40K: A New CSM Book, and Making Chaos Fun

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Today we talk about the present and future Codex Chaos Space Marines.  Here’s what they need to compete with the goody-two-shoes Loyalists.

“But you guys don’t NEED Legion Rules!”

Even if that was true (it isn’t), we still want them. This is a game where entire chapters just suddenly remember they have had those snazzy Centurions and Storm Talons for millennia, hadn’t you noticed them packing out hangars? Let’s not pretend anything is written in stone. 
But yes, even granting the whole “there are no legions anymore” point (which will be a surprise to Word Bearers, Iron Warriors, and probably the Alpha Legion), warbands drawn from the old legions still share units, doctrines and more. An army drawn primarily from Death Guard companies will be absurdly different in gear, tactics, strategy and composition than one formed by Night Lord survivors of Tsalgualsa. Certainly more than two Loyalist chapters that both turn to the same rulebook telling them how many Devastator units are kosher in a single FOC. And double certain more than a single clan within a chapter (Raukaan)!

khorne_flakes_by_knyghtos-d4gz4vl

Using Marks and Creating Variation

The mechanics of Chaos Marks is a handy way to create differences between units that occupy the same slot but need to be different to fit different themes. Basically, they can turn a single unit profile into four. But only if they are used correctly. Otherwise, they are there just to offer useless, non-synergistic pseudo-buffs. You say Mark of Tzeentch can give my marines a mighty 6+ invulnerable save? That’s a steal at any cost! Even better than putting Mark of Slaanesh on my Obliterators so they go from I1 to I1, and I’m a man who enjoys his I1.
The problems here is that having flat marks and bonuses can quickly get wonky across different slots. A bonus that is only mediocre on a Raptor can make a chaos Biker very powerful, and vice versa. What’s more, Marks are usually the recourse to create the theme of the army, in lieu of, you know, actual cult armies. 
One possible fix could be a two-tier system of marks. The basic marks have flat, easy bonuses to signify the ‘casual’ worshipper of that deity. Greater marks bring stronger rewards meant for those fully devoted (as in, cult troop level of worship), maybe some drawbacks, and are unlocked by your Warlord getting one. Let’s give it a shot, not even bothering to stray much from the current values:
  • Mark of Nurgle: +1 Toughness
  • Mark of slaanesh: +1 Initiative
  • Mark of Khorne: Rage, Counterattack
  • Mark of Tzeentch: Inv save 5+ or +1 bonus to existing Invul.
  • Mark of the Renegade: Unit regroups automatically the turn after a failed Morale roll.
 And then moving  on to the pro tier:
 
  • Greater Mark of Nurgle: +1 Toughness, Feel no Pain (5+), Slow and Purposeful
  • Greater Mark of Slaanesh: +1 Initiative, Fleet, opens Sonic Weapons for most units.
  • GreaterMark of Khorne: Rage, Counterattack, Hatred, Adamantium Will
  • Greater Mark of Tzeentch: Inv save 5+ or +1 bonus to existing Invul, +1 Warp charge per turn

ChaosRising

Working with Units

A caveat before we start talking big changes. Currently, as others have rightly pointed out here, basic CSM are rather meh and overcosted, and the pricy add-ons that you are supposed to add to turn them into badasses doesn’t really work. Loyalists somehow manage to squeeze ATSKNF and their (often great) chapter tactics into a single point, while chaos pays two to remember to bring a combat knife. So the changes suggested will be big, and powerful.
 It could just be me, but I believe that rules-wise, CSM should be stronger than their imperial counterparts, but also more expensive. Get cultists for numbers and rabble; this army is about the hateful veterans of millennia of warfare. Their champions have killed not only hundreds of xenos and loyalists but even rival daemons and traitors. So yeah, they should be impressive, and cost the appropriate chunk of points. 
  • Khorne Berserkers: Theses guys need punch. And they need to lose that archaic, ridiculous ‘ability’ to pack more plasma pistols than anyone else. What the hell is up with that? Bring them to 2 base attacks, let the unit take up to 2 more power weapons instead of plasma pistols, and they’ll be closer to the orks in power armor that they were meant to be.
  • Plague Marines: Plagues are alright; expensive, but you get what you pay for. In keeping with the greater marks above, I like the idea of them as a slow but inexorable march of rot. I really wish they had options to bring more poison/pestilence stuff, though, instead of just blight grenades. How about a 3+ poisoned flamer, or letting the champion take a Rad grenade analog?
  • Noise Marines: Again, new marks would be enough. The main issue here are not the stats but sonic weapons. The basic Noise Blaster really needs a small bump to be worthwhile. Either salvo 2/4 to let static troops really unleash a wall of death metal, or make it pinning as well to keep in theme with the other sonic gear.
  • Thousand Sons: Ooooh, boy. 1K Son are tricky. They can so easily slip into broken excess, especially now in 7th where psychic powers can make or break a game. And yet there is so much potential in a unit that is basically a powerful psyker leading his arcane automatons around. As they are, you get a terrible psyker with access to the worst chart in the game, slow troops that are only somewhat adept at shooting (and shooting is all they do), and can’t even fire overwatch, so once anyone is close, count them as lost. The easiest way out would be to just improve the Tzeentch table and make them lose SnP as long as the Aspiring sorcerer is alive. A real fix could be drop their save to a 5++ but give two wounds each, to signify the empty-armor golem resilience, and make their weapons Rending instead of AP3 (There is a serious lack of Rending stuff in the CSM book anyway). Drop their Initiative to 1, and maybe let them spend Warp Charges on buffs as long as the Sorcerer is up, like Tau markerlights: 1 charge for S5 bolters for the turn, 1 charge to reroll 1s to hit, 2 charges to bump their invul save to 4+ that turn, stuff like that.
  • Chaos Terminators: I could write a whole article about how Terminators, not just the Chaos version but all of them, are perhaps one of the most iconic units in a game that also suck horribly at their own game. I can’t even remember a game in which Terminators were not involved where they not only failed to do anything meaningful, but where they were not wiped from the board the turn they arrived. Unless they were just a pile of Storm Shields, in which case they lasted longer but achieved even less. A 2+ armor save on a Dreadknight or Riptide is scary. On these guys…not so much. Termis everywhere need to either get T5 or 2 wounds, stat. But getting back to the chaos stuff, I’d love it if the traitor had access only to the older, 30k Cataphracti pattern of the suit from the heresy, with Slow and Purposeful but a 4+ invulnerable. It would be a neat, characterful way to differentiate their wargear from loyalist stuff. And greater marks to give them Cult options, naturally.
  • Mutilators: I don’t mean to be petty with GW design staff; I’m sure they are nice people who hardly ever murder anyone for cigarette  money. But it takes some doing to make a specialist unit that is awful at what it is supposed to specialize in. These guys are pricy, fight like average marines, have a low volume of attacks, small unit size, and are so slow that evading them is a joke even for Necrons. Give them WS 5 and Rampage, and maybe move Through Cover instead of SnP as well, and maybe they’d be worth the effort.
  • Chaos Cultists: I like cultists. But they could be even more fun. These guys are fodder. Let other Chaos units shoot units engaged in CC with them, with every miss being a hit on a cultist. Or let me kill d6 cultists to reroll a result on the Chaos Boon table. What is the fun of being evil if you can’t pointlessly slaughter underlings?
  • Heldrake: They were broken before and are fine now. My one nitpick is: give them BS4. It breaks the awful “All daemon engines are WS3 and BS 3” dogma, and makes the butcher cannon attractive, so finally you see something other than baleflamers on the boards.
 Abaddon-2BLeading-2Bthe-2BBlack-2BCrusade

Playing with the Big Boys Now

Kharn the Betrayer: I love Kharn. Reading his page in the 4th edition book was pretty much what got me both into Chaos and 40K, all at once. His current rules are fine: an affordable CC monster that can kill anything, but also be killed by pretty much anything in turn. I sometimes think Eternal Warrior would suit him (he’s been around for millennia after all, and not idle when there are skulls to take), but might also defeat the purpose. Maybe just a Yarrick-style rule that lets him come back with 1 wound after being killed on a die roll, as Khorne has not grown tired of watching his axe rise and fall just yet. 
Typhus the Wanderer: Another fun, cool unit, but a bit overcosted. The Nurgle table is not bad, but nothing to sing about, and when compared to the terror that is Biomancy, it looks rather plain. I’d say give him an extra Wound to highlight his endurance even beyond that of other Nurgle Lords, lethim re-roll his Nurgle powers, and he’s good. 
Lucius the Eternal: Funny how the guy who should be all about dueling the finest champions of the galaxy is only good for tearing through baseline marines. Lucius needs and AP2 weapon or Rending to have any hope against special characters at his point cost, or maybe a custom rule that lowers any save or those in a challenge with him by 1 to represent his ability to find weak points in defenses. He needs a 4+ invulnerable save or better so as not to instantly explode whenever he fails to kill a thunder hammer/storm shield captain in a turn (which he will, always) and gets pulped in return. Which will happen. A lot.
Huron Blackheart: Huron is fine in my book. He’s cheap, has options to face almost anything without being embarrassed, and has cool fluff. I dislike the whole random table fixation of the CSM book, and the hamadrya and its powers qualify. Just pick two disciplines for it already. He could benefit from artificer armor, though. Or fleshmetal. However you want to call it. He’s way more machine than Chplain Cassius, and that guy gets to be T6!
Ahriman: Where to start? Like regular 1K Sons, there is so much potential here, all of it squandered. First things first, get this man a Spell Familiar. He has on e in the fluff. It has a freaking name! Add Divination to his allowed disciplines: he was the chief of the Corvidae, whose whole hat was gazing into the future. In fact, either give him access to all or nearly-all rulebook disciplines, or let him re-roll his selection of powers. And again, make the Tzeentch primaris something deadlier than a rain of allergen-free pillows. Maybe then he’ll be worth his outrageous price tag. 
Abaddon the Despoiler: All things considered, they haven’t managed to mess up Abaddon yet. He’s the monster he should be for his price range and place in fluff. I’d just change the Talon of Horus ranged profile to the 30K equivalent for a bit more versatility. And using the Greater Marks idea from above, grant him all the lesser marks and one Greater mark of your choice to represent which deity he is courting at the moment. Oh, and grenades. 
Daemon Prince: Wings, baby, wings. They make all the difference, and are all that keeps the DP from being the worst MC in the game. A flying Nurgle Prince claiming 2+ cover save because it is above a ruin is straight-up nightmare (and a ridiculous abuse of the rules. “Sarge, we keep missing the building-sized monster 30 feet away because it is casting a shadow over that fortress!”). A walking Tzeentch prince is an expensive joke that will be insta-killed by a Tau railcannon, a dread CCW, or even a vindicator blast. Hell, rapid-fire bolters/lasguns can usually put one of them down even if you pick armor for it, especially if backed by some Divination or Biomancy. 
These guys should be scary. They should be monsters. Planets crack like eggs when one of these dudes show up. Give them 5-6 wounds like nid beasts, T6 or their old EW back. The wingless version should be able to purchase a 2+ armor. And give them assault grenades, for pity’s sake! 
Dark Apostle: One of my pet exhibits in the “You think GW makes new units powerful to force you to buy them? Well look at this poor sod..” expo. Why would I want a bubble of LD10 when so many units already have that or fearless? To buff up my cultist fodder? I can just grab a hellbrute formation for that and get far more utility and firepower. The reroll on the boon table is pointless as it will force you to put both HQs from your detachment in a single, hideously expensive unit to work.
Make this guy a versatile blasphemer. Give him the power to grant one unit within 18” a free Mark of Chaos for that turn, or boost it into a Greater one if they already have it. Let Deep Strike arrivals within 6 inches of him reroll scatter as he guides them out of the warp with fell hymns. 
Warpsmith: And now for exhibit B. This unit has fleshmetal going for it…and nothing else. Well, some nice ranged options. It can’t shatter enemy-purchased terrain, can’t get decent weapon options, and it’s usually just a better bet to bring two of any important vehicle using his points rather than bringing him in and hoping you can fix your one ride. Make all Daemon Engines within 6” of him re-roll failed IWND tests, or gain the Favored enemy special rule. 
Chaos Lord: These guys are fine. Customizable, fearless, fun. I’d just add the option of purchasing Fleshmetal, because it’s a weirdly underused rule. And a further Chaos Overlord profile with 4 wounds and an extra attack, to match up with the SM Chapter Masters. 
Chaos Sorcerer: Not bad, not great. What really borks these guys is the mandatory deity power when they take a mark, forcing you to get awful powers to make a fluffy army. And let them also unlock their cult troops! You’re telling me a Nurgle Sorcerer that can rot continents doesn’t inspire awe in his pestilent troops?
Do you think that would do it my fellow traitors?
  • Matthew

