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40K: The Future of Chaos Codexes

4 Minute Read
Jan 25 2018
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We’ve got a Death Guard Codex and the Thousand Sons are on the way – What’s next for the Chaos Codexes?

Since the Gathering Storm, Games Workshop has made a concerted effort to re-establish Chaos as “The Big Bad” in all of 40k. I think they’ve done a pretty good job thus far. Between the different Chaos Space Marine books and Codex Daemons, it’s starting to feel like the Chaos side of the war is getting just as much attention as the Imperial side of things. Overall, Chaos as a faction is in firm second place if you look at the Keyword count. They have been gaining ground as more and more Chaos options come out, but they still have a LONG way to go to catch-up to the Imperium.

That said, it’s not as improbably as you might think. Chaos as a faction has the potential to catch-up to the Imperium and if the current trend continues, they just might. What trend is that? Chaos Legion books!


Much like the Space Marines who have a stable of books (Space Marines, Blood Angels, Dark Angels, Space Wolves, Death Watch, Grey Knights and now Adeptus Custodes – if you want to count them as uber ‘Marines’) the Chaos side of the coin could easily do the same thing. They already have 3 of those books out or on the way: Chaos Space Marines, Death Guard, and Thousand Sons. And there are lots more Legions to choose from. An obvious choice is World Eaters which would also give a nod to the Chaos God Khorne. And then of course the eternal question has been what about Slaanesh and the Emperor’s Children. Boom, that’s 2 more books right there.

Let’s also not forget about the Chaos Renegades – an army concept that could be explored a lot further by GW. These are your Huron Blackhearts of Chaos. These are the followers of Chaos who might ally with Chaos “proper” but don’t always support their goals. And then there’s the other end of the spectrum where you have the Black Legion – a faction that is all about the Chaos Undivided.

If each one of these “extra” factions got a book that would be a total of 7 CSM-mini factions that could work as stand alone codexes. Now, I think some of them might get the Grey Knight treatment (ie, smaller codexes that don’t really add a ton of units but do have rules/warlord traits/artefacts/characters). But those are just adding to the over-all chaos pool.


But what is more important is that these codexes would at least give GW another reason to release some newer Chaos Space Marine models. The “standard” CSM Kit and the Berzerkers are both starting to show their age, especially compared to the newer Death Guard and Thousand Sons kits. (C’mon new Abaddon Kit…just sayin!)

Here’s the thing – it’s not JUST power armor either. We just got a Chaos Daemon Codex and while it had a lot of great stuff in it, the Slaanesh Models/Characters section was thin compared to the rest. Now, they did get some rules love which was nice, but at the same time, that’s a whole other faction that could use a shot to the arm. I’m sure GW has something planned but at this point, who knows…

I am the Keeper of Secrets for a reason…


Will we see a Khorne Daemon Kin book again? What about a Children of Slaanesh book? These types of things aren’t unprecedented is my point – that is a direction GW could take Chaos next. And then there are the Chaos Cults…


Much like the countless hordes of the Astra Militarum, there are unknown quantities of Chaos Cultists in the Imperium just waiting to spring up and cause a revolt. This is a book that could be very similar in tone and style to the Genestealer Cult books – a faction that leans toward Chaos but uses a lot of AM hardware. Again, GW has proven in the past they are okay with reusing those units so it’s not unprecedented. But if I’m honest, it would feel a little lazy unless a Chaos Cult book got a few kits and rules that really make them feel unique and not a knock off of Genestealer Cults.

More Chaos, Please!

Overall GW has a lot of directions they could take Chaos. Will they continue to expand the “Big Bads” range and rules to help them match the sheer number of Imperium options? I hope so. But I hope they sprinkle in Chaos through out the release wave vs dump it all at once. We’ve still got a LOT of work to do for the Xenos factions, too. Personally, I’d like to see some “not power armor” for a few months before we return to 3+ saves all the time again. Then again, it’s Chaos and you never know what you’re going to get!


What directions would you like to see GW take Chaos? Do you think that the Chaos Faction will ever “catch-up” to the Imperium in terms of options?

Author: Adam Harrison
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