Tactica: Chaos Terminators – Termicide!

 

CSM-terminator-horz

Chaos Terminators! What are the best ways to equip them? What tactics can unlock their potential?

Hi guys! Blog for The Blood God here to discuss Chaos Terminators! What are the best ways to equip them? What tactics can unlock their potential? How do you make sure they earn their points and where do they fit in the grand scheme of things!

FLEXIBILTY

Where do we begin when discussing Chaos Terminators? Lets start by understanding just how flexible this unit can be! It can be as large as ten terminators with attached Independent Characters or as small as a unit of three. Not only is the unit size flexible but the wargear ranges from Mid ranged firepower, close range anti tank, melee in every flavour possible and much much more!

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With this flexibility in mind I think it is important to decide exactly what you want your terminators to do, you can kit them out to be a bit of a swiss army knife but I feel this is the worst way to get your points worth. In my opinion you are best picking a specific role for your terminators and tailor them to excel at it. So lets break down a few different roles a unit of terminators can fill and what loadouts and tactics fit well in that role 🙂

Inthis article I will be focusing on my favourite tactic for using Chaos Terminators…the Termicide!

TERMICIDE

This is a personal favorite tactic of mine, Termicide is when you take a minimum sized squad with a single purpose… Deep Strike close to your target, kill the target then die…. well it is a little more complex than that but that is the general idea.

Termicide can be tailored to two main specialties, look at your list first and determine its weaknesses, what type of unit are you going to struggle with? Once you have figured that out pick one of the two options below to best suit your needs.

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Melta Termicide (127 points)

Terminator Champion, Combi Melta, Power Maul/chainfist

Terminator two, Combi Melta, Power Maul/chainfist

Terminator three, Combi Melta, Power Maul/chainfist

This one is perfect for forces that lack options for popping Land Raiders and Super Heavy vehicles etc. Simply Deep strike within 6″ and rip into it with your meltas, with 3 shots you will likely hit twice, penetrate one or both and then get an explode on a 5+. For the close combat weapons I like to keep it as cheap as possible, the power maul offers effective Anti light/mid vehicle as its Strength 6 will hit rear armor, with the number of attacks these guys put out they are sure to wreck what they hit, they also mince infantry as they wound most basic troops on a 2+. The Chainfist is your insurance policy against super heavies, if you get unlucky and fail to explode the target you have a chainfist to finish the job, unfortunately as this is a suicide squad the chainfists often wind up a waste of points, it is for this reason I recommend Mauls. This squad is best taken in multiples, increasing your chances of exploding the target and opening up multiple targets if you get lucky and explode the first one with your first unit.

3 units of 3 comes in cheaper than an Imperial Knight and will usually drop one in a single round of shooting (provided they all arrive from reserves)

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Plasma Termicide

Terminator Champion, Combi Plasma, Power Axe/maul

Terminator two, Combi Plasma, Power Axe/maul

Terminator three, Combi Plasma, Power Axe/maul

This one is fantastic for popping light vehicles as within 12″ you get twice as many shots as the melta version, getting 6 shots you will likely hit 4 and on av10 you should glance at least 3, wrecking most vehicles, this is much more reliable than the Melta option but it does lack the ability to damage higher armor values. The added bonus to this specialization is the ability to put serious hurt on enemy Monstrous Creatures or TEQ Units. For this unit i recommend either power mauls or if you lack Ap2 and that is why you selected the plasma option power axes are quite effective too, the trade off is striking last, but hopefully the terminator plate will protect you long enough to strike.

With both different loadouts your opponent will likely panic the turn you arrive. They will want to protect their big toy so in their turn they will focus fire on your terminators to prevent you from making it into combat, this will draw fire off of the rest of your forces 🙂

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  • Niklas Persson

    I sure miss the days of Icons of Chaos doubling up teleport homers. Since then I’ve not used my terminators much since outside minimum sized units like the one in the article here.

    • It makes no sense that chaos has no deep strike homers of any kind, not sure why they removed that element of icons (at least then an icon of despair wouldn’t be useless, right?)

      • Shiwan8

        Cuz CSM was op back in the 50s.

      • Niklas Persson

        Well, there’s that awful relic. You know, the one that becomes a teleport homer after you’ve scored a melee kill?

        (But unless you get a first turn charge, 2/3 reserve units will arrive before you’ve got a chance to activate it – it’s seriously the least well thought out relic I can think of)

        That said, it’s not like CSM have any options to infiltrate or outflank either(aside from slaanesh characters on steeds) or luck with warlord traits.

        CSM don’t really have many options when it comes to deployment and I think that’s one of their biggest flaws.

