BoLS logo Tabletop, RPGs & Pop Culture

40K: Chaos Space Marine’s Most Improved

5 Minute Read
Jun 29

The Chaos Space Marines are ready to usher in a new era of Chaos in Warhammer 40k. These are the units that will do it!

Chaos Space Marines are the “big threat” in the lore. Sure, there are different factions vying for dominance or seeking ascension to some dark apotheosis, but at the end of the day they all want to destroy the Imperium of Man. After speaking with some of my favorite Chaos players, getting some games in, and polling the folks here at BoLS HQ we’ve got a list that we think are the most improved for 8th edition. Here they are in no particular order


As much as I want to retire these models for new ones, we here at BoLS couldn’t deny how much Khorne Berzekers had improved this edition. They bring a bucket load of fairly accurate strength 5 attacks to the table. Both chainaxes and chainswords are viable options as one is deadlier and the other piles on the number of swings. But what really makes them deadly is their special ability:

Blood for the Blood God says: This unit can fight twice in each Fight phase, instead of only once. Getting to swing twice is amazing. There is a question on when that ability triggers and if you get to repeat the entire fight phase or just part of it. Regardless, this unit can break those rules, fight twice and cause another bucket of damage to their targets. Brutal.

Dark Apostle

I always appreciated the scroll work on this model but never felt that it was truly a good option for the Chaos Space Marine player. However, in 8th he’s become a fantastic choice. First off, relative to the other HQ options he’s cheap but he’s no slouch in close combat. But the real power of this model comes in the form of the auras he brings to the table:


Pretty much any [Legion] unit in your army is going to reap the benefits from the Dark Apostle.¬†When you bring along a Dark Apostle your close combat attacks will go from accurate to scary! Imagine him assisting your Berzerkers from above with a re-rolls to hit AND giving them an extra point of leadership for those pesky morale tests. That’s just one example – pretty much anyone in CSM Power Armor is getting a boost from this guy and that’s why he’s on the list.

Chaos Terminators

Terminators in general got a boost this edition. With the changes to AP, the extra wound, and the changes to combi-weapons, these guys are a terror on the tabletop now. And don’t discount the Reaper Autocannon either. Oh, and how could I forget their pin-point deepstrikes now. It’s a fantastic way to get a ton of plasma or melta shots into something quick! Dealing with a horde unit? Combi-flamers and the Heavy Flamer will help out with that. And they still get access to all the power weapons terminators can take too – these guys are the Swiss Army Knife of the CSM. If you have a problem unit to deal with, there is a Terminator load-out that can deal with it!


Havocs w/Autocannons

Chaos Space Marine Players, do yourself a favor and order Kalibrax pattern Autocannons from Forge World. Paint them up in what ever legion colors you’re army is and then use them as Havocs with Autocannons. Each Havoc with one will then pump out 2 Strength 7, AP -1, 2 damage shots a turn. They are going to hit on a 3+ and work against just about any unit in the game. Other weapons have their uses but Autocannons are so useful it’s hard to come up with a scenario where they wouldn’t be useful.


Chaos Rhinos

We’ve already talked about why we think the humble Rhino is back in a big way in 8th. So why bring up the Chaos Rhino? Because the Chaos Rhino has access to two more weapons: The Havoc Launcher and Combi-Weapons. A Combi-Plasma or Combi-Melta is deadly. Slap one of those on a Rhino and it’s going to cause problems for your opponent. The Combi-Flamer is also funny. “Did you charge my poor Rhino? Take D6 hits to the face!” I think the Havoc Launcher is just icing on the cake!

Bonus: Lord of Skulls

I’m not even sure where to start other than to say the Khorne Lord of Skulls got a major upgrade in 8th. If you’ve seen the stats then you know that it’s a killing machine at ranged at up close. It actually gets MORE deadly in close combat the fewer wounds it has. On top of that, all of it’s guns are just plain deadly – they all do multiple wounds, have an AP range of -2 up to -4 AP and are pretty high strength. And if that’s not enough, it also gets a 5+ invulnerable save AND regens a wound at the start of each of your turns. Oh, and just for kicks it’s got [Legion] as a keyword. Now were was that Dark Apostle at…


There are TONS of units that have been improved in 8th – too many to go over in our list here. What CSM units are you liking in 8th?

Latest News From BoLS:

  • Advertisement
  • Tabletop Gallery: "Grimdark Waterbugs"