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Ok, Im the last person you would expect to write a chaos tactica. Ive never played a game with CSM, and I have over 1500pts that isnt even a legal list yet. Even though, Im here to offer what I call "Paper perspective". Its quite self explanatory, Im going to assess each unit in the codex and put forward my views as to their potential and best use, without actualy haveing play tested them. This should open up a new side to the codex for you to explore and exploit in games... atleast thats the plan. The reason Im doing this Is because my 3000pt Necron list was built completely upon paper perspective, and its won 5 out of 6 games. Im hoping I can duplicate that success here and hand it to you.
Paper Perspective: Pros and Cons
PP (Thats what I will call it from now on) obviously has the disadvantage of never actualy being 100% guarantied to work. Its a gamble, but when thought through properly it often pays off. PP is what you experience when you build your first list for a new army, having full knowledge of the model or squad but not knowing how they will interact with the rest of your army. I believe this is an advantage, as each unit should be tailored to its specific role, and supported by another also suited to the same role. In a recent trip down to my local store, whilst observing some games I noticed quite a few people had tailored squads to work in unison, without actualy paying much atention to what they were going to do in unison. Needless to say, they dramaticaly under-preformed.
Building a PP list
It is quite common for people to buy their entire army at once without having play-tested a single model. Most often however, these gamers have spent months beforehand planning every single detail down to the last melta bomb. The best way to build a PP list, I find, Is to build a list consisting of models which you like but will not neccesarily need. This method of building often produces a list lacking in potential, with a severe lack of for example anti tank, but far too much anti infantry, most of which isnt needed. It is at this point where you assess the list and re-write it. You may drop 2 CSM squads to bring the anti infantry from OTT to "very decent" and then invest the spare points in anti tank, to ballance out the list.
Once the list has been fine-combed several times, you should end up with a well balanced list capable of dealing with most opponents. The PP method of list building creates a list with a perfect ballance in "what you like" and "what is effective", and it can all be done without buying a single model which probably wont even make the list anyway. Once you have the perfect list, you then look through and see which squads work well together. This will be hard to do with only PP, but generaly any 2 squads that do the same job work excelently together. NEVER alter squads specificaly to work with / assist another squad, as you will end up sacrafising effectiveness. If one of the squads breaks then the other one still needs to be independant enough to opperate unhindered alone.
Basicaly: Squads should be formulated as If to work alone. Even though they may opperate alongside another squad, there will inevitably be a point in the game where they have to stand up for themselves. Usualy, squads tailored specificaly to help another unit fare very badly when left to their own devices.
Chaos Space Marinces: Codex from a PP
Ok, this is where I look through all out units and assess their individual strengths and weaknesses. Most people have been in a situation where they have bought a (quite often very expensive) new squad and played them to find out that they are rubbish. Needless to say, that squad never get played again. Im writing this to offer a new perspactive to those models so inspire you to try them with a new style of play. Ok lets get started!
I will do an individual section for these at the end of the tactica. It just that special characters often only realy have one style of play... they cant even realy be judged by play testing. Its simply a case of picking the best SC for your army, not the best use of a single one.
The beasty. Daemon princes are in many peoples oppinion our best HQ option. They have a truckload of psycic powers to choose from but surprisingly their role never realy alters much despite their set-up. DPs are often used at anti-infantry support, but the reason I love them Is because they can never realy be tailored to assist. Ofcourse, they do make excelent support units, but they can never be tailored to such a degree whereas they are pathetic when left un-assisted themselves. From a PP the best option IMO would be to run them alongside another fast moving assault unit, to mince up the opponents troops and elites. The great thing about DPs is that they appear to have the potential to swap between retenues of different types an uses without much hinderance. Maybe on the way to a combat a sick stunt to pull would be to move straight past an enemy squad onto a more impressive kill, before separating the DP and killing the tricked squad solo. Unfortunately, they do have that "fire magnet" potential.
Chaos lords are basicaly just this on paper: A non-psyc DP with a retinue. From PP, their statline is not as good as a DPs, but their weapon choice makes up for it. With the new release of planet strike, via "a rule", a nice sounding idea with a lord would be to give him termi armour and a blood-feeder. Then deep-strike him and using "a rule" you can charge straight off and skin some stuff.
I will write some more later. I promise to updade this tactica atleast weekly untill its done.
Hmm. Daemon Princes cant have retinues and cant join squads due to being MCs.
Likewise Chaos Lords cant have proper ''Retinues'' but can join squads.
Currently play: 4000+ of Black Legion
Memnoch and Serbi made good points also I have written something very similar that can be found in my signature or the stickied thread at the top of the forum.
IRON WITHIN, IRON WITHOUT!
I survived LO Chat thanks to: Karmoon, Rabbit, Process, Tossy and Meish.