Update Note[edit]

The new Codex Heretic Astartes has updated rules for many units from the Chaos Index. These unit entries replace the entries from the index. If a unit does not have an entry in the codex, you can continue to use the version from the index.

Why Play Chaos Space Marines[edit]

Chaos Space Marines- er, sorry, Heretic Astartes are the main antagonist of the Warhammer 40,000 setting, with the Horus Heresy arguably being the most pivotal moment in W40k timeline in favor of the Ruinous Powers. From a fluff-perspective, a Chaos Space Marine army can be a Warband derived from one of the nine original Traitor Legions, or a more recent group of Marines (or even an entire Chapter) that has gone Renegade, and the fluff for your army is yours to write; the latter option is barely acknowledged by your crunch at all (we not your 30k), but hey, details. Besides the normal question of "what god(s) do your Chaos Marines follow?", the backstory of how your former defenders of Humanity fell to Chaos can be every bit as compelling, as well as any driving motivations. After all, while some Chaos Space Marines may be occasional pawns in the grand scheme of the Gods, most of their own motives remain entirely human, whether it's the quest for vengeance in The Long War, carving out pocket empires, or researching forbidden secrets. In many ways, Chaos Space Marines are the Your Dudes army. You are ALSO here to rip and tear those corpse-worshipping fuckers to shreds. LET THE GALAXY BURN!

What makes a Chaos Space Marines player?[edit]

Spikes, rage, and feeling the warp overtaking you. If you're playing CSM you are one who longs for the simple art of victory for the Dark Gods. Or possibly the God-emperor. Or making the dude across from you piss himself. Or not being a failure and prove your granddad DEAD WRONG. Or you're a neckbeard. Or to have your opponent accept the Dark Gods into his life. Or spilling milk for the Khorn Flakes and frothing with pure RAEG. Or you just want to trip on bath salts, blast Death Metal and sit on dicks. Honestly who the fuck cares? Nothing fancy. Just pure rip and tear!

Could also mean giving your friends a big black death hug for being a NNNNEEEEERRRDDD. But those are seperate armies now. For soooome reason.


  • This is a faction that rewards creativity and experimentation with kit-bashing and converting (especially loyalist models into those blessed by the power of the Warp).
  • Despite what some people may say about Chaos players, odds are you will likely not have to completely sacrifice your soul, spleen, and wallet in equal measure(to the great gods of course) to play Chaos Marines, as they are one of the cheaper factions to build an army with.
  • If one word can describe Chaos Space Marines, it's ferocity. This is a viciously aggressive army, more than almost any other, and can overwhelm an opponent in a heartbeat, be it in shooting, melee, or Alpha Strike.
  • Rocking the Psychic Phase. Chaos Space Marines have historically wielded a great deal of Psychic power due to being Chaos and all, and that remains VERY true in 8th. Our Psychic toolbox is one of the most varied, adaptable, and outright powerful disciplines in the game, so unless you're up against the booty pixies or Grey Knights, you'll wreak your opponent's shit in that regard.
  • The days of Chaos Space Marines only being good for close combat are as dead as Sanguinius. Daemon Engines, Predators, Land Raiders,and special-weapons Chosen are all VASTLY better than before and can blow the enemy sky high. It is not accurate to say that CSM shooting is better than CC(Khorne Berzerkers, Helbrutes, Melee-Chosen, and Terminators are absolute butchers). Instead, think of it as a reversal of the Loyalist scum: Space Marines have INCREDIBLE shooting, decent melee, and strong defensive power, while Chaos Marines have fantastic shooting, HORRIFYING melee power, but mediocre defensive power.
  • Games Workshop has recently decided to further emphasize the Imperium vs. Chaos conflict as the dominant plot line, and with this came some major releases for the Thousand Sons and Death Guard. The Emperor's Children and World Eaters are extremely likely to get new releases as well as round up the God-aligned Legions. So now looks like a pretty good time to be a Chaos player, especially if you're interested in a force aligned to one specific God in particular.
  • Diverse array of options. Depending on your allegiance and Legion / Warband, you have the option to construct a wide array of forces with many different themes. Combinations with Chaos Daemons, Chaos Titans, Traitor Questoris (Renegade Knights) and Renegades & Heretics (Traitor Guard) make for very creative, fluffy or just plain mean combinations.
  • All Daemon Engines have become very resilient & killy murder machines. Even more so with the codex stratagems.
  • Lots of "Hellforged" vehicles that like to eat infantry & regain wounds...
  • The new Boon table is strictly optional, and most of the results on it are really good. Even becoming a Daemon Prince is not a nerf now. Even better, you can now choose the character that will be affected instead of rolling for any victorious challenger.
  • Death to the False Emperor! - Extra attacks in melee for a traditionally choppy-oriented army? Yes, very much yes, please! The old complaint of "Chaos is just Loyalists without ATSKNF and shiny toys!" is over. Rip and tear until it's done!


  • From a modeling standpoint:
    • Remember when we said that this line rewards experimentation and kitbashing? Well, it's pretty much the only way to go, if you want to build decent minis. Why? Well, with a few notable exceptions (such as Rubricae) the Chaos Marine model line is ancient, with a fair few sculpts dating all the way back to 2nd edition. Abaddon's model is now of legal age. Most of the infantry kits available don't actually contain all the weapons options that you can take as per the codex. If you want to play WYSIWYG you're in for a baaaaad day. Lascannons, power axes, chain axes, terminator weapons, a monopose Havocs kit.... Here's a list of the worst offenders: Havocs, Obliterators, Mutilators, Abaddon, the Noise Marines (which don't even get their own kit; they are made from a regular CSM kit and an upgrade sprue), and Bikers. The basic CSM kit is rather dated as well. Oh, and there's still no dedicated Chosen kit.
    • Many of the units that were good in previous editions got nerfed pretty badly in 8th, and most of the units that were shite back then are now beastly. Especially if you're buying already built models, you may have to make some changes.
  • From a gaming standpoint.
    • Cult marines are no longer Fearless, even the plague-ridden husks of the Death Guard, or the cursed automatons of the Thousand Sons, will run away if things get too hot for them. That sort of sucks, occasionally. However, morale checks are not really something you should normally concern yourself with, as a CSM player - anything that does enough damage to force a morale check to actually inflict losses is probably going to wipe out the entire unit anyway. Unless you are fielding Legion strength (20+ models) units, morale should not be a major concern.
    • Melta Bombs are gone now.
    • There are no ways to recycle Command Points.
    • Chaos Boon table has been modified into a Stratagem and it now costs valuable CP to roll on it.
    • Very early codex release and power creep seems to be still in effect. For example, the Chaos Space Marine Warlord traits Hatred Incarnate, Cold and Bitter, and Night Haunter's Curse are objectively worse equivalents to Warlord traits from other factions(such as Luck of the Laughing God for Harlequins, Immortal Pride for Necrons, and Diabolical Soothsayer for Drukhari), and it only gets worse when it comes to special rules(Dark Raiders and Terror Tactics are child's play compared to Rising Crescendo and Dance of Nightmares Made Flesh from the Thespian mimes). Most factions also have their Chapter Tactics EQs apply to their ENTIRE ARMY while Chaos Space Marines and Loyalist scum only get theirs on Infantry and Dreadnoughts/Helbrutes. This would not be the first time early codices (especially Chaos Space Marines) ended up the weakest later in an edition's life. However, with the advent of Chapter Approved coming at the end of each year, we may see some adequate support for Chaos Space Marines(and others) that will make things MUCH more balanced. Lets hope for new and/or improved Legion Traits for non-Infantry and non-Helbrutes like most other factions.
    • Only a handful of super competitive options. Like most other armies in 8th Edition, viability of different units has MOSTLY been equalized compared to 7th. Most unit choices are great options for that role, but there will likely only be a select few units that are game-changing at any given time(Berzerkers, Daemon Primarchs, Leviathan Dreadnoughts, etc.) depending on updates from FAQ and Chapter Approved. In other words, Chaos Space Marines are ok, but they're not currently Ynnari.
    • Death to the False Emperor - It fits the fluff and it is one of the strongest army-wide rules... but only when facing imperials. Against any Xenos army or fellow Chaotics (though it does work against Fallen), it's utterly useless. Oh well...
    • Since we're taking a moment comparing ourselves to Loyalists: unlike your Space Marine counter parts, you can NOT spam storm shields for a 3++ for your army. In fact, getting anything better that 4++ takes some work and is not without sacrifices.
    • You also do NOT have nearly as many weapons or vehicles choices as they do (Grav weaponry and Landspeeders come to mind). This means that you are probably going to use what unit that ARE good more than once making your army list a little stale and repetitive. You're going to need a lot of kits to make this army not boring. Combine that with the fact that quite a few kits are extrmely dated and... well.
    • Many Relics, Stratagems, and Psychic Powers are either locked behind God-specific keywords or are reserved for Infantry, Bikers, and/or Helbrutes. This cripples flexibility by ALOT. You'll never be able to have a TZEENTCH unit get +1 to invuln and shoot twice or have a NURGLE unit be -1 to hit and fight again, and that's JUST INFANTRY. Other armies don't seem to have this problem either, making it quite the inconvenience. Fury of Khorne, for example, lets a KHORNE INFANTRY unit pile in and fight again, while the Tyranid EQ and a few others can apply it to ANY UNIT.
    • You don't have too many defensive options (for example: stormshields, Apothecaries, camo cloaks etc.) for your army unless you're playing Death Guard, so you will have to rely on flexibility, moving forward for the kill, and DESTROYING YOUR OPPONENT FASTER THAN THEY CAN RECOVER rather than forming a static, unkillable gun line. Don't try playing Chaos Space Marines like you would a Loyalist army, it'll be an absolute trainwreck.

But despite all of this, we can, and WILL, endure!! We do not require the shiny toys of our childish cousins, for our ingenuity and grisly tools from the dark age suit us well. We do not require gradual, tenacious conquest , for it is better to kill quickly and be done with it!! We do not require youthful courage, as our holy grandfather cleanses us of pain and fear. Nor do we require expert discipline, for our passion gives us strength, and our gods' strength is that of our passions. We require nothing but our faith in the gods, the strength to dominate, and the gall to conquer and pillage this Galaxy to its foundations. We have but to reach out and take this Galaxy for ourselves. And do not fret or fear, for what can impeccable strategy and divine intervention do when victory is our destiny?

How to counter possible cons[edit]

  • Sacrifice more spleens.
  • If you play one of the less Chaotic legions, or are a master of green stuff, consider buying up some Horus Heresy line Mark III/IV Tacticals, Cataphractii Termies and Contemptors. Or just straight up buy Forge World units at a premium.
  • If you want to build a Traitor Legion army that isn't the up-to-date Death Guard or Thousand Sons (and not renegade Chapters like the Crimson Slaughter) Forge World has the goods. Most stuff on the site is outrageously priced but you can get a ton of mileage out of a couple simple (and relatively cheap) head swaps and weapon upgrades. Playing Night Lords? Grab a pack or two of Terror Squad Heads and maybe some Nostraman Chainglaives. Black Legion? The Sons of Horus helmet pack is awesome (and deliciously spiky!). Even some of the Loyalist Head Swaps are pretty awesome and can be used as well - the White Scars helmet pack comes to mind as looking amazing on Traitors with its sharp angles and Abbaddon-esque topknots. On the other hand the Blood Angels head swaps are, while cool as heck, a bit too obviously loyalist. So go wild! Or don't. But really, do.
  • As of current FAQ, the CHAOS keyword can no longer be used to build a battle-forged detachment. You can still ally with Daemons via the MARK OF CHAOS in a monogod list, but you can no longer ally with anything you want (fuck you, Renegades, nobody loves you gits). HERETIC ASTARTES is still a valid faction keyword for anything power-armored and extra spiky.

That doesn't mean you can't have multiple Chaos factions in one army, it means you can't take a Brigade detachment to spam Special Weapons Chosen squads and Daemon Engines while filling the troops slots with Renegades & Heretics pseudo-guardsmen. You can still take a Chaos army, just not a Chaos detachment.

  • Tabletop-wise, Chaos Space Marines are in a slight quagmire. Currently, Chaos Marines are nowhere CLOSE as bad as in 7th Edition Pre-Traitors Hate, but certainly not as good as when Traitor Legions came out(That was one HELL of a time to play Chaos Marines). Currently, the biggest issues Chaos Marines face is Power Creep and lack of Legion Traits applying to Non-Infantry/Helbrutes, with the current Meta being a minor setback. As with most armies, building a list with the stronger units at your disposal and playing around them is the simplest way to build a good list. However, due to Power Creep, this is not enough, and fully competitive lists will generally require extensive Daemon allies and other outside help to fill the gaps and kick ass at Tournaments.
  • But again, we're not all That Guy, and conditions for the Heretic are far from helpless in 8th Edition. Every unit in this Codex has something worth note for a list, and none are truly bad. Even the skubbiest units can have a place in the most busted Chaos Marine list. What would a Chaos Marine player be if he wasn't a deviant nonconformist? These big guys are the masters of the art of Your Dudes, so get creative and be fearless.

Faction Keywords[edit]

The main keywords you have to keep track of for Chaos Marines are HERETIC ASTARTES, which cover both Traitor Legions and Renegade Chapters; <LEGION> which include all the units regarding a particular legion, warband or army of YOUR OWN creation and MARK OF CHAOS, which has gone from being an upgrade to a free keyword change that allows you to receive god-specific buffs and access to relevant Icons.

However, do keep in mind that you can't give the DEATH GUARD or THOUSAND SONS legion keyword to any unit that isn't listed in their respective army lists either in the Index: Chaos or their own codex. So you can't have DEATH GUARD bikes, and you can't have THOUSAND SONS Warptalons, for example.

Special Character Note[edit]

There are several Forgeworld characters (Arkos, Zhufor, and Necrosius) that have two faction keywords: the parent Legion and the warband they are part of. In Arkos's case, he has both ALPHA LEGION and THE FAITHLESS, only buffing the latter. The intent seems to be that you can title a warband whatever you want while still being able to select a particular Legion tactic. So if you wanted to field a Faithless army, you'd give all your units the THE FAITHLESS keyword and pick the Alpha Legion tactic.

Special Rules[edit]

  • Daemonic Ritual: This is the part where you'll need to build a salt circle, find yourself a goat carcass, and a willing (or unwilling if you're into that) virgin participant. Too far for a wargame? Well this is 40k, you already sold your soul to get these models, didn't you? Time to summon Daemons! Any CHAOS CHARACTER can take this action instead of moving during the Movement phase, with the notable exception of Cypher. Roll 3d6 and you can summon up to that many Power Levels worth of new friends! This is very useful when utilized to place (cheap) charge-blocking fleshwalls or objective humpers where needed, instead of footslogging across the map. But DO NOT go overboard with reserved points for summoning and do not rely on summoning something big (with the possible but still discouraged exception of the Keeper of Secrets.) Daemon Troops are four power for 10 models, with the ability to upscale through unit size if you roll high. Be warned that rolling doubles inflicts a Mortal Wound and rolling triples inflicts D3 of them. If you don't have a reliable way of restoring Wounds or rerolling dice, think twice before using your Warlord for this. Remember that CHARACTERS with Marks can only summon their associated god's minions.
    • Arch-Daemonic Ritual: Ever wanted to meet Satan himself? Now you can! A special version of the above rule designed for your big nasty Lord of War Daemons, namely An'Ggrath, Zarakynel, Aetaos'Rau'Keres and Scabeiathrax. There are a few differences: you roll up to 9D6, but if you roll triples, your CHAOS CHARACTER goes SPLAT. Zarakynel can be reliably summoned with this and Scabby around half the time, but An'Ggrath and Aetaos might require some reroll shenanigans to pull off. Note that the Word Bearers Strategum does NOT protect against rolling triples on this, as it only stops Mortal Wounds, but rerolling should let you get it off most of the time, so it's still very helpful. It's strongly recommended to keep some barebone Warpsmiths or Exalted Champs around if you're attempting this so you don't accidentally SQUELCH your tricked out Sorcerer. Alternatively, a trio of R&H Renegade Commanders can be picked up for a measly 75 points if you're opposed to playing Word Bearers and are looking for some chumps to get splattered for your expensive Marines.
  • Death to the False Emperor: The replacement for Veterans of the Long War. Every time you roll a 6 to hit (or a 5+, if you have a +1 modifier for example) in close combat when fighting against Imperial scum, you get to immediately make another attack. These attacks cannot generate additional attacks themselves.
  • Despoilers of the Galaxy: Objective Secured by any other name is still as powerful.

Legion Traits[edit]

  • Alpha Legion - Hidden in Plain Sight: Your opponent must subtract 1 from their hit rolls when targeting units with this trait if they are more than 12" away. This is insanely powerful, as enemy plasma and the like overheats on ones and twos should they decide to super-charge.
    • This is fantastic on anything, especially Helbrutes, and even better: Hellforged Dreadnoughts, are so durable and dangerous that they deserve a special shout-out with this. Hellforged Dreads take approximately 2 more BS2+/rerollable lascannon shots to put down with this, while Helbrutes take about 1 1/4 more, and the lot of them can be loaded out to pose very credible threats to anything getting within the 12" to try and deal with them.
    • This also works to counter overcharged plasma fire for the units that are most vulnerable to it like terminators.
    • Also amazing if you are playing a kind of gunline or artillery based army.
  • Black Legion - Black Crusaders: Units with this trait add 1 to their Leadership characteristic. In addition, if a unit with this trait advanced, they treat all Rapid Fire weapons as Assault weapons. The Leadership buff is nice, allowing unmarked units with an Icon of Vengeance to reach LD10 (!), but unfortunately the other one is rather mediocre. It only comes into play on the few Rapid Fire weapons Chaos has (mostly bolters, combi-bolters, plasmaguns and cultist autoguns) and imposes a -1 penalty to hit, and you can't charge if you advanced. Best used in conjunction with a lord or Abaddon's Reroll hit Aura to try and march larger blobs of CSM into rapid fire range faster, but otherwise very middle of the road.
    • Note: Chaos bikers can use this trait to move, advance, and still fire, although you'll get 2 shots out of each combi-bolter, not 4, regardless of range. Best used when you are trying to outflank or encircle an enemy unit.
    • Regardless of unit, this makes combi-flamers even better, as a BS 3+ model can advance and fire the flamer normally and still get a bolt shot out on a 5+, rather than losing out on the bolter portion entirely. On bikers, this makes your sergeant's inability to take a flamer instead of a combi-flamer (and his inability to drop his bike's combi-bolter) much less bad; he can now fire 3 5+ bolt shots rather than 0 after advancing, after having been forced to pay 4 points for those bolt rounds anyway. You'll also have a 3-man unit with LD 8 on the flamers, meaning your sergeant can just take no special weapons at all to be an ablative wound without running the unit into no longer being inherently immune to Morale checks for losses.
  • Emperor's Children - Flawless Perfection: Units with this trait always fight first in the Fight Phase even if they didn't charge. If the enemy has units that have charged, or have a similar ability, then alternate choosing units to fight with, starting with the player whose turn is taking place. I don't think I need to tell you how amazing this is. Beware Howling Banshees, Slaanesh Daemon in-fighting, or just units that have charged - that means the controlling player (that means the opponent) will be able to nominate their first unit to strike before yours (this will mean trouble if a Genestealers swarm or Ork Boyz get that charge first). On the flip side, it can deter mass charges and also means you circumvent all other fight phase activations afterward and your engaged units strike first! On another note, it affects every round of melee combat, so combats that go beyond one phase will always give you at least one definitive advantage with all your units swinging first even in an enemy's turn.
    • Per the new FAQ EMPEROR'S CHILDREN Noise Marines count as troops instead of Elites allowing armies of them again.
  • Iron Warriors - Siege Lords: Enemy units attacked by units with this trait do not receive the benefit to their saving throws for being in cover. In addition, you can re-roll any failed wound rolls for units with this tactic when they are targeting a BUILDING. In other words, this is identical to the Imperial Fist chapter tactics, which undoubtedly pisses the Iron Warriors off to no end.
    • Despite the INFURIATING copypasting of the Imperial Fists tactic, this one is actually VERY helpful. Not only will this apply to Chaos Marine squads, but to Havocs AND Helbrutes, some of the biggest gunners you can take. This will ruin any Astra Militarum players day, and can force your opponent into playing aggro, Potentially invalidating his entire strategy. NONE CAN HIDE FROM YOUR GUNS!!!
      • Alternate opinion: Actually, this trait is pretty useless. Very few tactics actually rely on cover for much. Astra Militarium might be its biggest users but many AM strategies still don't utilise cover at all, and few other armies rely on it for anything. This trait will do nothing in maybe 80% of games, and it's unlikely to be a game changer even when it does apply. Like Imperial Fists, Iron Warriors are very niche.
      • "ALTERNATIVE Alternate opinion:" whether or not this trait does anything depends on how much terrain is on the board. In both local games at a GW and in competitive play, there is a high chance that tables have a fair amount of both LOS-blocking terrain and terrain fit for cover, because hey, having terrain and cover be a part of the game is both important and a good thing. Cover-camping may not be a thing anymore, but assault units(that can't zoom across the board to their preferred target) and shooty units will ALWAYS prefer to be in cover (when it's available) rather than just sit in the open. Saying that ignoring cover is situational is only partially true. If the table your playing on is big enough for a 40k game at the given point limit and has an appropriate amount of terrain(as it should), then this trait will help quite a bit. If this trait is useless in a given game, then it's most likely either a result of your opponent having an Alpha strike army, lots of BIG models that can't use the terrain for cover, or the table being set up incompetently. If cover is a part of the game, it should be properly represented on the table in the form of usable terrain.
    • As of Big FAQ #2, this trait will discourage your opponent from burning command points on the Prepared Positions Stratagem if you get first turn.
  • Night Lords - Terror Tactics: Enemy units must subtract one from their leadership for each unit with this trait within 6", up to a maximum of -3. Can be extremely powerful if you can get overlapping leadership penalties and then start causing deaths. GW themselves recommend three units of Night Lords, one with an icon of despair, at least one of which is a unit of Raptors, to provide a -5 hit to leadership before casualties even start getting counted, practically guaranteeing more models lost to failed morale checks. With the release of the Chaos Knights Index, you can take a Renegade Knight as your warlord, give it the Traitor’s Mark for even more Ld. reduction (-1 at 12”, -2 at 6”.) FUN!
    • Obviously meshes well with Icon of Despair, especially on Raptors which brings them to -3 Leadership. Chaos Spa-BLBBBGH and Plague Marines kitted out with an Icon and Plague Knives/Bubonic Axes become surprisingly lethal, especially when receiving the proper buffs.
  • Word Bearers - Profane Zeal: Units with this trait may reroll failed Morale tests. Just like And They Shall Know No Fear, so you get something all Loyalist scum get for free with their Chapter Tactics, woo-friggin'-hoo. Horrible.
    • Alternate opinion: On most units, this is a negligible upgrade. On cultists, however, it's a great upgrade, especially if you have a 40-man cultist squad serving as bubble wrap for a Dark Apostle (let's them use his leadership of 9) and whatever retinue you take with him. Combo it with the new stratagem to bring the unit back at full strength, and your cheap cultists are suddenly seeing a lot of mileage.
      • Alternate alternate opinion: Even on Hordes this is still bad overall (though at least large squads get some benefit out of the trait, I suppose). Unless you roll a 4+ before you re-roll, you're more likely to lose more cultists when you re-roll than to lose less, so unless the unit will die if you don't re-roll (in which case you've already screwed up), you really shouldn't re-roll a 1-3. Even then, it's just unreliable.
        • Alternate alternate ALTERNATE opinion: When you stop comparing it to what Loyalists have and start comparing it to the other Legion Traits, there is one thing that stands out--all the others are situational, requiring specific builds and strategies to use them to their fullest. This is the only Legion Trait that will ALWAYS be useful at some point in every game, no matter what your army is or what you're doing with it.
    • At the very least it reduces the number of instances where you have to decide whether an Icon bearer or weapon specialist runs away, plus it's very fluffy given that the cult of the god-emperor basically follows Lorgar's pre-heresy teachings
    • Something to note is that +1 is better than rerolls on a single D6, meaning the Black Legion Legion Trait is flat out better than this one ; This doesn't mean you shouldn't take Word Bearers, because there is more to them than their Legion Trait, but if you don't intend on using their Stratagem, Warlord Trait, or relic, don't take them ( And even then, do weigh it against the fact the straight upgrade the Black Legion trait is over this one ).
    • This is the -ONLY- Legion / faction trait that can have a negative effect on your army, rolling worse on the re-roll and therefore losing more models - this isn’t consistent with the fluff with this fanatical zealots running away, and seems an afterthought by GW. (if only they'd allow you to roll two dice at once and keep the better result...)
  • World Eaters - Butcher's Nails: When a unit with this trait successfully charges, you make make one additional attack with each model in the following fight phase. Essentially a return to the old charge bonus, on top of being able to strike first, and, in several cases, being able to fight more than once. This obviously makes units like Warp Talons/ Raptors, Berzerkers, and Possessed much better.
    • Per the new FAQ WORLD EATERS Berzerkers count as troops instead of elites.
  • Renegade Chapters - Dark Raiders: Units with this trait may Advance and Charge in the same turn. YES. Bikers become ludicrously good, pretty much any assaulty list will benefit from this tactic. Combining this with Warptime and Icons of Wrath (since you aren't playing a cult Legion there's no reason not to go multi-god) makes you one of the fastest armies of 8E, which combines with the natural choppiness of Berzerkers, Raptors, and Possessed to make CSMs play like they always should have- powerful CC units that favor a balls-out, risky playstyle. Just remember: this tactic prevents you from using VotLW. Can also be an entertaining way to rush Helbrutes up the table.

Warlord Traits[edit]


  • Eternal Vendetta: Re-roll wounds in the fights phase against models with the ADEPTUS ASTARTES Keyword. Huron comes stock with this one. Instantly better than Hatred Incarnate when against Marine armies (which should be common) and is pretty damn OP against them, but useless against anything else.
  • Flames Of Spite: On a to-wound roll of 6+ in melee, inflict 1 mortal wound in addition to any other damage. This warlord trait works best if your warlord relies on the weight of attacks, such as a Daemon Prince with two malefic talons or an Alpha Legion Lord with the Blade of the Hydra, or is likely to gain additional attacks from DTTFE. A Lord on a Steed of Slaanesh is also a fine choice as well.
  • Unholy Fortitude: Add 1 to the wound characteristics and a 6+ to ignore wounds. An improved version of the main rulebook trait. Keep in mind that this is an additional save (like Feel No Pain in 7th.) Just about any warlord will benefit from this trait, but for maximum durability, take an Iron Warriors Daemon Prince with the Fleshmetal Exoskeleton and the Nurgle keyword, so it can benefit from the Grandfather's Blessing stratagem and the Miasma of Pestilence psychic power.
  • Hatred Incarnate: You must re-roll wound rolls of 1 for attacks made by your Warlord. An aggressive trait that is only really useful on a beatstick HQ. Great for a Daemon Prince or any HQ with high Strength weaponry (Plasma, Chainfist) or volume of attacks (Blade of the Hydra, Malefic Talons). Otherwise just average.
  • Lord Of Terror: Enemy units within 6 inches must roll 2 dice for morale and use the highest result. This one doesn't do crap for most armies but is brutal with Night Lords (which is ironic, considering it is not a Night Lord specific trait). With the cumulative -5 while using Raptors with Icons (or more, if you use Be'lakor, too), making your opponents discard the lowest die result is very good. Fabulous Bill comes stock with this one, which kinda sucks.
  • Exalted Champion: Add 1 to your attack characteristic. While this one seems underwhelming at first glance, it is also the most reliably useful of the universal traits, not relying on rolling 6s or hoping that reroll turns out better for you. A direct upgrade on the main book trait that gives +1 attack when you charge.
    • Especially fun on a Khorne Daemon Prince, who already gets +1 A. If you manage to give him Diabolic Strength with Malefic Talons, you've got 10 attacks at strength 9. Did someone say "Blood for the Blood God?"

Legion Specific[edit]

Note: Any legion unique character must use the trait from their Legion! So Abaddon, for example, must use First Among Traitors.

  • Alpha Legion - I am Alpharius: In addition to this Warlord trait, your warlord generates a random universal CSM Warlord trait. If your warlord is slain, you may immediately select another ALPHA LEGION CHARACTER in your army to take their place and generate a Warlord trait for them (including this one). If the mission you are playing grants victory points for slaying the enemy Warlord, your opponent will only achieve that objective if all ALPHA LEGION CHARACTERS in your army have been slain. Adaptable, and it's always hilarious to see an enemy's attempt at Slay the Warlord to turn into a fucked up game of Whack-A-Mole.
  • Black Legion - First Among Traitors: The Death to the False Emperor ability triggers on a 5+ instead of a 6+ for all models in friendly BLACK LEGION units within 6" of the Warlord. Unfortunately, due to the wording on the Icon of Excess and this rule (they both set it to a 5+ instead of giving a +1) you can only get exploding dice on a 4+ if you use Prescience.
  • Iron Warriors - Cold and Bitter. Friendly IRON WARRIORS units within 6" of the Warlord auto-pass Morale tests. That's a lot of Cultist blobs that won't be running away.
  • Night Lords - Night Haunter's Curse: Once per battle round, you can re-roll one hit roll, wound roll, damage roll, Advance roll, charge roll, or saving roll made for your Warlord. Damn, that's a lot of possible rerolls. More importantly, that means you don't need to spend as many CP for said rerolls.
  • Word Bearers - The Voice of Lorgar: Add 3" to the range of any aura abilities that the warlord has. Rooftop Havocs should be able to hear your Lord shouting at them to shoot straight, whilst covering a lot of ground.
  • World Eaters - Slaughterborn: Add 1 to your Warlord's Attacks and Strength characteristics each time he slays an enemy CHARACTER, MONSTER, or TITANIC model. Kharn comes stock with this one, which means that he can be even more devastating if he has the chance to build up momentum.
  • Emperor's Children - Stimulated by Pain: Gain 1 attack for each wound suffered up to a maximum of 3. If you heal any wounds, you lose the associated bonus attacks. Meh on most footslogging characters, but can turn a demon prince into (even more) of a murder machine. Lucius comes stock with this.



  • Daemon Shells (1 CP): Instead of shooting normally with a bolter, bolt pistol, combi-bolter, or the boltgun end of a combi-weapon, you can use this strategem. Make one roll to hit with no re-rolls allowed. If it hits, it does D3 mortal wounds. If you miss, your character takes d3 mortal wounds. Not great on a full strength model, but very useful if you need to finish off a wounded tank or push a unit down a level on the damage chart. You know who can use this? A Chaos Lord with a Bolt Pistol. Which he can fire in melee. And hits on 2+, re-rolling 1s (which you can't re-roll). Oh dear.
  • Gifts of Chaos (1 or 3 CP): Use before the start of the battle. You can have a second Artefact of Chaos for 1 CP, or 2 extra for 3 CP. All the artefacts have to be different, and all have to go to different Characters. Can be used to add situational artefacts, such as giving the Brass Collar to a World Eaters character before fighting against Grey Knights.
  • Beseech the Chaos Gods (1 CP): Use at the start of your turn. Select a unit without a mark and they gain one. It's fluffy, but ultimately useless. Pick the right mark before the game starts and you won't need to waste valuable command points.
    • Useful for giving a unit a Mark and an Icon of Vengeance.
    • Alternative view: Do not underestimate this one. It helps to react on the opponents army by giving you in someway flexibility or to counter something you did not expected. For example, if you see after the deployment something that should be killed by shooting, give a nearby shooting unit the Mark of Slaanesh. Or the Mark of Khorne. Or, if it is likely that you will lose models from a key unit, give it the Mark of Nurgle and let them regain lost models.
  • Blasphemous Machines (1 CP): Use before a vehicle attacks in the shooting phase. Until the end of the phase, that vehicle can ignore the penalties for moving and firing heavy weapons or for advancing and firing.
  • Chaos Boon (1 CP): The infamous boon table returns, now on 2d6 and triggered after a non-Daemon Prince CHARACTER kills any CHARACTER, VEHICLE, or MONSTER in the Fight phase. A single CHARACTER can benefit from it multiple times, and duplicates turn into 7. Interestingly, Matched Play explicitly does not interfere with your Character transforming; the only restriction is that the transformed unit has to keep the Mark it started with. Since all of these results are good on a Champion and you can pick and choose who activates this, this is far better than what it used to be.
    • 2: Spawndom. Replace your character with one of the gribbly things, set up within 6" of his former position.
    • 3: All of the character's ranged weapons get a 6" range boost.
    • 4: +3 M
    • 5: +1 S
    • 6: +1 A
    • 7: Pick any result other than Spawndom or Daemonhood.
    • 8: Enemies targeting this character in the fight phase get -1 to hit rolls.
    • 9: +1 to all saving throws.
    • 10: +1 T
    • 11: +1 W
    • 12: Daemonhood. As Spawndom, but replace the character with a Daemon Prince instead; it must share a Mark with the replaced character, if it had one.
  • Flakk Missile (1 CP): When an Infantry model shoots a missile launcher at a unit with Fly, make a single hit roll with +1 to hit. If you hit, do D3 mortal wounds instead of rolling to wound. Really useful in case the opponent is packing Flyers. And something else: It works on any unit with Fly, so in case you don't like the look of those Vanguard Veterans flying at you, shoot 1-3 of them out of the sky.
    • Important Note!: This only effects a specific model, not the entire unit! So, while at first glance it might seem like incentive to take Havocs with 4 Missile Launchers, you can only apply this to one of them. That isn't to say this stratagem is bad, far from it--just that you'll get just as much out of it by taking 1-2 Missile Launchers on your normal Chaos Marines as you would by taking 4 with Havocs.
  • Fire Frenzy (1 CP): Use on a Helbrute unit that did not move this turn. It may fire all its weapons twice but can only target the nearest visible enemy unit. Very nice when used to shoot a blob with a Twin Heavy and Combi Bolter 'brute, or when that tank in front of your Twin Las 'brute really needs to die. Very VERY nice on a Sonic Dreadnaught with two Blastmasters, no matter what it's shooting at.
  • Linebreaker Bombardment (1 CP): (identical to the Space Marine version) Use in the shooting phase if you have a Vindicator within 6" of 2 other Vindicators from the same Chapter. None of them can shoot their Demolisher Cannons. Instead, pick a spot within 24" of all three, and roll a D6 for each unit within 3", adding 1 if the unit has 10+ models and subtracting 1 if it's a Character. On a 4+, the unit takes 3D3 mortal wounds.
  • Killshot (1 CP): (identical to the Space Marine version) Use in the shooting phase if a you have a Predator within 6" of 2 other Predators from the same Chapter. Add 1 to the wound rolls and damage for all of its attacks against Monsters and Vehicles.
  • Veteran of the Long War (1 CP): Select a HERETIC ASTARTES INFANTRY or BIKER unit. They add 1 to all their to wound rolls for the rest of the phase. Hilarious on a unit of Flamer Havocs or Chosen, but this makes Melta-squads much more reliable, too.
    • Do not underestimate using this stratagem with mass bolters (and/or sonic blasters), especially against toughness 7 models. Having a S4 weapon wound a Predator on a 4+ is no small thing. And lets not even talk about how utterly hideous this gets when paired with Khorne Berzerkers. Remember that this works until the end of the phase so it works with Endless Cacophony and other shoot/fight twice abilities.
  • Tide of Traitors (2 CP): One use only. Use at the end of the movement phase. Pick a unit of Chaos Cultists and remove them from the battlefield. They then outflank, arriving within 6" of the edge of the battlefield, more than 9" from any enemy models, and at FULL STARTING STRENGTH!
    • Now can only be used once per battle.
  • Daemonforge (1 CP): Select a DAEMON VEHICLE in either the Shooting or Assault phase. You can re-roll all failed to hit and to wound rolls for the rest of the phase. This almost fixes the problem that most daemon engines have, a.k.a. 4+ base to hit & only being able to equip heavy weapons. A Forgefiend can carry its own weight as long as it keeps eating those, and a Tendril Maulerfiend can do some serious punching. Also guarantees that your Kytan will fuck up whatever it charges.
  • Chaos Familiar (1 CP):: Use at the start of your Psychic Phase; a HERETIC ASTARTES PSYKER can swap one power known for another from the Dark Hereticus disciple. Very situational, but it can be useful. As written, this allows you to swap Smite for an extra Dark Hereticus power. Edit- can also be used for other Chaos Marine factions, assuming you have a full detachment of Hertic Astartes in your list. Think Mortarion with Warptime.

