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    Spiky MindRaked's Avatar
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    Building a Chaos Space Marines army ('how to' guide)

    Hi !

    As a veteran player and fellow chaos god woshiper, I would like to help anyone that would need help in building an army. I play Chaos Space Marine since 2001 and I've acquired some experience that I feel I should share with you all. In order to establish my credential, I will state that I currently own and play 1 army of each god worshiping legion (World Eaters, Emperor Childrens, Thousand Sons and Death Guard), 1 chaos undivided army (Rain bringers home made 'chapter'), 1 drop poding space marine army (played with night lords models), 1 orks balanced mob/mec army, 1 Tau army and 1 Imperial Guard army played as traitors. For those who look at my stats in my signature, I reset them every time there is a new codex so these are the stats for the current CSM codex. The ratio is games won vs all the games I've played with these armies. I tell you all this because I feel that if I am to write about how to build a chaos army, I need the credibility to do so. Also, I won't tell you to use this or this unit, but I will provide only guidelines to ease your choices of units in order to build a good army that can take on any contender.

    Now, as I've said in another thread, many players tend to think about units based upon what they can do on their own. It is especialy true for Space Marines or Chaos Space Marines players because their units can be tooled to kill anything (Storm shielded Terminators, Chosen of Chaos, etc.), so there is much less need to think of these units in conjunction with others.

    Yet, in warhammer, as in many other games (Chess or Magic the gathering for example), it's not a single piece that wins the game, but the interactions between the whole set of pieces. So when I read a post where someone ask about deffkoptas or burna boys and others players simply answer that they aren't good, I feel sorry for them.

    This article is about how to think your army as a whole, and not only how each unit will fare on it own. By this text, I will try to convince you that even the worst unit has it's place in the best army. I will also try to provide some guidelines on how to evaluate a unit considering the place / role it would fill for your army.

    The doctrines

    First, you have to establish what kind of army you want, the 'doctrine'. You might want to go close up and personnal, you might want to go shooty, you might want to be mobile and tactical, you might want to have a balanced list, etc. This might seems obvious to some, but I often see army list that explicitly lack focus. Some people just put in units that they like or that seems to be powerfull, but they don't fill any purposes. So you have a list that is full of powerfull units but you are unable to coordinate them together. You may be able to attain some tactical success, but you will never accomplish a grand strategy. Yet, I see some chalenge in playing an army that is not made to perform, but I feel it's a pleasure reserved for more advanced players than myself.

    Here are the main 'doctrines' I know about (it's by no way exhaustive, the names are not officials) :

    - Gunline : Line up your men and shoot at what's coming.
    - Firestorm : Most of the action is happening between 12" and 6".
    - Hard hitter : Most of the action is in close combat.
    - The wave : Send a huge bunch of cheap soldiers to the front.
    - The needle : Pick your targets carefully and use precise strikes to dispose of them.
    - Motorhead / Gearhead : Use a lot of motorised units and tansports to increase mobility.
    - Resilience / Behemoth : Field less models that have a better staying power.
    - Out of nowhere : Infiltrating / Deep striking / Outflanking a big chunk of the army.

    Some players only use one of those doctrines while other combine them to their liking. For example, many IG and TAU players use the Gunline doctrine. They shoot from far away and hope that the ennemy won't come close enough to hit them. Most Chaos Space Marines players go for the Firestorm + Motorhead doctrines (move in rhino and shoot with plasma guns / meltagun). Many Orks, Tyranids and IG players use The wave, fielding a lot of cheap troops that, taken alone don't accomplish anything, but in masse do great dammage. Eldars often go for the Firestorm + The needle doctrines, they strike hard at specific units with the right weaponry, at close range. Nidzilla armies often field a lot of monstrous creatures that can soak a lot of firepower and can destroy mostly anything in close combat, this is much like the combinaison of Resilience + Hard hitter. The combinaisons are infinites, as is the list of doctrines.

