40K: Now With Twice the CSM Tentacles

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Now that the dust has settled, is there anything to like about Traitor’s Hate?  This gamer thinks so.

So it’s been a while since I wrote – too long if I’m honest.  Part of the reason is that I’ve been brooding over Traitor’s Hate.  Oh, don’t get me wrong, there’s plenty there that I like, but in many ways it just didn’t go as far as I’d have wished.  Still, I’ve been dragging the book around everywhere with me, reading, rereading and basically absorbing what’s there.  I even took it with me to a wedding in Vegas – no, no, not the ACTUAL wedding ceremony (I left it in the hotel room).   Can’t invoke the wrath of my wife, even for cool, evil, little, supermen from the future.

Actual footage of my Vegas wedding experience.

I like the book, it gives Chaos Space Marines (CSM) some oomph, its visually pretty (though the repeated and now ‘classic’ Kharn pose started to wear a bit thin — and I’m a Team Kharn guy), I liked the story (particularly what it bodes for the future) and, like all new Games Workshop (GW) books, it smells intoxicating (seriously, I always crack a new GW book wide open and inhale deeply – it just brings so many good gaming memories flooding back and has a real, distinct scent, even as old comics do).  I know many across the Internet have panned the book as mostly irrelevant, especially in the face of the dread ‘meta.’  I understand this position, and if I’m honest with myself, it does bother me somewhat.  But there’s just something about the book that’s got under my skin.  It has me enthralled, even as I’ve struggled to use it to really build lists that I like.

The Visions I see when snorting a new GW book.

So, let’s take a look at how I feel about Traitor’s Hate.

The Bad

I know it’s not traditional to start with the bad, but I just want to get it out of the way.  Again, I don’t feel the book is terrible in what it brings to the table regarding rules for CSMs, I just wanted more.  Having said that, some of what we did get was a bit of a head-scratcher as well.  This is not an element by element review of Traitor’s Hate – there’s been plenty of those, so I won’t go over each new formation.  But we all understand that the book does contain a couple formations that fundamentally just don’t work, such as the Heldrake Terror Pack (Hello?  Is it even really possible to use Merciless Pursuit?) and the Trinity of Blood (Really?  We’re supposed to bring three of the most over-costed super heavies in the entire game and in return we get a couple of lackluster powers?  That’s gonna go great with the 3,000 point, $480 Beatdown we’re gonna receive…).

Ultimately, what I felt was really bad (disappointing would be a better word) about Traitor’s Hate was that they left out so many things that were just obvious.  Where’s our new CSM relics?  Or new Warlord Traits (the ones in the original CSM Codex are just sooo painfully bad)?  Why not take this opportunity to flesh out the three Chaos God disciplines found in the original CSM codex, pushing them to a full seven powers apiece as was done for Chaos Daemons (CDs) in the first Warzone Fenris campaign book (better yet, they could have just abolished these powers and substituted the new daemon God-specific powers)?  And, because it has to be said, why not provide a complex detachment (Black Crusade) that is more of a real game changer like the Daemonic Incursion from the aforementioned Warzone Fenris?  For the record, I’m not entirely convinced on this last point (see the Good below), though I’m not stupid.  The Black Crusade is no Daemonic Incursion.


Incursions are just sooo good…  er, I mean bad.

Lastly, I must admit that I loathe the title Traitor’s Hate.  I mean, really?  I know GW is known for some really bad names/titles (Space Wolf codex, pretty much all of it), but they’ve been a better company lately.  They’ve improved so many things over the last couple years … and I know they can do better.  Just look at the recent Genestealer Cults book.  There’s so many cool things in there.  Subterranean Uprising?  Evocative and appropriate.  The Doting Throng?  So cool, and appropriate.  Even looking at Traitor’s Hate’s subtitle “The Long War”; so much better.  We all know it, and it is evocative and appropriate.  Even had they reversed the title/sub-title, it would have been much better.  Traitor’s Hate just seems trite, boring and lazy.

genestealer-cult-hybrid-acolyte-art-cropIt doesn’t get any better than worshiping the Four-armed Emperor.  You’ll see when He gets here…