God Specific[edit]

  • Endless Cacophony (2CP): Use this stratagem at the end of your Shooting phase. Select a SLAANESH HERETIC ASTARTES INFANTRY or SLAANESH HERETIC ASTARTES BIKER unit. That unit can immediately shoot again. What's that? Is that a unit of 10 Slaanesh Terminators with combi-plasmas and a Chaos Lord dropping down and vaporising two units instantly with 40x S8 AP-3 D2 shots? I think it is!
    • No but seriously, this can be bonkers. Combined with prescience and/or VotLW you can absolutely OBLITERATE things. Prime targets for this combination is any large squads (because the math just works better the more models its effecting) but focus on Havocs, Obliterators, and the aforementioned termies.
  • Fury of Khorne (3CP): Use this stratagem at the end of the Fight phase. Select a KHORNE HERETIC ASTARTES INFANTRY or KHORNE HERETIC ASTARTES BIKER unit - that unit can immediately fight again. Now you can give your basic Chaos Marines, Cultists, or Biker unit the Khorne Berzerker's gimmick. Speaking of which, use this on the Khorne Berzerkers to let them fight three times per phase and reap those skulls!
  • Grandfather's Blessing (2CP): Select a NURGLE HERETIC ASTARTES INFANTRY or BIKER unit. One model heals d3 wounds. If there are no wounded models in the unit, a single model that was slain earlier in the battle is returned to the unit with 1 wound.
  • Great Sorcerer (1CP): Use at the end of your Psychic phase; a TZEENTCH HERETIC ASTARTES PSYKER can attempt to manifest one additional power.
    • This is the only one of the four compatible with non-infantry/biker models, such as Cavalry or Monster.

Legion Specific[edit]

  • Iron Warriors - Iron Within, Iron Without (1CP): Use this stratagem when an IRON WARRIORS unit loses a wound. Until the end of the phase, each time said unit loses a wound, they roll a die; on a 6 the wound is ignored. Best used on a centerpiece tank, say a Land Raider or a Typhon Heavy Siege Tank.
  • Night Lords - In Midnight Clad (1CP): Use this stratagem whenever a NIGHT LORDS INFANTRY unit is targeted by a shooting attack. Until the end of the phase, all enemy units firing at this unit must subtract 1 from their To Hit rolls. As GW has noted, since this Stratagem is declared only after you're targeted it's a clever way to turn the tables on units that like to use overcharged plasma weapons (e.g. Hellblasters).
  • World Eaters - Scorn of Sorcery (1CP): When an enemy psyker uses a power within 24" of a WORLD EATERS unit, roll a d6. On a 4+, the power is nullified. Identical to the Black Templars' Abhor the Witch stratagem, but no less effective against those pesky psykers.
  • Black Legion - Let the Galaxy Burn (1CP): Use this stratagem whenever a BLACK LEGION BIKER or INFANTRY is selected to attack in the shooting or fight phases. You can re-roll all to-hit rolls of 1 for the unit. If it is a Chaos Space Marine unit, you re-roll all failed hits instead. Just like the Ultramarines' Chapter Tactic, but just as useful too. Also keep in mind that you can totally take a 20 man squad to make the most of this Stratagem.
  • Word Bearers - Dark Pact (1CP): Use this stratagem when a WORD BEARER CHARACTER attempts to summon a unit of DAEMONS to the battlefield using a daemonic ritual. You can re-roll any of the dice used in the summoning roll, and your character will not suffer any mortal wounds for rolling doubles or triples. Considering how much cheaper Daemons have gotten, this makes summoning a lot more viable.
  • Alpha Legion - Forward Operatives (1CP): Use this stratagem when you set up an ALPHA LEGION INFANTRY unit. You can set up the unit in concealment instead of placing it on the battlefield. At the beginning of the first battle round but before the first turn begins, the unit emerges from its hiding place - set it up anywhere on the battlefield that is more than 9 inches away from any enemy models. Consider using this with Chosen and lots and lots of special weapons. Can also all but guarantee a turn 1 charge with something like Possessed. But who likes Chosen and Possessed? Take 20 man units of Zerkers and drown your opponent in the first turn (note that you get to move and charge on your turn and these units don't count to your drop total so your roll for first turn is almost guaranteed. +1).
  • Emperor's Children - Excess of Violence (1CP): Use this stratagem before an EMPEROR'S CHILDREN INFANTRY unit attacks in the fight phase. Each time a model in that unit slays an enemy model, it can immediately make another hit roll using the same weapon at the same target. These bonus Attacks cannot generate further attacks. When attacking an IMPERIUM unit, you get this on top of Death to the False Emperor, which practically guarantees a wipe on anything but the toughest units.

Tactical Objectives[edit]

11 - For the Dark Gods! 1 VP for destroying an enemy unit or making it fail a Morale test. 12 - Rise to Glory 1 VP if an enemy CHARACTER, VEHICLE, or MONSTER lost its last wound to a HERETIC ASTARTES CHARACTER. 13 - The Will of Chaos Roll a d6 when generating this Tactical Objective and every turn afterwards. Get 1 VP for controlling the objective whose number matches your d6 result. 14 - The Warp is your Ally 1 VP for either manifesting a psychic power or successfully using a Daemonic Ritual that turn. d3 VP if you did both. 15 - Claim and Despoil d3 VP if you claim an objective held from your opponent at the start of the turn. 16 - The Long War 1 VP for destroying an enemy unit. If it had the IMPERIUM keyword, it's d3 VP instead. Rises to 3 VP if 3 or more IMPERIUM units were destroyed, and d3+3 VP if 6 or more were destroyed.

Psychic Powers[edit]

Keep in mind that you may choose or roll on the tables below!

Dark Hereticus[edit]

  1. Infernal Gaze (Warp Charge 5): Pick an enemy unit within 18" to have a staring contest with and roll 3 dice; any results of a 4+ cause a mortal wound. While not as spammable and reliable as Smite, it can target specific enemy units rather than just the closest.
  2. Warptime (Warp Charge 6): Pick a friendly Chaos Marine unit within 3"; that unit can immediately move as though it were the movement phase. Can't be applied more than once in a turn. Still FANTASTIC.
    • Note: For quite some time, the FAQ stated that units coming from reserves were viable targets of this power. This has since been changed in direct contradiction to what the three previous FAQs have stated ( Index:Chaos Version Update 1.4 pg.3 ).
  3. Prescience (Warp Charge 7): Pick a friendly Chaos Marine unit within 18"; that unit adds 1 to their hit rolls (shooting and close combat) until the next psychic phase. Tougher than the others to pull off, but rightfully so, as this power can be a tremendous force multiplier for your army. However, do not cast this power on any unit that already hits on a 2+, unless it is carrying a lot of plasma and you're very determined to keep it alive through overcharging. You will be wasting the effect since a to hit roll of 1 always fails to hit, regardless of modifiers.
    • Allows Death to the False Emperor hits to generate on a 5+, or a 4+ if the unit has an Icon of Excess. Unfortunately both the Icon of Excess and the Black Legion Warlord Trait First Among Traitors wording states that DTTFE rolls modify to a 5+, rather than adding +1 to the roll. Prescience and either of these two will boost DTTFE to a 4+, but they will not stack. Will still make Slaanesh blush though (to be fair anything does...)
    • Prevents supercharged plasma guns from overheating since any 1 becomes a 2 (as per Designers' Commentary). This is also fluffy, as they think "whoops, better not do that", thus preventing their grisly and untimely death.
    • Prescience provides greater gains in efficiency when cast on units with lower stats or a large number of shots, (e.g BS4+ becoming 3+ is an improvement of offensive output of 133%; BS3+ to BS2+ is 125%. Likewise, on units with better shooting attacks (such as combi-plasma Terminators or a biker combi-bolter squad), the increased offensive output is more useful. Especially devastating on a unit that can both shoot and charge in the same turn. Such as Terminators. As if you needed another reason to drop a Sorcerer behind them when they deepstrike.
  4. Death Hex (Warp Charge 8): Target an enemy unit within 12" - they cannot take invulnerable saves. There is a very crucial difference between Death Hex and Null Zone; Null Zone is a 6" bubble around the psyker, whereas Death Hex has a longer 12" range and can choose a specific target, which arguably makes it much more flexible. Since you're only unable to target characters in the Shooting phase, you can strip Girlyman or Cawl or Celestine of their invuln save and then rip them to pieces in close combat.
    • Absolutely diabolical. Unlike Null Zone, 12" is enough range for your Psyker to cast this from RELATIVE safety (hide behind other units), and is the ultimate answer to both Deathstar killy units like Wraithblades or Stormshield Terminators AND snowflakes like Trajan Valoris, Kaldor Draigo, or any other unique characters who hide behind invulns. Put this on a Daemon Prince, and he becomes an ultimate destroyer of hopes and dreams. With no invulnerable save to hide behind, few units can withstand the unholy might of a charging Daemon Prince and live to fight back. You may not need it in every game, but using Chaos Familiar to nab this in a bind can change EVERYTHING.
  5. Diabolic Strength (Warp Charge 6): Targeted model within 12" of the Psyker gains +2 strength, +1 attacks. You know who can cast this? A Daemon Prince. You know who is a fantastic target for this? Also a Daemon Prince.
  6. Gift of Chaos (Warp Charge 6): Targets an enemy model within 6 inches. Roll a die. If you roll higher than the model's toughness, it suffers d3+3 mortal wounds. If a Character is slain, add a Chaos Spa.... err, an unnameable beast to your army. RAW this states it targets an enemy model, but also RAW mortal wounds roll over, so it can and will hurt multi-model units if you roll well.
    • This is diabolical if used right. In order to use it right, give the power to a sorcerer, put that sucker in a terminator armor and deep strike him with other termies near the enemies HQ and give it a round of shooting. You'll need to go through a whole round of whatever the enemy throws at you, but that's what the other terminators are for. If it workers you'll have a FREE wonderful ball of weird next to or around whatever remains of your deep strikers.
    • Alternatively you could just stuff a vanilla Sorcerer into a rhino to get him to an enemy character. Add a havoc launcher and/or marines to butter up whoever you're going for.
    • NOTE: This is only effective against low toughness characters, so don't expect it to work on Space Marines or Orks. But against factions with important buffer characters or expensive low toughness models it can shine.
    • No use against Marines or Orks? Having a 1/3 chance(5 or 6) of instantly murdering a Captain or Warboss (WOT ZOGGIN GIT SAID WARBOSSES WERE ONLY TOUGHNESS 4?) sounds pretty damn worth a try. Plus, there's nothing more brutally, cruelly, dickishly satisfying than watching your opponents honorable Captain, Warboss, Farseer, or even named characters devolve into a heap of screeching, flailing, chaos-infused flesh.
    • Don't you dare try this on Tyranid HQs though. You will fail miserably.
    • FAQ states that you must pay for your new pet with reinforcement points. Still not bad if you manage to pull it off and kill a character with it, sucks if you have to pay the points for a Chaos Spawn that you'll never use. Then again, the same logic can be applied to summoning rolls and OHSITAAGHLAGFLBAFRAG...


A psyker of Nurgle, Slaanesh, or Tzeentch may substitute their god power for one of the powers they already know. All of these powers increase the durability of marked units in different ways. Note that all of them can be used on the psyker casting them.

  • Nurgle - Miasma of Pestilence (Warp Charge 6): A NURGLE unit within 18" is protected by a cloud of flies and enemies targeting them suffer a -1 to hit. Finally not Death Guard-exclusive anymore. Not bad for Alpha Legion and Night Lord psykers, or just to flip off Plasma spammers.
  • Slaanesh - Delightful Agonies (Warp Charge 6): Targets a SLAANESH unit within 18", that unit ignores wounds on a 5+. Cast on your 10-man Terminator squad and drink your enemy's tears.
    • Or forget Termies and throw this shit on your marked Land Raider of any variant to make it feel pleasure. You will struggle to contain your Heretical Laughter at your opponent's unending, ineffectual misery.
  • Tzeentch - Weaver of Fates (Warp Charge 6): A TZEENTCH unit within 18" gets +1 to their invulnerable save (capping at 3++) or a 5++ if they did not have one. Just great, especially on things that get high damage weapons pointed at them often.
    • You can also use the Chaos Familiar stratagem to give your Aspiring Sorcerer this power to use on his own squad of Rubric Marines.
    • Cast this on a Land Raider Achilles and you are officially that guy x 11. Did someone say 19 wounds on a T8 2+/3++ model that can fix itself by eating people? Oh my, what a twist.

Chaos Armory[edit]

Ranged Weapons[edit]

  • Autocannon - Ol' reliable is still quite solid, sitting at S7 Heavy 2 AP-1 D2 with a 48" range. No longer wounds Marines on 2s, but your Havocs get to move and shoot with only a -1 penalty now. Also favorably priced at 15 pts.
  • Autogun - Now standard on Cultists, S3 D1 Rapid Fire with a 24" range. Pew pew.
  • Autopistol - The other cultist option, a S3 D1 12" pistol. Pew.
  • Baleflamer - D6 S6 AP-2 D2 auto-hits at 18 inches, so roughly the same as Torrent range. Allows you to avoid the Heldrake's mediocre ballistic skill. Now that the Codex cut its cost in half, pretty much an auto-buy.
  • Battle cannon - The former classic pie plate now rocks a Heavy D6 S8 AP-2 Damage D3 profile. Since you will likely only have one of these, namely on your centerpiece Defiler, consider focusing your command rerolls onto its D6 shots.
  • Blastmaster - Can be fired in varied frequency (36" Assault d6 S4 AP-1 D1) or single frequency (48" Heavy d3 S8 AP-2 D3). It ignores cover, of course. Now a bit cheaper at 20(!) points and still awesome, as it goes very well with the new "split fire for everyone" rules.
  • Blight launcher - Available exclusively to Plague Marines, looks like a corrupted version of the grenade launcher used by Grave Wardens. It's 24" Assault 2 S6 AP-2 Damage D3 with the added benefit of rerolling to wound rolls of 1. A fantastic gun that can threaten both infantry and vehicles and can still be used after advancing, so it can threaten enemy units from turn 1.
  • Bolt pistol - BLAM! Your standard sidearm for most troops. Boltgun profile with halved range and Pistol 1 instead of Rapid Fire.
    • REMEMBER: Don't forget to have your marines in CC fire these in the shooting phase, especially if you're running them with Bolters instead of Chainswords. It's easy as shit to forget, and you won't get anything else out of them if you have a Bolter, but the extra shots can seriously turn the tide against melee Glass Cannons (Wyches, Harlequins) or clear chaff faster(Guardsmen, Boyz).
  • Boltgun - The standard 40k infantry weapon, simple as ever with S4 Rapid Fire 1 and a 24" range. Now AP-0, which kinda sucks.
    • AP-0 is pretty sad, but these can bring some serious carnage to light/medium infantry in rapid fire range, and unlike in 7th, rapid fire does not stop you from charging. This is just as aggressive a weapon option as a Chainsword for that reason. BLAM them to paste, then GET IN THERE AND FIGHT, MAGGOT!!
  • Combi-weapons - All are bolters with another weapon strapped on. Under the new ruleset, you can use the other weapon as many times as you want. You can even fire both, though you take a -1 BS penalty if you do so. All of these cost precisely the same as the special weapon + 2 points. Allows your unit Champions to actually contribute to the shooting.
    • Combi-bolter - Literally 2 bolters in one, gaining Rapid Fire 2 rather than 1. Note this doesn't have any -1 BS penalty for firing it.
      • God-tier Dakka right here. 5 of these on 1 5-man Terminator squad can yield 20 shots immediately for only 10 pts. Worth thinking about if you don't want your termies to break your budget.
    • Combi-flamer - Being a combi-weapon means it can fire both modes in the same phase, but at -1 to hit (as noted.) The flamer automatically hits. You work it out. Fantastic because you lose nothing over the bolter, but simply gain a lot of shots once you're in flamer range.
      • Pretty pointless on deep striking Terminators, but awesome otherwise.
    • Combi-melta - The combi with the most different weapons. The melta is the star of the show, so just think it as that plus some anti-infantry ability. It's worth firing both parts against MEQ out of cover and lighter, but for its point cost you really need to point it at bigger stuff.
    • Combi-plasma - Can be fired safely, or overcharged; the latter of which should never be done on most units without the ability to reroll 1s somehow. The bolter part actually does less work than on a combi-melta, it doesn't do anything the plasma gun can't. A plasma gun that hits light infantry harder.
      • NOTE: You should NEVER shoot both halves of combi-plasma on overcharge! Even with the ability to re-roll 1's. (This is because the re-roll is done BEFORE modifier to the roll are made, turning all of your 2's into 1's after the fact, thus slaying the model outright.)
  • Daemongore cannon - Heavy D6, 3 damage flat, -2 AP. It's a Lord of Skulls weapon, and has the potential for great or terrible damage.
  • Demolisher cannon - In a bit of a bad spot: with only d3 shots (d6 against 10+ model units) and a very random d6 damage, this gun doesn't have enough shots to go after heavy infantry or consistent enough damage to hunt vehicles.
  • Got updated to d6 shots to 5+ model units, so it can hunt infantry better. Nearly any other anti-tank weapon does d6 damage, so this gun can work very well. Just think of it as a d3/d6 shot Lascannon.
  • Doom siren - Not nearly as good as it once was, as it no longer ignores power armor saves. However, it is only 10 points with S5 AP-2 at Assault D6 now, so still an auto-include on a Noise Champion.
  • Ectoplasma cannon - Heavy D3, S7, -3 AP, D3 damage. Considering Forgefiends can have three of these babies and don't immediately kill themselves on a single 1 to hit, these are plenty scary. That said, the Hades Autocannons are probably better.
  • Flamer - Short ranged but solid weapon. No AP, and no longer ignores cover. Still good against hordes, but since you do D6 hits no matter how big the target unit, you could end up scorching a single target something fierce. Or scoring fewer hits than a Bolter.
  • Fleshmetal guns - The new, skubtastic and orky, Obliterator weapons. 24" Assault 4, S:6+D3 AP:-(D3) D:D3 (roll separately for each before picking the target). Me gun wants ta shoot da big gitz taday!
  • Gorestorm cannon - You better roll high for the number of shots to justify the points you spent on this. On the other hand, a high roll can shred heavy infantry with ease, with 2 damage and AP-2. Another Lord of Skulls option.
  • Hades autocannon - 36" Heavy 4 S8 AP-1 D2, higher range, strength and average damage than the Ectoplasma cannons at the cost of lower AP.
  • Hades gatling cannon - Heavy 12 S8 AP-2, and 2 damage. 48". Ouch. Another Lord of Skulls option. Who said Khorne only likes close combat?
  • Havoc launcher - It's a frag only missile launcher at +1 strength. A bit expensive and unreliable, but it makes your Rhinos into something resembling a battle tank.
  • Heavy bolter - Three shots with S5, AP-1 and great range. Worth fact, they're a steal.
  • Heavy flamer - It's a flamer with +1S and AP-1. See Flamer.
  • Heavy stubber - Only 4 points, marginally useful for an objective-camping or deepstrike meatshield cultist squad.
  • Helbrute plasma cannon - 36" Heavy D3 S8 AP-3 D2, each hit roll of 1 causes a mortal wound after all other shots have been resolved (as opposed to being slain outright). Great against TEQ targets. If you're looking for a dedicated anti-tank role, you'll find that its better to take the twin lascannon for the Helbrute . While more expensive the twin lascannon option has longer range, consistent 2 shots and higher damage of Dd6. One caveat is that the self inflicting mortal wounds gets you a free Crazed roll at the end of the phase, potentially letting shoot again, but it is inconsistent. Despite this it is still a excellent choice.
  • Ichor cannon - 48" Heavy D6 S7 AP-4 Damage D3, it's an option for the Lord of Skulls, not much else to it.
  • Inferno bolt pistol - An AP-2 bolt pistol that is a 1-point buy for Exalted Sorcerers and Aspiring Sorcerers.
  • Inferno boltgun - The Rubrics' standard gun, an AP-2 bolter. Costs 2 points and is exclusive to them. Solid option to point at expensive infantry.
  • Lascannon - 48" Heavy 1 S9 AP-3 D6, probably one of the strongest heavy weapons in 8th ed with the chance to output a redonkulous amount of damage with really high AP. That said, you'll fume for every damage roll of 1 you make.
  • Magma cutter - Interestingly, Magma cutters have now become a 6" Pistol 1 at S8 AP-4 D3, meaning they have a tiny bit of range and can be used while your Maulerfiends are munching on tasty vehicles.
  • Meltagun - 12" Assault 1 S8 AP-4 D6. If the target is within half range roll 2 dice when inflicting damage and discard the lowest result. Meltas are definitely still good, though it's debatable if they are as strong as Lascannons and Missile launchers.
  • Missile launcher - So good. Choose between Heavy D6 S4 AP0 D1 and Heavy 1 S8 AP-2 Damage D6 both at 48" range, best to stock up now cause these things are gonna be everywhere.
  • Multi-melta - It's a Meltagun with double the range 24" same profile as above. Also heavy.
  • Plague Belcher - Another new gun for the Plague Marines, this is a normal Flamer, with the key differences being the 9" range as opposed to the 8" of a normal Flamer, which makes it drastically better as a charge deterrent (particularly against deep strikers), and it rerolls 1s To Wound. Interesting option, but slightly more expensive than a normal Flamer.
  • Plague Spewer - To the Heavy Flamer what the Plague Belcher is to the Flamer, so 9" range and rerolling 1s to wound. A Heavy weapon, so you can't advance and shoot with it. It's also prohibitively expensive at 19 points.
  • Plasma gun - Choose between regular 24" rapid fire 1 S7 AP-3 D1 or SUPERCHARGE it to get +1 strength and damage but on a hit roll of 1 the bearer dies. You feelin' lucky, punk?
  • Plasma pistol - Same as the Plasma gun except 12" Pistol 1 instead of 24" Rapid Fire 1. Also has the ability to SUPERCHARGE for extra strength and damage but with the same risk of instant death. Since you can use them in melee and they're only 7 points, they might finally be worth taking now.
  • Predator autocannon - Thankfully much improved. Similar to the Autocannon except Heavy 2D3 and an extra 1 Damage. That means on average double the fire rate and triple the total damage. Comes stock on the Predator but can be swapped for the (also improved) Twin lascannon.
  • Reaper autocannon - 36" heavy 4 S7 AP-1 D1, Deffy comes stock with one of these, usually used after the Battle cannon to try and pick off any survivors. Note the reaper version of the autocannon only does 1 damage per wound and is really just a glorified 4 shot heavy bolter given how the strength and toughness chart works in this edition.
  • Shotgun - 12" assault 2 S3 AP0 D1, if the target is within half range it gets +1 strength. Carried only by cultist champions.
  • Skullhurler - 60" Heavy D6 S9 AP-3 Damage D3, when attacking units with 10 or more models it becomes heavy 2D6. Another weapon for the Lord of Skulls.
  • Sonic blaster - An Assault 3 Bolter that ignores cover bonuses. Only 4 points, a direct upgrade to Bolters, and excellent for turning up the volume on loyalist filth. Exclusive to Noise Marines. Let's reiterate: 24", Assault 3. Turn 1 you advance and you can already unleash a fuckload of shots at the opponent. Kill it with death metal.
  • Soulreaper cannon - Exclusive to Rubric Marines and Scarab Occult Terminators, This bad boy is a 24" Heavy 4 S5 AP-3 D1 dakka cannon. Since the only two units that can bring it ignore the penalties to moving and shooting with heavy weapons, it's essentially a shorter range, higher AP heavy bolter that you can run up the field to your heart's content. For just 5 points more than a Heavy Bolter, it's also a steal.
  • Twin heavy bolter - 36" Heavy 6 S5 AP-1 D1. Mathematically, twice as good as the (already good) regular heavy bolter for less than twice the price.
  • Twin heavy flamer - Still has some of the issues of the standard flamer, but the extra dakka (2d6 hits) does come a long way to upping the horde mulching potential for these.
  • Twin lascannon - Take 1 Lascannon and double-up on them, Heavy 2 instead of Heavy 1 but otherwise identical to regular lascannons.
  • Warp bolter - The Daemon Prince decided to grab his gat, essentially a buffed up bolter at 24" Assault 2 S4 AP-1 D2. This exists because of that cool picture. You know the one. A good gun, considering that DPs hit on a 2+.
  • Warpflame pistol - Flamer Pistol with massive AP, meaning you can inflict a bunch of auto-hits even in melee. Don't leave home without one on your Aspiring Sorcerer. Can help bail your expensive Rubrics out of melee.
  • Warpflamer - An AP-2 Flamer exclusive to Rubric Marines. The last word in overwatch scenarios.

Melee Weapons[edit]

  • Brutal assault weapon - Cultist melee weapon that gives them an additional close combat attack; free sidegrade to make classic choppy cultists.
  • Bubotic axe - Plague Marine Power axe but with Plague Weapon (reroll 1s to wound). Brings in the boo-boo.
  • Chainaxe - They're back, baby. S+1 AP-1, and cost just 1 point on both Berzerkers and unit Champions. Unfortunately don't confer extra attacks like Chainswords, but hey, quality over quantity. Double hey, hold onto that Chainsword because you still get its 1 additional attack on top of your Chainaxe attacks, making your Berzerkers extra killy while giving up their ranged weapons. You don't need your opponent removing models from the front to deny your charge anyways.
  • Chainfist - Powerfist with a heavy duty Chainsword strapped onto it. It has 1 better AP, and it has a fixed damage of 2. Now an ABSOLUTE STEAL at 14 pts. THANK YOU CHAPTER APPROVED!!
  • Chainsword - Now a bit more than just a close combat weapon, gives an additional attack using its profile if you have one on you. Not bad for dual wielding. If you have two, you do indeed get two extra attacks.
  • Daemon jaws - The dino-head of the Forgefiend if you don't have the Plasma-Head. AP-1, D2.
  • Daemonic axe - Standard DP's Axe. -1 to hit, S+1 AP-3 D3.
  • Defiler claws - Deffy doesn't suffer -1 to hit when he gives you d6 wounds to the face.
  • Defiler scourge - Deffy DOES get 3 extra attacks with this if he's got one. This will get you 3x S12 AP-2 3Dam on top of his 3 claw attacks.
  • Disc of Tzeentch's blades - 1 additional S4 attack.
  • Flail of Corruption - Plague Marine Baby Rattle with d3 to-hit rolls per attack, S+2, AP-2, D2, Plague Weapon, and any excess damage it causes rolls over. Legitimately nasty.
  • Fleshmetal weapon - Much like Fleshmetal guns, these are S:User+d3 AP:-d3 D:d3. Skubtastic
  • Force weapons - Effectively the same as a power weapon but with d3 damage. And all that without having to forego using other powers.
  • Great cleaver of Khorne - A Lord of Skulls doesn't have Titanic Feet because he doesn't have Titanic Legs (he is too Metal for legs). He has a choice of Smash - Sx2, AP-4, D6 OR Slash - S-, AP-2, D:d3 but 3x the attacks. Use Slash if you are wounding on a 2+ with it.
  • Great plague cleaver - Plague Marine Big Choppa Power Fist with D:d6 and Plague Weapon tacked on for 3pts extra.
  • Helbrute fist - Sx2 AP-3 D3 just like a Thunder Hammer, but you don't have -1 to hit.
  • Helbrute hammer - The other Helbrute option, Sx2 AP-4 and d6 damage, but imposes a -1 to hit penalty. Overall, the fist is much more reliable.
  • Heldrake claws - S:User with AP-1 and d3 damage and +1 to hit against flyers. You have to take them on your 'drakes. Use them to shred through some hapless character in the enemy backline.
  • Hellforged sword - Daemon Prince weapon with AP-2 and 3 damage.
  • Hideous mutations - The Chaos Spawn's weapon. Very respectable at AP-2 and 2 damage.
  • Horrifying mutations - The Possessed's variant of the blessings of the Pantheon. Strictly worse than their Spawn counterpart with only 1 damage, they are effectively power axes.
  • Juggernaut's bladed horn - Gives the Juggernaut-mounted Lord 3 extra attacks at S5 AP-1 D1.
  • Lasher tendrils - The Maulerfiend's other option. Gives 6 extra attacks at AP-2 D2 to shred your way through any infantry you encounter.
  • Lightning claws - Finally giving us a reason to double up on these, lightning claws now give an extra attack if you hold one in each hand. Order a pair today and get a 50% discount on the second one!
  • Mace of contagion - Plague Marine Power maul with Plague Weapon and flat 3 damage, but -1 to hit.
  • Malefic talons - The Daemon Prince's default weaponry. You'll always take these because they're cheap, strike at AP-2 D2, and give three extra attacks if you have a pair.
  • Maulerfiend fists - Powerfist without the -1 to hit and with a flat 3 damage.
  • Mechatendrils - Gives the Warpsmith two extra basic melee attacks.
  • Palanquin of Nurgle's Nurglings' claws and teeth - you get d6 extra close combat attacks at S2, rerolling wound rolls of 1.
  • Plague knife - Plague Marine stock CCW with Plague Weapon. Next.
  • Plaguesword - Plague Champion can take one for rerolls to wound.
  • Power scourge - Grants 3 additional attacks with this weapon, which hit at AP-2 and 2 damage. Helbrute with a Power Fist + Power Scourge? 5 Fist attacks, 3 Scourge attacks.
  • Power weapons - Got a general reshuffling this edition, with each option getting changed to make it generally more balanced.
    • Power maul - Packs a punch in general, but is especially effective against GEQs, these also do well against armies like Harlequins who have an army-wide invulnerable save yet are still terribly squishy.
    • Power axe - Lost the unwieldy rule and is all the better for it, even if these are slightly more expensive than the other 2. These are now a jack of all trades and make a good fit for "take all comers" armies.
    • Power sword - Focused entirely on armour penetration, these are good at facing MEQs and completely strip armour from GEQs, however these become a terrible choice against invulnerable saves.
    • Power fist - Lost the unwieldy rule like the axe, however it has a -1 to hit now. However it still packs a solid punch of d3 damage. Helbrute Power Fist ignores the -1 to hit and does a flat 3 damage per swing. Note that the -1 to hit makes DTTFE impossible for the bearer without Prescience, First Among Traitors, or Icon of Excess.
  • Steed of Slaanesh's lashing tongue - gives the Steed Slaanesh Lord two extra attacks at S4 D1.