        • Haha, yeah I thought of qualifying my comment to include that, but then I decided to treat it like it doesn’t exist (just like the rest of the CSM players)

  • Knight_of_Infinite_Resignation

    sadly I think a pair of Nurgle Obliterators is considerably better in most circumstances, much more flexible, tougher with 4 T5 wounds and not much more expensive pointswise. Even for bodyguard duties with a Chaos Lord in Terminator armour the Oblits come out ahead.

    • ZeeLobby

      nurgle oblits are the best. I love how in CSM there is one no-brainer for each slot, and when all are taken, they’re still horrible, haha…

      • Knight_of_Infinite_Resignation

        sad but true.

      • Malisteen

        To be fair, csms have two viable choices in heavy support – nurgle oblits and maulers (provided they’re taken in pairs with other fast assault units). Fast attack also has two viable units – spawn and bikes.

        Elites have none. Troops have none. HQ has a few – princes, lords, and sorcerers can all be viable in different contexts.

        • ZeeLobby

          I’ve rarely seen maulers ran effectively, especially against top tier factions. Nurgle spawn are undoubtedly better than bikes. The only bikes I ever see hit the table are the ones you need to get the hound pack out of deamonkin.

          • Malisteen

            I’ve seen maulers done decently. Not good, mind, but not awful, and often contributing more than the oblits did or would have (oblits, nice as they are, have rather limited offensive output, especially in the rush lists that csms favor which give the oblits limited time to make their mark with ranged attacks). Again, though, you need multiples, and a mess of other fast stuff.

            Spawn are better than bikers on their own, but bikers can bring in those valuable melta shots, and have a champion to keep attached ICs out of at least one round of compulsory challenges, so it isn’t an automatic choice there either.

            Now, back in 6th ed, it was another story. In the age of the heldrake, the drake was so good that you really couldn’t run any other fast attack, and without supporting fast assault units the mauler wasn’t viable either. You also needed oblits to target enemy anti air units in the first couple turns, and the fact that your offensive power was in a reserved unit meant those oblits had more turns to operate before the game was effectively decided.

            So back then, you definitely only had one viable choice each in FA and HS, though both were pretty darn good all things considered. Now instead of one solid choice each, both slots have a pair of mediocre choices to go between, and one of the former solid choices isn’t even worth fielding.

  • Charon

    He got the term “Termicide” wrong. You keep them as cheap as possible because they WILL die next round (thus suicide).
    3 Kombi melta DS next to a vehicle, blow it up, watch them die. You try to trade points for points here. Power fists are just expensive, you wont see them assaulting most of the time.
    Another totally fluffy CSM mechanic. The elite of the elite suicides every mission…. because CSM is all about self preservation.

    • Haighus

      He didn’t actually equip any of them with power fists in the article, although said you can potentially put a chainfist in a squad.

    • ZeeLobby

      not that it matters, mine usually get intercepted to death anyway.

      • Malisteen

        who needs enemies with intercept when your unit is happy to mishap itself to death (or out of melta range) all on its own? I stopped running terminators shortly after the 6e book removed our scatter mitigation, and the proliferation of grav weaponry in the time since certainly hasn’t given me any reason to reconsider.

        • ZeeLobby

          haha, i was trying to remain 5% positive.

  • Shiwan8

    Or, like, take anything elsa from any other codex or Imperial Armor book?

    • Shiwan8

      Edditional detail: If you abandon the hot mess that is 40k and move to pretty well balanced, innovative and actually nicely done 30k you can use your terminators and not get automatically handicapped.

      • Malisteen

        Yeah! All you have to do is give up your daemon princes, chaos marks, daemon engines, and everything else that makes you chaos marines.

        Of course, if you’re willing to proxy regular space marines, you can do that with their 40k era codex and have, if not good exactly, then at least halfway playable terminators there, anyway.

        30k rules, no matter how nicely made they are and no matter good a job FW is doing with them, are not an acceptable substitute for a playable 40k csm book.

        • Shiwan8

          I agree. It’sstill a better option to present day 40k.

        • An_Enemy

          Word Bearers 30k are a munch better Chaos army than Chaos Space Marines unless you’re really into Dinobots. Even then they have a possessed Contemptor option.

          • Shiwan8

            This.

          • Malisteen

            They have possessed, and possessed contemptors. Apart from that, any chaos theme they have is allied daemons. Any marine army plus allied daemons would be about as chaotic. Space Wolves plus allied daemons are a better chaos space marine army than 30k word bearers.

      • Alex Sivro

        Oh you mean Tankhammer 30k: MSU terminator edition?

        • Shiwan8

          I’ll take it over starhammer and eldarhammer all day every day.