The Good

So having said all that, why do I like Traitor’s Hate again?  Well, to start with, I like the Black Crusade detachment.  I love that it provides Hatred to everything Imperium, even if it isn’t all that strong.  It’s appropriate, so it feels right to me.  And I love that the Path to Glory ability it grants allows me to pick random champions in the army each turn and roll on the Chaos Boon table for them.  Oh, I know the Internet hates the Chaos Boon table, but I’ve been playing since the very beginning with Slaves to Darkness and The Lost and the Damned, and those books were all about enormous, sprawling, pages-long, mutation tables.  Honestly, CSMs don’t feel right to me without such a table.  And, though I’ve yet to try it on the table-top (still prepping my armies), I get the sense that I might get a little boost out of this when I play, particularly in conjunction with the Chaos Warband formation’s ability to roll twice on the table and choose either or both results.  I foresee plenty of Daemon Princes and/or Chaos Spawn (a significant upgrade to a cultist champion) appearing in my games.


I once generated a mutant dark elf that was 3 times the size and looked like my brother.  True story.

I also like several of the individual formations, particularly the Maelstrom of Gore (just screams Kharn and has convinced me to reformat my Berzerker army to a Black Crusade detachment rather than folding them into another Khorne Daemonkin army), the Lost and the Damned (a really cool endless swarm of cultist mooks), the Helforged Warpack (I love daemon engines) and the Cult of Destruction (I like running individual daemonhosts as ‘counts as’ obliterators/mutilators).  Many of these are not what you’d call staggeringly powerful, but they’re better than what I was running before, so I’ll take it.  What’s more, these formations have given me an excuse to convert my own Dark Apostle and Warpsmith (never needed to before as I primarily played Thousand Sons and Kharn-led Berserker armies).  And this last point is perhaps the most crucial of all of the reasons I have for liking Traitor’s Hate — the book has rekindled that creative flame inside me.

For those who know me, they know I’m all about Chaos.  I like all the Chaos Gods, I like the Traitor Legions and I like the simple heretics and cultists.  Oh, I have my favorites, such as the Thousand Sons and Tzeentch, but Khorne and his Berzerkers, are a close second.  I even like the Traitor Legions who pretend to favor no one Power over another or even none at all (pshhh), though I find them a tad wishy-washy.  I love the background, the infernal magic, the squiggly monsters … the tentacles.  All of it.  But above all, I love that from a modelling point of view, I can let my mind run wild.  I can do almost anything, subvert any other kit or model, bend the wholesome to the Darkness and corrupt the pure in my quest for the craziest, coolest monsters I can think of.  But truth be told, over the last decade or so, I’d lost some of my will to do this, at least in regards to CSMs.

File:Codex Chaos Space Marines FCover.jpg

Everyone loved me…

The last couple CSM codices have just been so lackluster, perhaps even well before that (I lost my rose-tinted glasses regarding the vaunted 3.5 codex long ago … though that is for another day).  And I’m not even talking about the overall CSM power level (though it sucks in this department too, sure as sure) – I’m talkin’ the overall flavor.  The last two CSM codices have just been so dry.  Little in the way of God-specific equipment, almost no evocative special powers, dull and disappointing Marks and no way to give them to daemon engines  – it just killed my desire to work on them.  Instead, I turned my attentions to CDs, where the flavors just ooze from the book – powerful and appropriate special rules, God-specific relics and magic weapons, interesting spells.  Daemons have it all and it’s only gotten better.

Codex Chaos Daemons

We’re the awesome proof that GW doesn’t hate on all the bad guys.

But with Traitor’s Hate, I’ve found that that spark of interest has begun to return.  Maybe it’s the crazy mutations that I envision throwing around, or the ability to bring more than just two sorcerers in a boring ‘ole Combined Arms Detachment (CAD), or the new ‘stolen from the space marines’ spells, or even the possibilities I can see with mixing the formations in Traitor’s Hate with those found in the updated Black Legion and Crimson Slaughter supplements.  Or maybe it’s just the inkling that this is but the harbinger of more and better CSM stuff to come?  Whatever it is, I’ve found that urge to covert CSMs again, and I’ve gone a little crazy with it.  So far, I’ve kit-bashed 3 new sorcerers, a warpsmith, a Hellbrute/Chaos dreadnaught and a Dark Apostle for my Thousand Sons/Tzeentchian cult armies.  In addition, I’ve also kit-bashed 10 Slaanesh CSMs and 12 Tzeentch CSMs.