  • Blight grenade - Frag Grenade that rerolls 1s To Wound. Cements your Plague Marines' role as close range firefight specialists.
  • Frag grenade - 6" Grenade D6 Str3 AP0 1D, replaces one gun- or pistol shot in a unit. Actually quite useful.
  • Krak grenade - 6" Grenade 1 Str6 AP-1 d3D, always better than the bolt pistol/gun shot it replaces.


Icons now cost 5 or 10 points, and with the new wound allocation rules you'll get your buffs for much longer as the bearers can't be sniped out.

  • Icon of Despair - NURGLE units only. Enemy units with models within 6" (as of the new Codex) of a unit with this icon are at -1 Leadership. A big improvement from last edition, this is actually worth taking now. Get an enemy unit surrounded by this and a Noxious Blightbringer and they'll get -2 to their Leadership (-3 for PSYKER units like Grey Knights). This will make even the Primaris Marines run away screaming.
  • Icon of Excess - SLAANESH units only. The Death to the False Emperor rule now triggers on a 5+ rather than a 6+. Situational, but good on melee units that are fighting anything with the IMPERIUM. Casting Prescience on a unit with this means it triggers on a 4+. Have fun.
  • Icon of Flame - TZEENTCH units only. At the start of the psychic phase, roll a d6; on a 6, the closest enemy unit within 12" takes a mortal wound. Not amazing, over the course of a 6-turn game you'll cause 1 mortal wound assuming enemies were within 12" for the entire game.
    • Now 5 pts, making it considerably better than before. Make a Tzeentch-based Renegade chapter with MSU and watch the fireworks.
  • Icon of Wrath - KHORNE units only. Reroll ANY charge rolls, not just failed ones, this can help if you succeed on the charge but want to go for a higher roll to pile in more models. Cheap, cheerful, and simple, and a near auto-take on any melee-oriented unit (which is most of them, you're playing Khorne.)
  • Icon of Vengeance - Cannot be taken by marked units. Adds 1 to the Leadership of all models in a unit, giving your basic Marines LD9 with a Champion. Stacks with the Black Legion Tactic, if you want to show up Ultrasmurfs in terms of Leadership.
    • Now 5 pts, making it essentially an auto-include for basically any undivided units that can take it.


Note that Relics no longer cost points. Instead, you get a single free relic per army, and can pay CP to get 1-2 more. However, you can't put more than one relic on one guy. Also, because they mostly replace weapons, you can't give most of them to Daemon Princes (or Sorcerers.)


  • The Black Mace: Replaces a power maul. Melee weapon with Strength +3, AP-2, 2 damage. Roll a d6 anytime you slay a model with it. on a 6, the model's unit suffers an additional mortal wound at the end of the phase. You can't cheese out and give this to a Prince anymore, but it's a very effective weapon either way. The only option a Dark Apostle has of actually wielding something worthwhile.
  • THE MURDER SWORD: Replaces a power sword. Melee weapon with Strength +1, AP-4, 1 damage. At the start of the first turn, name an enemy character. THE MURDER SWORD activates and all of your successful hits against that character cause mortal wounds. Very nice. Just a straight upgrade to a Power Sword and with a very useful nope-ing ability against 2+/3++ Characters. If you have transportation for it, this is easily one of the best ways to take the character hunting special rule for an Exalted Champion from being a funny gimmick to a terrifying threat. Girlymaaaaaan, where are youuuuu? [1]
    • Aside from ignoring invulnerable saves, it also does not require wound rolls, so extremely impressive against high Toughness enemy characters, such as VEHICLE or MONSTER characters.


  • Axe of Blind Fury: Khorne only, replaces a model's power axe. S+3 AP-3 and d3 damage, but to hit rolls of 1 cannot be rerolled or modified. Instead, they hit friendly units within 1". Now ANY Lord, Exalted Champion or Warpsmith dedicated to Khorne can be a fun guy to be around! Overall - not a bad choice, but not something to write home about either. Seeing as how Chaos Lords and Exalted Champions are better utilized as force multipliers, this is somewhat counter-productive. On the plus side, it increases your CQC damage output dramatically. However, if you don't want your axe-murderer to genocide your own guys, you'd have to make sure that they are outside the 1" kill reach. Which can be tricky. This is why AOBF is probably best utilized as a further buff on a solitary murder-machine, rather than your support guy - a juggerlord or a warpsmith could benefit from it rather nicely. Some Anons argue that it's better to just take a power fist and the Talisman of Burning Blood, to ensure that you pull that charge off. Ultimately - both tactics work - the power fist has a better chance to wound if it connects, but aside from the obvious decreased chance to hit, the -1 its modifier makes DTTFE impossible. One thing to consider is using daemons along with your lord - the axe may not kill them, but it will instakill 31pt terminators at a similar rate to 7pt bloodletters.
  • Talisman of Burning Blood: - Khorne only. Bearer can advance and charge in the same turn and can reroll failed charge rolls. Good on a Juggerlord, better on a winged Daemon Prince.


  • Puscleaver: - Nurgle Only. A Power Sword that loses 1 point of AP for higher damage and the ability to wound non-vehicles on 2+ (and vehicles normally). Interesting, useful, and cheap.


  • Intoxicating Elixir: - Slaanesh only. Add 1 to the bearer's strength and attacks. Makes a killy Lord even killier. Combine with Diabolic Strength for best results (especially if you take this on a Daemon Prince and have him cast it on himself, just for the sake of excess.)


  • Eye of Tzeentch: - Tzeentch psykers only. Add 1 to to psychic test when manifesting smite, casting on a 4 and getting extra wounds on a 10.


  • Iron Warriors: Fleshmetal Exoskeleton. Grants a 2+ armor save and allows the user to regenerate a wound at the start of a turn. Perfect for a Daemon Prince, since they can't normally upgrade their armor saves.
  • Night Lords: Claws of the Black Hunt. Replaces a pair of lightning claws; with S+1, AP-3, and D3 damage on top of the bonuses inherent to double lightning claws, these combine the horde-shredding ability of LCs with the AP and damage of a Force Sword.
  • World Eaters: Brass Collar of Bhorgaster. Allows the wearer to deny one psychic power per turn as if he was a psyker; if the power is successfully denied, the psyker immediately suffers Perils of the Warp. This combined with Scorn of Sorcery is bound to make psyker-heavy armies think twice before they begin unleashing their mindbullets or at least stay the hell away from the owner.
  • Black Legion: The Eye of Night. Once per game, in the shooting phase, the bearer of the Eye of Night can select a visible enemy vehicle. On a 2+, it takes d3 mortal wounds. Not terribly impressive, but at least it doesn't cost more than the guy carrying it anymore. Also avoids vehicle invuln saves. Fluff states this thing is supposed to be able to cause "massive power failure or catastrophic internal damage". But on the tabletop, this thing will tickle a vehicle once.
  • Word Bearers: The Cursed Crozius. S+2, AP-2, and a flat 3 damage, replacing a power maul. In addition, the bearer may reroll failed wound rolls with the weapon in close combat when fighting against IMPERIUM units. Lets your Dark Apostle reroll hits and wounds. Interesting on a damage monster.
  • Alpha Legion: Blade of the Hydra. Replaces a model's chainsword. With a profile of S+1 AP-2 and a flat 2 damage, a solid close combat option, never mind the D3 instead of 1 extra attacks it gives you. (Fun fact: this weapon is exactly the same as the loyalist Relic "Teeth of Terra." Coincidence? I think not!)
  • Emperor's Children: Blissgiver. Replaces a model's Bolt Pistol for a Lash with a 6" range. It's Assault D6, but can fire in melee and into melee with S:User and AP-1. Also, if you wound a character with it, you get a 1/6 chance of dealing D3 Mortal Wounds. Fantastic to add some more damage in melee and if you're an ass, you can just stand behind your meatshields and poke the enemy with it. Also, since it replace a pistol with an assault weapon, that means you can fire it together with another weapons (like a Combi-flamer) for some nice little extra firepower. For fun you can have a Lord on Bike, which include a Combi-Bolter, and giving him Combi-flamer and Blissgiver. Or, for something actually supported directly in the codex, a Warpsmith, to go with their flamer and meltagun, and because it just needed one more tentacular appendage.

Unit Analysis[edit]


  • A NOTE ON DAEMONIC MOUNTS: Notice that Daemonic Mounts give the model the DAEMON keyword. This is both good and bad. Good, because this means you get buffed by nearby Heralds (+1 Strength is nice), so if you want to go Daemonkin you have some synergy right there. (This is absolutely confirmed in the Designers' Commentary.) Bad because things like Grey Knights are that much stronger against you. Keep it in mind when you choose your Lords and Sorcerers. Remember that despite having DAEMON you do not gain god specific bonuses. For example, Ahriman with a disc has both DAEMON and TZEENTCH keywords but he does not gain +1 to his invuln because he lacks the Ephemeral Form special rule. This applies to all mounts.In addition, characters on demonic mounts have the Cavalry keyword. This disqualifies them from many stratagems, psychic powers, and (most critically) legion traits overall as they are only applied to infantry, bikes, Daemon Princes, and helbrutes.
  • ANOTHER NOTE ON DAEMONIC MOUNTS (& BIKES): As of the codex, these options for our characters look to have become legacy options and do not appear in the codex. You can still use their profiles from the index, but this suggests that their time in 40k might be limited (and that we'll never get a new official model riding a Palanquin of Nurgle other than that git Epidemius and that horrible one from many moons ago). At least we have bik... wait no, they're missing, too.
  • Chaos Lord - Your vanilla leader. Lots of customization and a solid statline. You may want to take another version as your Warlord, but this guy is useful as a secondary HQ for his aura, which let you reroll every 1 to hit in a 6" bubble. You can keep this guy around plasma Havocs or Chosen, to protect them and let them use the overcharge more freely. Note that this aura, like all auras, also applies to himself. You have the option for a Jump-Pack. Also interesting is that the vanilla Chaos Lord is cheap as chips, running you only 4 points more than the Primaris Lieutenant. Even his gear options are notably cheap unless you go for something crazy like Combi-Melta and Power Fist. What this means is that there's very little reason not to take one to buff your units. Hell, give him a pair of Lightning Claws and he becomes an excellent babysitter that can keep your Havoc gunline safe from assassins like Lictors, and all of that without having to pay for Power Fists on your Havoc Champions.
    • Note: There is one fun trick you can do with this Lord that the loyalist equivalent (Captain) can't: dual wielding Plasma Pistols. If you can't decide between going shooty or choppy with your Lord, this is a decent compromise. Two Plasma Pistols cost 1 point less than a Combi-Plasma, and it gives you the exact same number of shots at 12". You're basically trading the ability to make a single plasma shot at 24" for the ability to shoot in close combat. And remember, his reroll-1s aura applies to himself, so don't be afraid to supercharge that shit. Just Woo it! Oh, and remember that posh Moritat model from HH that nobody used? Well now you can!
    • Chaos Terminator Lord - Like above, but with Terminator Armor. Sadly, unlike loyalists, you don't have a choice between different types of armor, so you are stuck with the Indomitus. 2+ armor, an extra wound, come stock with Combi-Bolter and Power-sword and can Teleport into the field. This is your heavy duty Chaos Lord, the one you will want as your Warlord. Keep in mind though that he is comparatively expensive; cheap + effective upgrades would either be a pair of lightning claws or combi-plasma w/ chainfist if you don't want to give up shooting (and is an especially killy combo for +29 pesos). You're still hitting on a 3 in CC with a fairly brutal CC weapon and reroll to-hits of 1 when shooting, making overcharge a lot safer.
    • Chaos Lord on Bike - This Lord is fast and durable. 14" movement, Toughness 5 and the extra wound are very nice. If you can't decide if you want a tough or a fast Lord, you cannot go wrong with this guy.
      • Note: Now that you can shoot all non-pistol weapons, swap his bolt pistol for a second combi-bolter. Currently he and the Bike Sorcerer are the only Chaos HQs that can legitimately have two combi-bolters. 8 S4 shots at 12" on a guy that can hit on 2+, reroll 1s, and move 14" per turn? Yes please.
    • Chaos Lord on Juggernaut - Slow for a mounted Chaos Lords, with only a 8" movement, trading off speed for punch. Has the same stats as the Chaos Lord on Bike but with S5, and the Juggernaut itself has 3 attacks at S5 (+2 on the charge) and AP-1 with its bladed horn. Yikes. Do note that this guy, and all the Lords on Daemonic Mounts, only buff marked dudes with their aura. Solidly killy.
      • Note: He might be relatively slow, but his 8" movement is perfect to keep up with a few 7"-moving Chaos Sp----gjgarrrrrjsaaaaalaalalalalagag.
      • The biggest problem with this guy in the new edition are the new character rules. Since as you can no longer put him inside a unit, you can no longer protect him as completely from heavy hitting stuff. A good set up is go with the Iron Warrior Fleshmetal Exoskeleton relic for a 2+ Save and wound regen. Thankfully, the base cost remained close to the same from 7th, though many of the weapon options got cheaper, so this offsets a few of the negatives, so it still a solid unit but don't expect any miracles; he can't solo an Imperial Knight with a Goredrinker-buffed Axe of Khorne anymore.
      • S5 base means S10 power fist swings. Not INFANTRY, BIKER, HELLBRUTE or Daemon Prince, so doesn't benefit from his own legion trait. Also can't end turns on the upper levels of ruins (due to ruins advanced terrain rules).
    • Chaos Lord on Disc - The only mount that does not boost the statline of the Chaos Lord. You instead get 12" movement and the FLY keyword, as well as a weak single attack from the mount itself.
      • Alternate Opinion: The only real use for this guy is if for some reason you have him flying around buffing a unit of Tzeentch-aligned Warp Talons while they are both also being buffed by a Herald of Tzeentch on a Disc for +1 Str and rerolling 1s to hit... which I GUESS makes sense, since THOUSAND SONS can't take Warp Talons, but that seems like a lot of eggs to throw into a single basket. But I guess if you REALLY want to... just keep in mind that you could do the exact same thing on a Tzeentch Daemon Prince with wings, with a better statline and letting the Herald get in on the rerolls too.
      • Alternate Opinion: This costs 7 points more than a statistically identical power armor Lord with a jump pack, for 1 extra attack and the DAEMON keyword. Not worth it if you're going purely CSM, but might be handy if you're using a lot of Tzeentch Daemons and need something that actually benefits from all the close combat buffs they provide to an otherwise almost purely shooty subfaction.
      • Alternate Opinion: Using a Powerfist on a plane might be the greatest thing ever. Could do it for 7 points cheaper with a Jump pack Lord, though.
    • Chaos Lord on Palanquin - The slowest of the Chaos Lords. You'll go at par with the Terminator Lords, with the difference you can't teleport onto the field. T5 and 6 wounds, like the Bike Lord, and some negligible extra attacks from the Nurglings. Fairly cheap, which makes him a decently tough lynchpin for a gunline, as he can buff the Plague Marines while intercepting any melee threats. . Fun fact: because he has the NURGLE and DAEMON keywords, any units he wipes out count toward the Tally of Pestilence for Epidemius.
      • Now that the FAQ has confirmed that CSM characters can summon daemons, performs the "lynchpin" role even better by being able to summon in Nurglings and Plaguebearers to screw with deepstrikers or tie up and harass anyone who gets close.
    • Chaos Lord on Steed - The (in)famous Chaos Lord on Steed of Slaanesh has lost all his tactical advantages in the new edition, but he's still pretty good. 12" movement and he can advance and still charge. He gets the extra wound of the bike but not the Toughness improvement; he gets an extra attack instead. Consider giving this guy a Combi-Flamer, so he can advance, shoot without penalties and still charge. Give him some brutal melee weapons to take advantage of the extra attack.
      • Alternate Opinion: For some extra fun, give him two chainswords. He won't have any AP, but this will give him 9 attacks total, hitting on 2+ and rerolling 1s. Against IMPERIUM targets, he's all but guaranteed to generate at least one extra attack from DttFE, probably more. With psychic or Herald buffs (or both), he can chew right through light infantry.
      • Alternate alternate opinion: give him a pair of lightning claws instead of chainswords and he gets one less attack, but rerolls to wounds and -2 rend and is more effective against a very wide variety of opponents.
      • Ultimate Another Opinion: Extra attacks are best with strong weapons, give him the black mace, MURDERSWORD or a power fist or lightning claws and intoxicating elixir.
  • Dark Apostle - The Dark Apostle is one of the index' hidden gems that you might overlook at first (especially since he was at best a one-trick 'fearless cultists' pony in 7th ed), and a blessing for people wanting to play a choppy army. Clocking in at a very reasonable 76 points, he's the second cheapest CSM HQ choice (ahead of the new Exalted Champion). His stats and gear are nothing to write home about...but you're not taking him for his stats and gear. Oh, no, you're really not. He has not one but two command abilities that are quite insane when combined: "Demagogue" allow any unit with the same LEGION keyword as he has within 6" of him to use his Ld of 9 for any Ld test (which is the highest Ld score from the whole index save for some Special Characters) and "Dark Zealot" allow any unit with the same LEGION keyword as he has within 6" of him (including himself) to re-roll any failed to-hit roll in the fight phase. Berzerkers, fighting twice and re-rolling all their misses; and with a better Ld in case something goes wrong to boot? Do you really need a drawing? The Dark Apostle is mini-Abby for players on a budget, and he fucking delivers in the name of the Dark Gods. His only drawback is that he has no mobility options, so make sure there's a place for him in a transport or a huge blob of infantry supporting him.
    • It goes without saying, but if you rather play a gunline with lot of vehicles that obliterates their opponents with superior firepower you'll be better off with a Warpsmith or a Chaos Lord instead.
    • Combined with Black Legion Legion Trait and Inspiring Leader (Rulebook) Warlord Trait, he comes with 11 Leadership. Which is awesome with huge packs of cultists.
  • Daemon Prince - No longer the one man army he used to be, though his melee is still rather powerful. Use him to support other units with his 6" bubble and psychic powers. 8 wounds means he can't be targeted by shooting if he's not the closest unit, so keep him behind another unit that can match his 8" move speed. He needs a god allegiance keyword, which determines which ability he gets: KHORNE princes get +1 attack, while others become psykers which know Smite and one Dark Hereticus power. He also buffs both models with the same Legion and Daemon Allegiance keywords. Unless you're playing a Khorne army, always take him as a psyker. The +1 attack isn't even close in power to the psychic powers he can have. The new Codex made all the melee weapon options for them the exact same cost, so now it's a choice between two more attacks (Talons), doing 1 more Damage per attack (Sword), or having your Strength, AP and Damage by 1 better at the cost of -1 to hit (Axe). The Talons are probably still his best equipment choice unless you're desperate for something to kill vehicles with, but even then, 7 (8 for Khorne... I see what you did there GW) attacks at -2 AP are nothing to scoff at. An Emperor's Children Daemon Prince is especially brutal. Take the Intoxicating Elixir relic for +1 strength and +1 attack; and the Stimulated by Pain WL trait for +1 attack per wound taken up to +3 attacks. With Malefic Talons that's S8/AP-2/DMG 2 with 8-11 attacks once he starts taking wounds! He can also cast Delightful Agonies on himself for 5+ FNP. Or Diabolic Strength for S10 and 9-12 attacks! He can also take a Warp Bolter for some pretty decent shooting.
    • NOTE: Daemon Prince cannot take certain relics. (But the ones he CAN take make him utterly brutal.)

Weapon Choice Breakdown

  • On Talons vs Sword/Axe: Not sure what I was smoking when I did the math on this before, but here is how it breaks down. Because the Daemon Prince has a 2+ rerolling 1s to hit, this will be assuming that all attacks hit, but keep in mind that the more attack rolls you make, the greater your chances are that at least one will still fail after being rerolled! On a completely unaltered non-Khorne Prince, the total damage with all attacks hitting the same target is identical. Once you start adding extra attacks, such as from being a Khorne Prince, casting Diabolic Strength, DttFE, and/or the various Warlord Traits that do so, total damage output goes up by 1 for the axe or sword for each additional Attack it gets. So, for example, an Emperor's Children Daemon Prince with the Intoxicating Elixir, casting Diabolic Strength on itself, and 3 extra attacks from the Stimulated by Pain Warlord Trait would deal 5 more total damage with a sword or axe than it would with a pair of talons. Of course, that only matters if you're trying to smash a tank (or, after a certain point, a Knight) since this is only factoring in total damage to a single target. In short, take the talons if you want to be more versatile (since the extra damage doesn't apply against models with only 1 or 2 Wounds) and either the sword or axe if you want the Prince to focus on big targets with lots of Wounds. There is also the extra AP to consider, but it ends up boiling down to the same thing--talons for taking all comers, the other two for cracking tough targets.
  • On Sword vs Axe: So, assuming you decide not to go with the talons, which weapon is better? At first glance this seems like a wash, trading a higher chance to hit for a higher chance to wound, bit when you start factoring everything else in this gets complicated. Against anything where the difference between S7 and S8 matters (so against MEQs and most vehicles) the axe is better because the roll with lower odds (the hit roll) is slightly mitigated by being able to reroll 1s. But, like before, buffs need to be considered. Against all but a few specific armies, anything that gives the Daemon Prince a bonus Strength will make the axe objectively worse in the vast majority of cases. If, for example, he's going to be casting Diabolic Strength on himself, he'll only be better off with an axe than a sword against T5 (and T9 or T10 too technically, but if you're up against that you should probably be using something else to handle it.) And if he has Diabolic Strength AND the Intoxicating Elixir you're up to S10 without the axe, meaning the axe only helps against titans and the like. It should be noted, however, that Khorne Princes generally don't have access to most of the Strength boosters available to a Prince (unless you want a Sorcerer following him and casting Diabolic Strength on him, but there are no guarantees once something needs another unit's help to function.) So basically the math makes Daemon Princes accidentally fit the fluff--Khorne Princes are better off with the axe, all the others are better off with the sword (again, assuming you didn't already pick the talons.)
  • 8th Edition has overall changed the Daemon Prince by quite a bit compared to 7th, and mostly for the better. bumping up to T6, 6" re-rolls of 1 for hits, worthwhile weapon choices that don't cost a relic slot, and going DOWN in points all contribute to a fantastic HQ, though they were FAR more evasive (flying monstrous creature rules and jinking were dumb) back then and their Psychic power is nothing compared to before. Regardless, the Daemon Prince has earned his place as one of the ultimate beatstick HQ's in 40k history, but 8th has changed that. He is no longer a selfish one man army that forces you funnel points and warp charges into him. Now he can be described as an ACTUAL WARLORD. He threads the needle, supports your army, and gravitates to where the fighting is the thickest. If you want a semi-supportive, beastly killer of an HQ and are willing to pay up quite a few points, then go for it. A literal god will be on your side.
  • Sorcerer - Pretty standard. You cast 2 powers and deny one, stats are in line with the rest of your Warriors and... that's it really. Force Weapons are cool, but don't let this guy join melee if you can avoid it. This is your primary source of Mortal Wounds and buffs. Option for a Jump-Pack. Important to note that in the bump over from 7th Chaos Lords were given a invulnerable save, most Sorcerers however, were not. Make sure he's well guarded.
    • Note: As of the FAQ, exalted sorcs are more expensive than regular ones, making this guy a reasonable option again, unless you're playing Thousand Sons.
    • Terminator Sorcerer - Heavy duty Sorcerer. Note that this guy costs a lot more than the vanilla one, but if you fear for his safety this may be a good investment. Just remember to wear a helmet.
      • Alternatively: you could make this into a combat sorcerer by taking the Mark of Slaanesh, Diabolic Strength as one of your psychic powers and the Intoxicating Elixer relic, netting you 5 attacks as S8, AP-2, D3 damage (force axe), or S9, AP-1, D3 damage (force stave). You could take a power fist (but the -1 to hit will mean you only hit on a 4+), which will give you S11, AP-3, D3 damage. You can further combine this with Warp Time to move around easier or Prescience to buff yourself. If you take the Black Legion warlord trait you can get exploding dice on a 5+ (4+ with Prescience) against Imperial scum, or the Emperor's Children Stimulated by Pain to gain a few extra attacks. Lastly, you could drop Intoxicating Elixer, for the Black Mace if you arm yourself with a power maul for S9, AP-2, D2, but this means you will get one less attack overall. However, if you take the Flames of Spite warlord trait, you get mortal wounds on 6+ to wound, and then you get to roll a D6 for the Black Mace for each slain model to add further mortal wounds on a 6. This could be a great way to chain up mortal wounds on the target. Coming in at around 156-164pts, it's a nice alternative to a Daemon Prince and can cast more spells and still throw down in combat.
    • Just got a significant price reduction, making this an EVEN MORE appealing choice.
    • Sorcerer can no longer cast warptime on deep-striking terminators, which sucks pretty bad. Still very useful, but he has officially lost his cheese status.
    • Sorcerer on Bike - Tough and fast. The extra wound and toughness are nice, but notice this guy has no invulnerable save and jink isn't a thing anymore. If you don't plan to use his speed for keeping him safe, you may as well choose another option.
    • Sorcerer on Juggernaut - BLAM No, it doesn't exist, as much as Azariah Kyras would say otherwise.
    • Sorcerer on Disc - Tzeentch blessed him with a 5+ invulnerable save, which makes this guy pretty interesting. However, if you're taking a caster on a disc, you're probably playing Tzeentch, in which case an Exalted is better.
    • Sorcerer on Palanquin - Unlike the Chaos Lord, being slow is not as big of a deal for a Sorcerer, so this may be a good option since it's cheaper than giving him Terminator Armor. Fun fact: because he has the NURGLE DAEMON keywords, any units he wipes out counts toward the Tally of Pestilence for Epidemius.
    • Sorcerer on Steed - Extra attack and the ability to advance and charge are not good selling points for a Sorcerer's mount. Yes, force weapons are mean, but you don't want this guy in melee if you can avoid it. Yes, it gives you an extra wound and more mobility, but so does the Bike. In smaller games, where you can't afford many HQs, this guy may be useful as a jack-of-all-trades.
  • Warpsmith - Another nice HQ that got drastically improved in the new edition. He packs a lot of heat in the form of a flamer and melta, while his power axe and mechatendrils make him solid in melee too. All of that with a solid 2+ armor and a fairly cheap price. His main role is to repair your vehicles, regaining d3 lost wounds on one at the end of the movement phase, but he can also curse the enemy ones (on a 2+ they suffer a mortal wound) which can be useful. With no mobility upgrades, this guy is best used defending your artillery and tanks by repairing them and aiding against deepstrikes. Alternatively, put him in the front and keep that Land Raider alive. Can also take a Combi-Weapon, so either take a Combi-Flamer for 2D6 auto-hits on Overwatch or a Combi-Melta to make sure that tank you point him at stays dead. Remember, you can either fire all your Pistols, or every other non-Pistol, non-Grenade. And he can take plenty of those.
  • Exalted Champion - A new character option from the Chaos Codex. No model yet, though the Aspiring Champion Vrosh Tattersoul from Dark Vengeance works well enough. Special rules include Aspire to Glory, which allows friendly units from the same legion to reroll failed to wound rolls in the fight phase, and For the Dark Gods, which allows him to re-roll failed to hit rolls for the champion when targeting an enemy character. He's basically a Dark Apostle with a different set of abilities, coming out to 6 points cheaper base, while trading one point of LD for a 4th attack. Instead of providing rerolls to hit, he provides re-rolls to wound. If you're feeling really mean, keep a Dark apostle and an Exalted Champion next to your Berzerkers or Chosen armed with power weapons for rerolls on hits and wounds.
    • Note: Make sure to read this one carefully! Many people glance over it and assume it's like the loyalist Lieutenant, but there are two key difference that people keep missing: It only provides wound rerolls in the Fight phase, but in exchange you reroll ALL failed wound rolls, not just 1s.
    • Note 2: Because the to wound rerolls are based on what phase it is rather than whether or not you're swinging a melee weapon, this WILL apply to Noise Marines taking their Music of the Apocalypse shots if they die in close combat.
    • Consider giving him The Murder Sword, it is a particular vile option. Because of the re-rolls to hits you are almost certainly going to immediately peel off 4 mortal wounds against the named character each round of combat(assuming that they even live to see a second). Even when the attacks are swung at other enemy characters you will still find him to be very effective with it as his re-rolls to hits & wounds will trigger. When attacking everything else with The Murder Sword hes still swinging 4 times with S5 AP4 re-rolling to wound attacks. Bottom line is that things that he hits without invulnerable saves are going to feel it.
    • Alternative opinion - Murder Sword is a terrible STILL A GREAT idea on this one. He has no mobility COUGH COUGH WARPTIME COUGH and it isn't difficult to be dodge by his target, and while he hits on 2+ it doesn't DOES re-roll hit rolls BECAUSE YOUR TARGET THAT YOU'RE ATTACKING IS ANOTHER <CHARACTER>, THUS TRIGGERING HIS "FOR THE DARK GODS" SPECIAL RULE of 1. Ask yourself this - why do you give someone THE MURDER SWORD? To kill another character, possibly one with a good Invuln save (3++). Well, this bloke can throw out 3- 4 mortal wounds per fight phase. What character with a 3++ has JUST 4 mortal wounds? This means that to kill its target, the champion will have to spend at least two rounds locked in combat with the enemy - and this is where we get to the issue. to have the Mark of Khorne and use the fight twice stratagem to hit them with 7-8. He is a 4 wounds dude, with a 3+ save and no invuln save. He WILL get stomped into the ground if he meets an enemy strong enough to be worthy of dedicating the murder sword to...but then if you're putting the MURDER SWORD on him you're building a 70pt anti-warlord suicide bomb, so as long as his target dies you don't care. Also, his ability works with shooting and since he has a bolt pistol, he can use Daemon Shells to slap another d3 mortal wounds on his target. No, forget the murder sword, just give him an axe and keep him around your Berzerkers. It IS a situational build, and hungry for CP, but there are some situations where he's what you need, like say a Shield-Captain on the Auric Aquilis with Superior Creation and Victor of the yada yada you've just killed him in one go. The most difficult part is getting him into combat; save Warptime for him, or give him a Rhino or (comedy option) Dreadclaw.
  • Chaos Hellwright [Forge World] - A suped up Warpsmith for all intents and purposes with +1 strength, +1 toughness, and +1 wound when compared to the standard CSM counterpart. His Infernal Axe weapon is clocking in better AP and Damage than the Warpsmith's Power Axe, as well as having altered weapon options; getting a voidcutter and soulburner pistol while losing the meltagun and bolt pistol. The Hellwright heals a wound on your turn start and gives all Hellforged (other Forgeworld Chaos relic vehicles) +1 to their attacks and leadership characteristics. The "Master of Mechanisms" and "Death to the False Emperor" special rules are the same as the Warpsmith. He is an extra twelve points compared to the Warpsmith, but given the better statline and similar wargear options(he has no options) (while also healing a wound per turn) this seems like an auto replacement if you were considering taking a Warpsmith already - worth noting that Chapter Approved hiked the cost of this guy by 20 points, so still a solid choice but not so much a no-brainer. That said, their Master of Mechanisms allows them to heal allied Chaos Knights, so if you're taking one, giving them D3 wounds/turn back on top of everything else is probably worth the price tag.
    • Chaos Hellwright on Dark Abeyant [Forge World] - All the same options as above with the inclusion of the Warpfire Lance, a Heavy 2 S6 AP-3 weapon doing D6 damage and causing an additional hit on to wound rolls of 6+(which sadly can't make new themself). The mount also adds +1 wounds and +3" movement to the Hellwright's profile. In addition, the Dark Abeyant gives a 5++ with the drawback that it can only advance D3" (but ignores the -1 penalty to its hit rolls for moving and firing heavy weapons). It can be transported in a transport (cool) and takes up 3 model spaces if you do so. All for a price increase of 45pts, take it if your hellwright is likely to be targeted and/or you have points to spare.
    • The Abeyant is also valuable for escorting melee-focused daemon engines into the fight, as it allows the Hellwright to move at their full 8 inches and not have to run his ass up. Thanks to the mortal wounds his pistol spits out and the improved damage of his axe, he's also much more able to make a valuable contribution once it's time to get stuck in.
    • Modellers Note: There is no model for the Hellwright, but the best model to use is this one from Forge World, as it is official and fits the requirements.