    I like your post overall, as a chaos play of 10+ years. I don’t like your Termie suggestion to fix them however. I agree they are not what they should be. But I think a stat boost is the wrong way to go (excluding WS & BS). I rather see a point reduction, or a useful special rule myself.

    • Guest

      I like your post except the Grater Marks, but I agree the fact they will be a efficient substitutes for Legion Marks.
      What I really miss in the codex are the skills for the marines. I remember well when in the 3.5 codex every unit coud buy one or more universal skills (like Counterattack, Move Through Cover or Tank Hunter) and THAT was the main difference between loyalists and traitors. After all we spent 10.000 year battling the Imperium, we are more experienced compared with the loyalist?
      The other two things i miss are the chaos lord retinue (so majestic) end the chosen. And I mean the REAL chosen, the ones that are just a step behind the chaos lord but a step ahead of the aspiring champions. The chosen that can take bikes, jump packs, the same equipment of the chaos lord and even the terminator armor. This will make the difference with the loyalist terminators.

      • Mr.Gold

        What about something like this for chaos???

        (10/2) Veterans of the Long War
        (The first number is for independent characters, the second is for all other models)
        All models in the unit must be upgraded with this rule to benefit from it. Units with this rule must choose from the list of legions below before the game begins.

        Black Legion – +1LD, Hatred (Space Marines) (Must have a Mark of Chaos).

        World Eaters – Furious Charge, Counter-Attack
        (Must have the Mark of Khorne).

        Death guard – Nurgle’s Rot (Must have the Mark of Nurgle).

        Emperor’s Children – Feel no Pain (6+) (Must have the Mark of Slannesh).

        Thousand Sons – Inferno Bolts (all bolter weapons are AP3) (Must have the Mark of Tzeentch).

        Word Bearers – Fear, Preferred Enemy (Armies of the Imperium) (Must have the Mark of Undivided).

        Alpha Legion – Scout, Stealth (Must have the Mark of Undivided).

        Iron Warriors – Tank Hunters,
        Monster Hunters (Must have the Mark of Undivided).

        Night Lords – Hit and Run, Night Vision, Move through Cover (Must have the Mark of Undivided).

        Marks of Chaos
        Characters may not join a unit unless they carry the same mark or no mark at all (both the unit and the character).

        (15/3) Khorne: Bestows +1 Weapon Skill, -1 Ballistic Skill, and +1 Attack, a model with this mark may never become a Psyker.

        (15/3) Nurgle: Bestows +1T. Also gives access to Nurgle powers if the unit is a Psyker.

        (10/2) Slannesh: Bestows +1I and Fleet. Also gives access to Slannesh powers if the unit is a Psyker.

        (15/3) Tzeentch: Bestows +1 to invulnerable saves (to a maximum of 3+) (which means a 6++ if the model doesn’t already have one). Also gives access to Tzeentch powers if the unit is a Psyker.

        (5/1) Undivided: Bestows the ability to reroll Moral Checks (Passed or Failed)

        • aka_mythos

          I think the issue with this and Legion rules in general is that you’ve created something bigger, game changing, and involved than loyalist chapter tactics…. all the while it fails to do anything to represent Renegade marines which make up 50% of all Chaos marines that exist.

      • Mr.Fister

        They spend a lot of thime in the warp…where 1000 years are just some days…so I’m not shure if time makes them better…but maybe the gifts of chaos do…

  • effinger2

    Amen brother. There are just some units that defy logic and are worthless.

  • David Jung

    I mostly agree with you, having started out in the 3rd edition with the 2nd codex and must say, I so often find myself wishing back to that codex. Especially when discussing with other Chaos players why playing CSM at the moment sucks. My first problem is the reliance on Cultists. I absolutely hate Cultists and if it weren’t for Plague Zombies, I’d have sold my models faster than you can type Cultist. In my opinion, Chaos Cultists should be part of The Lost & The Damned Armies, not something that is massively used in a Chaos SPACE MARINE army. But your other suggestions are fine. Something funny on a sidenote: Did you know, in 3rd ed, 2nd dex, Khârn actually had EW. And while we’re at that: Thousand Sons had 2W in 3/II dex, too.

    • I disagree about the issue with cultists in CSM armies, in the fluff chaos is very much a horde army, with marines generally coming with legions of cultists in tow. Renegades and heretics is really built to represent militia or guard, with their command squads, tanks, ogryns, etc

      Since not all cultists are organized in a parallel fashion to IG, I rather like cultists being a core option in the CSM book.

      • Knight_of_Infinite_Resignation

        agreed.

      • ReveredChaplainDrake

        You’d have a point if it wasn’t for GW’s fascination with allies, which is probably where cultists belong (albeit as battle brothers). When Crimson Laughter can get a supplement, Harlies can get a whole codex, and Tyranids can have entire units bolted into their codex, then LatD could at least get a quasi-faction White Dwarf supplement. Some people still have their models. And think of all the money- I mean kitbashing.

        Also, Cultists aren’t as big a horde as you might think. Yes, humans do breed like jackrabbits, and cults aren’t exactly strict about recruitment requirements, but chaos cults aren’t even close to being as readily able to replace their losses as Tyranids, Orks, or even Necrons. Doesn’t help that Chaos Marines tend to go through Cultists like popcorn.

        • There is an entire renegades and heretics army list, with mutants etc, so I’m not sure why GW would feel the need to make another human chaos follower book, but that doesn’t replace the fact that cultists are a core force for chaos, outnumbering marines hundreds to one, but directly under the command of chaos lords. Cultists belong as a core choice in CSM for that very reason

          • David Jung

            I very much liked the idea of the author to simply sacrifice cultists for something, like the Boon roll. That would be a very nice way to prevent your champ from either getting nothing at all or “ascending” to spawnhood.

          • Paying for Boon and getting nothing drives me nuts. I definitely think cultists should be usable for buffs. Kill 5 or 10 to negate a daemonology perils, or a rule called living icon where the entire squad can be sacrificed to bring on a CSM or Daemon unit with daemon rule and deep strike without scatter…yeah there’s lots of fun and fluffy options that make them more than just poor quality objective holders or amazingly awesome zombie hordes

      • Brettila

        The point is the number of CSM armies out there with NO CSM in them. An (inevitable bike/juggernaut) lord, some spawn, cultists, vehicles & demons. Playing actual marines is considered a bad choice, which is both crushingly sad and ridiculous. CSM are supposed to be the big enemy of the Imperium, and we used to be. Now we are a chump, lower tier army that in no way reflects the fact that we are astartes with LOTS of experience.

      • Brettila

        The point is the number of CSM armies out there with NO CSM in them. An (inevitable bike/juggernaut) lord, some spawn, cultists, vehicles & demons. Playing actual marines is considered a bad choice, which is both crushingly sad and ridiculous. CSM are supposed to be the big enemy of the Imperium, and we used to be. Now we are a chump, lower tier army that in no way reflects the fact that we are astartes with LOTS of experience.

  • James McKenzie

    I have played chaos since the days of second ed, and the codex is getting worse every time since 3.5 (yes, it was broken, cry me a river Eldar and Tau). The cult troops are over costed next to loyalists, aka Thousand Sons vs Sternguard:
    -slow and purposeful, means no running, no overwatch, no chasing down if they (lol) win a combat.
    -ap3 bolters, only good for killing…. Power armour in the open. No better against guard or anything with a 2+ save.
    -invul saves. Great in theory, but who cares? How does most power armour die? Weight of fire, and thousand sons already are low in numbers, if they’ll fail their 3+ they will fail their 4+.
    -sternguard however get chapter tactics, combat tactics, ATSKNF, multiple attacks, special weapons, (seriously, how do thousand sons kill armour? It’s not with the Tzeentch chart powers!), as well as far better guns.

    This is the codex across the board. Look at Ahriman, you can make a better sorc just by pimping the basic one with a familiar and terminator armour. Heck, even Kharn got dumped on since 30k, he got knocked out with roofies, and his artificer armour and iron halo got taken, along with a kidney, leaving him with just power armour and a 5++.

    Now, I just need to wait for ‘that guy’ to come tell me how wrong I am and how great these units are and how I’m just playing them wrong, and how his triple helldrake list with 3 land raiders wins games. And if you’re that guy, I don’t care.

    • Justin Hollinger

      well im not that guy i agree. not only to marines get all the above but 2 free rules from chapter tactics.

    • A.P.