All this, and I’ve so much more modelling planned to do.  Bikers, more sorcerers and CSMs and a myriad of tiny bits/adjustments to all these conversions.  I delved deep into my 20+ year-old bits box, scrimped from numerous modern kits and embraced GW’s new textured bases (these have been so good for adding gravitas to these new conversions).  It’s been so long, it just really strikes home how much better a marine, particularly a CSM, looks on a 32mm base.  I just didn’t truly appreciate this before.  I could go on, but the point is, I’m having a great time.  Traitor’s Hate has brought joy to this traitor’s heart.

rubric-marine-thousand-sonsIt’s Our turn now….

A Sample of My Madness

So considering that I’ve been so inspired to model/kit-bash CSMs, why was I having so much trouble hammering out lists?  Well, frankly, it’s because most of my CSM armies, but especially the ones I wished to convert over from their previous incarnations using the Black Crusade detachment and the new formations in Traitor’s Hate, were either Thousand Sons lists or Tzeentchian cults.  Honestly, neither the actual CSM codex nor Traitor’s Hate are meant to do this comfortably.  Obviously, since the CSM codex only contains the Thousand Sons rubrics unit and Ahriman himself as actual Thousand Sons, I’ve had to make compromises over the years – limiting myself to only Marks of Tzeentch, packing in two sorcerers and a couple of Thousand Sons units and then filling out the rest with slaves and puppets (daemon engines, daemonhosts (obliterators/mutilators), mutants (cultists with the Mark of Tzeentch), etc.).  Honestly, it has worked okay, though over the years I’ve relaxed my standards a bit (using some unmarked sorcerers, using formations and equipment from Black Legion/Crimson Slaughter as ‘counts as’ Thousand Sons, etc.).  As a primarily fluff player this has worn on my gaming soul a bit, but what can I say?  The state of CSMs has been so bad, it’s been a struggle to just be bad as opposed to horrific.

Anyway, I had difficultly fitting my current Thousand Sons armies into the new detachment.  If I’m honest, it’s pretty much my fault, as my long-held dreams of getting multiple sorcerers, say 3-5, into these armies had finally come to be reality.  Problem is, it’s soooo easy to eat up points that way, leaving not nearly enough to squeeze in the slaves/puppets needed to actually be an army.  So I kept building and tearing down lists.  Finally, after two weeks I’ve constructed three lists that I’m personally pleased with, and another that is mostly done, but I’ve yet to hammer out the exact details.

And then … behold, Magnus returns. 

And he is here to prove that Tzeentch is the true Master of the Impossible.  We’re getting a Thousand Sons codex of some stripe.  I … I can’t … words fail me to truly express just how astonishing that is.

magnus-large-horz-gwI’m back, baby!

Given these new developments, I suspect strongly that only one of my lists will likely survive to ever be played as I’ve written, so that’s the one I’ll post for your perusal.  But before you feast your eyes on my creation, keep in mind a couple things.  I’m all about style.  I do not like to spam units or characters, though given the state of CSMs, I really can’t avoid this with basic troops and lesser units.  Even still, I try to make my characters distinctly individual.  Also, I do not delude myself into thinking my lists will dominate the tournament setting.  Instead, I aim to build lists that play the way I want them to and that I feel might land me firmly at the middle of the pack at local tournaments.

So, having said that, I present:

The Cerulean Seers — 1850

Black Crusade Detachment

Lost and the Damned Formation [core] – 584

Thotek, Dark Apostle, Mark of Tzeentch, Scrolls of Magnus
Mutants (cultists) x 10, Mark of Tzeentch, autoguns x 3, heavy stubber
Mutants (cultists) x 10, Mark of Tzeentch, autoguns x 3, heavy stubber
Mutants (cultists) x 10, Mark of Tzeentch, autoguns x 3, heavy stubber
Mutants (cultists) x 10, Mark of Tzeentch, autoguns x 3, flamer

