they’d make more profit if they were to turn back the clock and revisit the Legions for the big four (i.e., Death Guard, Emperor’s Children, Thousand Sons and World Eaters) plus provide solid rules to represent the Undivided Legions (e.g., Iron Warriors, Night Lords, etc.). The development team could use rules from the Horus Heresy 30k (HH 30k) as a blueprint and source of inspiration to achieve these goals – it’d be win win hands down. Neither supplement did much of anything to address these issues either – Black Legion and Crimson Slaughter I’m looking at you. Now if they were actually good I’d be okay with it but I think they both missed the mark (pun intended) by at least a mile.

It’s been said many times before – you rarely ever see a proper CSM army with actual Chaos Space Marines any more. As it stands now they are over costed points wise and are more of a liability than anything else. They need at least a simple metric added so they aren’t so easily swept in close combat should they lose a round of mėlee. Taking a character that’s a zealot can only go so far – epic GW fail.

Nit Picking
Now that we’ve got the rules from the Horus Heresy 30k available it’s annoying when certain inconsistencies crop up such as the Talon of Horus (ToH) and the Manreaper. The rules for the Talon in the CSM codex features a combi bolter while the rules from HH 30k are more in line with a mega bolter (S5 AP3). The Manreaper is listed as unwieldy in the CSM codex while you can swing at base initiative using the rules from HH 30k. What could be the reason(s) to support these downgrades? Was the ToH damaged in such a way Abbadon had to replace the original mega bolter with an obviously inferior combi bolter? Typhus has been swinging his Manreaper since at least all the way back to the Heresy – did he somehow forget how to properly wield it? Neither of these two downgrades make much sense to me and really stick out there as just plain silly. Like I said if nothing else it’s just annoying.

What used to be so good
Another pet peeve of mine is the Possessed… At one time they were armed with guns and chainswords plus the Champion could take a power sword or power fist. Now they are purely meleecentric. It might seem like a small thing but I used to always run a squad of Possessed in a Rhino for my old Death Guard army – S5 T5 with a 5++ invulnerable save… A solid tactical unit and you didn’t really need any of the possessed abilities – they were fine as is. The developers turned a fairly popular unit into a unit you rarely if ever see anymore.

Cult terminators were once quite awesome too – once upon a time Emperor’s Children terminators could field sonic weapons – now there’s absolutely no flavor at all. It absolutely makes sense too from a background point of view but no… All we’ve got are plain Jane vanilla terminators.

A New Direction
As I mentioned above the rules presented in HH 30k allows you to field traitor Legions… Wouldn’t this be a great starting point for a new codex rather than following down the same old path of the renegades? Everyone I know who actually built a new army fielding renegade Marines didn’t stick with it long and eventually moved on to playing completely different armies. Look what the developers did for Eldar and Tau – is it really asking all that much and it doesn’t need to go to those levels of being totally overpowered. Just give us a decent assortment of good units with solid rules for a reasonable amount of points that properly reflect their background. I don’t think that’s asking too much either.

What do you think the CSMs most need?

  • Shawn

    You don’t see many people playing chaos marines then do you? I see them all the time with Plague Marines and Khorne Beserkers, and to say that their no good is nonsense. Chaos Space marines may need somethings to make them more fluffy for other renegade/traitor legions, and slightly over costed to you) but when they are with a level 3 sorcerer, 20 man sterngth, all with T5 and FNP 5+ they’re not likely to get caught in a sweeping advance.

  • Leif Leegard

    Silly sonic marines are nothing to laugh at still. A couple of 10man squads with 2 Blast Masters per, holed up in ruins defiantly make it hard on anyone to cross the DMZ without taking heavy losses to dig them out. Pair them with a couple more Emperor’s Children squads kitted for CC and FnP to clean up after shooting and it hurts fast.

    This combo shines the most in City fighting boards with a lot of ruin terrains with open windows as they could shoot cover ignoring shots at almost anything with impunity while blocking any sort of forward movement with the CC squads while staying in cover for most of the game.

    Sure cult marines are more expensive, but with their boons they should easily make up their points as long as you take down your priority targets quick and don’t blindly run them around in the open unless of course your a Khorn player. 🙂