      Seriously Kharn Gets plowed over and impaled by a landraider on Istvaan III but Basic dude with Klaw/Fist pops him every time,

    • ReveredChaplainDrake

      When Iron Halos went from one-per-army relics to standard Captain gear, CSMs running around with at best 2+/5++ (and that makes you Bulky, non-jump, non-bike, and can’t sweep) has just been an arbitrary faction-imposed weakness.

      I’ve got a message to all you aspiring Chaos Lords out there, especially all the renegades in the audience: I don’t care how distasteful you find the glowing angelic aura behind your head. You do not. Throw away. The impregnable. Force-field projector. Period. At least keep it around until your patron gives you something better.

      • Brettila

        Truly. I love how regular marines are issued artificer armor and an iron halo at birth. CSM get 1 pointless guy with a 2+, or Crimson Slaughter can pay 30 points for one 2+ save. Then we have to pay 25 points for our 4++. If I want a 2+, 4++ like the standard marine it will cost me 65 points, make me bulky and unable to chase someone down. Oh, AND my overall stats/abilities are not as good either. We also don’t get anything like the Shield of Everything.
        Hell, going along with the original post, how about an old fashioned generic demon weapon? No specific god, just +1S and +d6 attacks. Although a page of gifts, mutations and skills to buy would be nice again.
        The 3.5 codex was fine minus a very few things. The stupid Siren minor psychic power, that was supposed to be hard to get, but miraculously always appeared… The Dread Axe in the hands of a demon prince was poorly thought out. And the ‘demon bomb’ is already solved as demons are no longer part of the army, and even if they were, no longer move AND charge after summoning. I would love to play that list again with those rules removed.

      • Brettila

        Truly. I love how regular marines are issued artificer armor and an iron halo at birth. CSM get 1 pointless guy with a 2+, or Crimson Slaughter can pay 30 points for one 2+ save. Then we have to pay 25 points for our 4++. If I want a 2+, 4++ like the standard marine it will cost me 65 points, make me bulky and unable to chase someone down. Oh, AND my overall stats/abilities are not as good either. We also don’t get anything like the Shield of Everything.
        Hell, going along with the original post, how about an old fashioned generic demon weapon? No specific god, just +1S and +d6 attacks. Although a page of gifts, mutations and skills to buy would be nice again.
        The 3.5 codex was fine minus a very few things. The stupid Siren minor psychic power, that was supposed to be hard to get, but miraculously always appeared… The Dread Axe in the hands of a demon prince was poorly thought out. And the ‘demon bomb’ is already solved as demons are no longer part of the army, and even if they were, no longer move AND charge after summoning. I would love to play that list again with those rules removed.

  • Mason Carroll

    This post simply highlights the problem with 40K in general…

    • Orodruin

      Which is what? Wishlisting? Wanting to win games? Your ellipsis is too provocative!

      • Mason Carroll

        Yes, I was attacking Chaos…
        For instance, the part about Terminators being terrible. Hmmm…why are they bad? Maybe because AP 2 weapons are too abundant? Other things with 2+ armor move faster/have stronger guns/attacks and are less expensive. To name but a few. The solution this guy has (and the one that GW will go with, no dobut) Add a big super gun and new super rule that makes them WAY MORE POWERFUL. Because, you know…creep doesn’t exist or anything.

        • Orodruin

          Hey, Chaos welcomes any and all attackers ;).

          I agree with the power creep sentiment. Once a codex is updated for the current edition, though, it’s not like they could/would/should go back and remove all that AP2 weaponry and such (for this specific example). I think reducing their point-costs or adding additional weapon/transport/upgrade options are all fine ways to handle it. None need to be super crazy powerful at all, just perhaps expand the scope of the unit a bit.

          • Brettila

            Wait, CSM and Dark Angels got power creep in their codexes? Hmm, please instruct me where I misread these tomes of might.

          • Orodruin

            Neither of us were saying that about CSM and Dark Angels. Just that power creep can happen due to certain units/weaponry making formerly decent units totally weak or killable. Then the solution is to increase those formerly weak/pointless units in a way that could perhaps make them too strong or whatever.

            Not a huge concern, admittedly, but I’d rather have something balanced and creative than something stupid.

          • Brettila

            Absolutely. The CSM dex has its fair share of pointless.

          • Orodruin

            Neither of us were saying that about CSM and Dark Angels. Just that power creep can happen due to certain units/weaponry making formerly decent units totally weak or killable. Then the solution is to increase those formerly weak/pointless units in a way that could perhaps make them too strong or whatever.

            Not a huge concern, admittedly, but I’d rather have something balanced and creative than something stupid.

  • Knight_of_Infinite_Resignation

    I like some of your ideas. Everything needs a bit of a boost especially the special characters who in no way reflect the awesomeness of the fluff, but what chaos really needs more than anything is more speed and deployment options. Not being able to assault out of a stationary rhino really boned Zerkers and CSM. A plastic Dreadclaw with decent rules would do it.

    • Mr.Gold

      just make the option to have rhino’s choose to count as open-topped or not for the entire game – representing the ramshackle nature of their vehicles…

      • Knight_of_Infinite_Resignation

        yes, open topped rhinos would also be a solution.

      • ReveredChaplainDrake

        Actually, open-topped Rhinos might be a bit OP. Not only could you disembark from the front, drastically extending your charge range without having to expose your rear AV10 armor, but the vulnerability that comes with being open-topped is mostly moot to wimpy little APCs like Rhinos. If open-topped, Rhinos would not be used for assaults, but Bolter / Flamer forts. It’d be even worse than that nonsense was in 5th.

        Charging out of a vehicle that remained stationary before disembarking worked just fine, and I don’t know why they tossed it in 6th. What was that supposed to balance out? What sense does it make that you can charge out of a Trukk, a Land Raider, or even an airborne Venom after hopping off the thing in mid-flight, but you can’t charge out of the crater where your Rhino used to be? There are waaaaaay too many assault units who depended on that rule to just take it away.

        • RebelWarmaster

          Agreed. This rule change, in my opinion, was by far the single most crippling blow to assault armies.

    • David Jung

      Chaos Drop pods should be a possibility without ForgeWorld, too.

      • Orodruin

        I think hell will freeze over before we see that one.

  • Christie Bryden

    There is so much to fix, first of all MAKE LEGIONS, just doing that opens a mountain of ideas, just imagine what horrors the likes of Iron warriors have been up to for 10000 years, not restrained like the imperium was, and using demons as fuel, the current demon engions could only be the start..

    And ofcourse the thousand sons, should have some means to cast spell with such chance that miscasting should be rare, think the rules they gave the lev 5 magic users in end times.Arhiman should have such power being what is ment to be the strongest non primarch (and we mean magnus ) psycher. Actualy thousands sons would make a great book on there own, imagine, where all the vehicles are sorcerusly powered, run by a soul of a thousand son, whole new units designed around what they do and belive. All the legions deserve there own book, or atleast a large increase in exclusive units as they never had to sign up to the codex like the loyalists.

    and maybe think about the primarches, look at nagashi people, big lore character comes back, loads of money, 40k chaos, we keep downgrading them while telling you they are the big threat… loss.

  • petrow84

    OK, it was all right until the “Termis everywhere need to either get T5 or 2 wounds, stat” part.

    Seriously, you want another Draigowing madness? Termis will be all right, if they lose some points (lookin’ at you, Deathwing), and get rid of the silly no-sweeping-for-ya rules, which is absurd in itself.
    Those guys can walk and even run under the burden of 1 metric ton of layered adamantium and ceramite, swing their weapons around, but when it comes to walk a few more steps to cut down the enemy, then “aww, god(emperor), imma sooo tired, I can’t move mah feet… let them run, that will teach them.”

    Also, Cultists should be toned down to make normal CSM viable. As for a start, they should never get Objective secure, and they should exist like the lesser daemons did in the 4th book – outside FOC, and never counted as scoring units. Perhaps Alpha Legion could make one unit of them scoring.

    • brascal

      Sephyr here; having some wonky issues with my login. I think the Draigowing exploits are mostly dealt with by the new wound allocation system, which is why I felt confident enough to suggest two wounds. Now that every Eldar civilian with a shuriken pistol can ignore their armor on a lucky 6, a single wound is really not enough for a guy that should be a walking tank.

      I really like the Cultist suggestion, provided you could do the fun things I suggested. Make them a breathing, screaming resource to be spent at the convenience of their masters instead of holding tactical objectives. But removing ObSec from them would likely necesistate to make them even cheaper, and then we’re getting into snotling cost…

      • Tim Currey

        Your cultist ideas are interesting, but I don’t see it happening. GW is trying to streamline and keep things relatively simple.

        • David Jung

          GW doesn’t streamline things, GW dumbs down ALL armies to sell you basically 15 same armies with different models and oh-so-slightly different playstyles.

          • Tim Currey

            Then don’t play the game then negative Nancy. I love where the game is at

          • David Jung

            Why is it that someone always discards critique when it tries to be constructive? Someone described the 3rd edition as a “Beer&Pretzels” game. I liked the way the game was, but I also embraced new stuff – what I dislike about GWs course is the fact that they throw all the cool stuff overboard and call that “streamlining”. What they do, in my view, is simplifiying the game to a point where it doesn’t truly matter what army you field because fluff doesn’t matter to the designers. I really, really like this game and want it to be great again. Until it is that way, I have to deal with what GW does and turn elsewhere. Instead of doing what many other people in my town have done (starting other tabletop strategy games like Infinity or X-Wing or Warmachine or what they’ll all be called), I turn to GWs better half and play Horus Heresy, because these people actually think about the background of things when they design rules for a model.

          • Tim Currey

            I’m all for constructive criticism but I holdly see this as anything close to constructive

            “GW doesn’t streamline things, GW dumbs down ALL armies to sell you basically 15 same armies with different models and oh-so-slightly different playstyles.”

            To me that is just lashing out. If you had actually provided examples and some ways you would improve it then it would be a different story. But can you honestly say that tau are “basically the same” as tyranids? That dark Eldar have “oh so slightly different play style” than orks?

    • A.P.

      you could fix termies by making it so non of their weapons are unwieldy like a Dreadnought after it is tactical Dreadnought armor is it not. and an Init bonus Granted by their armor, for swinging anything that isn’t unwieldy. After all they get relentless for their weapons for this reason.

      • Brettila

        Terminators have ALWAYS been described as ‘walls of firepower’. Four stormbolters/combi bolters and a so-so heavy weapon hardly qualify. Give them back the second heavy and make the basic gun something worthwhile. The stormbolter should get 4 shots. Or better yet, make the basic gun a heavy bolter or options for a special weapon at no extra cost. Three(5) plasma guns and 2 cyclones would get your opponent’s attention.