Mutants (cultists) x 10, Mark of Tzeentch, autoguns x 3, flamer

Mutants (cultists) x 12, Mark of Tzeentch, autoguns x 2, heavy stubber, champion w/shotgun

Spawn Formation [auxiliary] – 306
Chaos Spawn x 3, Mark of Tzeentch
Chaos Spawn x 3, Mark of Tzeentch
Chaos Spawn x 3, Mark of Tzeentch

Spawn Formation [auxiliary] – 170
Chaos Spawn x 2, Mark of Tzeentch
Chaos Spawn x 2, Mark of Tzeentch
Chaos Spawn x 1, Mark of Tzeentch

Disciples of Mannon Formation – 310
Naphazar, Chaos Sorcerer, 2 additional Mastery lvls, spell familiar, Prophet of the Voices
Possessed x 5, Mark of Tzeentch

Cyclopia Formation – 480
Osirum, Chaos Sorcerer, 2 additional Mastery lvls, Mark of Tzeentch, disc of Tzeentch, spell familiar, VotLW, Last Memory of the Yuranthos
Khabek Xalte-Ptah, Chaos Sorcerer, 2 additional Mastery lvls, spell familiar, VotLW, Gift of Mutation
Hathor Bubastis, Chaos Sorcerer, 2 additional Mastery lvls, spell familiar, VotLW, melta bombs

Osirum.  When I’m fully painted, you’re all gonna burn.


The basic plan is to flood the board with mutants and chaos spawn, snatching up objectives, getting in the way and letting the bigger tentacled monstrosities eat troublesome vehicles/units.  Hopefully, while the enemy is busy with all them, the sorcerers can hang back, buffing the hordes, cursing the enemy and mind-controlling dangerous opposing units to help us overthrow their fellows.  Osirum will roll forward with the spawn, hurling flaming magicks everywhere and looking for opportunities to lead crucial charges.  Naphazar, thanks to the protection the Prophets of the Voices afford him (he’s a daemon!) will specialize in Malefic sorcery and attempt to summon a bunch of Tzeentch daemons while awaiting the fulfillment of his prophecy.  I’ll keep the lone spawn close by to serve as a sacrifice should that spell be available.  The theme throughout is monsters, mutants and even more monsters from beyond.  Will it dominate?  Probably not, but it might do okay on the lower tables of a tournament and ought to be loads of fun.

Naphazar.  When he gets his paint job, he’s bringin’ the Party all night long.

Praise Tzeentch!

~So what do you think?  Has Traitor’s Hate, or indeed any of the other recent GW books, fired up your hobby spirit?  Thousand Sons?!?!  Or am I just mad?  It’s hard to tell for us Tzeentch guys…

Read more from Kazzigum on Slaved to Ruin

  • Dyemor

    I’m really enjoying the new book. The Chaos Warband with all the unit’s being Objective Secured plus the double rolls on the boon table are great.

    The main thing I find that limit’s the effectiveness of the lists is trying to play a mono-god. If you can get past that and use the Marks of Chaos which are most advantageous for that model/unit, you’ll have a much better time of it.

    Spawn and Bikers with Mark of Nurgle are great, and even better taken in this detachment if you’re playing against imperial because they get Hatred. Raptors with Mark of Khorne getting a ton of attacks, plus objective secured is again amazing.

    Back line Havocks with 4x Autocannons and Objective secured are great. Stick an ObjSec Hellbrute back there with them to help protect them from any deep striking or outflanking and you have a pretty solid back line shooting platform.

    • Dyemor

      One more thing I’d like to see is Forgeworld to step up and list where their models can be used in formations as replacements for other things, just like they did with Kytan Daemon Engine replacement for Lord of Skulls.

      Would love to be able to take my Sonic Dreadnaught instead of a Hellbrute in most of the formations/detachments. Likewise something like using the Blood Slaughterers instead of Maulerfiends or the Rapier Weapon Batteries (one of the best things in IA13) instead of Havock units.

      • Deacon Ix

        Definitely- a large part of the force I use is FW (Hellblade is a staple) and I can only use them in a CAD, I have tried making lists with Black Crusade but it doesn’t fit my playstyle.

