Tuesday, September 4, 2012

Chaos Space Marine Allies – Cheap Fast Attack Option!

Tzeentch Squad 1

by Rich K

As many out there know, I’m a CSM player who has been increasingly seeing the chinks in the CSM codex since I started playing 2 years ago.  But with the addition of allies, I think CSM has become much easier to play even without the upcoming codex improvements(?).

To me, the Chaos Space Marines were really lacking a couple of important units:
  • A fast deployment vehicle like a drop pod.  All the codex transports are ground based vehicles, i.e. the ubiquitous Rhino and the expensive Land Raider.
  • A cheap fast attack unit with good punch.  Raptors are iffy, at best, against other MEQ units.  Though the bikers aren’t completely worthless, they just didn’t pack the punch of many other fast attack units in other codices.  Bluntly, Chaos Fast Attack is lacking.
I built myself a Dreadclaw to remedy the former issue and I think I’ve come up with a cheap (points wise) solution for the latter.

My solution?  A squad of Chaos Daemon Screamers of Tzeentch headed by a Herald of Tzeentch riding a chariot.

I’m in the process of painting the Screamers.  Parallel to that, I’m sculpting a jet powered giant Screamer to act as the drive for the chariot.

With the latest White Dwarf update, the Screamers are a bad-ass fast attack unit.  They come in at 25 points each, count as jet bikes (Jink!), have 2 wounds, 3 attacks (S:5, AP:2, Armourbane), cool special abilities like Lamprey’s Bit and Slashing Attack, are Daemons, can take down most armor, and will chew through Terminators without too much trouble.  For their cost, you’ll be hard pressed to beat them as a fast attack unit.  A unit of six of these guys only costs 150 points!

Compare that to Chaos Bikers and you can easily see what I mean: 6 bikers cost 198 points base and only get a single MEQ attack each.  In order to bring the squad into the Screamer firepower ballpark you’d spend probably a good 400 points.  And, you’d still have a tough time taking on a squad of Termies.

The necessary HQ, the Tzeentch Herald, is not too expensive, either.  With Breath of Chaos and a Chariot he comes in at 95 points.  Breath of Chaos is what really makes him shine.  With the chariot he can scoot up to a vehicle and glance it with a flamer template (no to-hit roll!) 50% of the time or just plain wound anyone with the same 50% chance!  If you work it right, even a flyer can be taken down with this ability.  The chariot also raises his wounds to 5, his Toughness to 4, and attacks to 4.

I’ve elected to go with the “cheap ally” theme.  Therefore, I just added a minimum sized Nurgling squad.  To me, most of the Daemon codex troops are just plain “meh,” so 39 points to fill a required slot isn’t too bad considering the Screamer/Herald squad it comes with.  Plus, Nurglings seem like they would be really a good distraction unit (read: cannon fodder) or contesting units late game.

All told, the 6 Screamers, the Herald, and the Nurglings come in at 284 points!  In a 1500 point game, that’s pretty damned cheap for allies with a decent punch and good survivability.

I haven’t had a chance to test this unit yet, so hopefully my logic is sound and I can start using the 5 J’s…jink, jag, jerk, jiggle, and jink, to start taking down some Loyalists with wild abandon.

Wish me luck!


  1. Played a game last night with the screamers and they were AWESOME! Deep Strike, Turbo Boost, and Slash Attack are devastating to Dire Avengers! Rolled max attacks (18) and scored 13 wounds! Killed 8/10! They also kept a Wraith Lord tar-pitted for 4 turns!

  2. Nice! I'm buying a squad of screamers myself.

    1. I tried to get a game in last night to give them a second chance to prove themselves reliable, but alas, all the guys at the store were busy doing paint comissions. I may end up at the apoc game this weekend... wonder how they will do there?

  3. That's very creative.



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