      • Brettila

        Terminators have ALWAYS been described as ‘walls of firepower’. Four stormbolters/combi bolters and a so-so heavy weapon hardly qualify. Give them back the second heavy and make the basic gun something worthwhile. The stormbolter should get 4 shots. Or better yet, make the basic gun a heavy bolter or options for a special weapon at no extra cost. Three(5) plasma guns and 2 cyclones would get your opponent’s attention.

    • ReveredChaplainDrake

      Cultists aren’t why CSMs aren’t viable. Riptides are.

    • The Butcher

      What I’d find cool is that maybe if terminators cannot sweep, they could at least use those twin-bolters, heavy flames and whatnot to cut down the fools running away. Not sure how to implement that though, free shooting after combat on a succesful ld test?

      • petrow84

        TH/SS and PoLC termies would still suck though.
        Most ridiculous is with the Deathwing Knights: they’re fast enough to b*tchslap opponents with their shields (Hammer of Wrath), but not fast enough to catch the surviving fools.

  • Baro Barea

    I like your post except the Grater Marks but I agree the fact they will be a efficient substitutes for Legion Marks.

    What I really miss in the codex are the skills for the marines. I remember well when in the 3.5 codex every unit coud buy one or more universal skills (like Counterattack, Move Through Cover or Tank Hunter) and THAT was the main difference between loyalists and traitors. After all we spent 10.000 year battling the Imperium, why are we not more experienced compared with the loyalist?

    The other two things i miss are the chaos lord retinue (so majestic) end the chosen. And I mean the REAL chosen, the ones that are just a step behind the chaos lord but a step ahead of the aspiring champions. The chosen that can take bikes, jump packs, the same equipment of the chaos lord and even the terminator armor. This will make the difference with the loyalist terminators.

  • nurglitch

    Bad wish-listing is bad game design.

    • tristan

      Ok a little challange for you.
      Show me some good game design in 40k.

      • Dennis Harrison

        Bladestorm was so much fun-

  • Davis Centis

    I like a lot of what you’re saying here, but I think that Chaos should inspire insanity. Marines get ATSKNF, and Chaos Marines should not get that, but should get something else. Maybe make it good for Chaos to fail Leadership tests instead of bad! Like falling back towards enemy models, or sacrificing models to change it to a pass and then gaining some kind of special rule.

    These guys are lunatics! Let them act as such!

    • Brettila

      Give us back Ld10 and Undivided. Or let them have lost ATSKNF, but have Stubborn instead since they are still astartes.

    • Brettila

      Give us back Ld10 and Undivided. Or let them have lost ATSKNF, but have Stubborn instead since they are still astartes.

  • Alex Kenny

    I still say scrap the chaos marine codex and release Legion or God specific codex’s, there is an endless amount of material to make unique units dedicated to each of the 4 gods. WFB has taken this approach somewhat with the Glotkin book ( new Plague kings, maggoth lords etc ) and the upcoming khorne themed book ( with new khornate units ). My mind has always boggled as to why only the loyalist marines get their own codex’s.

    • Kevin Buesse

      Loyalist get one giant book and multiple books because they are the bread and butter of sales. I’m not sure if CSM was ever as large, maybe back in second but lots of people want to play the “good” guys.

      Anyway GW for a long time had a policy of if it ain’t marines it doesn’t sell well. Which the number might have borne out, but I’d say it was self fulfilling. Marines have awesome toys the newest plastics and the most options. CSM and chaos in general ought to have been the poster boys for options and variety, but the marines have as much or more.

      If GW would get their act together and release a Dex more inline with the 3.5 ed they’d likely see a huge boost to Chaos. Corporate seems to have this weird vision of how chaos works that no one outside shares and it causes frustration.

      • RebelWarmaster

        IIRC from an article that used to be on the GW site (back when they had articles), Chaos was, for a while at least, the number 2 army, behind Space Marines in terms of sales/popularity.

  • Derpasaurus

    No problem with Warp Talons having no grenades?
    D:

    • ReveredChaplainDrake

      Compare Warp Talons to Sanguinary Guard. It’s like a slap in the face.

      Fortunately, I counts-as my Night Lords as Blood Angels anyway. If they didn’t want us to counts-as, then they shouldn’t have made the Blood Angels codex a better Night Lords codex than the CSM book. …Heck, the BA codex is better at representing Night Lords than it is at actually representing Blood Angels. That Crown “Angelic” looks better in midnight clad anyway.

    • brascal

      There’s a part 2 coming. 😉

  • David Dutton

    Great article. I really do hope GW takes some of these ideas to heart. I’ve always been a fan of 1k sons but usually sit on the shelf because they just aren’t that practical. Having rending instead of AP3 would be a genuine improvement. Plus, as you mentioned the Lore of Tzeentch is (quite ironically) one of the worse psychic disciplines in the game, so hopefully they can fix that.

  • Antony Copeland

    I love it. I’d like to see all of it listed in an unofficial supplementary codex that I can use in game.

  • Koszka

    If you want flying daemon princes with ridiculous fighting power just utilize your daemon codex. When an iron armed flying nurgle prince with warp speed and a balesword come knocking, there’s not much that can stay its wrath.

    Daemon princes with more wounds? The difference between a nid MC and a daemonprince is that Nids lack invul saves and need the extra wounds to say alive. Nid MC’s for the most part are usually WS3, while a daemon prince is a goddamn ninja. Daemon princes also have a much higher initiative.

    I’d like to see a new chaos book which borrows more from their pre heresy legions. Khorne is an easy fix. Chainaxes should come stock with their models. Coming stock with adimantium will, zealot and furious charge would be fitting. Maybe a rule like the charcadons where they gain rage once they break a unit in melee.

    I’d love to see noise marines get some love. They are soooo expensive. If they received a price drop and gained some wargear tweeks they would see more play. Maybe have doom sirens as a unit upgrade like blastmasters ( 2 per squad).

    I could wishlist all day, but ill cut myself off before i get crazy.

    • brascal

      A 5++ is not going to keep anyone alive for long. Nid MC’s can get a far better save against low-AP shooting just from being in a ruin, and an amazing save if a Venomthrope is nearby.

      Iron Arm and warp Speed are both amazing, but it’s a crap shoot as to getting them. On the other hand, other, cheaper units get more reliable hitting power out of the gate. Heck, a 3-unit of Canoptek Wraiths will punk a DP more often than not, or bring him so low that he can easily be finished the following turn.

  • mac40k

    Can someone explain to me why my post got deleted? I wrote up what I thougt was an insightful couple of paragraphs, it was marked as awaiting approval from BoLS staff, now it is gone. It wasn’t a personal attack on the writer of the article or another poster, it wasn’t a suggestion to go play another game, both of which I see quite often on this site. It may not have been a popular opinion, but I don’t see what made it unsuitable for posting. This isn’t the first time I’ve had a comment disappear either. I just want to know what the criteria is, because if my participation in discussions is being routinely censored, that makes me less inclined to want to participate.

    • templar46_2

      there are specific key words that will get your post flagged for moderation, and you can’t see your post until it’s been approved. Avoid any word usage that could even marginally be considered a swear word or insult and you’re usually okay. yes even minor insults out of context will still flag the post, if that word COULD be used to attack another poster.

      It may actually re-appear again when a mod comes along and makes it visible again (assuming it really isn’t offensive or insulting). but you have to wait for that to happen.

      • Knight_of_Infinite_Resignation

        and don’t EVER use the word gr@mmer…

      • Brettila

        Directly above this post are any number of swear words…

      • Brettila

        Directly above this post are any number of swear words…

  • jasonsation

    It’d be cool if Cultists had a “worship ability” where they could do nothing for a turn and buff other units around them, like in DoW 2

    • Orodruin

      You’re right, that was really cool!

  • MarcoT

    I love the idea of spending warp charge on unit buffs for thousand sons. Fluffy and elegant.

  • ReveredChaplainDrake

    CSM really ought to have rules that encourage players to play in fluffy ways. Granted, *all* the codecies should do this… but this is *Chaos Marines*. CSM have arguably the richest, most interesting, and most diverse fluff in the entire game. Even a die-hard xenos player like me can find something he likes in at least one of the legions (in my case, Night Lords), and it baffles me why GW would fight that.

    Champion of Chaos, a rule so messed up that I’m amazed the author didn’t mention it, is a perfect example of what happens when mechanics and fluff diametrically oppose each other. The idea is that you *want* your CSM champions to petition the Chaos Gods for their support to gain more power, or at the very least that there’s some reward commensurate to the risk you put your champion at. But who wants to risk their champion’s death in a melee fight (particularly one he’s not even *remotely* equipped to win…) just for a chance at rolling on a table that’s just as likely to turn you into a Daemon Prince as it is to give you +1 BS? It’s a raw deal. So instead of making challenging optional (because nobody *would* challenge if they had a choice in the matter), they took away the option and force you to challenge. No. Bad. If you have to *force* a player to do something, it’s because you can’t be bothered to make the fluffy choice enticing enough to follow.

    The writers use the excuse that COC works how it does because CSMs are all crazed psychos, but that’s not what’s being conveyed on the table. CSMs turn to the powers of chaos because they’re *selfish*, and the chaos gods legitimately deliver effective gifts. To have the chaos gods ask so much of their champions only to troll them with the coveted Soul Blaze USR when they win doesn’t make Chaos Marines look selfish, but stupid.

    But let it not be said that I never offer constructive advice. Take Lucius the Eternal, a supposedly masterful duelist who keeps getting fist-splattered in actual gameplay, but mutates from the flesh of his killer. How would I represent that? Well, I wouldn’t get hung up on his “you turn into me when you kill me” curse thing having an in-game effect. That usually takes months to happen, so it can’t really be expected to impact a game in progress… but it will have disastrous after-effects when it finally does happen. Instead of your opponent gaining a point for Slay the Warlord (assuming Lucy is your WL, of course), *you* get the point for Slay the Warlord when he dies, but you lose one if he survives. That’s huge, both in boon and drawback, and it makes him getting splatted by the inevitable Power Fist actually something you’re *encouraged* to seek out, rather than hide from like a sissy.

  • Tim Currey

    Personally I wouldn’t say that the current chaos book is bad. I put it in the average category. I have played chaos for a long time and I don’t mind it. I think the mutalators are pretty bad, along with khorne bezerkers and to a lesser degree noise marines. I think we need 2 tiers of chaos lord similar to the loyalist book. I think the chaos psychic powers need an overhaul.
    We need storm shields!!!!!! My champions generally always die to the loyal Sargents

    Also this is a big one
    ABADDON NEEDS A NEW MODEL!!!!!
    He is as small as a standard marine. He is supposed to be in termi armour. I’d love to see a badass abaddon model in the same vain as lysander or Calgar

    • templar46_2

      you’re not kidding about Abaddon.

