Chaos Chosen Tactica
Today’s topic is the oft-forgotten Chaos Space Marine unit, the Chosen. In a world of lash and plasma cannon death from obliterators, as well as so many more efficient choices within the codex, such as terminators, we often rule these guys out, thinking them to be not worth the effort. However, I believe that many players are considering them from the wrong angle: as a sledgehammer with which to break the enemy in half. After all, they are the cream of the proverbial Space Marine crop, why shouldn’t they be able to kill whatever they want? The answer is no.
First off, let us examine the unit in detail – they are only 3 pts per model more expensive that a normal chaos space marine, and for that you get the veteran skill infiltrate. You already have Ld 10, so they are solid in that department, as well as the option to take a broad variety of ranged weapons as well as some nice close combat options. This tactical flexibility is what the Chosen are all about – they are the pick ‘n mix, intended to be outfitted to support your army, and can often be cheaper than you’d expect. A tricked out squad can cost between 150 – 200 pts, which is perfect for building on a budget.
As pointed out, the Chosen come with infiltrate. This little ability makes your chosen good. On the surface it can seem bad, but careful investigation reveals that you can outflank them in a transport. This, coupled with a literal boatload of special weapons and power attacks can really put the pressure on an opponent late game if they aren’t careful. Nothing says ‘tactical prowess’ then putting that one unit of chosen aside, then sweeping on from the board edge, and hammering the enemy from where they didn’t expect it. Having recently fallen to chaos, I have found a small unit of 5 chosen in a rhino, coupled with 3 flamers and a champion with lighting claws is a brilliant unit to use against hordes, and even marine squads when they aren’t looking in the right direction. You don’t need to get out of the rhino – just drive by toasting their precious mob of orks, and wait for them to pop the rhino, and then give what’s let of them both barrels.
However, Chaos Chosen are not perfect, and there are some downsides to them. The first is that they have a glass jaw a mile wide. If you take a squad 5 models wide, and their alpha-strike fails, they will die. Consider them in the way of Orks – if they unit they attack isn’t crippled or destroyed in the first round of combat, then they will die, and there is no question about it, barring freak intervention. The other weakness is that they are in the elites slot, meaning there is a lot of competition with other elites choices – in particular, combi-melta spam in the form of terminators. Finally, outflank can, and will go wrong. There will be moments where you really need the chosen on one side of the board, and they have to slog their way to the other side of the board, sometimes way too late.
In my opinion, Chaos Chosen are underplayed and undervalued – many people do not think about the potential for carnage these merry fellows can accomplish for your warband. They can be particularly helpful if your opponent has a hold of their objective by a spaghetti strand, or they have pesky artillery giving you lip.
Do you run chosen in your chaos list? If not, why not? If you do, what is your loadout?