    As of now, you are probably already aware that some armies naturaly get along better with some doctrines. Space Marines aremore of a Firestorm army than a Gunline army. Orks are more Gearhead / The wave than Firestorm. Eldars are more The needle than Gunline. But still, even if an army is naturaly inclined to one doctrine doesn't mean it can't go against it. For example, Orks being poor shooter means that this army tend to go for hard hitter. Yet, a shooty Ork army often fare very good on the field because of their number and cheap cost (more orks = higher rate of fire). Same goes for an IG army that field platoons geared toward close combat (Sergent with power weapons x 5 squad = 20 power weapon attack on charge). They are made to shoot, but do great in close combat against MEQ (Marine Equivalent) and TEQ (Terminator Equivalent).

    The doctrines are guidelines and are by no way the only ones in existence. The main idea here is to focus on something you want your army to do. Then, you have to evaluate the feasability of these doctrines with the units availlables. You might find it hard to make a close combat army out of only Fire Warriors, so Kroots might come in handy. Likewise, you might find it hard to build a shooty nids army without tyrans, carnifex and zoantropes.

    Balancing an army

    A balanced army is an army that can be played in tournaments where you can't adjust it to deal with your opponent's list. I usualy play these kind of list because I don't like the idea of tailoring my army (it's kind of unfair). There are rules to be followed in order to balance your army (if you want it to be balanced). Here are some of the rules I use :

    1- I need units to deal with tanks
    2- I need units to deal with hordes
    3- I need units to deal with MEQ (Marine equivalent)
    4- I need units to deal with TEQ (Terminator equivalent)
    5- I need units to hold objectives
    6- I need units to contest objectives
    7- I need a way to deal with hiden ranged weaponry
    8- I need a way to deal with outflanking units, jetbikes / fast skimmers loaded with banshees
    9- I need a way to deal with big monsters
    10-I need units that don't flee (Stubborn, fearless, High Leadership, Auto-Regroup)
    11-I need redundancy (more than one unit that can do the same job)
    12-I need to evaluate the chances of encountering each of the units listed from point 1 to 10.

    These are simple rules, but I often see players that forgoes one or many of those and end up losing to the very threat they chose to ignore. One important thing is to understand that a single unit can fill many roles at the same time. For examble, 10 Chaos space marines with 2 melta guns / 2 plasma guns, a Power Fist and an Icon of Chaos Undivided (reroll leadership test) can either deal with tanks, MEQ and TEQ, hold objectives and stand a fighting chance against hordes. The same thing cannot be said of a unit of 30 ork boyz with a Power Klaw, for they will have a hard time dealing with tanks and will have a hard time holding an objective taken too early in the game, but they will easily get rid of big monsters. You have to know what each unit is capable of and what is beyond their capacity, and then use them appropriately.

    For example, my standard chaos army, the Rain bringers (Chaos undivided) is usualy made of the following units:

    -----------------------------------------------------------------

    1x Chaos Daemon Prince
    Wings, Warptime / wind of chaos

    1x 4 terminators (karmoon special)
    3 combi-plasma
    1 heavy flamer
    1 power fist / chainfist

    4x 10 Chaos Space Marines
    2 Meltaguns / plasma guns
    Icon of chaos undivided
    Champion : Power weapon / power Fist, combi-melta / combi plasma
    Rhino

    1x Defiler

    1x Predator

    1x 6 havocs
    4 heavy bolters
    Icon of chaos undivided

    1850 points
    -----------------------------------------------------------------

    This army can deal with mostly anything. The daemon prince can go deep to deal with anoying units or clear / contest objectives, remain close and support troops in assault or simply drag fire away. The CSM can deal with everything listed above. The defiler helps in softening hordes, and so does the havoc squad. The predator hunts tanks, and, with the defiler, act as a fire magnet during the first 2 turns, allowing my 4 CSM squad to be positionned for optimal firing solution before assaulting. The terminators are usualy deepstriked within 6" of an icon and fire at something anoying and hard to kill before assaulting something anoying and hard to kill. The rhinos grant mobility and when empty, they race for an objective and contest it, draging some precious fire power away from my CSM squads. When dealing with outflanking armies, I deploy my terminators on the board at the beginning of the game, covering one side of the table and the daemon prince and defiler covering the other, this will influence the way my opponent will outflank and the defiler and daemon prince both can reach the other side quickly if needed. Meanwhile, the CSM deal with what's already on the board and go for the objectives if objectives there are. All units are either fearless or can reroll leadership tests (10 - I need units that don't flee).