  • masariel

    90% of these are brilliant from my POV..
    Just hope someone who can do something in the next future is reading..

  • templar46_2

    i’ve bought every edition of the Chaos Codex since 2nd ed… and i’m honestly starting to get a little tired of the “give us legion rules” argument. I know why you guys want’em, but that really isn’t the fluff anymore. sure the 3.5 era book was fun (and broken, but fun)… and i made a point to collect all the Index Astartes articles for every legion “just in case” i might want to have those around some day…

    but then Aaron Dempski-Bowden convinced me that Legion rules were just plain unnecessary and don’t fit the fluff anymore.

    The biggest reason, is that in the current background, not all Plague Marines are Death Guard… heck, not all marines “In midnight clad” with the groovy lightning motif, are even Night Lords anymore. Conceptually, just because a traitor claims the allegiance of a particular legion, doesn’t mean they share the genetic sourcecode of that same legion.

    a Night Lords warband, should NOT have unique rules to a homebrew paint scheme warband, because 1. not all of those guys started out as 8th legion, and 2. not all of those guys are even veterans of the long war. Some are newbies, some are recruits from other warbands, some are even loyalists who went renegade and stripped off their Ultramarines icons and threw some lightning bolts on to fit in with their new gang.

    There *are no Night Lords* anymore. that legion is gone. the guys running around now are not unified or even originally Night Lords. Same goes for the Word Bearers, Iron Warriors, etc… etc…

    Metaphorically, they are all “Black Legion” even if they don’t re-paint their armor. (and BL are not all former Sons of Horus, as ADB has pointed out… in fact, few of them are)

    so no… no Legion Rules. no thank you. i like the current fluff a lot, i don’t want to see it contradicted by people who miss the old 3.5 book.

    • Tim Currey

      I agree. You can make a plenty fluffy army without the chapter tactics.

    • ReveredChaplainDrake

      I dunno. I read pretty much those exact same books and came away with the exact *opposite* conclusion. Sure the Night Lords are a bunch of murderers and scumbags who all want to kill each other at the best of times, but even if they’re not VIII legion originals, they’re VIII legion in spirit and tradition. That was the whole point of “Throne of Lies”. Even Krieg Acerbus, the guy who told off Zso Sahaal about the legion being gone, not to mention arguably *the* textbook Chaos Lord (well, Daemon Prince) that the CSM codex was meant to represent… even *he* still knows who his father is, and where his ultimate loyalties lie. Saying there are no more Night Lords is like saying there’s no more Hive Fleet Kraken.

      More to the point, at the very least, the *very* least, a new CSM codex can better represent the Night Lords by making Champion of Chaos an optional rule that kicks in *if* you challenge.

    • Mr.Gold

      what about if you pay a couple of extra points per model (optional) for one or two fixed special rules – e.g. Night Lords (2 pts/model) for Hit&Run, and Night Vision. this will get expensive quickly if you put it on all models, however if you use it on elite units – representing veterans of the long war it makes a fluffy unit…also allowing different units to represent different legions

      • ReveredChaplainDrake

        Y’know, that’s actually a neat idea that I’d like to run with for a moment. If nothing else, I hope to make a point to legion detractors.

        I think what legion detractors seem to be afraid of with “LEGION RULES” (aside from a return to 3.5-Hammer) is the Tyranid-like implication that the Imperium is perpetually doomed because legions mean that there’s millions and millions of Iron Warriors or World Eaters floating around out there, ready to curb stomp an immeasurably-weaker Imperium. That’s not even close to the actual state of CSMs in the galaxy (though bless Abaddon’s black little heart for trying.)

        If you want to depict Chaos Marines as being fractured and broken up, legion traits can still do that. Only instead of applying sweeping traits to an entire army, as is the case for loyalists and their Chapter Tactics (as befitting a coherent army of battle-brothers standing shoulder-to-shoulder against the horrors of blah-blah-blah…), how about letting each CSM unit get their own traits? Yes, this means I can make my entire army Night Lords and would theoretically wind up with effective legion traits anyway, but I would be doing a disservice to myself by doing so.

        If I’m free to choose what legion trait each unit has, then why would I give legion traits to a unit that might not be able to use them that well (e.g. Night Lords’ Fear for Havocs)? Maybe I should maximize my strengths by giving each unit whichever traits fit it best (e.g. Iron Warriors’ Tank Hunter for Havocs). And maybe my Tacticals should have the Stealth of Alpha Legion, or possibly the durability of Death Guard. Then I get some Terminators with the combat ferocity of World Eaters. Then I add some Possessed, treating them as a coven from the Word Bearers…

        …Next thing I know, I’ve got legionaries from all sorts of original legions working for me. Boom, no more Night Lords legion anymore! Sure, I *could* run full Night Lords if it really meant that much to me (hint: it does; I happen to like Jump Infantry), but the optimal list is a fractured amalgamation of units originally from different legions, just as the fluff depicts it should be. Use players’ desire to write strong, game-winning armies to *encourage* fluffy list building, not to punish it.

        • Mr.Gold

          What about these abilities???

          VETRAN SKILLS
          Black Legion – +1LD, Hatred (Space Marines) (Must have a Mark of Chaos).

          World Eaters – Furious Charge, Counter-Attack
          (Must have the Mark of Khorne).

          Death guard – Nurgle’s Rot (Must have the Mark of Nurgle). (Enemy in base contact suffer one hit at S4 AP4 at I1)

          Emperor’s Children – Feel no Pain (6+) (Must have the Mark of Slannesh).

          Thousand Sons – Inferno Bolts (all bolter weapons are AP3) (Must have the Mark of Tzeentch).

          Word Bearers – Fear, Preferred Enemy (Armies of the Imperium) (Must have the Mark of Undivided).

          Alpha Legion – Scout, Stealth (Must have the Mark of Undivided).

          Iron Warriors – Tank Hunters, Monster Hunters (Must have the Mark of Undivided).

          Night Lords – Hit and Run, Night Vision, Move through Cover (Must have the Mark of Undivided).

          MARKS OF CHAOS
          Characters may not join a unit unless they carry the same mark or no mark at all (both the unit and the character).

          (15/3) Khorne: Bestows +1 Weapon Skill, -1 Ballistic Skill, and +1 Attack, a model with this mark may never become a Psyker.

          (15/3) Nurgle: Bestows +1T. Also gives access to Nurgle powers if the unit is a Psyker.

          (10/2) Slannesh: Bestows +1I and Fleet. Also gives access to Slannesh powers if the unit is a Psyker.

          (15/3)
          Tzeentch: Bestows +1 to invulnerable saves (to a maximum of 3+) (which
          means a 6++ if the model doesn’t already have one). Also gives access to
          Tzeentch powers if the unit is a Psyker.

          (5/1) Undivided: Bestows the ability to reroll Moral Checks (Passed or Failed)

          ICONS
          (20) Icon of Wrath:
          Limited to units with the Mark of Khorne, this Icon allows the unit to charge 6+D6”.

          (20) Icon of the Rubricae:
          Limited to units with the Mark of Tzeentch, this Icon causes all the ranged weapons in the unit to become Rending.

          (20) Icon of Pestilence: Limited to units with the Mark of Nurgle, this Icon grants Feel No Pain to all the models in the unit.

          (20) Icon of Excess:
          Limited to units with the mark of Slannesh, this Icon causes all the ranged weapons in the unit to become Twin-Linked.

          (15) Icon of Vengeance:
          Limited to units with the mark of Undivided, this Icon grants Fearless.

          • ReveredChaplainDrake

            Let’s see…

            Black Legion – Hatred is a rule that only buffs melee while leaving shooting out in the cold, when BL are supposed to be really well-rounded. Why not PE, so shooty units don’t get left out in the cold?

            World Eaters – I don’t get why Counter-Attack and not something more proactive like, well, Rage. It still baffles me why Berserkers have a rule that rewards them for eating an enemy charge instead of giving one. Ignore disordered charges is another rule that isn’t strictly a USR, but precedent was set for it by Vanguard Vets.

            Death guard – Rot is way too strong to be such a passive ability on every single model, especially if you want these traits to be the equivalent of chapter tactics. It’s passive death, not a Kraken round to the face.

            Emperor’s Children – Kind of a pointless addition, all told. Under your system, you can get way better out of Nurgle for tougher *and* cheaper. Even Iron Hands have IWND thrown in.

            Thousand Sons – No. AP3 bolters isn’t even close to fair compared to other Chapter Tactics. Considering KSons should probably do this already, I’d lean towards something regarding the WC mechanics (easier casting, bonus WC, Perils protection…). For balancing factors, consider making the effect a once-per-game deal, representing a sudden rush of warp energy.

            Word Bearers – If you really want Fear, considering there are rules that exist that literally ignore it, I’d pair it with something else, Crusader being the obvious choice. Zealot might be a bit much, but could be appropriate on characters if you didn’t do anything about the forced challenge penalty.

            Alpha Legion – Both Scout and Stealth on Bikes is a crazy combination, so probably best limited to basic Infantry, and probably not just hand it out to anything with a big, roaring engine (scout Jump Infantry). Maybe Outflank for non-Infantry units instead?

            Iron Warriors – Master-Crafted and Split Fire come to mind as traits that can help a siege army. There used to be a fortification-specific version of Tank Hunter, but I think it got removed.

            Night Lords – MTC makes no real sense, unless you’re worried about Dangerous Terrain. And don’t be; they’re in Power Armor. Also, both H&R and NV heavily skew towards bike armies. Then again, so do most core rules. Also Fear not mentioned. I know it’s pretty much useless in most cases, but that’s how it can get away with being a freebie without being too OP.

            Marks and Icons I’m not touching because there aren’t enough hours in the day to fix every single stupid underlying flaw in the codex.

          • life of adept brian

            I think the idea behind giving Khorne counter attack is for the turn following the one that they charged and wiped out the enemy and are left standing there – admittedly the are extremely vulnerable to being shot (a huge problem for any unit in this game), but at least the CA better reflects the fluff in that they will eagerly receive someone foolish enough to charge into them. It’s not perfect, but it does make sense. What about an Invul save for the turn following one where they managed to wipeout a unit in the assault phase, or a temporary boost to their toughness, or a temporary FnP? Rage makes sense, as does Furious Charge. And chain axes should be Rending when they charge, for that price (when you consider the entire cost of a Berserker).

            I agree with the idea of making them (all) super badass for the right points – they can be as expensive as hell, as long as they are awesome.