Special Characters[edit]

  • Abaddon the Despoiler - The Warmaster himself, the guy /tg/ always jokes about for being an armless failure and who was a rare sight on the tabletop... Well, no more of the latter. Abaddon now sports six base attacks with the Talon of Horus and seven wounds, along with his familiar 2+/4++. He also has a special ability that halves any damage taken (rounding up). Drachn'yen is the only surviving Daemon Weapon; it grants him 1d6 additional attacks whenever he fights with a roll of 1 meaning he loses a wound, no save allowed. 8th edition however now grants him what he's been having in the fluff but lacking on the tabletop: a command ability to represent he's the goddamn Warmaster of Chaos. And boy, does he get one: "Lord of the Black Legion" is an aura that lets any units with the keyword within 6" re-roll ALL failed to hit rolls, including himself (up to 12 attacks, if not more against servants of the False Emperor, hitting on a rerollable 2+ in melee...) and also makes all units with the HERETIC ASTARTES keyword within 12" automatically pass morale tests. Did I mention in the new Codex he now gives a battleforged army an extra 2 Command Points by being Warlord? You do have to fork out 240 points for the big guy, but Abby is now more than ready to take loyalist skulls by being both a blender in melee and a good force multiplier for his troops. Expect to see him hit the tabletop regularly in 8th edition!
    • Note that by RAW, Abaddon must roll for 1d6 extra Drachn'yen attacks even if he uses the Talon of Horus for his six default attacks; you can't try to play it safe and not risk a Mortal Wound. On the other hand, it also means that Abaddon can always make any extra attacks he gets with Drachn'yen while using his six base attacks on the stronger Talon of Horus for maximum carnage, and he can still use the Talon even if he does take the wound because his bound Daemon gets grumpy (which can be rerolled with command points anyway).
    • Legion-specific Characters must take the Legion-specific Warlord trait, so no +1A or 6+ FnP for Abby. First Among Traitors basically turns the big guy into an Icon of Excess for all BLACK LEGION units within 6" of him (that doesn't stack with unit-borne icons, no Death to the False Emperor on 4+)! Fluffy, considering Abby's goal is first and foremost to bring down the Imperium, but only useful if you actually play against an Imperium army. You probably will since Imperium armies are the most common, but you'll lose some effectiveness when fighting xenos or fellow heretics.
    • One interesting quirk about Abaddon is that he's one of the only characters in the game in Terminator armor where footslogging is, if not ideal, at least viable. Since apparently Slaanesh decided to give him a 6" move instead of the usual Terminator 5" Movement, while the old strategy of dropping him in with a bunch of Terminator bodyguards is certainly still good, you might actually get more out of him by having him march in the middle of a bunch of 20 man units of BLACK LEGION HERETIC ASTARTES of some flavor. Having some Havocs behind him, mitigating their -1 to hit while moving with the rerolls he gives them, is also shockingly effective.
    • A note on Drachn'yen - poking yourself in the eye with the sword for a mortal wound is no longer as painful now that he has 7, but it's still a good idea to keep a command point handy to re-roll that particular roll.
    • His statline, loadout and points cost is notably similar to that of Papa Smurf, of all people. The big blue guy even has the same 'halves damage' special ability - but while Big Blue provides 2 extra command points for general use, Abby rocks 2-7 more attacks, higher toughness and an additional 'fearless' aura. So, he's a worse strategist than Calgar, but a more powerful combatant and more inspiring leader. Whoever saw that one coming?
    • With the new Codex he is now straight up better then Calgar in every way by also giving 2 extra command points.
    • Note that Abaddon has the keywords of all four Chaos marks, allowing him to benefit from mark-specific stratagems, most notably Fury of Khorne. Combine this with the First Among Traitors warlord trait and a Sorcerer casting Prescience for a truly disgusting amount of attacks.
    • Also because he has all 4 marks of chaos he can be targeted by the mark specific Dark Hereticus spells. You wanna give Abby a 5+ FNP or a 3++ invuln? You can do that. Or better yet, if you have enough psykers, all three!
  • Huron Blackheart - Huron and his pirate parrot Hamadrya are now separate models that make up a single unit. As long as the latter is alive, Huron can cast two psychic powers a turn. He has his usual 3+/4++, his Tyrant's Claw (which is now a combi-heavy flamer powerfist), and a power axe. Friendly units with the RED CORSAIRS keyword within 6" reroll 1's to hit. All this for the low price of 125 points!
    • This guy is actually a bit better than he seems at a glance. Him and the Hamadrya are a single unit, which comes with a huge benefit and really only minor downside. The big thing to note is that the Hamadrya essentially gives him an extra 1-6 wounds based on The shot that it takes, and it has a 3+ save, so it can even soak up a few bolter rounds in the process. This makes Huron deceptively durable. On a more minor note it allows them to cover more area for buffs, as buffs that affect one will affect the other. This comes at the small price of Huron taking up 2 spots in a transport.
  • Cypher - Technically more of a renegade, but close enough for the purposes of the rules, sporting both the IMPERIUM and CHAOS keywords. Somewhere along the way he picked up a 4++ and his old rule where on a 2+ he doesn't give victory points if "killed." He has his usual three-shot bolt pistol (which is now AP -1), his two- shot never-hot plasma pistol (which now does 2 damage), and can advance and shoot. He still hits on a rerollable 2+ thanks to his Lord Cypher rule, which buffs FALLEN units within 6" for rerolls of 1 on hit rolls. Did someone say plasma-spam Fallen? A bargain at 110 points, though he no longer has cover bonuses or the ability to infiltrate.
  • Fabius Bile - The news of improved Astartes was just the news he needed to pop back up. He has a 3-shot needle pistol that always wounds things that aren't vehicles on a 2+, as well as his Rod of Torment which is now S:User AP-1 D3 damage (except when attacking vehicles, which it only does 1 damage to.) Though he still lacks any kind of invuln, he now automatically regenerates d3 wounds at the start of each turn, giving him a bit of staying power. And as always, he can enhance a single infantry unit; roll a dice for each model in the unit, 6s are mortal wounds. The survivors either gain +1 to Strength, Toughness, or Attacks. Keen-eyed Chaos Lords will note that this can no longer be exclusively done to Chaos Marines. Yes, you can enhance a 20-man Berzerker or Possessed squad. Have fun! He's one point cheaper than Cypher at 109 points.
    • RAW says he can perform gruesome surgery on IMPROVE your guys at the end of ANY movement phase, so two units per game turn. The same unit can only be stabbed GIFTED once.
    • He himself will not do much for his points, so gather your unwitting test subjects VOLUNTEERS and hope for that glorious +1A and not too many mistakes along the way. Can be a good laugh when he manages to obliterate a five man squad while poking them with his needles PERFORMING VITAL RESEARCH.
    • He cannot embark on any Transport due to having no <LEGION> keyword. Thanks, GW.
  • Lord Arkos [Forge World] - Like Zhufor (see the section on World Eaters), has two sub-faction keywords: THE FAITHLESS and ALPHA LEGION. He has good synergy with the Alpha Legion stratagem, being able to infiltrate 12" away from enemy lines for free and supplying +1 CP which can be used to infiltrate a retinue for him. His tankiness tends to be fairy deceptive, as he has only a 3+/5++, yet he has a built in -1 to shooting against him which stacks with the Alpha Legion trait for a -2 to shooting against him outside of 12". However, with his combi-melta and Black Blade of Venom (melee SU AP-2 D3(!), gets +1 to wound things that aren't VEHICLE units), he wants to be able to close into melee. Also note, that you can take a Flames Of Spite warlord trait for him and after then use VOTLW stratagem in close combat to inflicts 1 mortal wound on the non-vehicle target in addition to any other damage for every wound roll of 4+. Luckily, his aura effect which gives +1 to Advance and Charge rolls for THE FAITHLESS (not ALPHA LEGION) units within 6" allows him to do precisely that. Overall, he's a pretty versatile choice of HQ to use. He's not so good in smaller points games where you may only run 1 HQ, but running him with only 1 HQ is a waste of his WL trait anyways. In higher-points multi-Warlord games, you can run him with the I Am Alpharius warlord trait, abusing his infiltration and CP bonus for a free turn-one nuke and simply switching to the next warlord down the list once he and his retinue are overwhelmed.
    • Modellers Note: As A: a forgeworld special character from after the Heresy, and B: a special character for one of the least popular legions, Arkos has no model. One of the more choices for conversion is the Aspiring Champion, since he comes with a combi-melta slung over his backpack, suitably serpentine horns, and arguably the the most vicious-looking combat knife in the range.


  • Chaos Space Marines - They lost the ability to take a Chainsword together with Bolter and Bolt Pistol, and Marks are now just Keywords. So there goes most of the differences they had with the loyalist counterpart. They can take Icons and Special Weapon or Heavy Weapons (2 if 10 or more) or one can take a Plasma Pistol instead. In the end they are... okay. Fairly cheap and serve their purpose, but they are nothing special. Havocs still do the same but with easier access to weapons, so if you don't need troops take those instead. Blatantly worse than their loyalist counterparts, should take cult troops if you can. Better than loyalists if you're up against IMPERIUM forces (which for most people is likely) but if you aren't then at least their options are reasonably flexible. At least they can take a Heavy Weapon in a 5 man squad now.
    • If you aren't playing World Eaters or Emperors Children and need to satisfy some troop choices for a battalion, try fielding cultists instead a MSU approach. Two 5 man squads, combi melta or flamer on champ and 1 melta or flamer per squad. A bit more taxing than havocs, but put them in a rhino and they can reliably support your better killy stuff at either horde or armor killing & obsec. And you get your command points.
    • The chainsword variant is trash. You can achieve the same damage output by rapid firing bolters instead of charging into combat and giving the enemy the chance to attack back. This is true for a lot of CSM and loyalist variant units. If you have models armed with chainswords, paint them pink and run them as Noise Marines - 2 attacks base and Music of the Apocalypse, with the option to take Icon of Excess if playing against an Imperium army, and they're much better. Sonic Blasters would give equal damage output though...
    • Another legion worth taking chaos space marine squads in is Black Legion. Simply due to their synergy with both Abaddon, as well as the "Let the galaxy burn" stratagem. With both Abaddon giving them reroll all failed hits & auto pass morale, and LtGB giving specifically chaos space marines reroll all hit rolls, while every other black legion infantry or biker gets reroll 1's to hit. Being able to provide such a wide range of rerolling hit abilities can be very powerful with Abbadon's aura and LtGB being extra useful if you're bringing squads that are toting heavy weapons.
    • Alternate Opinion: If you know (or at least think it's highly likely) that you'll be up against opponents with the IMPERIUM keyword, the chainsword variant has better damage by pure math, simply due to "Death to the False Emperor". Depending on your god alignment, you can also either make that DttFE trigger twice as often with SLAANESH, reroll their charge with KHORNE, make them more likely to Know Fear with NURGLE, or be even better at Knowing No Fear than them if you're not dedicated to any particular god (the TZEENTCH one is crap unless you're playing with power levels and going MSU, so don't worry about it.) Also, Exalted Champions now allow re-rolls to wound in cc which increases the damage output and overall reliability of melee csm quite a lot. So, depending on the build, chainsword can be quite decent.
    • Note: The teased advantage CSM units were said to have sadly only applies to narrative play, where bigger units of CSM get a discount, which with the new Split Fire for everyone makes them a rather solid choice, when taking an Icon of Vengeance (or Abby). Does not translate into matched at all, so they are probably the worst Troop choice of the whole index AGAIN (Daemons included) for point games. Or maybe they're waiting for the codex. Codex is here and afaik there has not been ANY change to CSM units, while all Deamon troops got cheaper...
      • Icon of Vengeance got its cost reduced by 50%, and split-fire is BEYOND helpful by letting you point your Heavy and/or Special Weapons at ideal targets. Whether or not Chaos Space Marines are good troops for your army depends entirely on what you're looking for, although at 5 pt. Icons of Vengeance are quite a nice buff. If you're looking for cheap, disposable meatshields for extra CP and/or a means to put more points into other slots, you will be disappointed NO MATTER WHAT. On the other hand, if you want your troops to be something OTHER than giant meatshields smothered in CP-steak sauce, then Chaos Space Marines will do you no wrong. They stand as a rugged, customisable backbone for a more elite-style army, but fielding them in large numbers DOES have its merits. Try as they may, 2-3 kitted out 10-man squads for a Battalion can be a VERY punishing obstacle for your opponent, and can make their points back with some smart positioning and good target priority. Are they cheap? No. Are they worth taking over Cult Marine troops? No. Can they break the game? Not really. Can they fill in the gaps of your army? Yes. Are they reliable? Very. Will they RIP OUT THE HEART OF THE ENEMY AT THE FIRST OPPORTUNITY!!!?? FUCK. YES.
      • Assuming you don't want your marines to just be a tax, one of the best ways to make use of Chaos Space Marines is to take 10 of them, give them 2 Special Weapons and a complementing Combi-weapon, then shove them in a Rhino. Despite their rise in points, a Rhino will vastly increase their efficiency. Troops become more valuable as the turns go by due to Objectives and Objective Secured, so weathering the storm of the enemy with transports can let you go after one of the most, if not THE most important win conditions of any 40k game. A more expensive, less cheesy, yet incredibly proactive and adaptable alternative to massing cultists in hope that your opponent can't kill them all.
    • The Bolter vs Chainsword Conundrum: Running some simple numbers: Chaos Space Marines with bolters vs chainswords. The bolters at rapid fire range put out 20 shots that hit on 3+, and have Strength 4. 10 Chaos Space marines with chainswords will put out 20 attacks that hit on a 3+, at strength 4, the same damage output as the rapid fire bolters, BUT being in combat will give your opponent a chance to hit you back. On the plus side, being in combat allows you to attack twice in one game turn rather than shoot then get shot, and including pistols 10 chainsword Marines essentially have 30 attacks a turn instead of the 20 bolter Marines do. This ultimately boils down to a question of damage output vs durability. Carrying bolters means you can cover camp easier while not worrying about crossing the board and getting shot, whereas the chainsword is going to cause more damage in the long run (while receiving more losses) unless you're stupid enough to send a group of Chaos Marines against dedicated CC units (Also do not forget almost all special and heavy weapons available to these guys are better complimented by bolter marines, static, in cover.) This isn't always the case however, as sometimes close combat will be safer than ranged (and sometimes you just don't have the firepower at range to take on the enemy), if you're up against a Tau gunline for example. But Khorne wants skulls so it's the damn swords.
    • Yet ANOTHER thing to consider in the bolter vs chainsword argument I don't see mentioned nearly enough is cover. If you're likely to be playing with a lot of cover on the field, things are going to have better saves against your bolter fire than they will against your chainswords. With the new cover system, shooting at Tactical Marines with a 2+ save will yield VERY different results from hacking at them through a 3+ one. Then again, shooting your bolters from cover let's YOU be the cover-humping asshole with a 2+ save, so it boils down to the question of whether you want to play offensively or defensively. Given that the loyalist scum only has the defensive option here unless they're Black Templars or Space Wolves, with an even more drastic difference if they're using Scouts... I say BLOOD FOR THE BLOOD GOD!! but that's just me.
      • Of course Iron Warriors get to have their heresy cake and eat it too
  • Chaos Cultists - Your cheap choice. Cultists can now be set for melee or range without paying extra points, which is nice. Flamers make them somewhat more reliable, while Heavy Stubbers are a cheap and useful upgrade if you plan to camp objectives with them. They have some problems though. The new cover systems make so that they are going to die, a lot. No more camping in 4+ cover and absorb half the damage; you are going to take 5+ at best against weapons with no AP. So they are going to die fast, and more are going to run away with their terrible Ld of 5 (6 with the Champion). You could solve this, like putting a Dark Apostle with them or spending CPs for their morale tests, but is it really worth it? Time will tell. In the meantime you can use them as a literal meatshield against deepstrikes and teleports instead. They're only 3 power level, same as conscripts from Astra Militarum, but they have +1 BS and WS.
    • About Profitability: Cultists are actually more cost-effective when it comes to shooting, than CSM. Let's do some math: A basic CSM, with no bonus or penalty, who attack a standard Mek have 2/3 chances to hit, 1/2 to wound and 1/3 to pass the armour. I means 1/9 chances per CSM to kill a Mek. In a squad of 12 whitch cost 156 points, you can expect to make 12/9 wounds with bolters, 24/9 on half-range 2.666... A basic Cultist have 1/2 chances to hit, 1/3 chances to wound and 1/3 chances to pass the armour. It means 1/18 per cultist. If you take a squad of 40 cultists which cost 160 points, you can expect to make 20/9 wounds with autoguns, 40/9 on half-range 4.444... Combined with the tide of traitor, you can easily see why the cultists are actualy a much better choice than CSM in terms of fire-power.
    • Heretic Astartes Cultists vs Renegades and Heretics Cultists: Now that the codex is out, there is a legitimate debate for which one is better. Heretic Astartes ones benefit from Legion Tactics (and let you keep them if you have them in the same Detachment,) can benefit from your Marine HQs (and are some of the best targets for certain Dark Hereticus powers) and Stratagems (including one that let's you move them to any table edge and restore them to full strength!) and can be taken in units of up to 40 rather than 30. Renegades and Heretics get a discount on flamers, can be accompanied by Enforcers to deal with their Leadership issues, and if taken as their own Detachment can benefit from HQs that provide them with more suitable buffs while also giving you access to Imperial Guard tanks and artillery. Both are good options, so which you end up going with will depend largely on what the rest of your army consists of.
    • It's important to note that the way Strength and Toughness works in 8th edition has dramatically buffed these guys. Not only do opponents need S6 to wound them on 2s instead of 5s, but they are now theoretically capable of wounding anything on a 6. So don't hesitate to wrap an enemy Landraider up in close combat cultists, surround it so it can't escape, and laugh as they chip away at one of the galaxy's toughest vehicles with rusty spoons.
    • Again, you can achieve the same damage output from rapid firing autoguns as you would charging into combat, and giving the enemy a chance to attack back. You have access to special ranged weapons but no special melee weapons. The choice is pretty clear.
    • And again, the pro-ranged side of the argument still forgets that the enemy will likely try keeping to cover. That said, the fact that Cultists only have ranged special weapon options is a point in their favor, but the fact that cover can only get them up to a 5+ makes it a bit less of a toss-up than it is for Chaos Marines. Since their primary job is to be a giant speed bump that throws around enough dice to have a good chance at rolling some 6s and dishing out some damage, I say run at the enemy with a pistol and a ccw, not only speeding up how soon they hit that bump, but giving you dice to throw around in both the shooting and the combat phase if by some miracle they happen to live to see a second round of combat.
    • Alternate Opinion: For a max-sized unit of 40, close combat can often be safer than ranged in many circumstances, as long as they are up against a smaller unit or at least one with fewer attacks (so, Conscripts yes, Ork Boyz no.) Let's say for example that you're up against loyalist Space Marines, and your cultists are running up to a line of Tactical Marines. If they stay back and shoot, they could be shot at by 3 or 4 other Marine units, plus a few of their Primaris buddies behind them, all in one round of shooting--and, being Cultists, will probably all die. But if they get into close combat, suddenly only the one unit can fight them unless other units get in on the brawl. Now that losing Leadership only means a few more casualties instead of losing the entire unit, and that both sides will be making a roll if they took any losses regardless of who "wins" the round and you're throwing enough dice around that something will probably die... again, there are a lot of circumstances to consider, but forcing your opponent to choose between killing your horde of Cultists or your Noise Marines literally rocking their socks (and faces) off is a much more difficult decision when that horde is charging at them than if it's sitting back as just yet more shooting.
    • A note on troops/taxes: RAW for a detachment everything must be the same faction. So a <CHAOS> detachment seems totally battleforged. A quick look into Chaos Daemons reveals that Horror units can be composed of any combination of the three Horror types. A Brimstone Horror is 2pts 3pts. For 120 180 pts we fulfill Troop Taxes for the biggest Detachment. They won't do much but we can field more Defilers or other good stuff and still get the shiny CP's for basically free. Also a cheap way to boost the number of units you actually deploy (means more deepstrikers). (This is still technically correct with the new Codex, but Cultists now give you much more for their extra cost, such as continued access to Legion Tactics and an amazing Stratagem, so it's mostly a matter of how much you want your Troop tax units to actually contribute.)
      • this doesnt work anymore as after the big FAQ <CHAOS> cant be used to make detachments. Could work if your army is all <TZEENTCH> for example but that does restrict how you use marks and/or other demons or special marines like berserkers, and you'd lose your legion traits
      • Cultists are the cheapest option if you want to get legion traits and CPs, however.
    • If you're playing Daemons, really want to go mono-god, aren't going Tzeentch, and REALLY want to avoid the Marine bandwagon, these can be a cheap way to ensure that your Khorne/Nurgle/Slaanesh army doesn't all but skip its Shooting phase. It's also a better way to hold an objective than wasting your almost-double-the-cost Bloodletters, Plaguebearers or Daemonettes on sitting around getting shot when they could be ripping things new assholes in melee like they're meant to.


  • Quick PSA about Instruments and Banners: One odd quirk about all the Troop choices is that you're given the option to take 1 Instrument and 1 Banner per 10 models in the unit. However, your unit can only benefit from one of each of them. What's the point of this, you may ask? Summoning rolls and reinforcement points in matched, that's why. You see, you still have to spend the points on the models, but nothing says you have to decide what models are in each unit. This means you can have a 30 model unit ready just in case you roll that 15 for summoning, but can bring them in one 10-man unit at a time if you only get a few 5+ rolls and they can all still have those extra goodies to help them out. Food for thought.
  • Bloodletters: Still the same glass cannons they've always been at S4 (S5 whenever they charge/get charged) T3, but if you field a big block of 20 they get +1 to their hit rolls. Their Hellblades are now better, being Power Swords that do 2 damage when you roll a 6 to wound. This means that their role has shifted from squishy MEQ killers to a glass cannon-type assault infantry unit that is very good at butchering multi-wound thickies like the Primaris Marines and Terminators. 2 attacks each on the charge, at AP -3, hitting on 3+, wounding on 3+ (against MEQ) and potentially dealing 2 damage with one swing? These guys are brutal. Deepstrike these guys next to an unsuspecting unit of Primaris Marines and engage trollface. Then cry as they all get shot down in overwatch.
  • Horrors of Tzeentch Greatly changed from their previous incarnations, when a Horror is killed it splits into smaller horrors and also stays part of the same unit. Unfortunately for matched play, the "new" horrors come out of your "reserved for summoning" points allotment. Fully utilizing this increases the relative cost of Pink horrors by 120%, although it's an automatic success with summoning. Thankfully, those points are not reserved just for Horrors, can can be used for summoning other items. While this does reduce the overall size of your force, you could easily use this to keep bodies in the unit on objectives or in high-threat positions. Similarly, the threat of having whatever your opponent kills in a charge splitting off into more units might be enough to make them think twice about it. They have 2(3) 18" ranged attacks and a 1/3 chance to cast Smite. If beta rules are implemented as they are now, you will never EVER attempt to smite with your Horrors again. Because Horrors fail their smite two out of three times, and after only two attempts smite difficulty will be 7! (so impossible for Horrors), you are better off casting it with a real psyker... In short Horror smite will soon be the second dead rule they carry (together with split)
    • Blue Horrors Like a Pink Horror without the 'gun' and worse BS/WS, but also does not really cost anything either, at 5 points (8 if you want to be able to afford to split them). Only a 5++ now and still no gun, so with the new codex even less viable to field than before.
    • Brimstone Horrors Used to be one of the best units in the game because they were 3 points for a model with a 4++, now it’s getting nerfed to a 6++ in the codex and they die immediately after using a power. Now finally weaker than conscripts (as at least the conscripts can still shoot things)...yay? Still the cheapest troop choice chaos (or anyone?) has access to, so useful for filling out big detachments with low points investment.
    • Pink Horrors Expensive at full bore - 7 base, but 17 if you want to afford its blues, and 23 to afford full splitting, so it's just about never worth spending the necessary points on split, but if you want an Instrument for speed, taking 1 (without paying for split) to upgrade to Iridescent for free to carry it can be justified; never take an Icon unless you bring at least 7 Pinks, as the Icon can't bring back any other color, even though its shitty Morale immunity on a 1 will still work. In a 20+ Pink unit their gun gets upgraded to Assault 3 and they are one pint cheaper than before. Another interesting note, their guns are Strength "User" so if you park them next to a Herald their shooting jumps from up from 3 to 4. Given the way wounding works in 8th this can make a huge difference, more if you can find a way to bump it further to 5. (either cast Boon of change and hope for the best or bring a Mutalith that can buff the strength of any tzeentch unit for a turn or bring multiple, as their effects are cumulative!)
      • Codex abridged Overall GW at its finest. The unit that was good in the index (Brimstones) get hit in the face with the nerfbat (HARD), the unit that sucked hard (pinks) are now ok? good? again and Blues are still forgotten and useless. The aforementioned beta smite rule will make the Horror smite harmful for your army (as it makes smite more difficult for your real psykers) unless an exception for gimped smites is made (GKs must be really furious).
  • Plaguebearers of Nurgle Slow but tough and ok in melee with their re-rolls to wound. If you want to hold the line, they are the right choice. In packs of 20 (so get 30 to keep the bonus for a while) enemies have to subtract 1 from their attack rolls. Unfortunately they lost the rusty sword abilites to auto-glance vehicles or poison monsters and for that old shrouded rule they need to be 20 or more but still cost defacto the same - somewhat a downgrade but we got the FNP for that. Two or three blobs of 30 can flood the field and can be surprisingly (disgustingly) resilent and soak up a lot of fire and damage.
  • Daemonettes: The Daemonettes were the best daemon at ripping up armour until 8th came along and made Bloodletters more reliable at it. Their Piercing claws are AP-1 normally, but if you roll a 6 to-wound it becomes AP-4, compared to the Bloodletters and their Hellblades which have a higher strength, a more reliable AP-3 all day and deal an additional damage on a 6. This isn't to say these girls aren't good at the job but they have been overshadowed, especially now that TEQs tend to have multiple wounds. They still have more attacks (and if you have a unit of 20 or more, you add 1 to their attack characteristic), higher speed and strike before anyone, which would make them great as an MSU... if only they weren't so frail! Instead, use them like you would Genestealers - use these girls to overwhelm some camping shits in cover. Daemonettes rely on getting into combat fast so be sure you buy an instrument and use your loci to get them into it.



  • Chosen - The flexible elite, with everything it entails. Give them the gear to deal with a problem and they will do so beautifully, but these guys aren't cheap. You can take 4 of them and give them basically everything you want and a 5th one can take a Special/Heavy weapon. Note that unlike their previous incarnation, the Champion cannot take them (but he can take the now better combi-weapons, and has three base attacks.) You want plasma? You can take 5 combi-plasma and 1 plasmagun. You want melee? You can give any Chosen an additional melee weapon without replacing their bolter, wholly in addition to the 4 special/special weapons as of the 2018 April FAQ! Always take at least the chainsword regardless of what you're doing with 'em, there's literally no downside because it's free. Don't forget to give them a transport if you're going to send them off to beat face!
    • If you're having light infantry troubles, give them flamers and combi-flamers. 6d6 AUTO HITTING flamers shots, 5 of which are combi-flamers, for 160 (152 if you just take normal flamers instead of combi). This is a horde army's worst nightmare. But that's not much of a draw back because advancing's only negative is that you can't charge afterwards or shoot the boltgun part of the combi-flamer but boo-frikkin-hoo you're flaming a unit for an average of 21 hits, not shots, HITS.
      • That sure can lead to a LOT of wounds, but wait there's more. If you still weren't impressed with 20+ S4 AP- flamer hits consider what happens if you use the "Veterans of the Long War" stratagem on them first. You've effectively made all those flamers S5 and can now wound MEQ on 3+, averaging 14 wounds. You wound T5 through T7 on 4's, averaging 10 wounds. Hell, roll well enough for number of shots and you can legitimately threaten wounding T8 MC's or even Landraiders on 5's, averaging 7 wounds. Despite the 2+ armor saves on a Landraider you're statistically likely to remove one or two wounds from it using VOTLW stratagem. Oh, you also fire the boltgun part of the combi-flamers if you want to as well, 'cause, well it's there too.
    • Why wouldn't you just take Rubric Marines instead? A valid question to be sure. Here's why, you may not be able to take Rubrics due to Legion's marks restrictions, Chosen have better melee with 2 attacks each (3 for the champion) and they are cheaper in points as well.
    • Melee Chosen work especially well as Emperor's Children due to their relative fragility, as Emperor's Children units get to swing first each round unless you got charged. Now consider that EC also have the "Excess of Violence" stratagem as well...
    • The aforementioned melee Chosen can be equipped with anything from cheap chainswords to dual lightning claws for all your needs.
  • Chaos Terminators - Now with 2 wounds in addition to their 2+/5++, 2 attacks, and much-improved deep strike ability. Each one of them can take a combi-weapon and power weapon, so you can adapt them for your killy needs, and one in every five can take a reaper autocannon or a heavy flamer. An important thing to note is that unlike the Loyalists, we can take power weapons and don't have to pay through the nose for Power Fists. They now come in a minimum squad size of five, which combined with the greatly increased prices of combi-weapons means that the old three-man Termicide is probably a thing of the past.
    • A sorcerer (with either a jump pack or terminator armour) dropping in alongside them is an excellent combination as Warptime will almost guarantee (you have to roll a 4 or more) that the terminators will make the charge. No longer possible, unfortunately. However, it does mean that Termies will now be viable for a variety of strategies beyond Alphastrike.
    • Taking Khornate Terminators and giving them an Icon of Wrath does still make Alphastrike an option. Casting Prescience will allow you to fire both parts of a combi-weapon and/or hit with power/chain fists without penalty! Sadly, Termie Champions can no longer dual wield melee weapons(Lightning Claws excluded), so say goodbye to the Fist/Claw build (though he does have 3A). No worries the new Codex brought this. Take 10 Terminators with combi-plasma, and power swords. Mark them with SLAANESH and teleport them in and activate Endless Cacophony for 40 shots S7/AP-3/D1 shots. Take a Chaos Lord or Daemon Prince for re-rolling 1's to hit, and Sorcerer or Daemon Prince for +1 to hit with Prescience. For maximum cheese use Veteran of the Long War for +1 to wound and overcharge the plasma for 40 shots S8/AP-3/D2!
    • Alternate take: While terminators are obviously quite good this edition, they can eat up points fast. A 10 model unit with just combi-plasma will come close to 500 points. It's probably best to keep them focused on one role and diversify the rest of your army so you can get the maximum number of command points.
    • ALTERNATIVE alternative take: Do not be fooled by their 2+ and 2 wounds; these guys can die SUPER fast. Plasma EQ weapons are guaranteed to send them packing back to the Eye of Terror. For this reason, they now truly work the way they are supposed to in fluff: DROP DOWN AND INSTANTLY MURDERIZE A SINGLE TARGET. Unless you want to spend an assload of points on 10 man combi-plas squads with Delightful Agonies, be VERY careful when you throw them down. Throw them in too early and your opponent will be both too heavily screened and have much of their remaining army to wipe them. Send them in too late and you'll have lost too much from your opponents killy units. Timing, positioning, and specialization is key. Unless you put them in a land Raider, in which case you can GO CRAZY, as the firepower from a Land Raider will both WRECK the various threats to your big dudes and bring can them MUCH closer than 9" to a desirable target.
    • Note: With the minimum squad size being five, if you want a Terminators/Lord party bus you can, per the new FAQ, field an understrength squad and only pay for four models. Nice. (only when taken as auxiliary detachment, meaning -1CP)
  • Fallen - Basically Chaos Chosen with the IMPERIUM keyword and costing 2 points less (and, notably, only 1 point more than vanilla Chaos Space Marines,) PLUS they get to reroll 1s in the Shooting phase if they didn't move in the Movement phase, and can never lose more than 1 model to a failed Morale test (I guess they have an invisible Commissar?) Otherwise, they are identical to Chosen in both stats and options. In a vacuum, they are objectively better than Chosen in every way. Unfortunately, they lack the HERETIC ASTARTES/ADEPTUS ASTARTES keywords and the <LEGION>/<CHAPTER> keywords, meaning they can't use transports from either faction, and the only HQs and psychic buffs they can benefit from are from Cypher (whose bonus is redundant in the Shooting phase if they didn't move, but still good if they did move or if they're in close combat) and, weirdly, Inquisitors, thanks to their IMPERIUM keyword. Lacking transports and non-Cypher/Inquisitor HQ buffs completely ruins the option of using them just like Chosen, but there is still one thing they are absolutely fantastic at: a plasma gunline. Plasma guns give them the extra range they need since they're stuck on foot, and if they don't move they can reroll 1s if they're supercharging them. This also makes them really good at hanging out in back with a Lascannon, as their one shot with it will only fail on a 2 without having to waste an HQ hanging out in back with them (and thanks to everyone having Split Fire now, you can do both with the same unit!) Cypher and Fallen-spam in a Vanguard Detachment is both effective and cheap, and can be used to supplement both Chaos and Imperium armies without changing a single thing about it. (Hilarious side note: there is no longer any rule preventing you from taking Dark Angels and Fallen in the same army, if you want to be a heretic on par with bringing Sorcerers with World Eaters.)
    • Note: Unlike Chosen, Fallen have the option of having up to 4 of them take an item from the Melee Weapons list without replacing their bolters to do so. As of the new FAQ, one hilarious trick you can do with them that doesn't cost any extra points is giving them a chainsword. Combined with taking the option to swap out their boltguns with chainswords, you can have four of them dual wielding chainswords. This gives a unit of 10 a total of 34 attacks (the Champion can't pull off the same trick, sadly.)
    • Note 2: Building them for close combat does NOT waste their Shooting phase reroll, as they can still do this with pistols if locked in combat for more than 1 round--which, thanks to their reduced Morale losses, is more likely for them than for most other Chaos units (or even Imperium ones, since the only other thing with a similar ability they have is Guardsmen with a Commissar nearby.) Getting them into close combat with their inability to take transports, however, remains a problem.
    • Here is a fun, quick list-building tip: A Vanguard Detachment composed of Cypher, 3 units of Fallen with 4 Plasma Guns and a Lascannon with a Power Sword and a Combi-Plasma on the Champion, and 1 unit of Fallen with 4 Plasma Pistols plus a Champion dual wielding Plasma Pistols, is exactly 1000 points. A nice, round number you can easily tack onto either a Chaos or Imperium force if you're playing a big enough game.


