Monday, November 11, 2013

Chaos "Chapter Tactics"

HAPPY VETERANS DAY.  Thank you to all who have, do, or will serve our country.

In honor of honoring our vets, I thought I'd spend some time talking about our other veterans -- those of the Long War.   Thus, this poster is probably more appropriate, but just not quite as cool:

I have seen a lot of chatter online about how disappointing the 6th edition Chaos Space Marines codex is compared to others.  I'm generally not one to make a lot of comparisons.  (Partly because I only have three of the new codexes and since they cost so damn much, am not likely to get any more -- in the last paperback edition, btw, I owned just about all of them.  Of course, I was single and childless then too.)  And even though I don't get much into the comparative discussions, I can appreciate those discussions.  One point that really stands out is the new Space Marines having such cool alternate Chapter Tactics rules, while the old traitorous legions got bupkis.  So I thought I would play with that idea a bit.  I'm sure the forthcoming codex supplements will go into greater detail to cover these things, but I wanted to give it a shot myself.

*Disclaimer* I am not as versed as most big Black Library fans on the ins and outs of all the legions, nor am I up on all the new Space Marines chapter abilities.  I'm also not claiming these are all fantastic, balanced rules you should put to use in your games.  In other words: I'm just having fun here, people.  Please don't leave angry comments about you being offended that I would do something so stupid or unfair with this legion or that one, cuz brother, I'm just making $#@^ up.  So please read with fun in mind...  Though I do welcome feedback, comments, and other ideas, as always.

*Chosen* Also, I feel the Chosen got screwed in this edition.  In the 6.1 Brink's Edition, each unit of Chosen, being hardened veterans, may select one of the following special abilities: Infiltrators, Preferred Enemy, Tank Hunters, or Scouts.

The Legions most in need of these kinds of rules, I feel, are the Chaos Undivided forces.  While those dedicated to one power or another do get some special rules based on HQ characters and Marks of Chaos, the rest are all the same neutral grey.  I also figure that most of your chaos armies are made up of various warbands and rogue units, so these rules wouldn't necessarily apply to the whole force.  They would probably be more keyed on HQ and Troop choices who are the foundation of the force.  The warband likely has units collected from all over the sector who are tagging along to get their share of action, loot, and mischief.  Therefore, these Chaos Chapter Tactic ideas are acquired by dedicating at least one HQ (probably your Warlord) and some Troops to that Legion.  

ALPHA LEGION:  They are described as being "disciplined almost to a fault" and as insurrectionists who sow deceit and chaos by infiltrating societies.
   Disciplined to a Fault: The HQ and Alpha Troops are Stubborn.
   Insurrectionists: The Warlord/HQ has the Master of Deception trait, thus may nominate D3 units as Infiltrators.

BLACK LEGION: These are the once proud warriors of the Warmaster Horus himself.  Of course,the character Abbadon mostly has this covered if you field him.
   Black Crusader: Your HQ/Warlord has the Black Crusader trait, giving them a Preferred Enemy (Space marines) aura of 12".
   The Warmaster's Chosen: For every HQ model dedicated to this legion you may field one unit of Chosen as a Troop choice.

IRON WARRIORS:  Masters of the siege and builders of war machines.
   War Smiths:  For each Iron Warrior HQ model you field (such as a Lord, Sorcerer, or Daemon Prince), you may also field (at normal cost) a Warpsmith that takes up no Force Org slot.
   Let the Seige Begin: For each dedicated HQ choice (not including the free Warpsmiths) you may also select one unit from the Heavy Support section and include them as a Troops Choice instead.

NIGHT LORDS:  Masters of terror and terrorist actions, they stalk the darkness as predators in search of prey.
   Lord of Terror: Your HQ/Warlord has the Lord of Terror Trait, thus causes Fear.
   The Hunt:  Raptor units count as Troops if your Warlord is a Night Lords character. (Raptors also have Fear as a standard special rule, btw.)

WORD BEARERS:  The most fanatical of all Legions in their dedication to the worship of the Chaos Powers.
   Shepherds of the Faithful:  For each Word Bearer HQ model you field (such as a Lord, Sorcerer, or Daemon Prince), you may also field (at normal cost) a Dark Apostle that takes up no Force Org slot.
   Zealots: All Word Bearer Troops units have the Zealot special rule.

*Dedicated HQs* refers to models that can be said to be of this legion and no other.  Therefore, in your games you and your fellow players may decide that for the above Undivided Legions, a model with a chaos mark of a particular god cannot also be a Night Lord or Word Bearer character model.  On the other hand, one might also argue that an Undivided Chaos champion can still earn a certain god's favor.  Again, the words I type here aren't meant as actual rules, I'm just fielding some fun ideas.

As for the other original traitor Legions, those dedicated to a specific Patron Power...  The codex kind of already addresses them to a degree.  By having an HQ, Warlord, or specific Chaos Character, like Typhus for example, in your army, you are already gaining certain Warlord traits and/or unlocking certain units as Troops, in addition to havnig the ability to give marks to your other units to show solidarity.  So for the Death Guard, Emperor's Children, Thousand Sons, and World Eaters, maybe I don't need to add anything.

So there we go.  Hope you enjoyed this and it gave you some ideas for your own games/armies.  And I'd love to hear your own ideas for this kind of thing!

(BTW, images stolen shamelessly from various sources around the internet.)


  1. Replies
    1. Thanks, Taurus. I like anything that gives me free HQ slots, personally. (Which is what I was hoping for with the Eldar warlocks -- and we got it!)