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I am looking for a second army in WH40K and both Space Marines and Chaos Space Marines appeal to me, largely because of their great looking tanks and transporters, and terminators. The number of players at our local club is roughly the same, so I was wondering if someone could outline the main gameplay difference between the two armies. I have read the fluff, looked at the models and all, but I really haven't played them yet.
Do the Traitors have any particular advantage over their imperialistic nemesis, the Space Marines? Any help appreciated.
Yes, there are differences. Those might get bigger with the new loyalist Space Marine Codex that comes out soon. Still, they are just differences, not something that makes one intrinsically better than the other.
HOWEVER, I would suggest choosing an army by the following process;
Which one do you think looks the best/coolest?
Which one do you think has the neatest fluff?
Which one do you think has the neatest models?
Which one do you think you would enjoy playing with?
Which one do you think you would enjoy collecting/painting the most?
Notice none of these are 'which one is the better army?'
They are all good, all different.
So, in addition to all the above questions, I would ask you 'what do you want your army to be? What do you want to do with it?'
(If you just want an army that beats marines, 60+ Genestealers and a Broodlord or two is a rather evil MEQ killer...)
Last edited by aeroplane; August 6th, 2008 at 20:30.
My apologies, I should have written "differences". I am not interested in beating a particular army with Chaos Space Marines, I would simply like to know how they are different from the loyalist legions, and how they "feel" on the tabletop.
Last edited by Leafwalker; August 6th, 2008 at 21:32.
the current space marine codex as a basis, these are the essential differences:
Chaos space marines are better in close combat and at v short range. they have bolt pistols and close combat weapons.
Normal space marines have lots of long range weaponry to play with, and have more meq potential, although chaos space marines have obliterators, the most flexable heavy weapons troopers.
Chaos space marines have several interesting units and models.
there is alot of love for loyalist marines. they get new models nearly every time there is a release. The chaos marines have had their release for the next 6 months at least.
chaos space marines are pretty customisable such as icons and marks and different troop types.
chaos gets some awesome love in apocalypse.
The biggest difference is cult troops. Chaos units can take cult troops, or put the mark of a specific god on their unit, increasing a specific attribute. That is the bigest difference, they have the same stats as the Loyalists do. I think the Loyalist have a better armoury though
chaos pays for their powerfists, sm do not.
chaos gets a lot of free gear that the sm do not.. (yet)
grenades, bolters, bp's, ccw. searchlights and smokelaunchers etc.
chaos pays a little more for the models in general iirc.
chaos get corrupted versions of much of the sm arsenal, and additions, such as daemons, defilers and obliterators.
chaos doesnt have any skimmers or ass-cans.
chaos units fall back now and then.
its kinda like comparing a new factory-modded nissan with an old chevy that's been souped up beyond recognition to keep up with the times.
my brother plays black legion and i play blood angels so i'll give you some differences based on how the new marines play:
- marine squads are only 5 or 10 models strong, nothing in between while chaos can have anything from 5 to 20 strong.
- marines have more heavy weapon choices while chaos can have more special weapons to make them more assaulty.
- marines can split their squads into 2 5 man squads so they can have a heavy weapon in one and have the close combat upgraded marines move without sacrificing the heavy weapons shooting.
- chaos has cult troops and can give squads marks of chaos to make units heavily specialized, which means they can be better at all types of warfare than marines but they cost much more.
- chaos has better artillery in the form of the defiler instead of the whirlwind.
- a chaos lord has slightly better stats than the marine hq and also has access to almost the exact same wargear, but chaos gets marks and a daemon weapon for their lord making him a better hq.
- space marines have chaplains with greatly aid their assault units while chaos has nothing like it.
- chaos sorcerors come with an invulnerable save but the librarian has a psychic hood to negate magic. the sorceror also has mark specific spells such as nurgle's rot and lash of submission which you need the god specific mark for while a librarian can take anything it wants.
- chaos chosen have more options than marine vets but only can have infiltrate while vets have 3 skills to choose from (infiltrate, furious charge, tank hunters).
There is so much more to say about them but i hope this gives you an idea. in conclusion, chaos has the chance to be more powerful in any type of warfare for more points while space marines are the most flexible but they don't become to good at anyone thing.
Also chaos has daemons. While these daemons are bland in comparisons to the old ones (which have moved to their own codex) but they are (relatively) cheap and can support where needed the most as when they deepstrike in (without scattering but have to within 6" of an icon) they can charge as soon as they land.
Also space marine HQ's can have retinues while CSM versions cannot. This means that while (at the moment mind you) CSM have better stats, all come with a free invulnerable save and have more options to become awesome the space marine HQ choices can no longer be picked out in combat when with his retinue.
Also while Chaos troops can be very expensive they still horde better than marines. With their choice of bolter, bolt pistol and CCW at all times for the same price of a standard marine (again, in new codex will probably change) they can use their basic troop for any situation. Also their vehicles in general tend to be cheaper.
Speaking very generally, SM have better shooting and vehicles while CSM have better hand-to-hand and Monstrous Creatures. If you are looking to field a lot of bodies or want some really over-the-top CC then CSM will probably be your thing; if you prefer support vehicles or have a particular theme in mind (such as many Terminators) then SM will be better.
"My tanks have names, my men have numbers." -Col. Edmund Grahvess, 23rd Kronecker Prison Guard
Exactly what I was looking for. Thanks!