        • Yeah I painted up 2 hell blades but I haven’t used them yet because I’m mostly playing black crusade, and nobody in my area plays with death from the skies

      • Completely agree, FW support would be fantastic

  • Djbz

    Really not keen on that army list
    more cultist/spawn/sorceror spam than you can shake a stick at and far too few chaos space marines.
    It’s almost entirley reliant on rolling the right powers with the sorcerors to do anything.

    And what is with the cultist units having 3 autoguns and leaving the rest with autopistols?
    Cultists work best as entirely autogun or entirely autopistol, mixing them is, inefficent at best.

    • Dyemor

      I think its the conversions he’s done in the past or at least the model’s that he has.

      There’s a much more Spawny Spam list you can do with LOTS of Nurgle 1 spawn unit’s because you can take as many Auxilary detachments as you like.

    • Diagoras

      Not to mention 118pts of 6+ invulns. I mean, Tzeentch is my favorite, too, but… Mark of Tzeentch on Cultists or Spawns is a laughable waste of points…

      Better off with no Mark at all. Could’ve afforded twenty more Cultists, or three more (useless) Spawns, help fill out that second (useless) Spawn Formation.

      If he doesn’t have the models, he could’ve sunk those points into SOMETHING more useful than 6++ on cannon fodder.

      • Dyemor

        Can’t see why you wouldn’t want to run 15x 1 Spawn unit’s instead of the mix that he has… unless you’re wanting to be nice to your opponent 🙂

        • LordKrungharr

          A bunch of single spawns present many more targets. Bad for kill points but good for limiting the enemy focus on less units. T6 coming through cover is decent.

  • ZeeLobby

    The book might be fine, for whatever power level GW threw the dart at, but the game is in a dismal state, which makes it hard to judge.

  • Martin

    I’ve just given up on the whole thing till there is a new edition or, at the very least, a new CSM codex. All this wasted effort “supplementing” a codex that just doesn’t work. They could/should have simply done a new codex by now.

    • nuggy

      Im feeling the same here.
      Traitors Hate does include some really neat things but its nowhere near justifiable as a stand alone release. If it had been published as a slight revamp ala Tau style with all of the TH content added in and some slight retooling/update of rules I would have bought it right of the bat. But as the codex is atm no amount of extra books will make do sadly.

  • Martin

    Double Post

  • D. B.

    “seriously, I always crack a new GW book wide open and inhale deeply – it
    just brings so many good gaming memories flooding back and has a real,
    distinct scent, even as old comics do”

    Yeah, same here.

  • nurglitch

    I’m loving Traitor’s Hate too, although I think the title is appropriate. I’ve heard it say that “Layers of Hate” would have been a good sub-title, but GW has really made it plain about the depths of hatred that the CSMs feel and how that’s what drives them. Game-wise I’m absolutely loving both the effects of multiple boons, and being able to hammer them at the start of the turn.

    • ZeeLobby

      I haven’t read it yet, but isn’t it pretty obvious that hatred drives them. A whole book where the fluff just reiterates that seems silly :P.

      • nurglitch

        Maybe you should read it and find out.

        • ZeeLobby

          Oh I will. I just found your comment funny.

  • Latro_the_Zombie

    Chaos warband:
    Have to take CSM – they suck
    Have to to take chosen/termis/possessed so you take termicide – not great
    Then bikers good but ye now specialising as you’ll prob need two units not one
    havocs and helbrutes suck…

    all this tax for a free boon table roll or two… gggggreat. and hatred is good if you have units that will actually make comabat and if they do actually be good at it!

    I considered LaTD but then reminded my self of the cost of a DA and decided meh, plus his ability actually can be seen as bad since you might want them to legit

    berzerks are rubbish

    so you have to have one of the above before you start

    then the other formations limit you, want some obits? well you have to have three units and a warpsmith.

    its a decurion so no slots… basically cuts off IA13 a bit..

    lalala brain dump.

    funest thing i thought of was:
    LaTD tax and bodies
    then spam chaos lords on juggers leading multiple units of spawn e.g.

    LaTD – 300

    Fun jugger lord – 150
    5 Spawn – 150

    Fun jugger lord – 150
    5 Spawn – 150

    Fun jugger lord – 150
    5 Spawn – 150

    Fun jugger lord – 150
    5 Spawn – 150

    Fun jugger lord – 150
    5 Spawn – 150

    1850, of course you’ll loose but whey

    better off sticking to daemonkin for chaos

    • Dyemor

      I tended to go with just a cheap unit of 3 terminators, combi-melta and power weapons. They’re objective secured, so drop them in their back line and harrass.