  • euansmith

    “Oh, revered Brother Chaos Terminator, with your centuries of training and experience, and your irreplaceable, ancient armour, you have been selected for this suicide mission…”

    “Er… suicide what now?!”

    I guess that you can presume that any Terminators “killed” in combat are actually teleported back to base for a cool drink and a bit of spit and polish before being sent out on the next deep strike mission o’ doom.

    • Shiwan8

      I don’t think that terminator teleportation is none by the suit which would be necessary for them to port back.

      • euansmith

        I think it could be that, if teleportation doesn’t work through force fields (like in Startrek), the terminators ship could have a permanent teleportation lock on the suit. This would immediately yank them out of trouble the instant their invun save collapsed.

        • Nick Davidson

          Knowing chaos it’s probably just yank the suit back and leave the wearer behind. In fact that might explain the difference in how useful they are compared to loyalist terminators.

        • Shiwan8

          “Grimdark easy mode”

    • petrow84

      I regard it more like a point-gathering promotion, that comes upon the acquisition of a Terminator Armour.
      1 successful deep strike mission – 1 “Abaddon approves” sticker

      Promotion rewards:
      1 point – handshake with your champion, without a powerfist
      5 points – a mark of your choice (dedication advised)
      10 points – dental program for your tusks and horns
      13 points – pat in the back by the Warmaster himself (wearing the Talon of Horus)
      20 points – You become the Aspiring Champ of the unit (provided, he ain’t alive, in that case, ritual combat)
      666 points – Daemonhood, with the optional removal of your armour, before swelling to the triple of your current size

      • euansmith

        A simple like is not enough; that really made me smile. +1pt to Aspiring Champion petrow84.

    • ZeeLobby

      At this point i’m shocked the legions have any suits of terminator armor left…

      • euansmith

        I the grim dark universe of the future, nothing about logistics and inventory makes ANY sense 😀

      • ellobouk

        At this point I’m shocked that the loyal space marines have any left, melt those bad boys down and use the reclaimed materials to build more bikes, then sell the rest to cover the power bill for the clone-o-tron 5000, so that every sector can have its own super friends chapter

  • Darth Bumbles

    I use a variation of rhe Space Wolves rule allowing Terminators to lead squads. I run Alpha Legion, and have very little visual variation between my line Astartes (they are, in fact, Space Crusade era minis) so they get differentiated points wise by the Termie leading the squad (they’re third party headed (the Third Party Thousand Sons FWIW, there a Croc, a Skessis etc).

    • Shiwan8

      Does anyone else use and/or accept the variation you use?

      • Darth Bumbles

        Not encountered anyone whose had a problem, they’re only used in games for fun rather than tournaments, I literally just use the Wolves rules, and call them Alpha Legion (so no mutations etc etc to make them Chaos-y).

        • euansmith

          Like Goatboy’s Space Goat Wolves? Only without the goat heads, of course.

          • Darth Bumbles

            Sorry, I don’t understand.

          • euansmith

            Goatboy (a frequent poster of uberspam list articles on BoLS) it a big fan of chaos and has an army called the Space Goats. They are converted to look like Space Marines with goat heads and”counts as” a variety of things, but usually Space Wolves. They are very cool.

            http://fullofmonkey.com/40k/newminis/goatboy.sg.1.jpg

        • Shiwan8

          So, you are playing space wolves?

          • Darth Bumbles

            Pretty much,miss probably why no one has had an issue with it.

          • Shiwan8

            So, SW with not SW models. Roger that. It’s fine. I just got the impression that you actually played a variant, meaning custom rules.

  • Paul James Harrison

    I find that an 8 man squad with MoK is very effective as a Dreadnought and Terminator kill squad. But I have taken out a Baneblade and walked away with only 50% losses. Not to mention the Baneblades explosion took out a huge chunk of his army.

    • Pyrrhus of Epirus

      not hating but so what? you played a non competative game (termies baneblades and to an extent dreads are trash in a competative meta) and killed non competative units with your non competative units. If you showed up in my meta with a near 500 point khorne terminator unit, your poised to be tabled.

      • Brettila

        This attitude right here is probably the single most unfortunately thing about 40K currently. No wonder so many people are having difficulty enjoying the game.

        • Pyrrhus of Epirus

          talked to GW if you have a problem with unit balance. Showup with a 8 man khorne termie squad when we play each other, and your not going to have a fun day, stop being naive.

        • An_Enemy

          Attitude? Dude’s just telling it like it is. You don’t have to play his way, but he’s not lying or telling you that you have to play that way.

          Granted, maybe he didn’t have to completely empty his bowels into the OP’s cornflakes. Of course the OP put himself up there saying “hey, this unit is great everyone should use it it can really do work on units that are just as crap.” Ooh but a bane blade!!! 😂

        • Shiwan8

          I don’t think that facing the facts is unfortunate.