          • ReveredChaplainDrake

            What kills me about CA on Berserkers was that it replaced their 2A. If they had 2A, they would have 4A on the charge *and* 3A in subsequent rounds instead of 4 and 2 respectively now. But no, GW made them momentum-dependent, failing to realize that as marines (albeit ones who prefer punching things), they’re built for getting into big, protracted fights.

            Also, if you manage to wipe out all the enemy combatants in a melee on the charge (and only on the charge), you really should be able to consolidate into another unit. That would stop speedbumping, not to mention actually reward units that are actually good at melee for being killy, but without turning entire gunlines into domino chains.

          • Brettila

            I agree with the axes. AP4 is pointless.

          • Brettila

            I agree with the axes. AP4 is pointless.

          • Brettila

            The icon system IS F!#*ING LAME! “Oh look, I paid 35 points for an icon, and he got picked off so everyone loses the ability.” Just stupid.

          • Brettila

            The icon system IS F!#*ING LAME! “Oh look, I paid 35 points for an icon, and he got picked off so everyone loses the ability.” Just stupid.

      • templar46_2

        not a bad idea at all.

    • Brettila

      I don’t care about Legions either. I became Mr. Chaos in 1995. CSM are my first lov e in this game. What I want is for them to be THE enemy again. A Chaos Lord used to be able to kill a 300 point, straight 10’s stat line Eldar Avatar on the charge. He could beat anything if properly equipped. You could fill out your army with units that could be reasonably expected to perform the role they were purchased for. Today, I find myself comparing my army to assorted loyalist codexes and can only hang my head and solemnly shake it back and forth.

    • Brettila

      I don’t care about Legions either. I became Mr. Chaos in 1995. CSM are my first lov e in this game. What I want is for them to be THE enemy again. A Chaos Lord used to be able to kill a 300 point, straight 10’s stat line Eldar Avatar on the charge. He could beat anything if properly equipped. You could fill out your army with units that could be reasonably expected to perform the role they were purchased for. Today, I find myself comparing my army to assorted loyalist codexes and can only hang my head and solemnly shake it back and forth.

  • Dennis Harrison

    I am all for tossing out the RNG rolls for CSM and Daemons. I have read the arguments that the gods are fickle enough times to know people don’t care what I think. I’d even be really happy to see a mixed list that works together. Since the last books hit I am still confused why a Banner of Khorne doesn’t work for Bloodletters deep striking in. I am excited about the possibility of new units moving forward as well. You had me cracking up talking about the Dark Apostle, Warpsmith, and Mutilators. While you comments that Daemon Princes should be scary or the Tzeentch Psychic Powers need an overhaul really hit home.

    My biggest argument as a player for any of it is the unnecessary complication of running CSM/Daemons. Let’s say I am heading to a tournament this weekend. I can be a glutton for punishment and try and run the models I really want to play or I can head out my Crimson Fist army or my Eldar. Both work very, very well without the wonky random elements or gimmicky stuff. They are always more fun to play than my chaos forces.

  • Seismic Ghost

    Oh my goodness somebody gets it.
    Since 6th ed I’ve been scratching my head and wondering ‘with the exception of a couple of clearly OP units, why does Chaos suck so hard?’

    Almost everything you’ve mentioned here should be implemented, or something like it. That might just be enough to get me to start playing Chaos again.

    Write another article like this but for Daemons.
    I’ll start you off.
    1. Scrap entire codex.
    2. ????
    3. Profit.

    • Dennis Harrison

      ROFL-

  • jonathon

    >> bBut you guys don’t NEED Legion Rules!”
    >> Even if that was true (it isn’t)

    and this is the crux of the issue. You do not need legion rules. You want legion rules. You want them so badly that you think you need them. But you don’t.

    I’m a chaos player through & through, but I recognize that I don’t NEED “legion” rules. Have fun with what you have, reconcile wants with needs, step outside of yourself & find contentment.

    • ReveredChaplainDrake

      Funny enough, I was just flipping through my rulebook yesterday and I saw this big ol’ spread of Chaos Marines spread out on some fancy multi-leveled terrain. All Alpha Legion. They even had a bunch of Cultists leading the charge. In fact, the CSM codex itself goes into the original traitor legions and their mannerisms in the fluff excerpts. I particularly love how they mention specifically how Night Lords not only don’t worship chaos, but that they despise those who do… just a few page-flips away from the Champion of Chaos rule that makes an army like that impossible to depict.

      Clearly, at least somebody at GW thinks that legions should actually be a thing. (Or at the very least, legion heritage. While an Iron Warrior might don Black Legion armor, he’s still a son of Perturabo at the end of the day.) Unfortunately, they just suck at making legions anything more than a cute paint scheme while simultaneously spending plenty of time and effort filling their quota for lame renegade factions that nobody asked for like the Orange Corsairs or the Crimson Laughter. Those who don’t think CSM should have legion rules are confusing incompetence for intent.

      • jonathon

        >> Those who don’t think CSM should have legion rules are confusing incompetence for intent.

        where’s incompetence? Incompetence would be if they tried, and failed. A failure to start is not indicative of incompetence, but rather indicative of no desire to start. I’ll ask again, as I Have every time this comes up: What specifically makes an Alpha Legion warband special? What in any of the fluff indicates they fight war in any special way? They perform false flag operations, seed dissent and plot slow-burn infiltrations that seed a future failure years in the making… so how do I represent that on the tabletop in 6 game turns?

        How about iron warriors? They’re good at building & destroying fortifications. Buy an aegis line and shut up.

        Word Bearers? Play crimson slaughter & summon some daemons. Done.

        Who’s next? World Eaters? Emperor’s Children? Death Guard? Thousand Sons? Take their cult troops and slap some marks on things that aren’t cult. Don’t like the marks? That’s a different problem.

        Night Lords? Hmm…. thats a tough one – oh wait no it isn’t! Take bog-standard CSM and accept the fact that you run away from combat. Just like the night lords do.

        That leaves us with black legion…. so, yeah. Take what you want because that’s black legion.

        What’s missing? What defining trait of any legion have I missed out on?

        • ReveredChaplainDrake

          So… the role of Night Lords is… to lose?

          You do realize this is a two-player game, right? Chaos Marine players do not exist for the sole purpose of being free wins for other players.

          • jonathon

            night lords depicted in fluff show up, show overwhelming force against an unprepared and hopelessly undergunned foe. Massacre said foe. Leave a horrific abattoir in their wake, then flee before a retaliatory force can muster en mass. When engaged by a substantial enemy force, attempt to flee & regroup, commencing harrying attacks against unprepared, under-gunned foes.

            So how do you represent that on the tabletop? Hmm? It just simply doesn’t work… their thing is “we’re scary” well guess what? So are all the traitor marines, and the loyalist marines, and the necrons, and the orks, and the tyrnaids, and the eldar, and the daemons…. and commissars… so yeah… what makes them special?

          • ReveredChaplainDrake

            If you can’t figure out how to turn that first paragraph into a handful of special rules, then you are severely lacking in creativity. Hit & Run is the obvious one, but you also managed to effectively justify rules like Fleet, Scout and even Outflank.

            And all I wanted (after setting the Champion of Chaos rule on fire and making an example of whoever thought of it) was H&R, Night Vision and Fear. And I’d be willing to pay 1-2ppm for that package. Is giving them Fear, a half-useless rule, *really* what you’re going to be a stickler about?

        • James McKenzie

          How about Dark Angels just lose their book and make do with the lists in the Vanilla dex. You can make a white scars army that is sorta like raven wing, so no problems right?

          This is your logic. It is unsound.

          The marks of chaos don’t work for many units. That’s why putting say, the mark of Slaanesh on an Obliterator is pointless, you gain nothing from following that God (unless you have to pass an initiative test, lol whenever.) and as it stands, this just means that as an army, the defining difference between each legion is just their paint scheme. Even Vanilla dex has different chapter tactics apply to different units, ultramarine doctrine being the prime example.

          Perhaps you want another example. A Nurgle lord leading a nurgle army and he doesn’t have Feel no Pain. How did he become lord again, because I’m certain he should have died to a plague marine with a power fist long before reaching the top.

          Your attitude is the attitude of many, and it’s one born of ignorance and assuming that we can make do enough with what we have for us to create viable lists. We cannot, that’s why chaos lists almost all boil down to >bike lord>cultists>helldrake with bale flamer>Obliterators, and then some other units sprinkled in. Why? Because it’s pretty much the only type that consistently works. Rubbish dex and I could write a better one taking my morning dump.

          • James McKenzie

            Also, I’m still annoyed, so I will add one more point, ‘Iron Warriors are good at building fortifications, so buy an aegis line and shut up.”

            Wow. You’re a fincl. Work out that acronym.

            If they do something well, allowing them to purchase an existing item and using it to perform the exact same role as any other army doesn’t represent skill with that particular form of warfare. That’s like saying ‘harakoni Warhawks use aircraft so buy a skyshield and shut up’. If everyone can do it and yield the same results, it’s not actually adding to the fluff of that force. Why, I could take an aegis line and throw some sternguard behind one, and some thousand sons behind the other, and the thousand sons would probably lose in the long run! How does that represent your superior battlefield tactics? At least Imperial Fists are rocking bolters which reroll ones. What’s a CSM gonna do against that? What a joke.

          • jonathon

            wow wrong on so many levels.
            a) just because the marks don’t work very well right now doesn’t mean you need legions. in fact, the two don’t go hand in hand at all since less than 50% of the legions consist of dudes who pay allegiance to one god strictly. Marks requiring an overhaul, which is what this article was about, has nothing to do with legionaries…

            b) I agree that the dark angels and the blood angels should lose their books and be rolled into codex proper – the precedent has been set with the black templars already

            c) you’re compairing the limited builds found in the CSM book to the multitude of builds found in the SM book…. really? Because when was the last time you saw a competitive ravenguard list? Black templars? hell, even ultramarines really? You see centurion star and bikes. That means you’re seeing white scars. Sometimes you’ll see fists, but they’re second fiddle. so your argument boils down to “they got something that was well received, but poorly balanced and I want the same thing!”.

            d) My attitude is from ignorance? Do you know me? Do you know that I play almost exclusively chaos space marines? Do you know that I run effective armies built around (3) separate warbands – one emperor’s children, one death guard, and one word bearers; using only the rules found in the current book (and supplement word bear… err. crimson slaughter). Did you know that each of these armies is based heavily on the fluff – including 6 squads in the slaaneshi warband, 7 in the death guard, and almost an entire army of models with the “Daemon” USR for the word bearers? Did you know that each of these armies plays significantly different on the tabletop? Did you know that, while I don’t pretend to be a top-level-competitive player (this is 40k afterall and I don’t want to play Tau or buy 6 wave serpents…) I’m able to field very competitive lists, played to the fluff and competitively in my small pond? Did you know that your ad hominem here basically shuts down any possible credibility your argument may have had?