    This is only an example of what can be done and this is by no means the only way to build a Chaos Space Marine army. The key is to have at least 2 units that can deal with each kind of threats (11- redundancy) and to be able to evaluate the chances you have to encounter the situation listed from point 1 to 10. For example, there are more chance to encounter tanks than to encounter hiden ranged weaponry (basilisk, mortar, whirlwind, etc.), so I have less units that can deal with the later.

    Understand what a unit can and cannot do

    Many players don't seems to understand what their units can do, and more often, what they cannot do. I often lead to the following sentence : "I was sure that my {insert unit here} would kill all your {insert unit here}". If you are familliar with this call, you probably need to work this aspect of the game. There are many things to consider :

    1- The dices never do what they are supposed to do
    2- Statistics are a guideline, and by no means absolutes
    3- 1 and 2 are to be considered, but not to be overestimated
    4- This unit is not alone

    For example, a Chaos Terminator squad (5 models, 1 power fist) can easily kill a squad of 5 space marines (avg. 3 Power Weapon kills, 1-2 power fist kill(s), assuming they assaulted), but hardly whipe a squad of 10. If the said Space Marine Squad has a power fist, and the 10 models strike simultaneously before your own power fist strike, you should expect to lose 2 terminators. This is a high price to pay for only 3 to 4 marines killed. During the second turn, assuming they didn't flee (worst case scenario if assaulting with terminators against space marines {they shall know no fear, remember?}), you might expect to kill 2 marines by power weapon and 1 by power fist, which means that you will probably lose 1-2 terminators again. If there is another close combat turn, you will probably loose the last of your terminators.

    So assaulting with your Chaos Terminators wasn't such a good idea after all, unless you fired first. A Chaos Terminators squad (5 models, 1 power fist), on it's own, can kill characters, kill small elite units, kill a squad of 7 or less MEQ with power fist (provided that your opponent didn't understant the combat tactic rule), and other small, compact units. It can't, on it's own, kill 8+ MEQ squad with power fist, mobs, nids, [too] monstrous creatures, etc., without heavy losses. The same principles apply to Daemon Princes, Defilers, Obliterators, and so on. Peoples tends to rely too much on these creatures and use them on their own, without support, but they aren't meant to be used that way (altough you may achieve a certain degree of success by doing so).

    This knowledge come with a balance of experience and statistical analysis. Many units are good on paper, but don't fare as good on tabletop because they are not fast enough (thousand sons, Squads of 20 CSM), not resilient enough (Rhinos), not strong enough, don't enter play at the right moment (Daemons, Terminators or obliterators on deep strike), attract too much firepower (Daemon princes, Defilers, Vindicators), too unpredictable (Chaos Spawn, Chaos Dreadnought, the defiler Battle Cannon), etc.

    First question you should ask yourself is how would you deal with each units if you were to play againt your own army. Against the army I described earlier (the Rain bringers), I would first shoot the defiler, then the rhinos, then the daemon prince, and then the CSM themselves. The predator can only kill 1-3 models each turns while the CSM are close combat beasts, so they are a higher priority. Still, CSM in a rhino can withstand a lot of shots before going down, so they will eat a lot of my firepower.

    Knowing this, I don't count on my defiler to win the game, but I have some hope that it will deal some damages before going down, and that it will take a lot of shots to bring it down. I put more hope into my predator, but most players spend a ridiculous amount of firepower in order to get rid of it, and this helps my marines to get closer to their intended targets. I have high hopes for my CSM as they are good, sturdy and hard hitting units. They are the ones that win the game. The daemon prince is also feared by many players, but experienced ones will know how and when to deal with it, so if playing against experienced players, don't expect your daemon prince to do much, yet try to get the best out of him.