      3 unit’s of objsec Havocks with 12 Autocannons in the back line shred light vehicles/monstrous creatures. Give them Rhino’s for more obsec, cheap vehicles.

      CSM marines aren’t as good as Vanilla, so keep them cheap, give a 5 man squad a meltagun and the champion a Melta bomb. Stick them in a rhino with an extra combi bolter and you have a pair of objective secured unit’s shooting around the place.

      • Latro_the_Zombie

        then a marine player rolls up with 14 drop pods (free is better than cheap) also with everything obsec toting grav and melta… XD

        its OK though! at least you’ll ‘hate’ them as they grav you off the board

        • ZeeLobby

          It’s a lot of hate! Hate of CSM, Hate of SM, Hate of GW, Hate of your opponent. Hate hate hate. The title of the book is aptly named :D.

          • Admiral Raptor

            As a CSM player, you’ve pretty much summed up our entire existence 😀

        • Containing tactical marines assault marines and devs that, much like CSM, suck

    • Havocs with 4 special weapons in a rhino and objective secured really don’t suck

  • Strategery.

    reminder: cultists are still useless

    • Agent OfBolas

      Do you refer to their price being almost double when compared to AM, or the fact they don’t have anything to offer?


    • Deacon Ix

      Almost – I use them as cheap troop tax and as objective holders.

    • Karru

      And still better than CSM squads. Tells a lot about the CSM book.

  • Agent OfBolas

    Traitor’s Hate – this is great book for playing local games with a lot of beer.

    If we are moving in to competetive play … most of stuff in this book is useless. The problem is not in Traitor’s Hate, but in the main CSM book – and this is the one that needs improvement, not suplements.

    But it won’t happen, because a good book is always a smaller profit for GW than a bad book and several books to seel with “improvements”.

    I swapped CSMs for TAU – my wh40k experience is much better.

  • Deacon Ix

    Whilst I like trators hate, the formations in the Black Crusade detachment are too pricey, Raptors and Termies hit 500pts each, the core detachment is 700+, it just feels far too limiting, I have just made a new chaos army list and it is using the standard CAD, the formations are all nice, don’t get me wrong but in order to use the black crusade detachment the game size will have to be 2k+ or 3k more likely…

  • The CSM book is fun, so long as you aren’t playing against competitive lists.

    Once you are playing against competitive lists, just toss the book because you’re going to get face rolled.

    Judging by the responses over the past few years, most of us play in competitive environments against competitive lists.

    • ZeeLobby

      Even outside of competitive environments, tabletop wargames are played to be won. We only have one member in our group who continues to play Orks regardless of his continuing losses. The majority of other low-power level players have either left the game, or moved to stronger factions. There are varying degrees of competitiveness there, but in the end it feels good to win, even with a non-competitive list. You don’t need to win every time, but occasionally is better than none at all.

      The big issues is the self-management required to make fun lists fun for both players. We’re basically writing our own game at this point.

      • Our narrative campaigns have shown me it can be done. I play my CSM in those and its great fun but the players all know what type of environment it is and don’t show up with grav spam or eldar lol.

        • Haighus

          “Or Eldar” It shows how big the issue is when you have to discount an entire codex…

          • Eldar can be fun to play against if the other player isn’t maxing out on D scythes and portals lol. An eldar force with say one wraith knight and a lot of guardians with a sprinkle of elite is actually a lot of fun to play against.

            But no one owns that force. THey own the tournament melt your face force.

          • ZeeLobby

            I don’t know which nightmare I have more often, 3 giant WK’s chasing me through quicksand, or a circle of wave serpents pushing me with their prow waves for my lunch money…

          • Karru

            Then you’ll love me. My core, ie the stuff that the list will always start with and from there it’s free reign, includes at least 20-40 Guardians, 10 Rangers and a unit of Dire Avengers in a Wave Serpent. From there I usually like to include Dark Reapers and Wraithlord. Then maybe a unit of Wraithguard with D-scythes if I’m facing hordes in a Wave Serpent or a Fire Prism. I don’t like to look of Jetbikes so I barely use those and Wraithguard are cool, but only in limited numbers for me. Wraithlord will always remain as my favourite Eldar model.