          • James McKenzie

            Actually, I myself ran a competitive Raven Guard foot list rolling with mostly tac marines and didn’t lose a single game with them at the last few tournaments I ran them in. So yes, they are competitive. No, I’m not too tier, anymore, I was too tier but I’m over the current 40k meta so haven’t maintained my rank. Meh.

            Yes, you can run armies based on the fluff, doesn’t mean the army works. Picking Slaanesh and Nurgle is pretty easy as they are the better cults, and their numbers suit just fine, because they are the better options. Run a 6-7 squad Thousand Sons army and we will see how well you go, or a bunch of beserkers. Hint: you won’t get many troops for their cost, and you can’t kill armour or 2 up save units.

            My point about rolling the Dark Angels being rolled into Soace Marines was if they did it, but they gave no rules at all to define the dark Angels, aka no chapter tactics. Aka what night lords, word bearers, iron warriors and alpha legion have now.

            What makes a thousand sons sorcerer better then a regular sorc? Nothing, the blue paint job doesn’t mean squat. Sure, take the mark, spend ten points for the invul. Meh, not effective. But if you were a marine and took a White Scar chapter master, he plays very differently to an Iron Hands one. Chaos doesn’t have this. We have a silly boon (re: bad) table, we don’t have he orbital bombardment (fine) but also lack the wargear, without paying a premium for built in gear on a regular marine. You can’t have a codex that across the board makes you pay the same for less. 3.5 dex was closer to working then this dex ever will be, and that’s just sad.

          • jonathon

            so again, you’re saying “we should have teh same stuff as the codex space marines” but really give me an example? What should we have? What LEGION specific things should we have? What makes world eaters as a legion unique and different from night lords except for a propensity for being khorne berserkers? What special traits in game would make a night lords army? Nobody ever provides a good example. They just whine that they dont have the capabilities because this unit is bad, or the other is bad…. guess what? Unit imbalance and “legion rules” are not the same issues. Far from it.

            Provide solutions rather than whining.

          • James McKenzie

            In 3.5 the ability was there to turn cult units like beserkers into Beserker Raptors or terminators, you paid a points cost, and then the unit moved to the appropriate force org chart slot. In this way, generic Khorne worshipers could just Mark units, but die-hard legion fans could go full blown zerka.

            Th Iron Warriors had access to Basilisks and vindicators, as well as a servo harness option for their lord, and could buy tank hunters for their units. Similar rules existed for each of the legions, because, funny enough, the legions still exist, even if the night lords are mostly warbands, they didn’t just up and lose their night vision, terror tactics etc.

            Why Legions? Why are there a Grey Knights? It is correct that if the main antagonist of 40k, chaos, has a rank and file set of unitss, they should also have a set of powerful top tier units, the true veterans of the long war, embittered, determined, they have survived thousands of years through their own prowess. This is where legion rules apply. You have a regular chaos space marine, and sure, you can call him a chapter renegade, but to use that same marine to represent 10,000 years of war is ludicrous. The Legion rules should be one dex, and Renegades should be another. This would cover all bases.

            Also, fluff wise, the forces of chaos took the land raider STC’s into the eye of terror, but apparently ever since the great crusade they only make one model, despite a “let’s try making different stuff” policy from the dark mechanicum. Across the board, this is another problem, the legions have lost their equipment, and even the new renegades turning to chaos leave all their kit at home. This is silly because no commander would leave his drop pods, land raiders, Razorbacks etc at home. I don’t ask for these unitss but would, say, daemons ally powered jetbikes be too crazy? Perhaps a bs4 daemon engine so people actually use our vehicles?

            Lastly, a chaos leader is often a psychopath. People think this means hey are Ork-like insane. This isn’t the case, just like in the real world, these men can be vile, cold calculating killers, who are on an even keel, they just enjoy slaughter. Instead, they are portrayed as nut jobs who just run into combat seeking glory.

          • Chris. K Cook

            “In 3.5 the ability was there to turn cult units like beserkers into Beserker Raptors or terminators,”

            I must have read a different 3.5 Codex from you then.

          • jonathon

            so again…. what exactly would you do for LEGION rules?

            you want berserkers in all your slots? Hey guess what? Know what’s better than a berserker in game right now? a standard CSM with mark of khorne. Why? Because he can take meltas or flamers, is cheaper and basically the ONLY difference is WS5 and fearless (which is fixed by sticking a chaos lord in there…)

            Iron warriors? You want basilisks? ally in guard or play unbound. You can already take vindicators and obliterators. You want basilisks AND tank hunters? I already gave you an idea – use C:SM and play imperial fists. Ally in guard so you can touch peens & there you go. Iron warriors don’t particularly love the worship of chaos anyways so you don’t need daemon engines.

            but what else? What would YOU give LEGIONARY alpha legion? What would you give LEGIONARY night lords? what would you give LEGIONARY emperor’s children?

          • James McKenzie

            So, as an example, Khorne Bezerkers would be troops if you have a Khorne Lord. Now, for 20 points they can take either a jump pack or terminator armour. They would then move to the appropriate force org slot. If they choose to do this, I would suggest the option of up to 4 inferno pistols for a jump squad, or a select range of special weapons for the terminators. Not every cult unit would get these options, for example, Thousand Sons could upgrade to havocs, but would remain quite simple. They would also drop to 18 points if they kept their current rules, but be allowed special weapons (there’s a lot of artwork of them with plasma guns for example.)

            Iron Warriors would return to their 3.5 rules, all non-jump, non bike infantry units would have the 2 point option for tank hunter and stubborn. They would gain an extra heavy support slot, and their Warpsmith would gain an extra wound, ws, bs and Attack, as well as having access to the full armoury.

            There would be legion lords, these would be the equivilant of chapter masters, and be higher in stats then current lords. This option would be required to unlock legion units, as opposed to te cheap lord. This represents a true master bringing his powerful force. The big bads such as Ahriman, Typhus etc would all automatically do this.

            Night Lords for example could impose a -1 leadership penalty to all enemy units, just for being night lords, and for every regular CSM troops choice, they could take a squad of raptors as a troop (allowing up to 3 scoring raptor units). For a points cost, all units would have night fight and hit and run. These are specialists after all.

            Do you want me to continue, or do you get the idea? A more elite army, paying a points premium, where certain units gain solid buffs of they are taken as a fluffy choice.

          • Brettila

            Not the same. Equally appealing, with an equivalent level of effectiveness for cost. We have nada like the Shield of Everything.

          • Brettila

            Not the same. Equally appealing, with an equivalent level of effectiveness for cost. We have nada like the Shield of Everything.

          • jonathon

            what is “too tier” what rank? if you’re refering to torrent of fire… I guess… good on you? maybe?

            I ran emperor’s children in 4th, 5th, 6th and still do now. Well before noisemarines were “cool” (and no daemon prince for lash…); Tsons are aweful, their fluff bores me, it just isn’t going to happen; same with khorne (ooh I’m angry, hulk smash! *yawn*) I played slaanesh when it was underround 😛

            what would make dark angels being rolled into C:SM unique? probably similar to black templar: They’d get chapter tactics “stubborn” and have access to “ravenwing bikers” and/or “deathwing terminators” – seriously… what makes them unique now other than being a crappy version of codex marines?

            What makes a Tsons sorceror better than a regular one? a +1 better invulnerable save that’s what. Why would a T-sons sorceror be better than any other tom, dick or harry that prays to Tzeench? Just because “magic is their thing” ??? well, I hate to break it to you, but Hockey was kind of Wayne Gretsky’s thing and his team kind of sucked. Hard.

            You’re comparing a Chaos lord to a Chapter master which is not an apt comparison. A chaos lord equivalent is the Captain – 3 wounds, 3 attacks, no orbital bombardment. Factor in a 4++ and they’re the same cost, one has ATSKNF & chapter tactics, the other has fearless. A chapter master is the Chaos Daemon prince equivalent (4 wounds) but ovbiously quite a bit more different. Your analogy is flawed.

            Regarding your last statement…. it is catagorically false. You should have written “you [shouldn’t] have a codex that across the board makes you pay the same for less.” unfortunately we have multiple examples of just that…. compare chaos, dark angels, and codex space marines; compare eldar and dark eldar…. there just is a design gap in the power levels of books. This is a fact and has always been a fact. Either get over it or get off the train; at this point, complaining about this power level gap is like complaining that water is wet… And again, this fact changes NOTHING regarding legion rules. Propose legion rules that you think would be balanced internally and externally. Don’t just pine for what was (and was not internally balanced), as it is gone. Be creative At least Sephyr has provided an article that posits to fix the mark system (which again, is not LEGION rules…) instead of complaining, lets see something constructive.

          • James McKenzie

            In this regard, I mean ‘top tier’ but as I’m on my iPad im unable to type too well. Now, I was ranked well inside the top 20 nationally, and even when I didn’t game for 6 months I didn’t drop below 20. I have only played competitively since 4th, I was never interested when I was a kid, and I just wanted to play games.

            You don’t quite get my drift with the dark Angels. The idea is if they had ZERO special rules. They just got rolled into the marine dex and got no rules, you’d rightly be annoyed. That’s CSM, half their forces have no rules to distinguish them. Oh we can get marks?

            A Thousand Sons sorceror should be better then a chaos undivided one. Psychically, they have always been the strongest legion, and the Rubrik only served to make those who survived far more powerful. Then you turn around and say that for 10 points I can get +1 invul. That kinda misses the point. They should be getting +1 warp charge, or a free psychic level. Powerful, yes, but restricted to just two characters.

            These are the issues, and you say that everything is just fine. Guess what? You’re the minority. Your opinion has merit, I’m doing my best to understand it, and I’m replying to give you the time of day. I don’t expect to change you, and surely you don’t seek to change me. But at least we can understand each other.

          • Brettila

            Actually, a Chaos Lord should probably be BETTER than a chapter master. He is the leader of a warband army who had to kill his way to the top; and kill to remain there. This was the case from the very first Chaos codex until the last 2 where they suddenly grew weak.

          • Brettila

            Actually, a Chaos Lord should probably be BETTER than a chapter master. He is the leader of a warband army who had to kill his way to the top; and kill to remain there. This was the case from the very first Chaos codex until the last 2 where they suddenly grew weak.

          • Brettila

            Except that CS cannot ally with demons…sigh.

          • Brettila

            Except that CS cannot ally with demons…sigh.

          • Brettila

            Preach on, Brother! At the very least, we should have some ability to customize characters. A Nurgle lord MUST have FNP. Without it the narrative (GW’s Golden Rule) is voided.. Characters leading squads need to at least have the abilities of their squads. That Nurgle Lord has no poison or blight grenades. Tzeentch guys have no inferno botls, and on it goes.