    Coordinating and supporting

    The second question you should ask yourself is how can my units interact together to obtain a higher success rate than by using each units individualy. Playing Chaos Space Marines simplify this question a lot as most units can be fitted in one of 3 categories : Core units, Support units and Specialised units. Here are some guidelines (no absolutes here) to what are core and support units (this may vary with game size).

    Core units are units that comes in bunch, are geared to deal a lot of damage and to sustain a lot too. Are core units the following units (it's not absolute, it's just a guideline):

    - Chaos Space Marines (10+ models)
    - Khorne Berzerkers (8+ models)
    - Noise Marines (8+ models)
    - Thousand Sons (7+ models)
    - Plague Marines (7+ models)
    - Chosen Marines (8+ models)
    - Special Weapons Havocs (8+ models)
    - Lesser Daemons (10+ models)
    - Chaos Terminators (7+ models)
    - Chaos Raptors (10+ models)

    Support units are units that will not be able to whipe out a unit on their own (no absolutes here), but will greatly help other core or support units in doing so. Are support units the following units :

    - Daemon Princes
    - Greater Daemons
    - Chaos Sorcerers
    - Chaos Lords
    - Chaos Marines (9- models)
    - Chaos terminators (6- models)
    - Chosen marines (7- models)
    - Noise Marines with sonic weaponry
    - Dreadnoughts
    - Chaos Bikers
    - Chaos Raptors (9- models)
    - Lesser Daemons (9- models)
    - Possessed marines
    - Chaos Terminators (6- models)
    - Chaos Spawns
    - Chaos Defiler geared toward close combat / close support

    Specialised units are units that usualy won't take part in the main fight, but will punctualy intervene where their power is needed. Most of the time, these units are intended to pop tanks or to soften ennemy units to make the job easier for the core and support units. THESE SHOULDn'T BE EXPECTED TO WHIPE OUT ENTIRE UNITS BY THEMSELVES, even if they sometime can do it. Others are simply transports (a Chaos Land Raider is first and foremost a transport, if you want firepower, buy obliterators, predators or havocs).

    - Chaos Havocs with ranged weaponry
    - Chaos Vindicators
    - Chaos Predators
    - Chaos Defilers
    - Obliterators
    - Chaos Land Raiders
    - Chaos Rhino

    As a general rule, you should field 1 support unit for each 2-3 core units. The support unit are there to support the core units in their task. They can provide for 2 important things : support fire and support in close combat. Say you've just shot (rapid fire) at a 8 space Marine Squad with your own CSM squad (10 models, 2 plasma Guns) and you've killed 5 models (3 plasma kills, 2 bolters kills). There are still 3 Space marines remaining, and one of them has a power fist, the other a plasma gun and the last one has a plasma cannon, and you can't assault because you "rapid fired" (this happened to me once). This ain't good. But, good news, there is a Daemon prince / Special weapon Havoc Squad / Terminator / Raptor squad close by that can lend you a hand by either shooting or assaulting (or both) these remaining models and prevent them from firing in the next phase (2 plasma shots, 1 plasma cannon shot and 1 pistol shot, 3-5 CSM dies out of it). And by doing so, you don't need another core unit to divert it's awesome firepower / assault capacity from it's intended target in order to deal with the annoying remain of this space marine squad.

    Support units usualy dish out less shots / attacks, but these shots / attacks are usualy more powerfull. This is excellent to deal with remains of squads as most peoples will try to prevent their best model from dying, which means that a unit of 3-4 remaining space marines is usualy made of 1 Sergent, 1 special weapon and 1 heavy weapon, so this is the right time to send a voley of plasma shots that will realy count. Same goes when fighting a death wing army. First, you shoot all your bolters at a terminator units, killing 2 or 3, so your opponent will remove the lesser one (those with the standard equipment). Then, you fire with this plasma guns havoc squad that is standing by (8 plasma shots !!!) and watch lord belial and it's 2 friends melt slowly... Quite - a - sight, if I may say so.