  • Khorne Berzerkers - Every Chaos player will remember how useless these guys have been since 4th edition onwards; well, no more. At 80 points for a unit of 5, these guys have gone to S5 and 2 attacks base (HAH! Those pansy ass primaris marines.) +1 attack on the champion, with their free chainsword giving them an extra one. Alternatively, they can lose that extra attack to take a 1-point chainaxe with S+1 AP-1, hitting just like a regular marine with a power maul. Or you can toss your pistols away and take a Chainsword along with a Chainaxe, giving you two axe attacks and a sword attack on top, at the cost of losing your pea-shooter. Thats a whole lot of chainslashing, and remember: nothing bleeds like a chain weapon wound. But the best part: they get to fight twice in every single Fight phase. That's 6 attacks a turn, 4 at S6 AP -1 and 2 at S5. Forget primaris marines, these guys make ogryns look like grots. Also, thanks to fighting twice, they also get to pile in twice, which lets them involve even more guys in the melee, which can screw up gunlines the same way 4th Edition consolidation could. Khorne is very pleased.
    • Stuff 18 (8 for normal dread claw pod) of these guys with chainswords/axes, fist on the champ, along with an exalted champ with LCs and dark apostle with black mace into Kharybdis assault claw. I swear to Khorne this is the best Melee combo in the game. Doesn't matter whats in front of them orks, tanks, humans, small children, tyrannid monsters... there will be blood. This combo combines volume, strength and phenomenal rerolls unlike anything else.
    • For standard 'zerkers, always screw the pistols. These guys are here to taste the blood of their enemies in close combat. Even though you can now fire pistols during your shooting phase while in combat, a Chainsword gives the extra attack even when using the axe for your standard ones. Better to get 1A S5, that may add one more if fighting Imperium stuff, twice due to Blood for the Blood God, than a single shot at S4.
    • As of the FAQ, the order at which the 'zerkers get their second fight is the following: If they charged, they get both rounds of attacks before any unit that didn't charge. If they did not charge, each fight is selected separately, so an opponent could feasibly take the first round of attacks, fight back, then take the second. So you always want them to charge to get the full benefit of their ability and force your opponents to burn command points so that they don't get raped too hard.
    • These guys are right proper melee beasts, but always remember they are no more durable than an average marine. This author has carved up everything from the biggest to smallest enemies with berzerkers, but has also had them shot off the board promptly afterwards. Two things to remember with these guys (reminds me of 7th edition death company). 1) Transports. They need protection and speed getting to the fight!! 2) Consider overkill. I know this is awesome, cuz zerkers will literally kill twice as many enemies as you charge frequently... but in reality they are now easy targets for some revenge dakka.
      • Considering overkill is important but difficult. As mentioned they aren't super durable, so it would seem wiser to remove the enemy before they can strike back. I feel we are over thinking ourselves, these are Khornate Berzerkers we are talking about after all, there is no such thing as "overkill"
        • Also overkill won't matter much as there's barely any penalty in 8th for simply falling back and letting the rest of the army shoot things to pieces. CHARGE THEM AT THE BIGGEST/SQUISHIEST THING THEY HAVE!
    • If you need to have a pistol and are having a hard time choosing Axe or Sword, it can be seen from the table below that the Chainaxe is always better or the same as the Chainsword.
Target Chainsword Chainaxe Winner
TEQs Terminator (T4; 2+/5++) 0.33 0.44 Chainaxe
Terminator w/ Storm Shield (T4; 2+/3++) 0.33 0.44 Chainaxe
MEQs Space Marine (T4; 3+) 0.67 0.67 Both
Captain or Chaplain (T4; 3+/4++) 0.67 0.67 Both
GEQs Hormagaunt (T3; 6+) 1.67 1.67 Both
Guardsman, Guardian (T3; 5+) 1.33 1.39 Chainaxe
Aspect Warrior (T3; 4+) 1.00 1.11 Chainaxe
Sister of Battle (T3; 3+) 0.67 0.83 Chainaxe
Other Tyranid Monster (T6; 3+) 0.33 0.50 Chainaxe
Light Tank or Monster (T7; 3+) 0.33 0.33 Both
Medium Tank or Monster (T8; 3+) 0.33 0.33 Both
Heavy Tank or Monster (T8; 2+) 0.17 0.22 Chainaxe
    • The newest FAQ made Berzerkers Troops for World Eaters again!!!
  • Rubric Marines - Once unusable, these guys have become pretty good. They have their usual loadout of Inferno Boltguns, which they can replace with Warpflamers for maximum hurt in overwatch, and the Aspiring Sorcerer can take any force weapon and a Warpflame pistol to help them if they get in melee. For every 10 models, one Rubric can take a Soulreaper cannon. The Sorcerer now only knows Smite, which does 1 or d3 mortal wounds rather than the normal d3/d6. However, the best part is their "All is Dust" rule, which gives them +1 to saves if the attack does 1 damage, giving them a 2+ save against small arms fire.
    • Note: The "All is Dust" rule also increases their invulnerable save, giving them a 4++ against damage 1 attacks.
    • Be very careful with the sorcerer casting smite; if you get perils with him and don't have a command point left to reroll it, he will suicide bomb himself up along with up 3 other rubric marines and anything within 6". And just to add insult to injury, his smite will fizzle out and do nothing.
      • Don't bother with Smite on an Aspiring Sorcerer. Take the Chaos Familiar stratagem instead and swap in actually-useful powers as you need them for 1CP. Warp Time, Prescience, and Weaver of Fates are always handy (cast Weaver of Fates and laugh as your Rubrics are shrugging off 1D attacks with a 3++ save).
        • Alternatively, for every 36 casts, you're going to peril an average of 2 times, for about 8 mortal wounds on your own Rubrics. You're going to roll a ten or eleven 4 times for an average of 8 wounds. You'll pass with a five to nine 25 times, 25 more mortal wounds. That's 33 wounds caused against 8 suffered, or a 4.125/1 ratio.
          • The Familiar can still be a lot more useful than Smite because it opens up a whole bunch of tactical flexibility for the Rubrics. Warptime takes Rubrics from a semi-stationary threat to one that the opponent can't ignore or avoid.
    • They cost one point more than a Noise Marine with a sonic blaster and still have to pay (alot) for their sorcerer, whose usefulness is still questionable (see above). Rubrics have -2 Ap, the Noise Marines have more shots and greater range and ignore cover, however the Rubrics are MUCH more durable. They're also cheaper in terms of $$$ than Noise Marines with Sonic Blasters, with a substantially newer and better kit to boot, so there's that.
  • Plague Marines - At 17 points apiece, these guys are more expensive than any other Cult unit, but at least cheaper than they were before. With a 5+ save-after-the-save and T5, they are very hardy unless the opponent points multi-damage weapons at them, and even then T5 makes it so that even Lascannons don't wound them on 2+. For standard armament they come with the same as CSM, but exchange the Bolt Pistol with a Plague Knife and the Frag Grenades with Blight Grenades, both of which reroll 1s To Wound, except for the Champion, who gets to keep his pistol. Now, these guys have a massive array of options that let you gear them for specific purposes. 2 per squad can take either a Plasma Gun, Meltagun, Flamer (via the Index), Blight Launcher, Plague Belcher (plague flamer), or Plague Spewer (plague heavy flamer). 2 more can take either a Great Plague Cleaver (basically a plague Power Fist with D1d6) or a Flail of Corruption (S+2 AP-2 D2, makes D3 hit rolls per attack, damage rolls over between models, plague). YET two more can take a Bubotic Axe (plague Power Axe) and Mace of Contagion (plague Power Maul with D3, -1 To Hit, and plague). ANY of the other non-Champion models can lose the Boltgun for either a Bubotic Axe or a second Plague Knife. The Champ in the Codex retains very few of his options from the Index, namely Bolt Pistol, Plasma Pistol, Plasma Gun (!), Plague Sword and Power Fist, but you can still pick up the Index wargear just fine. (He can pick up both a Plasma Gun AND a Combi-plasma if you want to indulge the stinkiest of cheese or end up with 3 Power Fists if you consider all possible upgrades!) With all this, the unit is extremely flexible, able to be geared for melee or for range. Some of the simplest options include: 5 with 2 Blight Launchers, 5 with 3 Plasma Guns, 5 with 2 Plague Belchers and 2 Flails.
    • "Plague" weapons re-roll 1s to wound.
    • Any Plague Marine with one of the following loadouts gets +1A: Two Plague Knives, a Bubotic Axe and Plague Knife, or a Bubotic Axe and Mace of Contagion.
  • Noise Marines - These guys are so good. In their previous incarnation while an all around solid choice they had mobility problems, as most of their set up forced you to play in a very static fashion. Well, Slaanesh heard our pleas, and THINGS SHALL GET LOUD NOW! Sonic Blasters are now Assault 3, so you not only can move, but you have even the option to advance and still shoot (with a -1 to hit, but still!); they're broadly speaking more expensive combi-bolters, doubling the price in exchange for ignoring cover and moving from Rapid Fire 2 to Assault 3. Blastmasters are not as powerful as they once were against power armor; but are far better against characters, terminators, vehicles, and multi-wound models in general. Averaging 2 shots at S8/AP-2/D2, but possibly doing 9 damage in a single shooting phase, at 20 pts they cost 5 pts less than a Missile Launcher or Lascannon! The Varied Frequency setting will see far more use than in the past as well; averaging 3.5 S4/AP-1/D1 shots, with the potential for 6 shots, it's got slightly better rate of fire than a Sonic Blaster, and a much-improved AP of -1. The Doom Siren is now a heavy flamer with AP-2 and D6 auto-hits now for 10 pts thanks to Chapter Approved 2017. You can now take a Sonic Blaster on your champion! They get the Music of the Apocalypse rule, which lets them fire their weapon (or a grenade) when they die, even if they are in melee. This rule doesn't seem to let you fire on the unit you are in melee with, though. Noise Marines are not slouches in the melee either with 2 attacks each. Which makes them as effective as loyalist Assault Marines in melee. You can swap out their bolters for Chainswords to gain a bonus attack taking them to 3 attacks each in the fight phase. Take the Icon of Excess and the trigger Death to the False Emperor on a 5+ to hit. The unique Emperor's Children stratagem: Excess of Violence give them a bonus attack for each model slain. They're no Khorne Berserkers but melee kitted Noise Marines can do work with the right stratagem and psychic power boosts. All in all, these guys are awesome (and surprisingly cheap at 15 pts, too). Now that Sonic Blasters are Assault 3 you can foot slog them to a mid-field objective and still maintain effective fire. Or take a squad of Noise Marines in a Rhino Transport to get within range of a distant one, and drop the bass. In an Emperor's Children detachment they gain Flawless Perfection granting them always strikes first in combat. In a Renegade detachment they Dark Raiders which allow them to move, advance and charge in the same turn. So they can move and advance, fire off 3 sonic Blaster shots, and charge into combat. With all the newly available psychic powers and stratagem combos of the new codex.
    • Note: The rule that protects characters from being directly targeted specifically states it only applies to the shooting phase. So, if you have Noise Marines die in the psychic or fight phases, Music of the Apocalypse will let you target characters regardless of nearby units!
    • Fun quirk with the Champion: It is technically possible for the Champion to take a Sonic Blaster, a Doom Siren, AND a combi-bolter, and can legally fire them all at once!. Umm... how? You might need to explain yourself here, boltgun has to be traded away for sonic blaster and you have to trade both boltpistol and boltgun for Champ gear. Nice try though..
    • New FAQ note: Death to the False Emperor applies to any hits made in the Fight phase, including shooting attacks made with pistols and sonic weapons (Icons of Excess are truly decadent now). Grenades can also be thrown by EVERY Noise Marine that dies, not just one per unit. The potential suicide-bomber strategies are mind blowing! Due note however that only pistols can be fired at units within 1", which means no drowning the unit that's murdering your boys in NOISE, so it's a good thing they don't have to be the target of your SWEET CACOPHONY.
    • Additional FAQ Note: If you go the close combat route with your Noise Marines (possibly even if you don't), give your Champion a Plasma Pistol. If you use it on your Music attack, there's no reason not to supercharge it--you're dead anyway, and might even get an extra DttFE shot off!
    • The newest FAQ made Noise Marines Troops for Emperor's Children again!!!


  • Possessed - Actually outclassed by Chaos Spa..., so nope! Still 1 wound because GW hates you, meaning they die like little bitches to a strong breeze Updated to 2 wounds in the new codex, with no points cost increase to go with it, so they are now mediocre to decent instead of gutter trash. They are not one of the contenders for worst unit in the game anymore, just unremarkable in comparison to units like Khorne Bezerkers and Terminators. There is nothing these guys can do that you can't do with other units better or for cheaper (if not both). They have a 7" movement, 5++ and random attacks at S5 ap-2 (so power axes). That's it. So if you have the models, use them. Otherwise, move on...
    • On the other hand, if you are playing a mixed CSM/Daemon force, they might be worth taking. Possessed have the <DAEMON> keyword, so they get the relevant buff from Greater Daemons/Heralds/... Those bonuses are rarely worth much on an already high strength elite unit, but can be useful and turn a mediocre unit into a workable one.
    • More important than the Strength buff if you have Heralds with them is that they can be targeted by their psychic buffs. In fact, in the cases of the Tzeentch and Slaanesh ones, these are arguably the best targets for those buffs--they will benefit more than any other Tzeentch Daemon from the random close combat buff, and they're more likely to live into a second round of combat than most other Slaanesh Daemons for the "extra combat phase" power. Don't forget that they can also get a buff from Old Bill, though you risk losing models to it, unlike Mutilators or Terminators.
    • Pricey for what they do, plus they probably require a transport (or Warptime) to reach melee (as 3+/5++ T4 W2 might get you through anything with half-decent shooting) and are rather unkilly for a dedicated elite melee unit: Random attacks from 1-3 is really not great. So they require +1A from Boon, if Tzeentch (about 45% chance with CP-reroll), or to be stuck in combat for a full round, if Slaneesh, to become weaker 'zerkers. If you REALLY need some cross-faction rules interaction in your list, you are probably better of bringing a Fiend/Drake/Defiler for around the same cost and buff that up... But still Possessed are better than Mutilators, so theres that.
    • Certain Legion Tactics and Stratagems can make a MASSIVE difference for Possessed. Sadly, the Word Bearers one isn't one of them... but World Eaters and Emperor's Children can be a huge boost to their offense, and Renegade Chapters can get them into melee faster. The real winners, though, are the ones least likely to use them on the fluff though--the Alpha Legion. -1 to hit them at range, and a Stratagem that lets you set up a Turn 1 charge with 20 of them make Possessed a MUCH bigger problem for your enemies, and being able to set up 9" away with a 7" move means you're successfully charging even if you roll snake eyes on the charge. In a game with this much chance for the Dice Gods to screw you, being able to set up an absolutely guaranteed charge is not something that should ever be underestimated, and Alpha Legion Possessed are the only single unit in the Codex that can pull it off with virtually 100% certainty without Warptime shenanigans.
    • One thing they do have over Mutilators and Spawn is being able to take a Chaos Icon, and that can make a HUGE difference. Nurgle makes them a unique option for night lords, Khorne will get them where they want to be the most, and Slaanesh will ruin any loyalists day. Possessed are VERY cheap for the amount of wounds you get on them, and with an INVULN SAVE no less. D1, 7" movement, and d3 attacks hurt their potential, but they work as great tarpits and are prepared to fight ANY infantry in melee.
  • Mutilators - These are the closest thing that you have to a dedicated assault terminator unit. Although they are outclassed by Terminators as the be-all end-all of deepstrike assaulters, they are actually good at what they do, for what they are. And what they are is a shock troops unit that you drop in your opponents' backlines and then charge, potentially butchering some squishy support unit, or tying up a tank or two. For 126 points (down from 150, per Chapter Approved). Their Fleshmetal weapons have 3 attacks that will average S7, AP-2 and deal 2 damage each hitting on a 3+. Plus they can deep strike; granted, you have to DS more than 9" away from an enemy model but all you need is to roll a 9 for your charge on 2D6. If you're really worried about not making that charge range you can always drop near a psyker or drop one in as well for that sweet, sweet Warp time advance. As some players point out - if you want a hard hitting melee units then take Berzerkers or Termies instead. If you want a reasonably tanky deep strike unit - then take terminators. If you want something half-way between both of those, you may try giving these guys a try.
    • as per the FAQ way back in Index:Chaos you cannot use warptime to move a unit on the same turn that it arrived from reserves. Just something to remember when deepstriking these guys, or any other assault unit for that matter. this does not apply to the Alpha Legion ability however, because that technically happens BEFORE the first turn starts. So whilst that might not be the best way to use that stratagem, it is completely legal.
    • Note: Now, if after reading that you're still thinking you want to give them a go, you will be required to seriously stack bonuses on these guys to get the most out of their mileage. Let's start with Legion traits. The only 3 that really stand out for Mutilators are World Eaters (who get Berserkers, so no point), Emperors's Children (striking first is never bad, More attacks through the Excess of Violence command point) and Renegades, which might honestly be the best choice. With that intolerable 4" base move of thiers the ability to move d6 more AND charge is huge. You can also shove them and a non-Terminator Armored HQ (Dark apostle) into a Landraider as well. Better yet, if you are playing renegades, get Fabulous Bill to poke and prod them. With 3W each and only 3 of them there's only a very slim margin of losing a model and they'll appreciate any of the buffs they might get. They actually compliment him quite well as a bodyguard, as Bill has immense issues dealing with vehicles, where Mutilators stand a decent chance of mulching a rhino in one round. If you want to get really fancy give them the Mark of Tzeentch and bring a Herald to cast Boon of Chaos on them or buff them with another +1 s from the Herald's aura! If you get a good roll for the Fleshmetal weapons also consider the Veterans of the Long War CP option for them. Wounding light vehicles on a 2+ for an infantry model isn't something very common.
    • Note 2: Mutilators of course have a history of meme-worthy performance on the tabletop, but they have an incredible niche in 8th Edition; VALUE. A vanilla Terminator squad costs AT MINIMUM 190 points for 10 wounds of 2+/5++, 11 attacks, 1 damage Power Axes and Combi-bolters, and bump up to 200+ or even 300+ points with upgrades and extra bodies. Mutilators, however, come in at 126 points for 9 Wounds, 2+/5++, 9 attacks, and with the D3 damage Fleshmetal Weapons(Power Mauls at worst, Chainfists at best). In other words, Mutilators essentially have the exact same IF NOT BETTER combat potential of Terminators at essentially 1/2 the price. Their traditional downsides are still apparent though, as 4" movement is AWFUL, T4 is unimpressive, Fleshmetal Weapons can be EXTRA derptastic on a bad day, and they STILL hold the trophy for the most grotesque and horrifically retarded models GW may have ever put out. If you want Melee Deep-strikers(or birthday boys on a party bus), these guys are for you. Unless 4" gives you conniptions, of course.
    • From a hobby perspective - keep in mind the fact that the mutilators kit, like the obliterator one, is old. Both kits actually share a bunch of parts, and both are pretty horrible. If you can scratch build your own, props to ya, mate.


  • Helbrute - A good Distraction Carnifex; it's expendable, durable, and scary, in that order. With the new 'all vehicles are MC' approach, a Helbrute now requires a decent amount of applied firepower to be put down instead of being a free victory point. Crazed is now a buff only rule, which makes it better than the loyalist Dreadnought. Note that Crazed is a normal shooting attack, so it can shoot all available ranged weapons at any viable target(s). Kitted for ranged combat, it doesn't seem to put out enough damage to be a credible threat, and the things you'll want to throw one kitted out for melee at are the very things that will tear it multiple new assholes in no time. Underwhelming. However, Helbrutes do have other advantages, too. For one, they don't suffer from degrading stats when they take wounds, like most other units do. They move, hit, and shoot just as effectively at 1 wound as they do when at full wounds. Secondly, there are a few stratagems that are usable by Helbrutes, including a Helbrute specific one. Thirdly, Helbrutes will gain your chosen Legion's traits alongside your infantry units. Depending on what you're running, this can be huge, possibly turning a turd sandwich into a pretty decent guy to have around (Night Lords). Lastly, Helbrutes are fairly economic on points for what they can do. For example, a havoc squad can have more weapons and more total wounds, but it will also cost you at least 50 points more to do so, and those extra wounds won't be on a T7 unit. As for armaments, it comes stock with a Multi-Melta and fist without a heavy flamer or combi-bolter mounted to it.
    • You should probably immediately upgrade the Multi-Melta to a Twin Lascannon or Twin Heavy Bolter - never swap for a second fist. Multi-meltas are hot garbage for their points this edition for just about everyone, since almost everything that can carry one isn't relentless anymore, including this guy - you'll never earn the points back; the twin lascannon will outdo it every time. The THB costs less than two actual heavy bolters would, letting it completely outshine the reaper gun against virtually everything. The plasma cannon option is interesting in that while it at first appears to cost far too much, its ability to mortally wound the Helbrute when you shoot it can actually be a very good thing, since it can trigger Crazed, which is particularly entertaining when it happens during Overwatch, as it will actually get to punch before the chargers do, while the Emperor's Children watch enviously and wish their Legion trait was half as impressive.
      • The reason you never take a second fist is that, due to a hilariously poorly worded FAQ, every model in the game has a close combat weapon in addition to what you see on its datasheet, meaning Battering Onslaught only needs one datasheet melee weapon listed to trigger, so the second fist doesn't actually help you, and is far too expensive to justify the second in-built gun it can spot.
      • The hammer will usually underperform the fist, due to the accuracy debuff, even before taking into account its increased cost, so it's best avoided. Whether you take a scourge (A8 S8 AP-2 D2 43pts) or a fist (A5 S12 AP-3 D3 40pts) depends on what you plan on fighting, but never take a fist without also grabbing a gun to put in it - the scourge is way better alone, and it's the gun that brings the fist up to par.
      • APRIL BIG FAQ As of the April FAQ, helbrutes can now opt to take TWO Power Scourges, granting you 12 attacks at S8 AP-2 D2, before factoring in legion traits. However ,in true GW fashion you can't actually fit a power scourge onto the right arm of a helbrute without doing some converting, so GW still haven't made up their mind of if converting is good or bad yet. But you can now fulfill your dreams of turning your helbrutes into wacky waving inflatable arm-flailing tube men. Bring one in an emperor's children army for maximum hentai.
    • The other 'fist' option is a missile launcher; while this is pretty bad (you're paying lascannon costs for something worse than a lascannon), a plasma cannon/missile launcher helbrute can self-trigger crazed for more dakka, or you can go plain jane TLC+ML, for sitting as far back as possible and sniping. Either option can be very effective under Alpha Legion, especially, and you won't have to deal with trying to deliver your Helbrute into melee to try and get him to earn his points back.
      • TL;DR version: They're a good, cheap and flexible unit with a LOT of options to fit you game play style.
  • Chaos Decimator [Forge World] - 8th edition has shown our favorite pseudo-dreadnought some real love. Movement is a fast 10" with WS 3+ BS 3+, S7, T7, W8, A5, SV 3+ 5++ with no degeneration as wounds go down. You regenerate a wound at the start of each of your turns, and gain +1 attack if you keep both melee weapons on. It still has all of its old weapon loadouts while sadly losing its cool flamer special rule from 7e. Stock Claw is +2S AP-3 D3 with a Hellflamer doing Heavy D6 S5 AP-1 D2 Auto Hits. The Decimator Storm Laser is as you would expect from last edition, 24" Assault 5 S6 AP-2 D1. The once horrible Soulburner Petard now has some real use with 24" Assault 2D3 S- AP0 D1, causing auto MORTAL wounds on successful hits, while to hit rolls of 1 cause Mortal wounds to the Decimator. It states that you cannot take more than 1 mortal wound a turn via this rule, so you are fairly safe using it due to your regeneration. Butcher Cannon is still reliable with 36" Heavy 4 S8 AP-1 D2 causing -2 LD to enemy unit should a casualty be sustained. C-beam Cannon has also gotten some new life, 72" Heavy 1 S6 Ap-3 D3, you gain +2S and +D3 for every 24" you are away from the target, AND if the enemy suffers a casualty due to your original shot, the same unit suffers 2D6 additional S6 AP0 D1 damage. Overall the Decimator handled the transition to 8th nicely and are more attractive now than they were in 7th even with the lack of Deep Strike capabilities.
    • Note that despite visual similarities to Helbrutes and Dreadnoughts, the Chaos Decimator does not have the HELBRUTE keyword - this means that it will not benefit from Legion Traits.
  • Hellforged Contemptor Dreadnought [Forge World] - S7 T7 W10 A4 Sv 3+ (hilariously, Loyalist version has 2+), the Contemptor remains as good as it ever was. It has a huge amount of options with your typical fist (deathclaw) and chainfist (chainclaw) available as well as some of the more Chaotic choices available. New to the menu is the Kheres Assault Cannon which the Chaos Warpsmiths finally found a working version of! You can only switch one hand out for a ranged weapon, so you're always going to be taking a fist and playing more aggressively As of the FAQ you can now go double guns, should you feel the need. Butcher Cannon (36" Heavy 4, S8 AP-1 D2, causes a LD -2 debuff on enemy units that it has inflicted casualties on) and the Kheres Assault Cannon are attractive choices. On a 5+ it eats an enemy it killed in melee for healing a wound, it has a 5++ against shooting and overwatch with a 4++ in melee, and gains +1 attack if you keep both arms as CCWs. A solid choice that is a natural step up from your standard Helbrutes. Has the Containment Breach rule, which punishes regular units with d3 mortal wounds within 6" and Psykers within 6" with D6 mortal wounds instead.
    • FW FAQ: Now the Contemptor can replace both arms for ranged weapons if you so wish, and now you can take an Havoc Launcher too.
    • Also per the FAQ, Chaos Dreads have the Helbrute keyword, letting them gain Legion traits.
      • If you're a Night Lords player and you want to take one of these bad boys... GIVE HIM A BUTCHER CANNON! You can potentially get -7 on Morale tests if you cause 1 wound with this weapon.
    • As per Chapter Approved, the cost of duel wielding Chainclaws has been reduced by 35 points. KHORNE IS PLEASED! (Deathclaw price unchanged, weird)
  • Hellforged Predator [Forge World] - Confused to see this in the elites slot? So is everyone else! Anyway, it's a Predator that's an elite with some extra rules and guns. Standard Pred weapons with the ability to choose Flamestorm Cannon (8" Heavy 2D6 S5 AP-1 D2 Flamer), Magna-melta Cannon (24" Heavy D3 S10 AP-4 D6, roll extra dice if in 1/2 range), C-beam Cannon (72" Heavy 1 S6 AP-3 Dd3, +2S & +D3 for every 24" between shooter and target, causes 2d6 S6 AP0 1D additional hits if you kill a model with your first shot), and Plasma Destroyer (36" Heavy 2D3, S7 AP-3 D2). Can eat people in melee to regain one wound on a 5+, causes D3 additional attacks when it successfully charges, and has the Containment Breach rule, which punishes regular units with 2d3 mortal wounds within 6" and Psykers within 6" with D6 mortal wounds instead. It's a fine choice if you feel the need to have those special weapons on a Pred platform. The damage charts for this and other hellforged tanks are distinctive in that they actually get better in melee the more injured they get, meaning the more you need some wounds repaired the more likely you'll be able to eat some, although your movement does suffer so it gets less able to get into melee.
  • Hellforged Sicaran [Forge World] - An even bigger vehicle in the elites slot? No it's not the Slaanesh dust kicking in, this is real life. The Sicaran is still a beast at T7 W14 3+, but as always we take it for its main weapon. Twin Accelerator Autocannon is kicking around at 48" Assault 8 S7 AP-1 S2, No penalty to shoot at FLY and every wound of 6 is jumped up to AP-3. It can move 14" between 7-14 wounds; imagine flying around the board shooting those Autocannons on 3+ (remember, it's assault, not heavy), ouch! Can eat people in melee on a 5+ to regain a wound, and has the Containment Breach rule, which punishes regular units with 2d3 mortal wounds within 6" and Psykers within 6" with D6 mortal wounds instead. Yes, you will still lose friends over fielding this.

Dedicated Transport[edit]

  • Chaos Rhino - The Pimp Wagon. At 70 points, you need to be careful not to go overboard with these. Now that they're basically assault vehicles (Note that you can't disembark a vehicle after it has moved), they're a great way to get your close combat troops stuck in. The Havoc launcher is great, take it. Durable enough that it requires a lot of firepower to take down, and not a large enough of a threat that opponents will really shoot at it. Your opponent is probably not going to waste firepower on this, so that havoc launcher is going to do work. Can now charge units to keep them from shooting! Note the lack of fire points.
    • Arguably always worth taking, as they protect your (expensive) infantry quite reliably from turn 1 shenanigans in addition to providing fire-support and cover for your guys later on.
    • With Rhinos being rather expensive and durable now, kitting them out with an additional combi-flamer or even the melta (always in addition to the Havoc launcher) seems absolutely worth it. When hurting for points the second combi-bolter costs only two. LOL
    • A Rhino with a Havoc Launcher and an extra Combi-Bolter can put out a surprisingly devastating number of shots with only one of those weapons suffering any movement penalties. Statistically, it's pretty close to being the same amount of firepower as a 5-man squad of Marines with Bolters and a Heavy Bolter, except cheaper, more durable, more maneuverable, and it can shuttle your dudes around. "LOL" indeed.
    • Take it with 2 combi-weapons of any kind and you get chaos razorback, albeit with a shorter range than any weapons a razorback can have, but you get to keep the 10 man capacity, Win?
    • Once the Rhino delivers its cargo, it only has one job: annoy the ever-living fuck out of your opponent. Park it on an objective and deny it for as long as possible. Charge it into melee to soak overwatch. Hide your other units behind it for cover. Do everything you can to make it an absolute pain for your opponent. You won't get much else from the Rhino once your boys are out, but the instant your opponent becomes irritated enough to shoot it, it has already gone above and beyond for its points. Cheese on.
    • NOTE: while this can take a combi-plasma, supercharging it will result in it possibly killing itself in one go, but you should know the risks, you are playing chaos after all. One might actually want to do this intentionally to allow the transported unit to charge AFTER moving. Nothing in the rules stops them from doing so if the poor rhino blows up from overheating. Be sure to fire the bolter half of the weapon, to make it overheat on 1’s or 2’s. Exploiting poorly thought-out rules FTW. Expect this to be fixed. Not for the overheat to remove 1 wound instead of killing the whole tank, but just the charging exploit.


  • Heldrake - aka the Helturkey. The unit that truly brought flyers into the game is now just a big skimmer. Ironic. No Hard to Hit, no Airborne, but that's not necessarily a bad thing. 30" movement with no minimum, T7, 3+/5++, Infernal Regeneration and 12 wounds, the Heldrake is robust, but not unkillable. It can be equipped with a Baleflamer (18" Assault d6 S6 ap-2 D2 that automatically hits) or the Hades Autocannon (36" Heavy 4 S8 -1 D2). You may have already noticed the problem. Being a Daemon Engine the Heldrake has a terrible BS of 4+, and with the Hades Autocannon being a Heavy weapon it will hit on a 5+ if you move. And you'll want to move, this isn't a Predator. Take the Baleflamer instead, while 5 points more expensive it ignores the low BS and range isn't a problem as you can move up to 30". Other than shooting, the Heldrake can be used effectively in melee. Yes, melee. 4 attacks, WS 3+, S7 AP -1 Dd3 claws, with a +1 to hit against <FLY>. This makes the Heldrake the best anti-<FLY> Flyer in the game. Itself being unit with <FLY> means it can charge something and then fall back while still melting faces with daemonic fire. This is where the Heldrake can excel. Flame & charge a Heavy Support backfield annoyance, maybe do a few wounds and disrupt shooting, then fall back and flame, charge repeat. Note that the +1 to hit also applies to units like jump pack characters, so if your opponent leaves his heroes unprotected, it can be cost effective to just move behind him and charge. Nothing personnel kid.
    • If you have an extra 3CP to spare (and you're play with "Death from Skies"; CRB pg.268) you can give up shooting, cheekily fly off the table and then use the "Refuel, Rearm, Repair" stratagem to auto re-enter the board at the end of the next turn's movement phase AND heal d3 wounds. Don't forget, you still get the one back from Infernal Regeneration too.
    • NOTE: Despite being a <FLYER> nothing in the rules prevents your opponent from charging a Heldrake during the assault phase with (oh IDK, Terminators) units that don't have <FLY>... No really, nothing stops them from declaring a charge against it.
    • NOTE2: Don't want to get charged? Perch on top of a building or terrain! Infantry could still charge up the building at you (additional inches, making it much harder), but everything else is shit out of luck (anything not infantry cannot go up floors, suck it Blood Slaughterers). This'll force your opponent to shoot at your birdy instead of things you actually care about.
    • Overall, The Heldrake has taken quite a nerfing. The lack of Airborne and Hard to Hit means the Drake isn't really a Flyer at all, with the FLY keyword and fast movement being the only "Flyer" traits it has. They have also become more like other Daemon Engines in that it's better at tanking and regeneration than killing shit, especially since the Turkey can't put Daemonforge to very good use. Despite this, the Drake has some unbelievable strengths with it's speed, durabilty, the above listed cheese strats, and the VERY powerful Baleflamer. A good choice for any list that hates flyers, hit penalty abusers (Craftworlds, Dark Eldar, Raven Guard, etc) and/or likes to GO FAST.
  • Hell Blade [Forge World] - Courtesy of the Dark Mechanicus's warped minds comes one of the better anti-flyer units in the game. Only 150 points with twin helstorm cannons (Heavy 2 S6 AP-2 D3 and wound rolls of a 6 cause an additional mortal wound), with a 3+/5++ and Hard to Hit, plus a +1 to hit against other units with <FLY>. Can swap its two Helstorm cannons for two Lascannons. With a 18"-60" movement that doesn't degrade as you take damage and a funky rule that allows it to pivot up to 90 degrees at the beginning AND end of each movement phase, you will be hunting enemy flyers in style.
  • Hell Talon [Forge World] - Now only 180 points, making the Hell Blade arguably redundant, considerably tougher than its baby brother the Hell Blade with 12 wounds and T7 as well as its 3+/5++. In addition to the mandatory Helstorm cannon and twin Lascannon, you can choose between three (free) sets of bombs, all used at the end of the movement phase (see below). This is a flying Predator spending 70 extra points to get <FLY>, Hard to Hit, 20"-60" move, 5++, no penalty to move & fire Heavy weapons and a bomb that will likely do some Mortal Wounds to a unit you fly over.
    • Pyrax incendiary bombs: The anti-infantry option. Once per battle, pick a unit you flew over and roll a d6 for each model in the unit up to a maximum of 20d6. Each 5+ (or 4+ if targeting infantry) causes a mortal wound.
    • Warp-pulse bombs: Pick a unit you flew over and roll 3d6 for each vehicle or monster in said unit, or 1d6 for each other model, up to a maximum of 9d6. Results of a 5+ cause mortal wounds. In addition, the unit targeted is at -1 to hit and -1 leadership until the start of their next turn.
    • Baletalon shatter charges: The demolition option. Pick a unit you flew over and roll 6d6 for each vehicle, building, or monster in said unit, or 1d6 for each other model, up to a maximum of 6d6. Results of 3+ cause mortal wounds. Pick this one.
  • Storm Eagle Gunship [Forge World] - 295 points of the best transport flier Chaos has to offer. Ever want to ram 20 Berzerkers 45" into your enemy's face? Now you can. T7 W16 3+ and -1 to hit, so it's durable. For firepower, has a Vengeance Launcher which is a 48" Heavy Bolter with 2D6 shots. Choice of Twin Heavy Bolter, Twin Multi-melta, Reaper autocannon or Havoc Launcher. Choice of Twin Lascannon or Missiles (anti-armour or anti infantry). Finally, the Hover Jet rule allows it to become a 20" skimmer if necessary.
  • Fire Raptor Gunship [Forge World] - As of chapter approved it's now 190 points!! Choose Twin Avenger Bolt Cannon, two Quad Heavy Bolters and two Twin Lascannons and your Fire Raptor will happily delete a ten man Tactical Squad per turn or an Imperial Knight in two. Very expensive at around 420 points, but while it lives, it destroys. T7 W16 3+ and -1 to hit, so it will take dedicated firepower to remove. Put Prescience on it to really get the most out of your enemy's Priority Number 1. Want to go even further? Grab yourself a Nurgle Sorcerer, throw Mark of Nurgle on this bad boy, then use Miasma of Pestilence, ???, profit. That thing now has a -2 to hit: especially useful against BS5+ Ork players who can't actually hit you!
  • Xiphon Interceptor [Forge World] - Another solid anti-air option. Like the Hell Blade, it has +1 to hit against <FLY> units, hitting on a 2+ against them at full wounds. It looks cheap from its points value, but once you tack on the two twin lascannons and the Soulstalker missile launcher (Heavy d3 autocannon with AP-2 and wound rolls of a 5+ cause a mortal wound in addition to normal damage), it is well over 200 points.