          • Paul James Harrison

            Yeah this is the kind of attitude that makes me not play competitively, I’m a fluff player and it does me well in sociable games, whether that be in my local GW or on my mates dinning room table. I personally find that the survivability of the larger squad is worth the points, after all they make mince meat of normal squads, especially non-marines.

          • Shiwan8

            I’m a fluff player too. That does not change the realities.

  • mysterex

    “It can be as large as ten terminators with attached Independent Characters or as small as a unit of three”. Good one, but really you’re never going to want to take more than three.

    To be honest I wish that my 10 model squad with two auto-cannons, a selection of other weapons and attached character was worth the points cost but then that is true of most things in my CSM army.

  • sjap98

    All termies (loyal and traitor) should be 2 wounds each…

    • petrow84

      I think, Terminator armours would be a good starting points to initiate the 1+ save. By the current rules, they would still fail on a roll of 1, but would counter the AP2 of the plasma (that they were designed to withstand) weapons, and would be somewhat better, than the artificer armour, whose wearers usually have some sort of invu save anyway.

      • The (lack of) resilience of TDA armor on the tabletop has always mystified me. I’m okay with the 2+ save, but think there should be a special rule making them immune to S4 and below attacks and AP2. AP1, sure…but not plasma. There were derived from protective suits that were designed to work in the star-core conditions of starship drives, after all. Plasma should be something they’re almost comfortable in…provided the air conditioning is functional, of course.

        Two wounds should also be a given.

        But they say I’m a dreamer…

        …and I’m not the only one. 🙂

        • An_Enemy

          Yes. Remove the entire reason for plasma to be in the game. You guys neee a job in game design? I’m trying to revolutionize rock paper scissors for millenials. You guys gave me a great idea. Remove scissors.

          Boom!

          • Shiwan8

            There is no reason for plasma to be in the game now. There’s massed s6, d-weapons and grav.

      • Shiwan8

        If gravs start to let their victims to have s-tests as saves then sure.

  • Sure

    I have had a good time with three squads of three combi-plasma terminators with power weapons. I’ve seen a lot of players using deep strike as the primary means to contact the opponent’s line/deployment zone. I found it better to use them as part of an aggressive list. They usually survive b/c they unload with plasma the first chance they get and become less of a threat than what is coming from my end of the table. If I want them to draw fire I’ve gone as far as to not shoot the plasma – they then draw heavy firepower that doesn’t go towards other elements in the list. More often than not, though, there are some left at the end of the game to either mop up or hold out inside the opponent’s deployment zone.

  • Malisteen

    Termicide isn’t awful, but it is depressing that the least terrible way of running terminators – a unit that is supposed to be terrifying, immortal elites armed and armored with irreplaceable relics – is as expendible throwaway suicide units.

    This is a viable means of running the unit, but it completely fails in terms of evoking the narrative on the tabletop in a visceral, fulfilling way. Additionally, without scatter mitigation, the melta version of the squad, arguably the more valuable to the faction otherwise, is severely hampered, as you’re near about as likely to mishap or scatter out of melta range as you are to actually land on target, and that’s before you even consider the chance that you might not arrive until turn 3 or later, by which point whatever critical target the unit needed to eliminate has probably already done its job.

    I miss the days when a deep striking chaos lord & retinue all decked out in terminator armor was a force to be feared. Unfortunately, the proliferation of comparatively cheap, high output AP2 weapons, combined with chaos marines losing access to their scatter mitigation, makes this once iconic tactic just a complete non-starter.

    Ahriman or Huron as your lord can get you an infiltrating unit of terminators. A medium sized squad (5-7) with combi plasma and a mix of mauls and axes such a unit can be somewhat threatening, provided you play on boards that make infiltration viable, and your opponents don’t spam cyber skulls.

    The other thing to try is a large unit (8 or so plus ICs) in a FW kharybdis. Load them up with plasma or melta, mauls & axes, and a nasty character or two, and deploy turn 1 where you want with scatter mitigation. Not good, as the whole thing is hugely points inefficient, but you will win the occasional game against an opponent not ready to deal with that.

    Otherwise, while chaos terminators are theoretically super versatile, they’re not fearless, they’re overpriced in the current grav-saturated game, and all of their many options are pay-for extras that are themselves overpriced, making chaos terminators by far the least efficient, least effective terminator unit in the game. Compound that with the CSM’s general lack of viable delivery options, and this is just not a unit that can be sincerely recommended.

  • silashand

    Oblits are better and more cost effective. Chaos terminators are almost never worth their points. Love the models (wish they’d make more legion specific kits for them), but on the tabletop they are a waste IMO.