    Note that a support unit can do things on their own, but should never do so if core units are in need of support (There is no absolutes here). Also note that the notion of core and support units is relative to the situation. A core units is the unit that does the main job and the support unit is the unit that clean up after. If a CSM squad is reduced to 4-5 models, it may become a support units for your other CSM squads. As the game goes on, many units will acquire a support role while other will become core. If you have 5 Chaos bikers and 5 CSM, it's obvious that the bikers will fare better in close combat (T5) than would a 5 CSM squad, so the 5 CSM squad is now the support unit for the Bikers.

    Also, as other general rules, never send a unit alone, never deep strike a unit where no support is availlable and never sacrifice a unit that can still contribute to the battle.


    Sacrifice, and why not to

    Often, I see players field units with a deep desire of sacrificing them in order to accomplish one thing. Some other do so without even knowing it (example : 5 Sternguard Veterans with combi-melta in a drop pod to pop tanks, while Sternguard Veterans are clearly better at killing troops). In my opinion, this option is to be avoided except when you know for a fact that the odds are against you. Units cost points and each should have a role. If you have built a balanced army, you will need every units in your list and you will need them to perform well. Sending a unit forward knowing it stand no chance of survival is nearly the same as playing without this unit (except for the firepower it took to get rid of it). Playing a horde, you might use a unit as meatshield in order to protect more usefull units and this is understandable, but still, you shouldn't wait until the unit is completly anihilated to remove it from ennemy fire. A unit of 3 hormagaunts can still hold an objective and is easier to hide than a unit 20 strong. If you field a unit with sacrifice in mind, ask yourself if there wouldn't be another unit that would do better without sacrificing itself. Instead of droping 5 Sternguard veterans with combi-melta (185 points) to kill a tanks, why not to drop an Ironclad Dreadnought with meltagun and heavy flamer (180 points). The Ironclad dreadnough will last longer and will be more frightning to your opponent than 5 Veterans that can be cleared with some shots of small arm and a single assault. Chaos players often deepstrike 2-3 obliterators behind a tank and pop it. This is great, except for the fact that 3 obliterators cost 225 points and in order to justify this move, you would have to kill a monolith, a Land Raider full of something valuable or a wave serpent full of banshees. Yet, in the two last cases, you've just exposed yourself to something worst. More often than not, your Obliterators will end up dead within the next turn, which is not good (3 shots of lascannons, Assault from a terminator squad, assault from banshees, getting shot by crisis suits with plasma rifles, being assault by a daemon prince, shot to death by a single plasma cannon shot, assaulted by a dreadnought, killed by a necron lord, assaulteb by some nids monstrous creatures, etc.).

    Same goes for a lone model who's unit has been whipped, don't sent it to assault an ennemy unit if it stand no chance of success. Instead, you could use it to drag fire away from some more important units (people tend to shoot with a whole squad at a single model, which is clearly a waste of firepower), or simply harass the unit by firing at it, or by staying within 6" of a fleeing unit.

    There are only some situations that may call for sacrifice :
    1- Delaying a monstrous creature with a unit that couldn't be of any use anyway
    2- Slowing a Dreadnought / wraitlord knowing you don't have a weapon to blast it open if let alone.
    3- Baiting 1 big unit (30 orks for example) into a trap, if no other option is available.

    Understanding target priorisation (added on 2009-11-11)

    Another key concept in building an army is understanding target priorisation. By target priorisation, I means that you have to assume that your opponent is not dumb and that he understand the consequence of being assaulted by a Khorne Berzerkers squad. Berzerkers tend to become priority if there is nothing else to catch the sight of your opponent. This also can play in your favor if you choose to field underestimated squads (possessed marines, chaos spawns, chaos lords, etc.) which usualy won't be considered as priority targets, so they will act with more freedom.