Fast Attack[edit]

  • Chaos Bikers - With the change to twin-linked, these are fucking nasty. T5. 2 wounds. Move 14" lets them pull off tricky movement and kite most things around the board. Don't charge with them or gear them for assault or you're trolling (although swapping their pistols for chainswords just in case you fight Imperials or have a melee focused Legion Tactic, which has no points cost, is probably fine as long as you remember that it's mostly a shooty unit.) No more jink saves, so avoid the big guns. Loyalists have And They Shall Know No Fear for re-rolls on leadership, but otherwise they're the same. A good use for these guys is to take MSU of 3, give the champion combi-melta/plasma and the other two melta/plasma. Run up the board and unleash hell with all their guns.
    • These guys are pretty good at filling the hole left in any army. Need anti-horde? Take flamers and move+advance 20" to unleash auto-hitting hellfire on the greenskins. Need anti-armour? Take melta, have the option to move+advance and still fire, and force your opponent to split their shooting between these guys and your other heavy hitters. Plasma is also a good all-rounder options but works best with HQ support, and at that point you may as well buff Havocs / Oblits instead.
    • One more thing: always keep the combi-bolter when adding special weapons. The change to shooting means you can fire both your combi-bolter AND the special weapon in the same shooting phase at 3+ each. Deamonkin players should be pretty happy about this since they most likely have way too many of these guys still.
    • You should consider that taking chaos biker is always SOMETIMES better than taking chaos space marines. A chaos space marine cost 13 points, for Move 6', Toughness 4, 1 HP and is equiped with a bolter. A chaos biker cost 25 23 points (thanks to chapter approved), for Move 14', Toughness 5, 2 HP and is equiped with a combi-bolter (which is basically like taking two bolters). So, a chaos biker cost less than two chaos space marines, but move faster and have greater toughness, for the same firepower and health points. On the other hand, Bikers will NOT fill a valuable Battalion detachment for +5 command points, cannot fit in Rhinos for better protection, become vulnerable to both Plasma AND D2 weapons, and run at MUCH smaller model count, so casualties hurt more and their melee will not be as strong.
  • Chaos Raptors - Your Assault Marines EQ, but with spooky masks. With Mark of Khorne and Icon of Wrath, they can land a turn 1 charge, though their melee is only helpful if you're playing certain Legions. Incredibly useful for tactical disruption and for applying special weapon fire to vulnerable targets(arm them with meltas for sneak-shots at back line vehicles or plasmas for MEQs). Being able to re-roll the turn 1 charge, having a leadership debuff, AND getting garden variety Special Weapons means these are better than Assault Marines for loyalists. However, If you want to use raptors as dedicated CC units, you will be quite disappointed. Raptors are surprisingly different from Loyalist scum. Unlike Assault Marines, Raptors can take 2 Special Weapons PLUS a combi-weapon, with special melee weapons only available for the Champion. This makes it clear what its role is. Ironic. If you want to be dirty, take 2 5-man Raptor squads with 2 plasma guns and a Combi-Plasma on the champs and deep strike in with a combi-plasma jump-pack lord. With precision deep-strike to get in rapid-fire range and the lord's aura to reroll 1's, the amount of overcharged plasma you put out will make your opponent groan, while also being substantially cheaper than Combi-Plasma Terminators. See, since you can FLY, next turn you can jump out of melee and let loose another volley of Plasma. unfortunately, since Deep-Strike range is out of both Flamer range and 6" Meltagun range, Plasma is basically the only viable option for weapon loadouts, though it is quite a strong one. They are still a tiny bit expensive though, costing as much as Chosen Marines.
    • With the new Night Lords legion rules being announced these guys (combined with an icon of despair) are really good morale busters to some elite units. Just killing a few elite models then get these guys in range for that sweet -3 Ld will make even custodes think twice about going up against a bunch of power armoured batmans.
    • While they can be useful in Deep-Strikes, dropping them behind enemy lines at 9" can be risky, as the are nowhere near as durable as terminators. As such, footslogging them might be better in certain situations, especially if you put warptime on them. See, if you Warptime your Raptors, you can be the envy of Eldar everywhere and slingshot them 24" towards any juicy targets, bringing them to VERY ideal Melta, Flamer, and Plasma ranges while giving them unbelievable mobility and control of the table. Rather gimmicky, but certainly worth experimenting with.
    • Jump-Pack Power Fist is also unbelievably awesome. A Literal flying Falcon Punch.
  • Warp Talons - Lightning claws will guarantee they will mess shit up, especially as they prevent overwatch if they charge on the turn they deep strike (Tau love this). If done to warlords or other prized units, it's downright cheese. 5+ invuln is also nice, though not as nice as it used to be before the age of AP modifiers. That said, that 9" charge is no more likely for them than it is for everything else and they can't even take Icons.
    • Important to note, Warp Talons have the DAEMON keyword - when combined with the mark of chaos, this allows them to benefit from the auras of chaos daemon characters. Something to bear in mind.
    • Fun, cheeky little strategy worth trying is giving a squad of Warp talons the mark of Khorne so that when you've pulled off the charge you can use the fury of Khorne stratagem to give them another round of RIP AND TEAR and having an allied Herald of Khorne nearby gives you two rounds of power axe attacks that re-roll wounds.
    • with the first big FAQ taking away the ability to cast warptime on a unit that arrives from deep strike. The Warp talons have taken a big hit in usability. This can be somewhat mitigated if you give them mark of khorne and ally khorne daemons, mark of nurgle with nurgle daemons and drop feculent gnarlmaws near their LZ, or mark of tzeentch and bring mutalith vortex beasts. It not perfect system.
  • THE THING THAT SHALL NOT BE NAMED - Movement 7", D6 attacks at -2 AP. Has a chance to be -4 AP, or reroll failed wounds, or get +2 attacks. S5 T5, 5+ save, leadership 9 due to being a mindless pile of flesh and 4 wounds. 5+ save means they're pretty squishy, but they can hit fairly hard, but only move 1 more inch than marines. At 33 points a model as expensive as Terminators...but not bad. Run it ahead of your precious units and let it soak up some of the annoying smite spam, 33 points taking the mortal wounds instead of 190 point unit taking 4+ mortal wounds. Laugh daemonically as the broadside cannot shoot this turn since it's tied up with a heaping mound of angry flesh.
  • Blood Slaughterer of Khorne [Forge World] - You ever wanted to kill something so bad it died to death? Well now you can! Clocking in at 180 points, the Blood Slaughterer is THE best melee walker for the points Chaos has access to. Movement 10" with an auto 6" Advance, WS3+, T7, W10, S8 and A6 at full strength. Its Slaughter Blade is S+2, AP-3, 3 damage. Two give you an extra attack, so you'll be making 7 if you dump the Harpoon. The Harpoon, upon successfully hitting a Vehicle or Monster, adds +2 to your charge roll. But the fun has just begun! If there is enemy Infantry within 2", you gain +2 attacks and cannot Fall Back. Not like you'd need to with your 3+/5++ and regaining a wound per turn. Infantry? Mulched. Tanks? Flipped. Every melee-focused Khorne player needs a few of these in their army list, even though it lost Deep Strike this edition. Boo!
  • Greater Blight Drone [Forge World] - Movement 14" (8-12 wounds) which dumps down to 10" (4-7 wounds) and 6" (1-3 wounds) which has a decent statline. WS 4+, BS 3+, S6/5/4 (following same order as Movement), T7, W12, with a 3+ and 5++ saves. The drone automatically heals a wound at the start of your turns and can move 9" up the table board before the game Turn 1 begins. Has a higher chance to explode when it does on a 4+ instead of a 6+. It's weapons combined with it's movement is going to make this unit pretty dangerous, though it's a pricey unit to field so it should be. Bile Maw with 12" Pistol D3 stats coming in at S8, AP-3, D3 and reroll 1's to wound. Blightreaper Cannon is your mainstay weapon with 36" Heavy 4 S7 AP-1 D2, with to wound rolls of 6 causing AP-3 instead. In melee it has the Plague Probe with User S, AP-2, D3 and rerolling 1s to wound.
  • Hellforged Dreadclaw Drop Pod [Forge World] - For the price of almost two Spiky Metal Bawkses you can get yourself a Flying Spiky Metal Bawks! Which has the same Toughness, Wounds, Save and Transport Capacity. However, true to its FW origin, it also packs a shopping list of confusing features.
    • Transport-wise it can haul Raptors and Termies (herp-de-derp Obliterators count as one model each due to wording) or even a Dread (making it the only viable delivery vector for our choppy walkers(apart from the Mastodon, which can hold 2 and 10 other dudes...but, yeah)). It zips around with flat movement of 15" and FLY, meaning that damage doesn't slow it down and it ignores terrain. Zoom-zoom!
    • Silly-wise it packs a S7 AP-2 D2 4 Attack melee weapon (which does deteriorate) and heals a wound on a 5+ for every model it squishes. It can also burn nearby fuckers with its jet wash and hurts Psykers more when it explodes, neither of which is particularly useful either.
    • That thing is actually a drop pod (more of a boarding torpedo, but still)! It can Deepstrike via the Drop Pod Assault and deliver a unit within 9" of the enemy. Unlike loyalists, however, we can clamber back into our spiky artichoke next turn to fly off and melta something else. Also, nothing is preventing you from fielding it normally like a fancy jet Rhino. (Technically loyalists can do likewise, but it looks silly.)
    • FAQ'd to be able to carry Decimators. Still fits 9 Obliterators somehow. Sigh.
    • If you want something to be able to seriously mess with your opponent's mind, this is a great choice if you've got some tactical sense. Don't drop this thing and it's cargo 9" away from a unit and hope to charge, instead take advantage of FLY and 15" movement to thermal jet (PISTOL D6 auto hits, ally and enemy, within 6" S6 AP-1 D1) anyone who dares take advantage of bubble auras by castling. THEN charge with it's blade struts. Bonus points by putting a ranged unit like rubrics or double kheres contemptor in there to not worry about the increased range. Fantastic at bullying something like guard or regular marines. This is the only drop pod besides a Kharybdis that chaos marines get, and it fits our profile very well if used correctly.
  • Hellforged Kharybdis Assault Claw [Forge World] - Dreadclaw not have enough spikes? Ever wanted to field a model that weighs as much as its point cost? Well here you go! Seriously, it's like Forge World mails you a giant block of resin and you chisel it out and glue some pointy parts on (so that they know it's supposed to be Chaos). Having almost the same stats as a Dreadclaw (except BS4+, T8 and W16) but with more weapons/troop capacity/model weight and of course SPIKES. 300 pts 375 pts per Chapter Approved gives you a flyer/drop pod that can carry 20 infantry into battle by either drop pod assault or like a normal transport. A fat 16 wounds and the ability to regain wounds on a 5+ after killing an enemy model in CC. In addition to the blade struts and thermal jet array that the Dreadclaw has, the assault claw can charge something that's Titanic, a vehicle, or a monster, and you have the option to instead use ONE Melta cutters attack, S16 AP-5 hitting on 2+ doing 2D6 damage. Additionally, to soften whatever you're​ about to forcefully-melta-sodomise, it's equipped with 5 Hvy 3 Storm launchers S6 ap-1.
    • So not only can this thing put 19 Beserkers and Kharn 9.1" away turn one, it has Hvy 15 S6 AP-1 D1 shooting and can charge first to potentially eat overwatch. No more deep striking turn one.
    • Or fill it with four Berserker squads when you want to guarantee that charge.
    • Or fill it with four Havoc squads with 20 Meltaguns to turn your enemy's favourite Lord of War into molten slag.
    • Or maybe throw it at your opponent. The weight and extending spikes will bring about guaranteed victory! (And assault charges)
    • Alternate Strategy: though it may go against the entire point of the thing, you can always start on the field with your belly full of goodies. At that point it's pretty much a giant Land Raider, but with a 15" move that never degenerates. Cheaper and faster than a Spartan, the only downside is the amount of fire it will draw, but if the rest of your army is untouched because of it...
    • Big FAQ Changes: The point increase in Chapter Approved and the Deep Strike changes in the Big FAQ have hit this transport with a double whammy. Not only can this guy not drop down turn one, but units that deep strike can no longer be warp timed the turn they come in. You may find far fewer landing zones available as both players expand out onto the board, and going second means even less potential room. One way to counteract these developments is to ensure board dominance quickly through fast units such as Bikes, Heldrakes, Flesh Hounds, and anything Slaanesh, OR cheap hordes such as Cultists, Mutants, and Renegades, OR scout units such as Alpha Legion, Scout Sents/Tanks, and Nurglings (and the BEST approach may be to utilize two of these types in your list to increase target saturation). Remember that your Pod will come in at the END of your movement phase, so you can fill up an area turn one and vacate it turn two to allow your Pod entry.
      • Because of these changes, you may find your own units between yourself and your enemy when you arrive. This is actually a good thing (even if you are a bloodthirsty axe wielding fun guy) because trying to make that 9 inch charge without Warptime does more harm than good. A more balanced approach to the Pod's occupants may yield more consistent results: Berzerkers + Chosen (who now get a melee weapon along with their ranged one) for example. The Berzerkers are now potentially halfway up the table unmolested, meanwhile your Chosen are in range to unleash ranged hell. If anything gets close, both units are great in melee. No to mention the Pod itself. Just add One Fun Guy and you've got one big problem for your opponent taking up far too much space on the board to be ignored. Just be prepared to play very defensively until than.

Heavy Support[edit]

  • Infantry
    • Obliterators - Obliterators no longer have access to a large surplus of weapons to choose from. They used to be a Swiss army knife, able to get the best weapon against anything at anytime. In 8th they only have Fleshmetal guns, which are 24" Assault 4 S6+1d3/AP-1D3/D1D3. While the weapon's profile is random, it's biased towards targeting multi-wound models. So basically, vehicles, monsters, elite infantry. Their weapons are not point efficient against hordes of infantry. The short range basically means that they have to be deep struck to be effective. While random, at worst Fleshmetal guns are Assault 4 S7/AP-1/D1. At best, it is Assault 4 S9/AP-3/D3. It will, on average, be Assault 4 S8/AP-2/D2. Unfortunately, they now have to be fielded in units of 3 at minimum. Fortunately, that's 12 shots. If they take the mark of SLAANESH, you can use Endless Cacophony to shoot twice in the shooting phase for 24 S8/AP-2/DMG2 shots on average! In melee combat they no longer have power fists, but have 3 attacks per model at S5. Other than that, they are 5 pts cheaper than the 6th ed codex, and now have 3 wounds. Given the short range and cost, most of the time a Predator or Havocs are a better choice.
      • That said, Obliterators are Daemons, so they are on the short list of CSM units compatible with Epidemius' tally if they take Nurgle as their mark.
      • Endless cacophony is a thing, for slaaneshi obliterators. Drop them along with a chaos lord in terminator armor, next to the most expensive infantry unit that they can reach - especially if your opponent has the habit of running veterans or sanguinary guard or something similar along with his special snowflake characters. Chances are that the first salvo will clear out the elite infantry, and the second will tear the snowflake cowering mehind them a new asshole. Failing that - charge the weakened bastard and rip him to shreds.
      • Use Note: It seems at the very least there's a split in roles between Obliterators, Havocs and shooty Chosen. Want to spam special weapons? Chosen. Want ranged support? Havocs. But, if you want a lot of firepower out of nowhere, you take Obliterators. The use of Obliterators now is to support a column by deepstriking in overwhelming firepower; works well supporting termicide too.
    • Havocs - Havocs are exactly like CSM, but can take more weapons. They cost the same too, so unless you need troops for some mobility and some extra command points, there is no reason to take CSM ever. They can take both Heavy and Special weapons, unlike Devastators, which is cool and you can mix them as you like and remember you can divide fire as you please. So if you got tricked into buying the absolutely hideous resin kit from GW, you can at least use it effectively. While about 50% more expensive, the alternate option for Havocs is Forge World. Buy a legion tactical squad kit, and two packs of whatever heavy weapons or special weapons you would like, and for around 0 you can have two Havoc squads armed exactly how you want. If anyone gives you crap, just make ghost noises and say "lost in the warp."
      • Heavy Bolters: Heavy Bolters are very decent in the new edition. 3 shots at S5 and ap-1 means they can shred infantry. Very cheap, too; only 10 points each.
      • Autocannon: Once the generalist weapon, now it costs 5 points more than a heavy bolter It's 2 shots at Damage 2, which makes it fairly good against most Xenos, and is one of the best weapons for taking care of Stormshield Terminators, a lot of characters (unlikely you'll get to shoot them though), and is decent against bikes and Primaris. Still, the high strength/low penetration thing going on is really a hard sell in this new edition. The main things to consider when looking at the Autocannon compared to the Heavy bolters, is that the heavy bolters get 1 more shot, but Autocannons get an extra 12" range, +2 strength and +1 damage in comparison. They're fantastic against primaris marines or light vehicles or if you don't have enough points for lascannons/missiles but the heavy bolters will give you more millage against light infantry or units that have low armor.
      • Missile Launcher: Now the most flexible weapon. It's almost as good as the Lascannon against heavy targets, but not that useless against everything else. This is the weapon you want in smaller games, when you don't know your opponent or you want just one Havoc squad and move on on other stuff. The perfect "what if" weapon.
        • This weapon is in a tough place due to its extreme cost. It's a textbook case of "jack of all trades, master of none." Against heavy armor, lascannons will always out perform a Krak missile, and a heavy bolter is far more reliable than a frag Against any target in the game. A Havoc squad consisting of 2 lascannons and 2 heavy bolters will outperform or equal (in terms of wounds per point or points per wound) a squad of 4 missile launchers. If you absolutely must have the flexibility then maybe take them and you might want to keep at least one hanging around if flyers are giving you a hard time (because the Flakk Missile stratagem is a thing).
      • Lascannon: Absolutely terrifying against heavy targets. It does one job but it does it well, absolutely useless against everything else.
      • Now, instead of talking about special weapons, it's best to address their relation with their main contenders as special weapons guys, the Chosen Marines. Chosen cost 3 points/23% more base, but they can bring 5 weapons instead of 4 (both with the optional combi for the champion). In the older edition the difference was quite clear; you wanted Chosen if you were going for just a small kill team and Havocs for a bigger squad with more wounds on the field... but now, the price difference is so small that you always want Chosen, even in 10-man squads. You are paying more for a squad, but really, you are paying less per special weapon on the field. There are some borderline cases, but don't forget that you also get +1 Ld and +1 Attacks, which is really good, and you are most likely buying a transport for them, which isn't cheap, so you want to take advantage of the investment. In general, unless very unusual circumstances, give your special weapons to Chosen and leave Havocs to the heavy weapons.
        • One way to use special weapons Havocs is to take their minimum squad size of 5, and put 2 of them in a rhino. With a combi-plasma on the champions, you can have 10 plasma in a rhino. We 30k now. Deepstrike a terminator/jump pack Chaos Lord when they disembark and overcharge everything. Enjoy.
        • It's also worth noting that these two units occupy different slots, which can be very relevant to your Command Point total, depending on the detachments you're fielding.
  • Non-Daemon Vehicles
    • Chaos Land Raider - The Big One. The Party Bus. The Iron Beast of Unholy Destruction. It's the Land Raider, and the logical choice for adding something HUEG to your army that can blow shit up and bring your big boys along for the fun. Functionally identical to the Loyalist Land Raider Phobos, though this one can take Combi-weapons and a Havoc Launcher instead of a Multi-Melta. Fast (for it's size) at 10", and T8, 16W, and 2+ save are fantastic, ESPECIALLY once you put Delightful Agonies or Miasma of Pestilence on it, making it an infuriating task to destroy. It's also the optimal way to get your ass-kicker units into CC now, as deepstrike is only good for turn 2 onward and warp-timing Terminators is no longer a thing. See, since you can disembark within 3" of the Raider then MOVE, you can go up to 9"(8 for Terminators) towards any juicy, exposed, vulnerable targets. Prepare your anus.
      • NOTE: while this can take a Combi-plasma, supercharging it will result in it possibly killing itself in one go. Don't do it, man.
      • NOTE: as of current FAQ, this is the only Land Raider available to Chaos Space Marines that ignores penalties for moving and firing heavy weapons, as per Daemonic Machine Spirit. This makes heavy vehicle choice skew EVEN MORE in favor of the Vanilla party bus of doom unless FAQ gives the others the same rule.
    • Chaos Predator - It does Predator things. Split fire has buffed it some A LOT. Comparison with Havocs: the Predator is more durable at T7, has more wounds, said wounds can be healed by a Warpsmith, is immune to Morale, has access to two very relevant stratagems and moves twice as fast without needing an expensive transport to be able to do so. The Havocs have more flexible weapon options, can hide and use cover easier, benefit from legion traits, do better in melee, aren't as vulnerable to D6 damage weaponry and don't have degrading shooting stats when they lose wounds. Some people like tanks, some people like boots on the ground. But if you're going with tanks there are two major roles that a Predator can fill. Anti-tank, or anti-infantry (or to a lesser degree, both).
      • For the anti-tank role, starting at 190 points, you can grab a las-pred armed with 4 lascannons. You can give it a combi gun of your choice and/or a havoc launcher if you have the spare points, but it is totally fine as is without them too.
      • For the anti-infantry role, starting at a slightly cheaper 159 points, you can have the Dakka-pred armed with the much improved "predator auto cannon" and two Heavy Bolters sponson. Unlike the las-pred you are definitely going to want to spring for the combi and havoc launcher so you will at least add 13 more points, totaling out at 172 points.
      • Predators having Split fire means you can mix N' match the weapons layout and shoot each weapons at whatever its best optimized for. Unlike now, in previous editions doing so was a waste because ALL of your weapons had to fire at the same target. This would lead to frustrating situations where you had to chose between how you were going to waste 50% of your firepower... either by shooting your Hv bolters/autocannon at armor they couldn't penetrate or by shooting the lascannons at troops. That said, mix N' matching is generally still a bad idea. If you split your fire each round it usually means that you're not killing stuff fast enough, or at the very least slower than if you had specialized the pred into anti-tank or anti-infantry.
    • Chaos Vindicator - Heavily nerfed by the changes to blast weapons. A bit of a niche killing very heavy infantry and monsters. Far from useless however, for 125pts you get T8 and D3-D6 Str10 Ap-3 D6 Damage shots. Str 5 and below infantry are going to suffer, and vehicles are going to take a beating from that much firepower. Benefits from combi-weapons and havoc launcher quite well, and a combi-melta supplements the Vindicator's anti-vehicle firepower nicely. Take it if you want something to spearhead a vehicular assault; the close range firepower will serve you well.
      • Being relatively inexpensive T8, Vindicators are very useful for mitigating fire from Land Raiders or Renegade Knights.
  • Daemon Engines
    • Fiends - Fiends were already a good choice in 7th edition and still are a good choice in 8th. They're durable (12 wounds, 3+/5++ and they regenerate one lost wound at the start of each of your turns) and very reasonable point-wise, they do however still suffer from their drawback of only hitting on a 4+ at the best of time. Either keep a Chaos Lord close and/or target them with Prescience if you can. Fiends will be outshined by more dedicated units at their role, but they're a boon of the Four Powers if you need a solid, dependable unit to shore up your army with. As a side note, Abaddon is the only source of full re-rolls available to Chaos and while there are plenty of people who would benefit from his ability both of these guys would love to have them. It would save on CP and still effectively increase their accuracy from 50% to 75% with their shots. Problem being that Abaddon really wants to punch things.
      • Forgefiend - Or Dakkafiend. Comes standard with 2 Hades autocannons and a reinforced jaw to chomp harder on anything close-by. Can replace everything (including the jaw) with Ectoplasma cannons that have better AP but fewer shots. Bring a pack of 2 of these things and watch them output a ridiculous amount of firepower on a target.
        • Some thoughts on the matter: The truly obscene amount of raw fire power that a frgefiend can put out makes the fact that it is unable to actually HIT anything with said firepower so goddamned sad. To elaborate - ALL of the guns that a forgefiend can bring to bear are heavy. Its base ballistic skill is 4+ - and that number degrades as it loses wounds. You moved? Ok, you'll be hitting things on 5+ now. You moved while under 7 wounds? You're hurting things on 6+ now. True, daemonforge helps - but you can use it only once per phase, and it will eat away at you command points like nobody's business. However, even if you look past the horrible to hit chances, there's a problem with the Hades Autocannon. It is still an autocannon - meaning an AP of -1. Since it does do 2 damage a pop it looks like it is meant to be pointed at terminators, bikers and even non-heavy vehicles. In practice, every single viable target for it will have a 50-66% chance to shrug a shot off. And let's not even get STARTED on the permanently overcharged plasma cannon that replaces the thing's FACE, which makes the fiend suffer a mortal wound every time it rolls a 1 to hit. Or a 1-2 to hit if it moved. Christ, that's terrible. Ectoplasma cannon's don't cause mortal wounds to the user, they're the same as a regular plasma gun with D3 shots and D3 damage. You'll have to feed it command points on occasion unless they are poorly defended. They do look amazing on the battlefield, and can be fun in very laid back, narrative games.
        • something worth noting that above didn't mention, aside from being buffable by most of the dark hereticus psychic powers. The daemon engines have the benefit of being able to use both Daemonforge AND Blasphemous Machines, meaning if someone tries to jump on your forgefiend you can use blasphemous machines to use your 8" movement to retreat, reposition and still shoot back without losing out on ballistic skill. This is still assuming your opponent didn't get the charge off, but its still a useful stratagem to have in your back pocket. Forgefiends work best in an entrenched and fortified position, preferably with a lord to give rerolls without having to use Daemonforge, and a cannon fodder shield unit like cultists. Set them up in a position to take maximum advantage of their range, where you can easily keep them defended or sitting on an objective and I assure you they will put in some work.
        • Despite the lacking ballistic skill of the Forgefiend, it is superior to other Heavy support choices like the Predator in different ways. The sheer volume of dice that can be thrown from this beast makes hitting the mark more likely despite the drop in ballistic skill, whereas missing shots on vehicles like Laspreds hurts ALOT. A Dakkapred doesn't have this problem, but the Forgefiend strikes an effective medium between having the strength to destroy vehicles AND the dakka for wiping hordes. Forgefiends are also much more durable due to +1 wound, 5+invuln, plus Infernal Regeneration, AND has access to powerful strats like Daemonforge, WHILE STILL BEING CHEAPER THAN A LASPRED. In other words, the Forgefiend is a fantastic ranged all-comer that has more powerful assets than other choices at the cost of ballistic skill. A deal breaker for some, but it doesn't have to be.
      • Maulerfiend - Or Choppafiend. They're still fast (10" base movement) and come standard with power fists and 2 Magma Cutters. Magma Cutters are considered Pistols with 4" of range now (S8, AP-3 D3 Pistols!), so the Fiend can start putting the hurt on a target right before they get into base to base contact and still shoot them in close quarters should they start the turn in combat. Pure win. They can also replace the pair of cutters with Lasher Tendrils for 1 less damage each and 1d6 or 6 extra melee attacks ,(Phyiscal Codex Heretic Astartes: Chaos Space Marines - pg 145 states 6 extra attacks while Codex Heretic Astartes: Chaos Space marines digital enhanced edition lists Lasher tendrils as D6 extra attacks on pages 282 and 308, Nothing in FAQ or Chapter Approved as of Jan 2018) trading punch against heavy targets for more attacks to mulch through infantry a bit quicker. Like the Forgefiends they work better in pairs and tag-teaming a target.
        • This beast is basically a giant, well-disguised can-opener. It can and will crack ANY tank open in melee and eat it for breakfast, and the tendrils threaten infantry as well. On the down side, It gets slower and weaker as it takes damage, so it stops being scary at low wounds(though regeneration helps ALOT as the turns go by). It's FAST and can throw down with even dreadnoughts, but it struggles slightly with the unimpressive Weapon Skill of 4+ and with the MASSIVE attention it will draw from any opponent who prefers their tanks unmolested. Overall - not a bad choice. Should totally be a fast attack option. Whether it is better to take the magma cuttrs or the tendrils is up for debate, but THIS anon likes the tendrils more. Because if you spend a command point on Daemonforge, you get to reroll ALL of your melee attacks. All 10 of them. And they all have good AP.
    • Defiler - Here's the deal, the Defiler is exactly what you expect him to be, he's a big, stompy, killy daemon engine that will inevitably draw in a lot of enemy fire because of how dangerous he is. With vanilla wargear he clocks in at 201 points. Well priced and destructive. 14 wounds, T7, 5++ invuln, Strength 16 melee attacks. Long and short range fire power with the Battle cannon, Reaper autocannon/Twin heavy bolter and Twin heavy flamer. Smoke launchers for defense and regenerates 1 wound at the beginning of each of your turns. Effective at range and close up but with options to suit your need. Replace the Twin heavy flamer and Reaper autocannon with a Twin Lascannon and havoc launcher and ruin some vehicle's day or bring a Defiler scourge and trounce any units that try to jump you. Another thing to keep in mind is that the Defiler can be taken by any of the legions including the Death Guard. Meaning if you bring a Malignant plaguecaster you can target your Defiler with Miasma of Pestilence to make him even harder to take down, or bring a regular sorcerer can cast Prescience on him to make his guns even more lethal. Going from hitting on 4's to 3's with the Battle cannon, Lascannon or Reaper autocannon can be devastating.
      • Became cheaper in chapter approved at 189 points for the base body, so its time to finally shine for our Giant Enemy Crab Engine!
      • Deffy is quite the special Enemy Crab. Compared to the Forgefiend and Maulerfiend, the Defiler doesn't put out too much immediate damage for its points, but is an absolute PAIN IN THE ASS for your opponent to destroy. The defiler also functions as either a Daemonforge gunboat (split-firing into appropriate target with Daemonforge will do some serious work) or a melee machine (depending on whether you gave it a Scourge or not), and here lies Deffy's biggest strength - MELEE. For about 20 more points than a typical melee Helbrute, Deffy gets 4 STR 16 AP-3 D6 damage AND 3 STR 12 AP-2 D3 attacks, something very few units could EVER dream of at such a cheap price, and then there's Daemonforge on top of that. However, Deffy will most certainly attract quite a bit of.... attention from your opponent no matter what, intentionally or not, so it MIGHT die before it gets into melee, though that's what Miasma of Pestilence, Delightful Agonies, or Weaver of Fates combined with smoke launchers are for. Take 2, arm them with Scourges, and watch whatever units they charge be deleted from existence with a well timed Daemonforge.