        • ZeeLobby

          Yeah, it definitely can. I just wish we didn’t have to. Plus we have an Eldar player who only has Eldar (since 3rd), and we haven’t been able to shame/shun him yet :/ (jk).

          • 😉 i own eldar. My army is pretty fun. I field a single wraith knight and a single unit of scythes and thats it. The rest are guardians etc.

          • ZeeLobby

            Yeah, I mean it could all be fixed with some iterative rule writing. Rebalance the costs of just a couple units and the book would be fine.

            At this point they just need to throw formations/detachments/etc. out the door as well.

          • or effectively point cost them. Formations are busted because you get a lot of free extra broken rules.

          • Andrew Thomas

            Or, at the very least, remove some unit choices from those formations/detachments, case in point: Wraith Constructs.

    • Karru

      My enjoyment when I play comes from playing with themed armies that are unique or just standard balanced lists with multiple different units that have a nice synergy amongst them.

      CSM book doesn’t offer this, since there is no special rule to base a tactic around, nor does it have any fun themes to play with. Even going with the most represented Black Legion theme, it’s so bland that it’s not even funny. The army lacks the reflection of the fluff which makes it not fun.

      It feels depressing to see my friend, who has over 10k points worth of CSM, field very similar lists every time we play, since that is all he has to work with within the book. If he fields Lucius and Emperor’s Children, he gets a few models from me before I wipe them out. If he fields Kharn and his ‘zerkers, he doesn’t even get that much unless I go for the fun route of wanting to challenge his Kharn to a duel with my meanest thing in the field. The entire book is so overpriced that when I field any army against CSM, I always have to confirm that we both know what the point limit is before the game starts and I see both armies side by side.

      I’ve tried 3 times to start a CSM army and each time it just falls flat due to not having anything fun and interesting to base a tactic around. I couldn’t care how effective it is, but I don’t want my excuse for losing to be “well, maybe next time the RNGesus is on my side”.

      I’m currently doing something I really shouldn’t do and that is to hope that the Thousand Sons book brings something fun and interesting to play with. Thousand Sons will always and forever remain as my favourite army in the lore. I hope that they won’t remain as the worst army to play like they currently are.

      • Yep I’m hoping that there is a decent thousand sons force too, that was my main chaos army.

    • Bahkara

      The book can play competitive, it just requirements more work than most people are willing to put in. Recently I went 2-1, losing to Blood Angels CAD and beating War Convocation and 5 Knights.

      It’s not top tier but It’s not bottom half anymore either

  • Pyrrhus of Epirus

    i stopped reading when you were saying howmuch you like the maelstrum of gore formation, and realized you are not trying to make tournament competative armies, just fun game style armies which chaos could do before this underwhelming POS book came out.

  • Admiral Raptor

    Good article, I’m glad someone was inspired by it.

    After reading through the book, all I can say about Traitors Hate is that it is technically better than nothing.

  • Christie Bryden

    my body is ready

  • Hunlow

    I really like that Dark Apostle equipped with the Scrolls Of Magnuson. What a great idea for a thousand sons theme! I’ve been thinking of a pirate force thats inspired by the ubiquitous battle company. Huron leads x3 chosen in rhinos, x3 havocs in rhinos, x2 basic CSM in rhinos and a squad of bikes. With a single spawn as an auxiliary it clocks in around 1250 and you can kit out 6 of the CSM squads with up to 4 heavy/special weapons. Using Huron let’s you infiltrate up to 3 of the CSM units too. If you want to go melta crazy thats 24 Meltagun shots! It’s for sure not as good as a regular battle company but throw in a Gatling Knight and that could make for a cool “remnants of a chapter” style army.

  • “The last couple CSM codices have just been so lackluster, perhaps even well before that (I lost my rose-tinted glasses regarding the vaunted 3.5 codex long ago … though that is for another day)”

    Technically both are true, there’s only been 2 codexes since 3.5, the 4th ed codex and the 6th ed one