    Usualy these are treated as high priority target :
    (single = no other of the same unit in the army)

    - A single rhino
    - A single Berzerkers / Thousand Sons squad
    - Daemon princes
    - Defilers
    - Predators with some manner of lascannons
    - Land raiders
    - Raptors with a power fist
    - Bikers in an army where there are lots of daemons.
    - Chosens
    - Chaos Havocs
    - Chaos Terminators
    - Obliterators
    - Vindicators

    The following tends to be of relatively low priority targets:

    - 6- models CSM / Cult Marines Squads
    - Chaos dreadnought (until it went crazy and fired all it's weapons in one of your opponent squad)
    - Dakka predators (Autocannon, heavy bolters sponsons)
    - Possessed marines (Unless they rolled a 6 for their special ability)
    - Chaos Spawns

    Other units are considered as normal priority targets.

    As you probably already have understood, some units become priority target based on the army composition and circumstances. For example, Bikers with an icon are a high priority target in a 'Daemon Bomb!' army (a sh*** load of lesser daemons). Also, Berzerkers are not much of a priority during the first turn as their effective range is ~12". Defilers are a high priority target at the start of the game but usualy become a lower priority target when hard hitting units reach their effective range. Predators and Havocs are high priority as long as their targets are still alive. When there is no tanks / monstrous creatures in play, they tend to become lower priority targets.

    The idea here is to provide either no priority targets to your opponent, or to provide him/her with so many of them that he/she will not be able to properly deal with each of them. Taking the example army list provided before in this post, I can identify 4 high priority targets, being the Daemon prince, the Defiler, the Predator and the Terminator squad. The other units are usualy seen as normal priority targets. If my opponent is not consciencious enough and chose to divide his/her firepower between targets, chances are that most of the high priority targets will survive and remain high priority targets in the following turns, drawing fire away from my CSM squads. If my opponent choose to concentrate his/her fire on a single high priority target (usualy, it's the defiler), then chances are that he/she will waste a huge amount of shots into a single unit and this will leave my other units to roam free in total impunity.

    For those who already read my treaty on Tabletop Psychological Warfare (if not, search it on the search engine of this forum), you already know that you can hipe the importance of a unit by either painting it with flashy colors or by simply saying that the unit is so powerfull that it will kill the whole army in a single turn, this might be enough to make it a priority to your opponent. Par contre, it's hard to convince your opponent that a defiler is not a priority target...

    A lot more to say...

    There would be a lot more to say, but I stop here. I hope this will help chaos players to get better at what they do.

    Last edited by MindRaked; December 10th, 2009 at 17:32.
    MindRaked
    CHAOS Undiv.: won 14/22 games EC: 4/7 WE: 6/9 DG: 10/15, TS: 3/7 Orks : 13/20 SM NL : 1/6 TAU: 14 of 24 IG: 3/7

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    Senior Member joebloggs1987's Avatar
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    Good read, well done.



    I feel that there are 5 key elements to winning a game...

    - Building a list with units that compliment each other strategically.

    - Building a list that can take on any type of unit that is thrown at it.

    - Always having a back-up strategy incase things dont go to plan.

    - Moving and choosing targets tactfully, and planning all 5-7 of your turns in the first turn. Much like chess, you will never win if you only think about the one turn. You must plan ahead.

    - Maths. This is arguably the most critical thing. You need to be able to do "mathhammer" equations in your head in a couple of seconds constantly. Every shooting attack, every assault, every single little bit of the game i will mathhammer in my head before i do it, without the opponent even realising.



    I am also willing to help anyone out.
    My wins/losses are in my sig too (yes, you read correctly, i am yet to lose a single game in 5th ed).
    Chaos - 11W 0L 0D
    Orks - 8W 0L 0D
    Tyranids - 8W 0L 0D

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    Senior Member Kantoken's Avatar
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    This is indeed very well done (no offense to the writers of the CSMs Tactica on this forum), and I can see it being a great help to those who start with Chaos Space Marines.
    Reputation added.
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    Innovation suffuses this hobby like a tea bag in the boiling water of play.

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    One Awesome Dude hotspike18's Avatar
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    First off, great tactica, short, simple but very helpful I think to a lot of people.