Forge World[edit]

  • Chaos Vindicator Laser Destroyer (Deimos Pattern Vindicator Laser Destroyer) Use the Deimos Pattern Vindicator Laser Destroyer datasheet on page 8 of Imperial Armour Index: Forces of the Adeptus Astartes. It gains the Hellforged keyword and must replace all of its Faction keywords with the following: Chaos, Heretic Astartes, MARK OF CHAOS, LEGION. In addition, it gains the following ability: ‘Machina Malefica: At the end of each Fight phase, roll a number of D6 for this model equal to the number of models that were slain by it during this phase; for each dice that scores a 5+, this model regains one lost wound. This model cannot regain lost wounds by any other means.
  • Hellforged Rapier Battery - Sadly have lost their Quad mortar option, but if you weren't using them for that they maintained their potency. They can move now (4") and have BS 3+ with T5, W4 and 3+. Can take a Laser Destroyer (36" Heavy 1 S12 AP-4 D6, When you inflict damage, you roll a D6. On a 3-5 the damage is increased to 2d6, on a 6 it is 3d6!), an Ectoplasma Cannon (24" Heavy 3, S8 AP-3 D3, roll of 1 inflicts mortal wound on shooter), and C-beam Cannon (72" Heavy 1, S6 AP-3 D3, every 24" adds +2S and +D3, if you cause a casualty that enemy unit takes 2d6 S6 AP0 D1 additional hits). You will likely takes these for that cheap Laser Destroyer and blow enemy vehicles apart. Not the clear choice they were in 7e, but still a good unit. It can also eat people in melee and gain a wound back on a 5+.
    • Note that Daemon Unleashed cannot actually trigger, as of the current FAQ, as it triggers on Crewmen in the same unit being slain, and its unit has no Crewmen in it; hence, none can be slain to trigger the ability.
    • Also note that Death Guard and Thousand Sons cannot take these, as of the current FAQ.
    • Some number crunching shows the Ectoplasma Cannon and C-Beamer as the best options for all comers, Quad Heavy Bolter as best against infantry blobs, and the Laser Destroyer as the best option against Lords of War. The Laser Destroyer is randomly effective. A trio of them can totally fuck up a Knight in one turn (up to 54 wounds) or barely scratch the paint (miss on all three Heavy 1 shots)
  • Plague Hulk of Nurgle - Want a worse but tougher Defiler who doesn't heal himself? You found him! T8, 14W, 5++ and 5+ Disgusting Resilience. With S8 and "Rusting Curse" which lowers Vehicles saves within 1" by -1, he's going to punch the crap out of enemy armor. It can also be summoned, but with 12 PR it's not going to happen reliably. Rot Cannon is largely unchanged but with new stats, 36" Heavy D6, S6 AP-3 D2 and all wound against Infantry are rerolled (cool). It's vomit has morphed into something else all together, 7" range, Pistol D6, S5 AP-2 D1 where all shots auto-hit... very cool! The Iron Claw remains largely unchanged, Sx2 AP-3 D6 (not -1 to hit rolls) with the Warp Sword being potentially good now with User S, AP-3 and a flat D3 damage which also allows you rerolls to hit (much better than last edition for sure!)...I still see most people taking the claw though. All around, the Plague Hulk is a great 8E choice.
    • Alternate opinion - while this guy is still a cool and very tough choice with 14 T8 wounds, a 5++ and DR, he's also 60 points more expensive than he was in the previous edition which is an eye-watering 40% price hike. That wouldn't be so bad if he performed the same as he did in 7th but truth be told he doesn't actually do much other than absorb damage. The reason for this is that he only has three miserable attacks hitting on 4+, so while S16 -3 d6 damage is all well and good, he lacks both the volume of attacks and accuracy to make anything of such destructive potential. His ranged options are likewise lacklustre with the Rot Cannon being unreliable both in terms of BS and shots while the vomit doesn't really compare to its 7th ed version due to the fact that you can't deepstrike in range to fire. All in all he's just a bit pillowfisted for his points.
  • Hellforged Land Raider Proteus - For a bit more points you get a LR with some fantastic additional abilities. Standard loadout but it can eat enemy units in combat to regain a wound on a 5+. You can choose to take an upgrade called Accursed Phylactery which lowers the transport size to 6, but gives you -1 ld to all enemy units within 9" as well as any unit Deep Striking within 12" must roll a D6 and on a 1 or a 2 suffers D3 mortal wounds. Interesting for sure. Has the Containment Breach rule, which punishes regular units with 2d3 mortal wounds within 6" and Psykers within 6" with D6 mortal wounds instead.
    • NOTE: As of current FAQ, the Proteus does not have Daemonic Machine Spirit like the Vanilla Land Raider, meaning it will suffer penalties for moving and shooting.
    • No worries, a newer FAQ has added Daemonic Machine Spirit.
  • Hellforged Land Raider Achilles - Your land raider on steroid with 2 twin multi-meltas and a massive soulburner bombard that has a range of 48" with 2D3 shots. Not only is it capable of dealing massive damage and mortal wounds, it has an inbuilt 4++ which can be buffed to a 3++ if you give it Mark of Tzeentch and cast the spell off. You WILL lose friends playing it this way as I don't have to remind you twice how much of a pain in the arse a land raider with a 3++ is to get rid of. The only downsides are its increased cost and very limited transport capacity (6 infantry models).
    • NOTE: As of Current FAQ the Achilles does not have Daemonic Machine Spirit like the vanilla Land Raider, meaning it will suffer penalties for moving and shooting.
    • No worries, a newer FAQ has added Daemonic Machine Spirit.
  • Hellforged Scorpius - Chaos finally gets a Whirlwind! Scorpius Multi-Launcher is going to do work at 48" Heavy 3D3 S6 AP-2 D2, shoot targets you cannot see. Can also get a Havoc Launcher, but you aren't going to do that since you want it hiding all game and shooting. Can eat people in melee on a 5+ to regain a wound, may fire twice in the next shooting phase if it did not move!!! This is going to be a Chaos MVP for sure. Has the Containment Breach rule, which punishes regular units with 2d3 mortal wounds within 6" and Psykers within 6" with D6 mortal wounds instead.
  • Hellforged Sicaran Venator
  • Hellforged Sicaran - This bad boy is deceptively versatile. With a main cannon that suffers no hit penalty when targeting a flying unit, you can move, advance and shoot an Alaitoc hard to hit aircraft (with -2 to hit) on a 3+ when on your top profile. Thats an average threat range of 65" to your 8 S7 Ap-1 D2 shots. Oh, and it rends.
  • Hellforged Deredeo Dreadnought - Chaos finally got the Dorito Dreadnought! A lot of people have wanted this for a while and rightfully so, it kicks ass. The Butcher Cannon Array is a fantastic weapons platform with 36" Heavy 8 S8 AP-1 D2, -2 LD to any unit that takes casualties from it. The Ectoplasma Battery is less impressive, 24" Heavy 5, S8 AP-3 D3 and causes a mortal wound to the dreadnought on the roll of a 1 (booooo). A third option called Dual Malignatas Saker is 48", Heavy 2 S AP-5 D6, Roll 3d6 vs enemy LD, if it total equals or exceeds enemy L than the target model is wounded. E.G. choose Butcher Cannon Array. Greater Havoc Launcher is awesome at 48" 3D3 S6 AP-1 D1 that does not need LoS to shoot (heck yes!). Battle it out, than hide behind a rock when you have low wounds to stay relevant. Can eat things in melee combat on a 5+ to get a wound back. Has a 5++ against shooting/overwatch and a 4++ in melee. All friendly units within 5" have a 5++ save (mmmmmm), and a Helical Targeting Array which can be activated at start of a turn, stopping you from moving, advancing or charging but adds 1 to its hit rolls against things with FLY. Has the Containment Breach rule, which punishes regular units with 2d3 mortal wounds within 6" and Psykers within 6" with D6 mortal wounds instead. And most of all remember, the cool ranch upgrade is better than the nacho cheese one.
  • Hellforged Leviathan Dreadnought - Whatever was sacrificed in the name of Chaos to make these available... it was worth it. This super dreadnought is a monster and priced very well for what it does. T8 W14 A4 2+, comes with Siege claw (fist) and Siege drill (chain), Hellflamer (8", Heavy d6, S5 AP-1 D2 which autohit), Butcher Cannon Array is a fantastic weapons platform with 36" Heavy 8 S8 AP-1 D2, -2 LD to any unit that takes casualties from it. Soulburner Ribaudkin is another arm option at 18", Heavy 2d3 S- AP0 D1 which inflicts mortal wounds, Grav-Flux Bombard is your third option at 18", Heavy D3, S9 AP-5 D2 which actually does D5 wounds against Vehicles, Monster, and Titanic while adding D3 attacks if the enemy target has 5+ models for EVERY 5 models in a unit. This means 2d3 v 5 models, 3d3 v 10 models etc. It can eat people in melee and on a 5+ it gets a wound, it has a 5++ against shooting/overwatch and a 4++ in melee and gains +1 attack if you keep both arms as CCWs. Has the Containment Breach rule, which punishes regular units with 2d3 mortal wounds within 6" and Psykers within 6" with D6 mortal wounds instead.

Lords of War[edit]

Hades Diabolus (Open Play Only): Make-A-Raider rule exclusive to Open Play that allows you to pimp yo big spiky ride (almost) as you see fit. The example given in Chapter Approved 2017 shifts its Twin Heavy Bolter onto extra sponsons in order to instead mount a Reaper Autocannon, making it slightly more shooty at the cost of 5 transport capacity. Yes, you can make a legit Chaos Terminus Ultra with this rule. No, you can't bring it to a normal game. Figures.

Khorne Lord of Skulls - No longer 888 points this thing is more than ever, Lord of your Skull. And it is his Lordly right to smash/fuck it if he chooses. Depending on how good you want the hand and cock cannons to be, KLOS runs from either 520 points or 620 points. The guns are better for the more expensive version but you want KLOS in close combat and even though he has a tank instead of legs he can't shoot his cannons if a Rhino nudges him. Like the Kytan KLOS can SMASH and SLASH with his enormous axe but as he GAINS attacks when low on wounds he throws out 24 slash attacks if below 7 wounds. At only 4 more wounds than a Knight you might think he's not worth the points but the 5+ invulnerable save in the Fight phase really makes up for any lack of wounds. Be aware that if your enemy knows he gets better when wounded they will probably just not shoot at it. This means you can just charge around deleting a tank per Fight phase. Use your CP re-rolls to get him in combat; you paid for him so you had better use him. Also is a daemon vehicle, so benefits from the Daemonforge strategem. Also has two S "User" ranged attack options and is a Daemon, so can benefit from a Herald's +1 strength to potentially have an S11 ranged attack.

Kytan Ravager[Forge World] - The Kytan is a good alternative to a Renegade Knight but has the Heretic Astartes keyword so you can WARPTIME HIM DOWN THE THROAT OF THE HATED CORPSE-EMPEROR LOVERS. (Or anyone else). Pricey and has less wounds than a Knight but has a 5++ in the Fight phase so he is scary to other close combat badasses. If he decides to SMASH, his axe hits at S20 AP-4 Damage 6 and doesn't take a -1 to hit. 5 attacks means someone is getting chopped to bits. If he decides to SLASH then he has 15 attacks at S10 AP-2 and D3 Damage. His Kytan gatling cannon puts out the pain in the Shooting phase as well but what you really want to be doing is CLEAVING LOYALIST FILTH. Oh and he Advances 2D6 and regenerates. Also benefits from the Daemonforge strategem. Re-roll all hits and wounds for 1 CP!? YES PLEASE.

Greater Brass Scorpion of Khorne - Has definitely taken a small hit this edition but as with other units don't be fooled. The anti-psyker has been toned down to only powers that attempt to cause mortal wounds (no negation, just perils on any double) and you can't cast any friendly powers on it (so no warptime first turn guaranteed murder-death-kill assault). The GBS is no longer a guaranteed Titan killer, having less wounds than a Knight but this unit is still a beast capable of bringing a ton of pain and handling most things including hordes (thanks to its ability to shoot whilst in combat). It recovers a wound automatically at the start of any turn and comes with the stock 5+ invulnerable save. Has the ability to dish out 16 shooting attacks at 24" (one a 10 shot low strength and the other a demolisher equivalent as per last ed). This shooting is capable of putting any type of unit on its ass. In combat the scorpion attacks with a fuck ton of high strength, high ap, high damage and can dish out a nice dose of flamer attacks. With a 3D6 charge range and 12" base movement, deploy this daddy last and right at the front, with a first turn charge as your opponent watches in absolute horror as you send a nuke scuttling towards his line. Do keep your eye on it though as, with the changes to rules and only 20 wounds, this unit can reliably be brought down in a turn or two (first turn charge is the key). This Metal Murder Scorpion is expensive at a whopping 625 points so make sure you smash your enemies with it immediately or you may be better off with a Defiler, a Forgefiend and a Maulerfiend for the same cost.

  • Note - With the new strategems available for chaos space marines, Daemonforge turns this guy into a serious force to be reckoned with, allowing it to reroll all failed to hit and to wound rolls in either the shooting phase or assault phase, which dramatically increases his damage output.

Hellforged Spartan Assault Tank - Your super LR sadly got moved to the LOW slot, however it's not letting that get it down! T8, W20, Sv2+ and holding 25 Infantry it's going to deliver a lot of paint hurt. Between 12-20w it moves 10", dumping down to 5" at 6-11 and 3" at 1-5... it will likely delivery the payload without fail. Has Quad Lascannons or Two Laser Destroyers (you will want the Lascannons) and Twin heavy bolters. Can eat things in melee and on a 5+ it gains a wound back. At the end of the movement phase when units have disembarked from it, you have to roll a d6. On the roll of a 1, one model from the disembarking unit is slain (chosen by controlling player). OUCH! Didn't think you would get the super LR without a drawback did you? At least the rules let you count the dead guy towards your 5+ heal. It also can Fall Back and Shoot/Charge still. Has Containment Breach when it blows up, causing D6 mortal wounds on units within 2d6", or if it's a psyker, 2d3 mortal wounds instead. It's hard to say if this is really worth it to take, you should probably just reach for a Kharybdis instead...

  • Note - Very much worth noting, that this does not have the typical LoW ability that lets it move and shoot without penalty to Heavy weapons. It does, however, allow you to shoot if there are enemy models within 1". So you overwatch over and over again.
  • No worries, the Spartan now has Daemonic Machine Spirit.

Hellforged Cerberus Heavy Destroyer[Forge World] - Jesus, this thing is expensive but nasty. So on top of the rules we've seen for the other Hellforged tanks, this beast sports T9, 22 wounds, a 2+ save and can always shoot or charge even when falling back. It also hits at S8 from its infernal hunger and rolls D6 for its containment breach mortal wounds (2D3 against psykers). It can take two heavy bolters or lascannons for sponsons and havoc launcher or combi-weapon for the pintle blah blah blah - let's talk about that FUCKHUEG gun sticking out of the front of it. It slings 4 shots down a 6 foot range with AP-6 and dealing an eye-watering 5-10D per shot (aka, 4+D6). The fun part however is how it wounds - it doesn't have a strength characteristic but instead, you roll 3D6 and compare against your target's leadership; if you equal or exceed that value, the target is wounded. This means that on average, you will wound ANYTHING in the game, which then takes an average 7 damage at -6 to their armour. Oh hey, if you kill anything with this tank in the previous turn with any of your guns, you get to roll 4D6 and choose the highest 3. Obviously, wipe something weak and then focus fire on trouble spots.

Hellforged Typhon Heavy Siege Tank - Your tank for when you absolutely need 1 unit dead. It comes stock with the infamous Dreadhammer Siege Cannon that dishes out 2d6 S10 AP -5 shots that each do 3 wounds on a failed save, starting at 2+ to hit. The randomness of the number of shots makes it ok at best for dealing with squads that are 10 man or more, but that shouldn't be your priority with this thing. You want to be shooting and those special prize units of 5 or fewer models or rival tanks. This brings us to our next point, wargear. It may also bring Heavy Bolter or Lascannon sponsons and you can give it a Havoc Launcher (if you have the points, just take the Lascannons). Its no slouch defensively either T9, 22 wounds, and a 2+ save will keep it on the board far longer than your enemy will be comfortable with. Oh and it regenerates wounds from Close Combat.

Hellforged Fellblade[Forge World] - Incredibly expensive, even more so due to the Chapter Approved points Hike it got, but still the Baneblade's exponentially meaner cousin, main cannon fires shells in 2 flavors, AE (your anti-everything shell), 2 shots strength 14 AP -4 and a flat rate of 6 damage per wound whatever you hit with this shell type will die. HE is anti-light/anti-MEQ with 2d6 shots strength 8 ap -3, one damage per shot makes it worthless for TEQ killing, 8 lascannons, 1 demolisher cannon and a twin heavy bolter round the arsenal out (not including your choice of combi-weapon or havoc launcher goodness), all-in all, keep this beast at around 48" range to get the most use out of at least half its weapons, good take for non-apocalypse games just don't expect to be having the room for any other expensive units.

Hellforged Falchion[Forge World] - Incredibly expensive, but appears to be one of the best units in the game for deleting titanic targets (DONT TRY TO KILL A TITAN WITH THIS THING!! it will fail!!! and if it is hit by a Macro weapon, your Falchion will die faster then you can scream out for help.. This is not a titan killer), (I imagine daemon primarchs too, before they're able to buff themselves, should you get first turn). 2d6 strength 16 shots, -5 AP, 2d6 damage. It'll wound anything T8 or lower on 2's, and the few T9 targets out there on 3's. Have a Sorc buff it with Prescience and keep a lord/DP around to re-roll 1's to make the target's death all but a foregone conclusion. 2 quad lascannons = 8 lascannon shots, plus a hull twin heavy bolter add to its already impressive firepower.

Hellforged Mastodon[Forge World]

Thunderhawk Gunship[Forge World]

Sokar Pattern Stormbird Gunship[Forge World]

Chaos Warhound Scout Titan - The smallest Titan option, still clocking in at 1500 2000 points (though all weapons options are free.) Finally lives up to its "scout" name by being able to move a ludicrous twenty-four inches when at full wounds. Though it has a little more limited weapon selection than its bigger brothers, between the turbo-laser destructor, Titan plasma blastgun, inferno gun, and Vulcan mega-bolter you can set it up to target just about anything.

Chaos Reaver Battle Titan - The medium class of titans out there. its a 4000 points (weapons are free) model, with an impressive statline, and some awesome weapons. It carries 2 arm weapons of pretty decent damage output. The Melta especially makes short work of anything close enough. But the biggest factor here is that all of its arm weapons have THE MACRO RULE!. Meaning that when ever you fire at Titanic units, the D is doubled! This is insane with weapons like the Volcano canon or melta canon. It also comes with a Carapace weapon, which can be any of the warhounds weapons (Cept the Vulcan mega bolter is twin!) or the Apocalypse missile launcher(pass! If you are gonna use missiles, use Incendiary missiles instead). This model can kick ass like no other... well.. except for the one below!

Chaos Warlord Battle Titan - A Beast at 6000 points (Weapons are still free, so yay) The Warlord has a statline unlike anything in the game with T16 S16 and a whooping 70 wounds! It also sports a 3++ (degrading as it takes damage) void shield, 2 Warlord class arm weapons and 2 Reaver class Shoulder weapons. It also sports 2 Mauler bolt canons (Basicly Avenger bolt canons) and 4 lascanons (Which can only fire backwards). The Warlords weapons are pretty impressive, being capable of knocking out any other model in the game in a single shooting phase. One of the best ones is the Plasma annihalator. In addition to its pretty impressive damage output, when you fire this weapon roll a D6 for each unit (Friend or foe) within 6" of the target unit. on a 4+ that unit is hit by 1d3 hits with this weapons profile. This could in potential knock out a big part of an Astra Militarum artillery park, or kill characters (remember all units within 6".. nothing said about characters not being hit). The Warlord is ridiculously powerfull, and pretty hard to kill.


Building a Legion[edit]

As for now, you can include in your army as many <LEGION> types as you wish. Equally meaning, a detachment does not have to be devoted to a single <LEGION> (they already all share the CHAOS keyword). However, with the new codex, to gain the benefits of a legion trait all units with the <LEGION> keyword must be of the same legion.

you can still mix and match like in the following example, but you won't get <LEGION> traits for anyone So, in a Patrol Detachment (standard one), it's totally fine to get:

  • Ahriman as HQ (Thousand Sons)
  • a squad of Noise Marines as Troop (Emperor's Children)
  • a squad of Berzerkers as Elite (Pink Unicorns Forever)
  • a Land Raider as Heavy Support (Pink Unicorns Forever)
  • a squad of Foetid Bloat-Drone as Fast Attack (Death Guard)

This example is a bit extreme. But, a more standard one would be that you can field Chaos Space Marines or Havocs along with the Tzeentch fluffy army you love. You just have to choose another legion for them, and they won't get the benefit to reroll their invulnerable saves. Crap...

You are totally free in you army building. But restrict yourself by chosing units with the same <LEGION>, currently the only bonus you get is that buffs affect everything in your army and you get rid of some restrictions (transport). Moreover, you can expect (and yes you can expect something from GW now) GW to give extra benefits to army / detachment restricted to only one <LEGION> in further releases. Also expect additional legions to come and actual restrictions/benefits to World Eaters and Emperor's Children.

If you play a non-aligned Legion, it is a good idea to choose marks based on what you want the unit to do. For example

  • Melee unit - Mark of Khorne
  • Ranged unit - Mark of Slaanesh
  • Psyker unit - Mark of Tzeentch
  • Tarpit unit - Mark of Nurgle

Black Legion[edit]


None. Abby takes all.

Forge World[edit]

Cosmetics can add some character to your army. Unit-wise, almost any FW unit can find a place in a Black Legion list, but Dreadnoughts, Sicarans, and Land Raiders are standouts, as Black Legion LOVES to be on the move.

Key Units[edit]

Abaddon is of highest recommendations. Your opponent wont be laughing and memeing once he gets within intimate distance. Chaos Marines, Cultists, Bikers, Terminators, Land Raiders, Heldrakes, pretty much ANYTHING goes as long as it's fast and hates the Imperium.

How to play Black Legion[edit]

Some of the best ways to use the Black Legion core trait are when you use it to advance to get just in 24" to fire bolters once rather than not at all, or to simply advance and fire assault weapons with no penalty which isn't great but nothing to scoff at. Do not use this advancing and firing with bolters at the ranges where you were in range anyway. You lose the possible double-shot, and more importantly, the ability to charge.

  • The strategem is obnoxiously obvious in its use. Have Sorceror use Prescience on one squad, use the BL Strat on either the same squad or another to distribute better shooting.
  • The Black Legion Warlord trait is pretty odd compared to the mostly shooting and survivability bonus of the Legion Trait. On most standard warlords +1 attack for your trait may be better, but on a warlord with more than 4 attacks cough Daemon Prince with Talons cough First Among Traitors is better probably if you get the charges off. Unless you aren't fighting Imperials obviously.

Alpha Legion[edit]


Fluff-wise, the Alpha Legion rarely -if ever- fields or makes alliances with Demons, so your army shouldn't include any if you want to strictly go by the fluff, but then again, you're the Alpha Legion, you don't always play by the rule, do you?

Forge World[edit]

Key Units[edit]

How to play Alpha Legion[edit]

Use infiltrate to either bum rush the enemy like an asshole first turn, or plop an obscene number of cultists onto an objective and double dog dare someone to kill all 40 of them. If they dont kill every single one, burn 4 cp making them auto pass morale and then respawn them. Because of the -1 to hit this is often stupidly hard for the enemy to do. You are Alpha Legion play mind games. Talk up how if they don't kill EVERY cultist, they will ALL respawn. Make them take the bait and then laugh when they waste fire on cultist blobs.

Even normal boring marines can useful as troops for sitting on mid field objectives from the very beginning, as it puts the opponent constantly playing catch up on points if you are in a scenario where you can gain points gradually over the course the game.

Havocs are amazing, you don't need to pay CP to infiltrate them if they are in your base, and 4 lascannon havocs with 6 friends are irritatingly hard to push out of cover with the -1 to hit.

Also, do not underestimate simple 5 man troop squads with a single heavy weapon. They have objective secured for holding backline objectives against ninja looter objective thieves like the 2 ion drones on a sunshark or most deep strikers. Also, as alpha legion you badly need command points, so small squads of marines and cultists will pay their dividends, as will running the cheapest HQs you can to get more CP. Take 2 lords if you want, maybe an exalted champion, whatever you have to do.

I am Alpharius is the best warlord trait in the game, BAR NONE. Infiltrate a lord with some plasma havocs and 40 slaanesh cultists with 4 flamers and absolutely ruin people's day with insane first turn alpha strikes. When your lord dies.... congratulations, someone else is now your lord and the enemy gets no victory points.

  • I am Alpharius is good but this idea can be done whether the infiltrating lord is your Warlord or not. Take a look at the standard Warlord Traits and you will notice something. All of them focus on creating melee killers rather than supporting your troops. AND there are only a few characters in our codex. Sergeants no longer become Alpharius as in last edition. Meaning your opponent doesn't need to wipe you out anymore for slay the Warlord. And can lead to Aspiring Champions getting Hatred Eternal, SOMETHING THEY HAVE NATURALLY. By all means do use it, just be aware that the second trait you generate randomly will almost always be best used on a melee power-house, if it's useful at all.
  • I am Alpharius could also mean bringing Rubric Marines for their sorceror if or when your characters Sorcerors are killed "Because they are Alpharius!" They permanently have the Tzeentch Keyword so can swap spells and cast 2 spells a turn as much as you have command points to spend.

Remember that you place your infiltrators AFTER deployment, so you know if you are going first or second. If you are going first, brutally punish an enemy and don't be afraid to just dump CP on the first turn. Use veterans of the long war AND slaaneshy shoot twice, or Khorne's attack again. You are Alpha Legion. Don't fight fair and don't have mercy, if they surrender on your first turn, good. If you don't win first turn then take literally every objective that isn't in the enemy's deployment zone before the game even begins. Form a ring of cultists around stronger infiltrators to keep melee off of you. 40 man cultist units can take 4 flamers, which can stifle even genestealers.

Also, flamers. Enemy units shooting from long range are weaker against you, so worry about short tanged enemy shooters or enemy melee. Flamers solve both. Havocs can take 4 flamers and a combi flamer. Helbrutes can take 2 fists and 2 heavy flamers. Spamming flamers can leave enemies with no really good options, especially if you run old reliable lascannon havocs, they will win most shooting wars.

  • As unfluffy as it is, Plague Marines or Rubricae can be useful here to save you heavy-support slots. Both can take superior versions of flamers, and both have inherent durability effects that can stack with your legion trait. You can use the aspiring sorcer of the Rubrics for another Prescience caster after swapping his smite, and Plague Marines can back up your melee game.

One could make a case not to use our relic at all, since unlike our Warlord it doesn't immediately become another guys chainsword. (Emperor the images though...)

Iron Warriors[edit]



Forge World[edit]

Aside from Cosmetics like Land Raider doors and Marine Helmets, Forgeworld gives some sick support for Iron Warriors. Contemptor Dreads, Leviathan Dreads, Deredeo Dreads, Sicarans, Scorpius Multi-launchers, and the Land Raider flavors are all great and can add a ton to your list depending on what you're looking for. Don't rape your wallet too hard though.

Key Units[edit]

Cultists, Deamon Princes, Warpsmiths, Vanilla Marines(Troops, Havocs and Chosen), Mutilators(good CC and cheap as chips. Also fluffy), Obliterators, and ANY vehicles with 10+ wounds(ESPECIALLY Land Raiders). All of which have good synergy with their rules.

  • Also gives an AWESOME excuse to buy the Mark III marines and use them for your troops.

How to play Iron Warriors[edit]

Unfortunately, our Legion Trait is only sometimes helpful, and none of our other rules really support shooting very well. However, saying Iron Warriors are bad or the worst Legion will earn you either a..... Permanent demotion to garrison duty or a visit to the protein packing facility, where you will..... Feed our ravenous millions of Cultists and Janissary workers in the most literal way imaginable.

Because Chaos Marine Armored Vehicles are awesome and our 6+ FNP Stratagem makes them EVEN BETTER, taking lots of them is a very good idea, be it a Platoon of 3 Predators or Vindicators or a pack of Daemon Engines. A Warpsmith will be obvious to use for the this playstyle. Daemon Princes make best use of the Fleshmetal Exoskeleton and have more than enough mobility to provide the 6' rerolls for your shooty vehicles AND fly into the thick of the action, so always consider them. You can also have your Daemon Prince cast Delightful Agonies for a 5+++ Land Raider and drink your opponents tears, or put our 6+++ on their new target and make them rage even more.

For troops, you can go with LOTS of cultists to serve as meatshields for vehicles and Objectives, especially since our Warlord trait keeps them in line AND Tide of Traitors makes them come back. OR if you want your HQ to kill shit and not babysit your cultists, you could go all out with marines in Rhinos. Using smoke launchers and our Stratagem for the 6+++ essentially turns a Rhino into a Venom for big boys, and is sufficiently tough to destroy. Then you have your marines who can jump in to steal objectives and apply their special weapons to good targets, and you've got a decent Troop threat. 5 man squads of Marines with heavy weapons can also be economic and effective with MSU style benefits, such as heavy weapon spam and target saturation.

The rest is up for preference. Oblits have SERIOUS DAKKA and are super tanky but are random, slow, and absolutely hideous models. Havocs are also great because they can be adapted for your killing needs, but they are quite vulnerable. Plasma Chosen can also work well, but will be expensive. Mutilators can fill a strong melee niche for cheap, but have the same problems as Oblits. Either way, mark everything as Slaanesh. 5+++ and shooting twice is beautiful.

Night Lords[edit]



Forge World[edit]

Key Units[edit]

Raptors and Spa...things with their natural ld debuffs are great for Nightlords. Make the Raptors nurgle and give them a Despair Icon. Give them two plasma guns and double pistols on the champ, shoot the shit out of them, and charge. Add another charged unit and you'll be inflicting -4 to the units ld. A veteran sergeants ld doesn't look so good reduced to 5.

How to play Night Lords[edit]

Don't try to grind them down with big units of terminators and legion-size squads. For we do not kill quickly. Find a lynchpin infantry unit and murder it and surround it to make the rest flee. If you use your elites to distract the enemy you can achieve your objectives with other units. Use the Nurgle spell and your strategem to prevent your objective humpers from being destroyed and fight your enemy where they are weak. Because other Legions kill cleanly, and we have never done that. Unless you wind up playing kill points.

  • Also consider using Plague Marines or Rubrics to give your army a stronger backbone should flaying your enemy alive fail. Plus...Flails are awesome.

Night Haunters curse is pretty tame all things considered That being said it will still help you and save CP so if you really don't want any of the other traits no one is stopping you.

Our relic however IS THE SHIT. If only this didn't cost 12 points...wait... ffffffffffffffffffffffffffffffffffffffffffffffffffffffffffffffffffffffff But if you must have ALL THE ATTACKS combine with a Sorceror (don't leave!) with the Exalted Champion trait and Diabolic Strength. Mark him Slanesh and give him an Icon of Excess and cast Prescience. If you're not in melee just have him cast smite. Just pretend he's throwing really sharp knives that ignore armor and invulnerable saves.

Word Bearers[edit]



Forge World[edit]

Key Units[edit]

Dark Apostles, Sorcerers, Cultists and Daemons and Daemon Engines are your go to units here.

How to play Word Bearers[edit]

Most of the time you're playing Word Bearers for fluffy reasons rather than crunchy ones, beacause if you were in it for the crunch there are legions with much less time consuming failure to learn from before you get the hang of crushing the enemy neath your boots. With that in mind much of the following is written assuming you want to stay fluffy in your list. With interjections from fellow raging fa/tg/uys, as is to be expected and indeed encouraged.

Word Bearers are definitely the least favoured by those of a competitive bent, however if you play to their stengths they can be surprisingly powerful thanks to their ability to summon daemons like the big evil bosses they are. The best Word Bearer lists rely on three things, the Dark Apostle's buffs, the ability to summon the most useful unit in any given turn and sorcerous shenaningans.

You will want to be playing with points reserved for summoning, a big chunk. Like 1/4 - 1/3. The rest of your army should be built around a strong HQ/Troops base with a big scary killy unit to distract (daemon princes work perfectly). A big blob of cultists hiding a Dark Apostle with The Word of Lorgar trait is a suprisingly decent shooter and an effective counter assault unit. This lets your apostle stand still and summon anything you need, again big blobs of standard marines also work well for that spiky armoured feel.

