The updated Bolter Rules are raining awesomeness on the Chaos Marines. Let’s see who the biggest winners are.
Goatboy here again and wow what a week of digital releases. We got an updated Custodes list from FW and the total mentioned “Beta Bolters.” Today’s chatter is the Beta Bolters rule as the Custodes list is something I would have to review a bit more to figure out. But Bolters I know pretty well so let’s go through the top 5 units from the Chaos armies.
Overall I think the Bolter changes are pretty neat and while not game-defining they do allow some armies to shift around a bit and get some neat answers for piles of enemy models. I think the overall winners depending on how they FAQ their veteran squads for Death Watch but we’ll see. The rule makes some subpar units better which is always a good thing. I am wondering what other rules we’ll see show up in the few White Dwarves before the FAQ, and the rumored new rulebooks coming down the pipeline. Chaos loves the Bolter rule because of tons of reroll 1’s to hit, Veteran of the Long War, Mark of Slaanesh Double Shooting, and the spell Prescience. Lots of little layers of combos to get bolter weapons to do a lot of damage.
Alright – enough dancing around this let’s get into the list.
#5 – Plain Jane Chaos Terminators
Chaos Terminators are one of those units that could have had their time in the sun if rules stayed the same. I messed with an idea of using 2-3 squads of Terminators, Warptime, and a 1-3 turns of pressure as each unit came down and got moved up to charge. Now I think we could look at them in the same vein as the Blight Lords (who are not in this list as the beta rules give them 6″ more inches which isn’t exactly what they wanted) as a central hold unit. Go with Alpha Legion for their Legion, mark them Nurgle, and watch as you have a center holding unit that can throw out some damage and have a -2 to shoot at. Plus with a ton of decent power weapons, you could counter assault. I do wish these guys had one more wound, but that is just me.
#4 – Chaos Rhino
I have used these models for awhile as mobile walls, protection from evil Knight damage, and just as sacrificial charge takers. I find them to be pretty decent as they take more than you want to use damage potential to take one out. 10 Wounds at Toughness 7 is a pain in the butt to get rid of. Add two combi-bolters on top, and you got a random eight shot unit that can just be helpful to clear out some chaff as needed. I am usually running 2-3 in most of my Chaos lists and would say anyone wanting to go away from Cultists can look at a few of these full of Zerkers, Grenade Throwing Plague Marines, and character nonsense.
#3 – Basic Combat Dreadnoughts
Most basic combat Helbrutes/dreadnoughts/etc. all have the option to shove a combi-bolter into their fist/claw/appendage. Now I know it is not the best – but now these monsters will throw out a quick eight shots as needed and can be a pretty mean counter charge with five soul-crushing attacks. Look at the Helforged Contemptor – if you want to go cheap, you can get a 2+ hitting, 10-inch moving, five attack jerk for the low price of 132 points. Heck, the regular Helbrute is 104 points which is pretty dang cheap for a close combat bruiser.
#2 – Chaos Biker Units and Characters
Did you know that Endless Cacophony works on Biker units too? Also that Veterans of the Long war works as well. Plus the Champion can get a combi-bolter as well. This gives you a 40 shot unit that gets +1 to wound and then can shoot again. Heck throw Prescience on top, and you got an excellent chaff killer for all those pesky blobs of Grots. Lucky for us you can put a ton of Characters on bikes too, and they all can grab a Combi-Bolter as well. This gives you another eight shots off of a model as well. Mix this with some Rhinos, some bikes, and other options, and you got a ton of bolter fire. Mix in some other FW nonsense to get your high damage options out of the way, and you might have the start of a neat army.
#1 – Scarab Occult Terminators
These guys seem poised to be a serious threat on the table top. Backed by some insane Spell Casting (Ahriman and a Warlord with +1 to cast) and you have a very tough unit to remove. They get stuck into some terrain and watch as no one wants to get near them as they hold an objective for a few turns. Veterans turn their -2 AP bolters into a severe threat to just about anything that gets within 24″. Is it the best thing in the book? Probably not but I think just getting to threaten everything at 24″ with 40 shots is a good thing. Plus the help from Spells means these guys will get boosted to crazy levels of usefulness.
I like the idea of using some Slaanesh bikers to threaten an army. They are pretty cheap at a flat 209 points mixed with a very fast set of movement they can get somewhere and unload a large number of shots. Drop all the Bolt Pistols for Chainswords, and they will assault alright if need be. I even looked at throwing in a few Plasma Guns as they can still through out some shots on top of the Combi-Weapon shots. A few Strength 7-8 damage could be useful to remove those last few pesky wounds from an important model.
What do you think of these new Beta Rules showing up in the new White Dwarf? Does this make you want to grab every White Dwarf that comes out? Are you hoping they combine all these rules into Chapter approved at the end of the year?
~Overall do you think Marines got better with this rule or did they just make Roboute armies better? What else could they do to make the Marine a better choice to take or is this the dying age of tactical armor?