    If it's ok, I thought I'd mention that when in a game, it's perfectly to stand back a moment and think about ALL the possibilities you have in front of you, think about how your opponent is likely to respond, account for things like incoming Deep Strikers, etc. Does it matter if you rapid fire or assault? Which will not only kill more but also which will leave that unit in a better/safer/more flexible position afterwards?

    I improved a lot as a player when I learned to slow down and REALLY look at the board. Don't worry about your opponent, they'll get over it if it's a problem, though most won't mind. It's simple I know, but effective I think.

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    Murder omgitsduane's Avatar
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    I've just given it a quick skim for now but what I've read is great! will be back to read more hope its all this good!

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    Member evilmuffinz's Avatar
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    Hmpf. Apparently my unit of 7 berserkers is not a core unit. Other than that, excellent guide. Rep!

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    Spiky MindRaked's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by evilmuffinz View Post
    Hmpf. Apparently my unit of 7 berserkers is not a core unit. Other than that, excellent guide. Rep!
    My friend, as I said, there are no absolutes. If your Berzerkers are the sole ambassadors of the Blood God on the battlefield, they may become a priority target for you opponent if nothing else catch his/her sight. With that in mind, unless you're an expert at maneuvering (which I'm certainly not), 7 berzerkers tend to thin quite fast to enemy fire.

    Now, since you don't seems like a dumb guy / girl (I don't want to presume on your gender, the word 'muffin' can be an ambiguous reference), and you probably ride them in a rhino, which is a good idea, as long as your rhino is not the only rhino on your side.

    Let's say that you have 7 berzerkers in a rhino, among other rhino on the board. Going against an experimented player, they are likely to cover roughly 12" in the rhino (smoke !), then, if the rhino was well hidden from your opponent heavy weapons, they might do another 12" in the next turn. Now, if you are lucky and you're opponent didn't cover all the dark spots on the map, then, you might find some cover for either your rhino or the berzerkers if you disembarked them. Now that you're close enough, the berzerkers are not just a priority target, they are THE TARGET. By no means, they are to reach close combat or it's the end of most units in this 40th millenium universe. 7 Berzerkers is not much, and their 3+ save / 4+ cover save will not stand long if, let's say, a space marine player concentrate all it's Sternguard veterans boltgun shells (AP3) on this squad.

    That's why I say that 7 berzerkers is more of a support unit than a core unit, because when they reach their useful range, there is not enough left to do the job of a core unit. And if they remain behind you regular / iconed CSM, then they act as a support unit anyway.

    Still, this may depend of the size of your other units. If you have 3 units of 5 CSM and 1 unit of 7 berzerkers, this is obvious that they are the core unit and the others will have to share both roles, based on the situation.

    That being said, a support unit is not a poorer / worst / bad unit, but it's a unit that need to be used carefully, to deal with specific threat (close combat specialists in this case). On paper, 7 berzerkers = 28-29 attacks on assault, but unless you're playing against a noob, it's never 7 berzerkers that reach close combat, but more like 3-4 of them (12-17 attacks) if everything went well. In this case, they are more suited as a support unit than as a core unit.

    Yet, I don't know what is composing the rest of your army, and a unit acquire a core unit status in relation with the other units it's fighting along. So my '8+ to be core' is barely a summary evaluation of each unit potential.
    Last edited by MindRaked; November 10th, 2009 at 14:33.
    MindRaked
    CHAOS Undiv.: won 14/22 games EC: 4/7 WE: 6/9 DG: 10/15, TS: 3/7 Orks : 13/20 SM NL : 1/6 TAU: 14 of 24 IG: 3/7

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    it also depends on the size of the game, in a 500 point game 7 berserkers are big, but in 1500, they are just over half a squad

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    Member ShotgunFacelift's Avatar
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    Great guide,

    looking forward to applying it to my list

    #25 - Relation to the original topic decreases with every single post.

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    Gave it a right proper read through and its definitely given me a few ideas about how to play better... I just wonder if it will work

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