  • The strength of the Word Bearers is being able to summon any gods daemons, allowing you to choose the best daemon for the situation no matter what, so leave your characters unmarked (Princes exempted, damn GW and their forced alignment! [If you are using a Daemon Prince to summon you are doing something wrong, NOT MOVING! - unless you’re summoning whilst locked in combat, which is still a viable tactic.) The Word Bearers stratagem Dark Pact makes summoning anything that isn’t a greater daemon fairly reliable.
  • OPTIONALLY take a second Daemon detachment specifically to bring units you may want that are risky to summon. (Bloodthirsters, GUOs.) Not just 4 the units but the strategems to affect your summoned Daemons, since the summoned units don't give you said Strategems. Plus get some heralds so you can boost you CSM units with the Daemon keyword.
  • ALTERNATE OPINION: Don’t rely on the big daemons anyway so you don’t have to mess around with a static detachment and can stick to flexible summoning.. You can fit maulerfiends, Dakka fiends, heldrakes, havocs, predators etc for some heavy lifting without having to rely on greater daemons for anything (everything else can usually be reliably summoned with the word bearer stratagem).
  • Except the point was to get the daemon stratagems. This can benefit you but does lose some flexibility.
  • Do you really want your expensive Word Bearer characters to stand around during your movement phase just to summon a few Daemons? Maybe your one Warpsmith standing next to your Preds, but otherwise bring a supreme command detachment to bring a herald of each god to stand around and summon your Daemons instead. (Unless you simply summon a herald to do so first turn and then have him take over. Assistant summoner on demand!)
    • Technically an army with a Daemon detachment can spend cp to summon twice and use Soul Sacrifice to try to summon 2 bigger things. That being said you should never Summon Greater Daemons, bring them in a detachment. Even with our Strategem you need at least 2 6s and a 4 on 4d6. Everything else is way easier and ACTUALLY POSSIBLE.
    • The times a character should always summon:
    • Your character is stuck in melee from your opponent's turn. This can be risky since you may not always nail the tiny 3" buffer zone. But afterwards you could charge with your new pets.
    • A gunline-sitter sees enemies approaching with melee prowess. (Bonus points for Flamers.) This includes warpsmiths and tanks. If you can take a Daemon detachment you can use another strategem to summon yet again to get a herald to buff your new unit AND your Daemon Engines!
    • ALTERNATE ALTERNATE OPINION - In a Word Bearers force, your Dark Apostle (or chaos lord with powermaul and suitably cool conversion if you want a balance between fluff and utility) and probably one of your other characters is going to have to stay stationary to summon, but that’s OK because these guys are bare bones, aura buffing or psychic buffing and providing a summoning base. In short these are your anvil (along with their troops meatshields) and they are going to summon in the right hammer for the enemy you’re facing.

You'll also want a sorcerer with Warptime and Prescience to buff cultist shooting and move killy things up the board.

For killy things, you want at least one unit that is scary and powerful that immediately attracts your opponents attention. A group of posessed warptiming up the board in support of a winged daemon prince should do it (and remain fluffy if that tickles your chaotic pickle). Once your opponent starts reacting to these threats you can let loose with summoning 2+ daemon units a turn if you want that can directly counter strike your opponents moves or create threats from unexpected quarters.

Overall Word Bearers require more finesse and you have to make sure you fully abuse each and every tactical opening when summoning, don't just summon for the sake of it, but the flexibility is incredible.

Need to take down that big tanky thing? Burning Chariot. Big blob of MEQ's starting to finger their combat blades in your direction? Bloodletters. Need to dominate the psychic phase? Heralds.

Renegade Chapters[edit]


Unable to use the Veterans of The Long War Stratagem. They're still learning.

Forge World[edit]

Anything goes, really. Leviathan Dreads advancing and charging? dear god...

Key Units[edit]

Bikes with Flamers, Bikes with Meltas, Bikes, bikes, BYKES, the dudes on the spikey two-wheeled vehicles, oh and bikes. Bik-BLAM

Melee Helbrutes will thank you for this army. Oh and Chaos Spa-OHGODDAMMIGGRRBNLLBLBLBLblblz-

How to play Renegade Chapters[edit]

Use lots of melee troops. Cultists, Berzerkers, Bikers, and Chaos...things that were once marines. (Note: you can use Raptors, Terminators or Warp Talons if you choose to footslog them, but deep striking doesn't make good use of the Legion Trait. ) Dark Raiders have no extra strategem so be sure to take marks for your units how you use them. Melee Helbrutes or or gun and fist/scourge Brutes will work well and can be buffed with Strategems. If you want to take psykers take either a DP with Wings or a Termi-Sorceror to deep strike close enough to your slowest units for Warptime. ICONS OF WRATH WILL BE MANDATORY FOR EVERY MELEE UNIT ABLE TO TAKE THEM WITH THIS LEGION! IF YOU ARE USING THIS YOU ARE PLAYING MELEE AND WANT THE SPEED TO GET THERE.

  • An even greater way to use this is to take melee squads in Rhinos. Exit Rhinos at 24ish inches and advance and charge with the Rhinos. Even if you are not able to join your melee squad in the enemy units charged won't be able to shoot your guys, and probably not able to grind your Rhino down either.

World Eaters[edit]


All units may take the WORLD EATERS legion keyword. Any unit doing so must choose the KHORNE chaos mark keyword.

  • Note 1: while not specifically mentioned in the index, you can't take a Sorcerer, as they can't take the KHORNE chaos mark keyword. Psychic trickery is for the weak! Similarly, you can't take pre-marked units like Rubrics, because your chaos mark has to be KHORNE.
  • Note 2: This isn't much of an issue anyway, since you can use a Chaos detachment and include units from another legion anyway. You lose out on benefiting from <LEGION> specific auras, which a sorcerer doesn't benefit much from anyway so having an Exalted Sorceror escort a unit of 'zerkers is a pretty good idea, albeit hilariously unfluffy.
    • "We need a new warptimer! This one is dead!"
Forge World[edit]

You can only choose for a unit to be from the World Eaters Legion if it has the Khorne keyword, or if it has the MARK OF CHAOS keyword and you choose to replace that with Khorne.


The Butcher's Nails - When a unit with this trait makes a successful charge, you can make one additional attack with each of its models in the subsequent Fight phase. This is particularly great on your chainaxe-equipped Berserkers.

Per the new FAQ World Eaters Berzerkers count as troops if taken in a WE detachment. A little strange that wasn't just in there to begin with but anyways a band-aid solution until they get a proper codex Primarch and all.

The World Eaters also get access to the Scorn of Sorcery strategem, which lets them spend 1 CP to negate a psychic power used within 24" of a World Eaters unit on a 4+.


  • Kharn - 8th edition has been both kind and unkind to everyone's favorite swell guy. On the bad side: he lost 'hatred', meaning he cannot reroll his own attacks the first turn anymore; and 'Blessing of the Blood God" which basically made him immune to psychic powers. His plasma pistol has only the 'overcharged' firing mode, S8 D2 which inflicts a mortal wound if he rolls a 1 (safety? The fuck is that?). He has the dubious aura benefit of allowing World Eaters units within 1" (yes, one measly inch) to reroll all failed to hit rolls (watching him chop heads off is just that inspiring). This mostly just means he'll punk his own troops when he swings as he can't reroll any of his own to hit rolls in melee anymore. Lastly, he's also one of the more expensive Chaos characters, costing almost as much as a Daemon Prince. On the good side, however, he upgraded his invuln save to a 4++ and nabbed a couple extra wounds. Gorechild is now S+1 AP-4 d3 damage; somewhat less efficient against vehicles (no more Armourbane) but still utter death to anything else. And the best part, the really insane part: <BLOOD FOR THE BLOOD GOD!> Like Berzerkers, he can now fight twice in any fight phase, effectively giving him 12 (14 if Kharn charged this assault phase, if his including detachment is compromised entirely of only the World Eater's Legion) attacks with Gorechild. The second he gets into CC you'll hardly think his points cost matters anymore since 12 attacks that hit on 2's, wound easily and ignore anything but terminator armor/invuls is huge, and nearly anything he gets his hands on will feel it in full. Throw him at anything that is not a Knight or other superheavy crap and watch Khorne grin with approval. And if you're really worried about him killing his own dudes, use a unit as a meat shield but end his charge just over an inch away from his comrades. No buff for them (the tragedy!), but no pointless casualties either.
    • Legion-specific characters must take the Legion-specific Warlord trait, so Slaughterborn it is for Khârn and no juicy flat +1 attack. But considering how much of a blender he is, it shouldn't be too hard for him to get even deadlier over the course of a battle.
    • You can have his Berzerker shield unit end their charge with one guy an inch away from him, take their first round of attacks with the re-rolls, and with their second set of attacks Pile In the one guy so he's not within Betraying distance.
    • OR, keep him in place, get your re-rolls, and with Khârn's first round of attacks, remove that one guy with your average of one Mortal Wound, and then resolve Khârn's second round of attacks with no more friends within Betraying distance.
    • OR, as there is no obligation to use your entire Charge move, and no obligation to actually Pile In but any Pile In move is legal so long as you end up closer to the nearest enemy, you can stage-manage things so that Khârn finished his charge exactly an inch away from an enemy model and a lone Berzerker, resolve the Berzerkers' attacks (twice), and then Khârn tip-toes out of Betraying distance & unleashes bloody glory. Since this is a charge by Khârn and a load of Berzerkers, whatever you were hitting is now dead, and you end your combat phase easily able to Pile In around one another and prevent Khârn from being lascannoned.
    • Note that Khârn cannot reroll his attacks in the fight phase because of "the betrayer", however that only applies in the fight phase, and thanks to "Kill! Maim! Burn!" he can reroll hits outside of the fight phase, meaning while you may not be able to reroll in close combat, you can still reroll his plasma pistol shots in the shooting phase. This will drastically reduce the amount of self inflicted mortal wounds Khârn recieves.
    • I believe you can also drop an allied detachment's Psyker's "Diabolic Strength" on Kharn from up to 12" away (any closer would be quite "fluffy."). This, in conjunction with the World Eaters Legion trait, would leave Kharn with [(6+1+1)x2] = 16, S8(5+1+2) ap-4 1d3 damage attacks. That would quickly drop a menacing 11 (11.11.. repeating to be exact) wounds to a Land Raider after armor saves(on average of course). Which is an effective average point-damage value of [(379/16 = 23.6875 ppw) x 11.11 =] 263.1944 points per charge. (such damage is equivalent to about 10 Lascannon shots at an un-modified BS 3+). Don't forget to use any hated sorcery to warp-time your transport of choice right into those False-believer's faces; and definitely before they could mutter "Distraction Carnifex" with their dying breaths. (I would always leave a fast or rightly-placed unit like bikers -or something else that's durable, to lay themselves down around kharn's assault situation in sacrifice after the carnage.)
  • Zhufor The Impaler [Forge World] - With a power fist with a built in AP-1 combi-bolter, an AP-2 chainaxe that does 2 damage and gets AP-4 and 3 damage when a CHARACTER is wounded on a 6+, this guy is solid in melee. Just to drive the point home, any enemy units within 6" add 1 to morale tests. With 7 wounds, a 2+/4++, a single deny attempt thanks to Khorne's favor, and the ability to deep strike, all for a fairly cheap price, an excellent Khornate HQ. Do note that he only buffs SKULLTAKERS units, even though he has both it and the WORLD EATERS keywords, so it's not exactly clear what his <LEGION> keyword is.
    • Chapter Approved: Now even lower in points, so if you want a Khorne Terminator Lord you can't go wrong here oh wait he still doesn't give re-rolls to World Eaters. Even so, he's one of the most powerful HQ units on his own, so pairing him with Mutilators may not be the worst decision.

How to play World Eaters[edit]






  • Melee marines become almost great with this Trait. Not as good as Berzerkers or even Possesed but melee is finally better than bolters. But only use marines if you desire shooting or have run 3-units of Zerkers already.
  • Since you can only deny one psyker per turn with your strategem I strongly recommend bringing an outrider dteachment of Flesh Hounds. For hqs I recommend and a distraction-thirster since most of our units are fragile.

Emperor's Children[edit]


All units may take the EMPEROR'S CHILDREN legion keyword. Any unit doing so must choose the SLAANESH chaos mark keyword.

Forge World[edit]

You can only choose for a unit to be from the Emperor’s Children Legion if it has the Slaanesh keyword, or if it has the MARK OF CHAOS keyword and you choose to replace that with Slaanesh.


  • Flawless Perfection: Units with this trait always fight first in the Fight Phase even if they didn't charge. If the enemy has units that have charged, or have a similar ability, then alternate choosing units to fight with, starting with the player whose turn is taking place. I don't think I need to tell you how amazing this is. Beware Howling Banshees, Slaanesh Daemon in-fighting, or just units that have charged - that means the controlling player (that means the opponent) will be able to nominate their first unit to strike before yours (this will mean trouble if a Genestealers swarm or Ork Boyz get that charge first). On the flip side, it can deter mass charges and also means you circumvent all other fight phase activations afterward and your engaged units strike first!
  • Per the recent FAQ, EMPEROR'S CHILDREN Noise Marines count as troops instead of elites so you can go all Noise Marines again. Basically a tide-over until a proper EC codex arrives.


  • Lucius the Eternal - Slaanesh's favourite boy toy is back. Lucius received a nice price cut for the new edition, picking up a master-crafted power sword (which does 2 damage now) as well as his usual Lash of Torment and Armour of Shrieking Souls. The former is an Assault 2 S4 AP-1 D2 weapon that can be fired into and out of combat (worth noting it benefits from DttFE when used in the Fight phase); the latter gives him a 3+/5++ and inflicts a mortal wound on a 4+ when he makes a save in the Fight phase. Also has a Doom Siren, for what it's worth. If he directs all his attacks against a single enemy character, he gets two additional attacks. He also buffs all EMPEROR'S CHILDREN units within 6" to reroll 1s to hit. Lucius also has the Stimulated by Pain Warlord trait, which grants +1 attack to his profile for every wound taken, up to +3 Attacks. All for 41 points more than a Chaos Lord with no wargear, he's a pretty cool guy. Eh kills characters and doesn't afraid of anything.[2]
  • Sonic Dreadnought (Forge World) - The Sonic Dreadnought is back thanks to the FAQ for WARHAMMER 40,000 – IMPERIAL ARMOUR INDEX: FORCES OF CHAOS. It now uses the Helbrute datasheet on page 33 of Index: Chaos. It must take the EMPEROR'S CHILDREN and SLAANESH keywords, and it has two additional wargear options; it may take a doom siren, and it may replace its multi-melta with two Blastmasters. The Doom Siren now cost 10 pts thanks to Chapter Approved 2017. Take a Doom Siren along with two heavy flamer equipped fists for 3D6 auto-hits, and double if the Crazed rule activates. Taking dual fists went down to 50 pts in Chapter Approved 2017, saving you 30 points. Taking two Blastmasters is 10 points cheaper than a Twin Lascannon, for 2D3 S8/AP-2/D3 shots. It's potentially much better than Twin Lascannons against armor, doing 8 damage on average (after rof and damage but before accuracy, wounding, and saves), but up to 18 damage in a single shooting phase. Its alt firing mode makes it effective against infantry hordes with up to 2D6 S4/AP-1/Damage 1 hits. All that firepower can be effectively doubled if the Crazed rule is activated or if you use 1 CP to activate the Fire Frenzy stratagem. A Sonic Dreadnought with two Blastmasters and a Helbrute Fist costs 152 pts, making it 43 pts cheaper than in 7th. The default Helbrute fist grants 4 attacks at S12/AP-3/DMG 3. You could then take a combi-bolter for 2 points or heavy flamer in the fist for 17 points, or swap out the fist for a Power Scourge for 7 attacks at S8/AP-2/DMG2 for 155 pts. Or, you could replace the fist with a Missile Launcher to make it even cheaper (137 pts) while also giving some extra firepower, but this will make it worse at taking advantage of the Emperor's Children Legion trait, of course. There's no reason to NOT get this dreadnought over a basic Helbrute in an Emperor's Children detachment or army. Take it with Two Blastmasters, a Doom Siren and Helbrute Fist for 162 pts, and upgrade from their how you like.
    • Note the Sonic Dreadnought is now the cheapest way to get Blastmasters into an Emperor's Children list, as the 2 Blastmasters in a naked Noise Marine squad cost 190 pts vs the Sonic Dreadnought's 152 pts.
    • Note also that it gets two Blastmasters rather than a twin Blastmaster, meaning that technically you can fire them each at different targets. There likely isn't much reason to, but you never know.
    • Note that the Sonic Dreadnought has the Helbrute Keyword, like all Forge World Dreads. So you can activate the Fire Frenzy stratagem on it, for those sweet 4D3 S8/AP-2/D3 Blastmaster shots for 1 CP. Just remember that you can't have moved in the movement phase and have to target the nearest enemy unit to use Fire Frenzy. Nope, read again. This stratagem works on vanilla helbrute models, not models with the helbrute keyword. Annoying, but seems to be both RAW and RAI. Maybe you should read again... it uses the helbrute datasheet, not the helbrute keyword, so is currently a legal target for Fire Frenzy. No. While it uses the datasheet, it changes it’s name.We are actually both wrong, it doesn’t change the name. The stratagem isn’t just limited to CSM, but also in DG and TSons, including their recent FAQ, reinforcing the rules as written, and the stratagem works ONLY on units named helbrute, not units with the Helbrute keyword. As a Slaanesh player I wish it weren’t the case either. No models except generic Helbrutes are listed in the stratagem, and since the Sonic Dread is still technically a Helbrute model, it retains the ability to fire frenzy, unlike any other type of helbrute.

How to play Emperors Children[edit]

GUNS. LOTS OF GUNS Emperor's Children like the Shooting Phase more than they like Assault, & it shows. Noise Marines, Chosen, Terminators, Havocs & Obliterators work beautifully in the pink and black, being able to maximize your use of Endless Cacophony by getting the most guns available onto the table. If you're feeling the urge to get maximum shooting, prioritize Characters that can take multiple shooting weapons (Chaos Lords, Exalted Champions) or have them already baked in (any manner of Warpsmith, especially either Hellwright). Gunslinging Helbrutes, Contemptors, or Decimators, are also good if you have the space and, with exception of the Decimator, can utilize Flawless Perfection. Fast Attack choices should be informed by your playstyle and how much space you have in your list, with Dreadclaws and Kharybdis being good if you're running lots of footsloggers and/or Dreadnoughts, and Bikes and Raptors, with their fine selection of Special Weapons (that they can use in addition to their combi-bolters,in the case of Bikers), Combi-weapons, or Pistols (which Raptor Champions can gunsling), if you're going for a more MSU approach. If you plan on running any manner of Daemon Engine or Obliterators, consider allying or summoning in some Heralds to maximize your benefits. Conversely, any Flyer, Flying unit, or Unit with Steel Behemoth or the like is useful in that they can neutralize whatever charges them to create opportunities for safer shooting. Anything you take should not be hindered by movement or have ways to limit the effects of moving on their accuracy, beyond the likes of Blasphemous Machines. Always strive for having the right tools in the right place, though, so placing your long-range anti-tank in support of your anti-infantry weapons is key. Lastly, unless you're kitting out a Raptor Champion, a Combi and Power Weapon is always the superior choice for Emperor's Children weapon squad Champions, especially a Combi-Plasma or Combi-Flamer (avoid Combi-Meltas in squads you can't get close enough reliably; 3 shots each at BS 4+ at 6" for maximum effect isn't as good as 4 at 12", or an average of 5 at 8", of which only 2 have to roll to hit). Additionally, with the release of Big FAQ 2, this is a good way to kit out your Chosen, especially if you plan on taking larger squads, now that the entire unit can take power weapons again, on top of their existing wargear.

Building your Army[edit]

Well...good news bad news. A good number of our kits relating to the Khorne Daemonkin Codex from 7th are plastic, along with models from the new Death Guard and OVER 9000 Sons. Plus terminators, Daemon Prince, and the CSM kit. Bad news...want a special character. Failcast. (Exception of Kharn, Ahriman and the new Typhus.) Chosen? Prepare your bits box. (You can use the Dark Vengeance chosen but they are mono-pose and all armed with cc weapons.) Forge World upgrade kits are going the way of the DoDo Bird. So prepare your bits box. My suggestion for you is to steal heavy weapons from the devastators kits.

  • If you care for Khornate Cultists I suggest picking up easy-to-build Blood Reavers for suitably barbaric Daemon Worshippers picked up by your warriors.

Berzerkers in particular are a steal, coming 12 to a box that comes cheaper than a box of 10 normal CSM. Raptors and Warp Talons cost a little less for 5 models. Feel free to upgrade to the Maelstrom of Gore box if you want to play world eaters. Start Collecting boxes are still your friend until CSM get a new boxed set.

Notable Strategies[edit]

Khornate Party Bus[edit]

Get a Rhino, or better yet - a land raider. Put 8 Berzerkers with chainaxes in it, for extra fluffiness - put a power fist on the sergeant for good measure as well. Better take a power sword, so that you can produce yet even more attacks against those corpse-loving shoe lickers. Then put a Dark Apostle or Kharn in it, for those magical re-rolls to hit. Then put an Exalted Champion in it, for those re-rolls to wound. The key to making this strategy work is making sure that your rhino doesn't get blown up and all your duders shot to bits before they reach the enemy. If you can avoid that... You get 14 S6, AP-1 attacks, hitting on 3s, rerolling all misses and all failed wound rolls. And that's BEFORE the 3 rerollable power fists, or any of the actual characters get to speak. And not factoring Death to the False Emperor, which becomes even more brutal with rerollable attacks. And do note that you get to do this TWICE. Just remember - if you are using Kharn as the source of your re-rolls - always activate the zerkers before you activate him. Otherwise you may find your ranks somewhat diminished before they even start hurting the enemy.

  • The best part about this tactic is that if you take just the bare bones, like Kharn +9 berzerkers with axes in a rhino, it will cost you just under 400 points. You can isolate that into a separate World Eaters Patrol detachment (if you don't already play WE, otherwise just incorporate the buggers into your army as troops and a mandatory HQ), which gives them one extra melee attack on the charge per model per activation. Seeing as how they will activate TWICE... Do I really need to go on? It is dubious whether or not it will be very good in games of under 1000 points, as it takes up a huge chunk of your points pool.
  • The key to making this tactic work for you is to not let the party van get nuked before the guys inside can reach their destination. If you're using a land raider, that should be easier, as they are pretty tough now. If you use a rhino, try and set things up so that not all of the enemy's heavy weapons can target your party van. ALSO - USE SMOKE LAUNCHERS. NEVER FORGET THEM! Keep in mind that it takes approximately 3 lascannon wounds to smash a rhino - possibly two, with some luck and/or a command point re-roll. With that in mind, try to remain out of the line of sight of multiple units capable of dishing out d6s of damage. And if your rhino does blow up - try to make it blow up where its contents won't be shredded by gunfire afterwards. While this is not the squishiest spearhead, it can be savagely crippled by a mix of heavy anti-tank weapons (krak, lascannons) and anti-infantry weapons (heavy bolters, massed bolter fire).
  • Don't forget that re-rolls happen before modifiers. So, when you roll a 3 to hit with your power fist, that's a hit, so it doesn't get re-rolled. Then, you apply the modifier, making it a miss. I know. I know.
  • Who wants just some regular old party van? I want a flying party van! Go big or go home! Here's what you do: Kharybdis party bus, Dark Apostle, Exalted Champion, 18x Berzerkers equipped with Chainaxe + Chainswords and a Power Fist on the Champ. Oh, and make them a World Eaters Detachment. That gives you 51xS6 AP-1 attacks, 18xS5 attacks, 4xS10 Ap-3 Dd3 attacks, all attacking a second time, all re-rolling to hit and all re-rolling to wound. That's 146 attacks before the characters even swing! What's better is that the Kharybdis can charge in too! What good is a party bus if you can't crash it into the enemy from orbit?
  • Two Rhinos, each with 9 (or eight for you holy number purists) Berzerkers, a Dark Apostle and an Exalted Champion riding with them, and a Cultist screen, makes for a formidable double party van and yields 3CP. The deep insertion units that want to jump in and pop the Rhinos? Now they have a load of ObSec Cultists with +1A on the charge to get past.
  • Veterans of The Long War - Yeah, it sticks around in BOTH activations of the berzerkers. And if that's not enough, you can give them an additional activation at the end of the combat phase, for 3 CP. RIP AND TEAR!

Cacophony Blitz[edit]

Take as many units of obliterators as you like. Mark them all as Slaanesh. Take a terminator or jump pack lord, a sorcerer with Prescience or even Abaddon, to keep them company, for those re-rolls to hit. Deepstrike ASAP. depending on the target you want to chew through, you may need to pop Veterans of The Long War for good measure. Then proceed to tear anything below heavy infantry and/or light vehicles a new asshole FOR SLAANESH. Then, if anything is left standing anywhere near you, engage trollface and use Endless Cacophony to do another round of shooting with one unit of obliterators FOR SLAANESH. If you manage to clear most of the threats in the area (which you should), you can then charge your chaos lord and continue with the rape FOR SLAANESH. Don't worry about leaving him in the open - he is a throwaway piece with a 4++ after the first turn of shooting, and if your opponent concentrates on taking him down, this means he's diverting valuable firepower away from your shooty dudes. If he does, you can use them to blast again next turn. FOR SLAANESH!

Note - this tactic becomes downright brutal if you use a large unit of plasma terminators instead of obliterators. That yields 40 STR 8 shots, re-rolling 1s, hitting on twos or re-rolling all failed hits, then wounding everything on twos or threes. And each of those does 2 damage, at AP-3. If you position your terminators optimally, you can ideally wipe TWO big targets in two consecutive volleys, then charge a third right of the bat and butcher it in melee in the fight phase. True, it does require quite a bit of setup, as well as costing about 800 of points to actually pull this off, not to mention 1-3 command points, but if you do manage to pull it off well, it will probably win you the game.

Note that Veterans of the Long War gives +1 to wound rolls for the WHOLE shooting phase. This means BOTH rounds of shooting with Endless Cacophony.

Overwatch is SO Last Edition[edit]

About to charge into a sea of painful Overwatch, such as T'au, blob Guard, Shoota Boyz, or lots of flamers? On the turn you plan to do so, right behind them Deep Strike in a unit of Warp Talons with some flavor of Sorcerer that can also Deep Strike and knows Warptime. Warptime the Warp Talons right up to the enemy in your Psychic phase, then Charge with the Warp Talons before anything else. No Overwatch for anyone!

As of April 2018 Big FAQ, Units that have entered via reserves cannot move for any reason except charge and pile in moves, if you want to make the best of warp talons, consider multiple small units and go for priority targets, hoping to get that 9 inch charge.

Phoenix Guard 2.0[edit]

Similar to the above, this involves Deep Striking in a Terminator Sorcerer and pulling Warptime shinanigans, but that's where the similarities end. You'll be using Terminators with Lightning Claws instead of Warp Talons, everyone will need Mark of Slaanesh, and the Sorcerer will also need to know Delightful Agonies. You'll also want to run them as Emperor's Children specifically.

On Turn 1, Deep Strike these in (preferably behind) something that's especially scary, Warptime them into reasonable Charge range, and cast Delightful Agonies on them. Now your opponent has to make a painful choice on their turn--fall back away from your Terminators, but closer to whatever else you have running towards the enemy, or stay in combat with an extremely durable opponent that will also get to swing first thanks to the EC Legion Tactics.

  • If your plan is to Deep Strike then Warp Time a Terminator unit, take a moment to consider the alternative loadout of power fists & combi-meltas. Also this is one of the better delivery systems for a cheeky Greater Daemon - in your next turn, the Sorcerer should be well placed to try to Summon a KoS, especially if you’re Word Bearers and want to actually use your Legion abilities.
No longer legal. one of the FAQs states that you can't cast warptime or use any other movement ability on a unit that has entered from reserves on the same turn.

Forge World Fuckery[edit]

Take at least 2 Sonic Dreadnaughts each with a Doom Siren and two Fists with Heavy Flamers, and drop them in with Dreadclaws as the ultimate DISTRACTION CARNIFEX that can threaten absolutely anything on the table. To be the ultimate asshole about it, don't even use actual Forge World models for these units, as normal Helbrutes and Drop Pods with some extra bits attached will do the job just as well.

Surprise Party[edit]

Take a 20 man zerker unit as well as a dark apostle and use the Alpha Legion stratagem to conceal them. You can then set them up 9" from the enemy, guaranteeing a charge if you get first turn. (You can only infiltrate one unit via the alpha legion stratagem, so no dark apostle will be coming along for the ride it will cost 2 CP (1 per unit, as there is no limit on the amount of times the stratagem can be used). Also consider other cult troops for this role, plague marines or warpflamer rubric marines can provide a massive road block for your opponent. If you don't get the first turn, consider stringing out said road block to hamper enemy movement.)

Fuck 40k, we play 30k... and we play it dirty!![edit]

The main difference in our troops department over loyalist scum is that we can take 2x heavy weapon instead just 1 on our CSM troops, if you plan to play a big footblob this can be a win-win situation; remember that only models that move get -1 penality to shoot with heavy weapons; this mean you can move all the units except that single models (as long it remain in cohesion). This allow you to bring heavy support stuff like lascannons OUT of heavy support and also help those so heavy support stuff to be buried by bodies (if you bring a 10 man squad, every 2x lascannon are hidden behind 8 bodies) and last but not least you get an objective holder (win-win-win situation). If you then add a moral controller (Iron Warrior warlord trait for the win), then the enemy have to remove every single model by wounds for them reach the cool stuff you are hiding. The best use is to put the lascannon right in front of the unit then make the rest of the unit jump in front of 'em your next turn (You can decide what to remove from casuality, literaly where you want, so it dosen't matter where you put 'em. But by doing this, you get a free extra unit movement/bolter range without getting any penality for moving the lascannon, allowing you to with 24" bolter range to treat 6" enemy deploy zone turn 1). This allows you to have 3 heavy support slots free for additional firepower of mauler-raping machine or whatever you plan on doing with interesting heavy support units.

Allahu Alpha Strike[edit]

Grab yourself a Rhino with a Combi-plasma and a Jump Sorcerer or Terminator Sorcerer with Warp Time (note that only Chaos Space Marines can put a Combi-plasma on their Rhinos). Load that shit up with your scary dudes of choice. Move up 12", either follow with or deep strike your Sorcerer nearby and Warp Time for another 12". Pick a target and fire both of the parts of the Combi-plasma for -1 to hit (bonus points if your opponent has a -1 hit modifier on their dudes) and hope for a 1 your rolls; rapid fire also works since getting a 1 on two dice is a bit easier. Due to Combi-plasma just outright killing whatever rolled a 1 on hit, the rhino blows up and is destroyed, and your party of scary dudes pops out (hope for no or minimal casualties on your emergency disembark) and you enjoy your first turn charge.

  • For a very similar chance of getting the plasma shot to destroy the rhino, and a higher chance of reaching melee, take the Black Legion Trait, advance the rhino, the Combi plasma is now an assault 1 weapon, hitting on -1 as you advanced. If shooting at anything with a -1 to hit, anything but a 5 or 6 destroys the rhino (-1 for assault, -1 for firing both parts of the Combi plasma, -1 for shooting the ravenny bois) and you moved an additional 1-6 inches as well. Plus, as you're black legion, you're guys are less likely to run away when a couple of them die in the explosion.


Take a Defiler with a Scourge and mark of SLAANESH, then place it on the edge of your deployment zone. Then, have a Terminator Sorcerer (or any nearby SLAANESH Psykers) cast Warptime along with Prescience and/or Delightful Agonies. You now have an obscenely tanky monstrosity in the face of the enemy that can delete any vehicle or monster in an instant with Daemonforge in the coming fight phase(with some luck on damage rolls, a Defiler with a Scourge+Prescience+Daemonforge can instantly destroy a Necron MONOLITH). You likely can't(and shouldn't) buff your Deffiefex like this every turn despite the absolute destruction it can bring; this is a scare tactic. The goal is to have your opponent make 1 of 2 painful choices, either A: Realize it's part of a distraction tactic and leave it alone to wreak their shit, or B: destroy it and save their ass for the moment, but at the cost of letting the rest of your army wreck their shit even harder.

Nurglite Horror Cult[edit]

Tired of Night Lords always being characterised as Khornates? Time to make the ultimate fear list.

Take at least a Night Lord HQ, a unit of Raptors with Icon of Despair and a Contemptor Dreadnought with a Butcher Cannon.This will result in a -5 to the Leadership of anything within 6, actually it will mean -3 to leadership at 6" -4 at 3" (icon) and -5 at 1" (Raptors), and an additional -2 for whatever you wounded with your Butcher Cannon(s). Have fun watching almost everything auto-lose models to morale. If you want to have even more fun, consider adding a Hell Talon, Noxious Blightbringer, Be'lakor and/or Nurgle Herald w/ the Entropic Knell for an additional -1 Leadership each. Additionally, you can add a Malefic Lord w/ Creeping Terror for another -1d3 Leadership to a unit and/or go multi-god and take some Slaaneshi for more leadership debuffs from Zarakynel and Cacophonic Choir, aka an average of 7 Mortal Wounds to units in the debuff zone. This all adds up to -13 (15 with Zarakynel) Leadership, meaning everything within 6" will be Leadership 0. And now Renegade Knights can get in on the action with their Traitor's Mark Relic, which hits everything within 12" with -1, and everything within 6" with -2.

If you want to be really mean, take a Cerberus Heavy Destroyer and have fun auto-wounding every tank. (Average 50 wounds on everything with at least 8 wounds. See that tank, I don't either).

I feel something coming up...[edit]

This one's quite simple, actually. Just take a Vanguard detachment that is 4 chaos decimators with twin soulburner petards (210 points each), with a terminator sorcerer as HQ, and take a outrider detachment with four dreadclaw pods (130 points each), and a terminator sorcerer. Also throw a unit of 11 chaos cultist in some where to start on the table. Deepstrike everything in your opponents face and vomit 16D3 mortal wounds on him, and cast prescience on two decimators. Use the cultists to grab a back field objective.

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