          • Brettila

            Preach on, Brother! At the very least, we should have some ability to customize characters. A Nurgle lord MUST have FNP. Without it the narrative (GW’s Golden Rule) is voided.. Characters leading squads need to at least have the abilities of their squads. That Nurgle Lord has no poison or blight grenades. Tzeentch guys have no inferno botls, and on it goes.

        • Brettila

          Crimson Slaughter can’t take demons. A silly oversight that, but it is done. Their list says they may ally with CSM – period.

        • Brettila

          Crimson Slaughter can’t take demons. A silly oversight that, but it is done. Their list says they may ally with CSM – period.

  • RexScarlet

    There are so many great chaos models (units), yet craptastic rules seem to see those hella-cool models absent from table-tops.
    .
    Maybe GW should think about making different size bases for each unit “type” that way players can use those hella-cool models interchangeably and opponents can tell what those units were instantly? (kind of like Bloodbowl having different color base edges?)
    .
    Not to over complicate but;
    HQ; 32mm
    Troop; 25mm
    Elite; 40mm
    Fast; 50mm
    Heavy; 60mm (sure regular SM, and Ork etc. are Heavy, just mount two on a base like IG, etc.)

    Etc.
    .
    Then call out the armor types;
    Troops; Light, Medium, Heavy armor.
    Etc.
    .
    Then call out special rules, etc.
    .
    Yes, this would change things, but maybe for the better if done right?
    .
    Simplify…

    • Chris. K Cook

      ‘simplify’

      • Brettila

        No kidding. No way my heavy weapon dude is going on a 60. Hell, I am not planning on using 32’s until 25’s are no longer made.

  • uatu13

    They really need to alter or get rid of the “must issue challenges” rule! I can’t tell you how many times Ahriman had to challenge a MC of some sort and get smashed to hell instantly. You’d think he’d be smarter than that!

    Maybe something like Khorne has to issue challenges but they get a bonus in that challenge, Nurgle and Slaanesh have to take a LD test or issue a challenge, or Tzeentch can take a LD test and if passed nominate another model in the unit to issue a challenge even if it’s not a character! I expect Thousand Son jerks don’t have any problem throwing a dust filled suit in the way of a marauding character 😉

  • Orodruin

    Incoming dead-horse beating (some in-line with other comments
    or the OP):

    Of course lowering point costs on about half the units/upgrades in the codex would help.

    I’d love the ability to take power weapons as an option the way we can take special weapons with non-Chosen/Terminator infantry units (obviously excluding Cultists). If our boys are expensive, they might as well be able to do something beyond putting out a boat-load of “AP -” attacks. The redundancy in that regard is pretty frustrating.

    Givethe poor Warp Talons assault grenades, FFS, and/or –(dons Terminator Armor)–the ability to charge after arriving via Deep Strike.

    Do something with Helbrutes. Allow them to take Hades Autocannons, BalefireMissile Launchers, a Skyfire upgrade, and the ability to replace CCW with a separate gun other than a missile launcher. Get rid of the freaking Crazed table for Helbrutes. I don’t see this happening because of the dataslate for Helbrutes, so unless they choose to update the dataslates, all those rules are set in stone forever. Fine, whatever, then make separate unit entries for traitor Dreadnoughts versus Helbrutes. Make Helbrutes actual Daemons, so there is at least a bonus instead of a hindrance 99% of the time. If not that, then something else like Daemonic Possession or some daemon-equivalent of Power of the Machine Spirit.

    Give Berzerkers chainaxes by default, and make them rending.

    Allow Chosen with the appropriate mark to take the mount of
    their god.

    Make marks of Chaos tailored to the unit type. For example,
    the Mark of Tzeentch on Havocs allows them to Snap-Fire at BS2, a la IA:XIII. Mark of Slaanesh on Terminators allows them to strike at initiative regardless of Unwieldy.

    Land Raider Betrayer (or something), a Dedicated Transport
    option with no sponsons, a Twin-Linked Heavy Flamer instead of the bolter, and a 40 point price cut. Upgrades could include additional transport capacity and assault launchers, in addition to the standard CSM vehicle upgrades.

    Make the Hades Autocannon on Heldrakes twin-linked. I really
    do want to use that option instead of the Baleflamer sometimes, I swear! But right now, it’s much better to take a Hell Blade with the Helstorm Autocannon upgrade. 55 points cheaper for 2 more shots that are TL, although 1 point weaker, AND rending. No reason to ever take a Hades Drake, IMO. Maybe add some other interesting weapon options.

    There are so many more things I’d love to change…

    • Brettila

      Well, they OVERcompensated again with the nerf to the Drake. It should still have a 180, or at worst, 90 degree fire arc due to that long neck.

  • Skimask Mohawk

    just going to point out that the nurgle DP can get the 2+ save in the open…

  • Ultramart

    this is one of the most extensive wishlists i’ve ever read. like star wars faboi episode VII level. well done sir.

  • John Bower

    Wouldn’t BS4 on a Helturkey be a waste? Who uses anything but the Baleflamer anyway? At least every time I’ve seen a Batrep they’ve had that rather than the gun.

    • Griffalo Prime

      The autocannon would be decent anti-air if you could hit. The point is BS3 makes that improbable. Consequently people often take the flamer which eliminates the BS weakness (and MEQ).

  • aka_mythos

    What if the mark given to one unit were different from when the mark is given to a different unit type? Where Marks of Khorne give Rage and Counter attack to one unit, but maybe just +1A to another. In that way you don’t end up with useless marks.

    • ReveredChaplainDrake

      Two words: cult tiers.

      • aka_mythos

        I understand the proposed idea. If the effects of the marks are tailored unit by unit, the effects on that unit can be balanced to each other, but when its a blanket set of rules there will tend to be a superior choice for a given unit.

        Another radical idea, what if not every mark is available to every unit.

        • ReveredChaplainDrake

          Limiting marks to a unit strikes me as a bad idea, and Khornate Havocs come to mind. Unlike Devastators, Havocs can also take Meltaguns and Flamers and stuff that lets them assault. (And parenthetically, I really like this idea. They may not have Loyalists’ fancy ‘recently rediscovered STC’ stuff, but they make up for it by being less snoody about where they put what weapons they have.) So Khornate Havocs are a legitimate expectation to have, even if they might not fit the typical stereotype of Khornate units.

          Making different marks available to different units might be a good idea if GW were more interested in actually making an efficient, balanced game. I think even *they* realize that they’d screw that up if given the chance, so they’re putting all their eggs in the fluff basket. Sure, Mark of Slaaneesh is an utter chaff piece of garbage upgrade on Obliterators, but it’s a legitimate expectation that Oblits ought to be able to fall to any of the four gods, and it’d be a major hassle to have to give *every* unit arbitrary mark exemptions without annoying existing players.

          Slaaneeshi Oblits being pointless is more a fault of the Mark of Slaaneesh for not being robust enough to depict an astartes given so wholly to sensory overloads beyond “punches faster”. Then again, there are a lot of rules that just aren’t very intuitive. Move Through Cover is one that really sticks in my teeth.

  • Dragon2928

    Agree on the terminators. The game has evolved around them, and they have been left behind.

  • Michael Cividanes

    Overall I like the direction your ideas are going in. I like the Idea for the Tzeentch Mark. There are some things I would do differently:

    1- Remove Chaos terminators as their own stand alone unit. Give Chosen the ability to be upgraded to Terminator armor. What’s that? Black Legion Terminator Troops with Abaddon? Yes please.

    2- The Mutilators need engagement ability before anything else. I would suggest removing S&P from them, and an ability to re-roll charge ranges.

    3- Give the ability to differentiate between CSMs that are/were from the Legions (The World Eaters, the Word bearers, the Night Lords, ect) and the dudes that have gone traitor more recently (The Ultra-marine squad that jump ship, the Iron Hands that have been lost in the warp for 5,000 years, the Traitor Blood Raven,s ect). So give the Renegages (the dudes that have turned traitor in the last 7,500 years or so a sort of bastardized version of ATSKNF, they take normal moral checks at the end of CC but can not be over-run perhaps, but auto-regroup. While the Legion members get the LD 9/10 Veterans of the Long War style advantage and auto-passing fear checks.

    4- The Chaos Lord should be bumped to be on bar or slightly better when compared to Space Marine Chapter Masters, stat wise. Either bump the Dark Apostle to Space marine Captain stats, or bring back the Chaos Lieutenant option as a sort of lesser lord that is more inline with what the Lord presently is.

    There are other smaller things but those would be the big ones.

  • dakota5X5

    your comment that daemon princes should get grenades applies to all MCs and walkers. It would be nice to see some sort of rule that they ignore the effects of light cover (trees, rubble, barbed wire etc.) and are only slowed by fortifications. the narrative reason for a 6 story high wraith knight getting caught on some shrubbery, or a thousand year old warrior entombed in an dreadnought being halted by a wooden fence just isn’t right.

  • grim_dork

    Like your ideas but hey, you left Fabius Bile off the suggestions list. What’s your fix there?

  • Mario Montes

    I agree with most of your post. I would like to see what the chapter tactics would look like. I play night lords and I can’t play them as regular csm because it doe’s not do them justice. I play them mainly as zerkers but even then it is not satisfying. I just get shot to death =(

    • ReveredChaplainDrake

      Play them as Blood Angels. They’re a jump / aircav specialist marine chapter with a corrupting madness irrevocably tainting some of their number, much to the chagrin of the sane ones… who have more general anger management issues of their own. They even have multiple pieces of wargear and even a Lord of War with special rules dedicated to Jump Infantry support and causing Fear. It’s hilarious.

      • Mario Montes

        I might give this a try, sounds crazy enough to work lol

  • Mario Montes

    Why can’t we get a stormraven?

    • Mario Montes

      csm are constantly stealing from the Loyalist

  • RebelWarmaster

    Even from a business standpoint, I don’t understand their decision to ignore the Legions. They must know that the chaos community has been pining for them since 3.5. It seems like they’re ignoring a huge market, and just flat-out refusing to supply a line of products that would sell like crazy.

  • Matt Halkos

    Some of these proposed ideas seem alright and some seem a little over the top even to chaos standards. The problem with this is that GW overall has been working to tone the codices down. If you look back to all the ork and blood angel posts. There were so many wants/ needs articles. Almost none of those suggestions made it in. I had been waiting for the ork book for years and none of the cool rumors that had been circulating were in it. I think it’s awesome how you analyzed various units and said how they could be better. However more likely than not GW won’t use any of them and will instead give you things that don’t necessarily make sense.