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170pts - 1 Exhalted Hero Mark of Tzeenetch Book of Secrets Enchanted shield Favour of the Gods
250pts - 14 Chaos Warriors Mark of Tzeenetch Musician Shield (Hero goes here)
170pts - 20 Chaos Marauders Mark of Khorne FC Great Weapons Light Armor
xxxpts - 10 Chaos Hounds
xxxpts - 5 Chaos Knights
xxxpts - 3 Chaos Trolls
985 (15pts to spare in case I want to go halberds or AHW with chaos warriors (I posted a discussion regrading HW+shield vs. halberd vs. AHW) I'm sticking with HW+shield right now cause I'm hoping the exhalted hero will kick enough butt in CC.
I'm buying these guys today (battalion box fills up most of the army nicely) + river trolls (for conversion cause the chaos trolls are really super super ugly in the bad way) + a hero
I think this will be a versatile small army/large warband. To get to 1500pts I'm thinking Chaos sorcerer, hell cannon, beef up the chaos warriors and marauders.
(Totally off topic, I really don't see the benefit of MON -1ws to opponent...why?)
Just remember you have to declare challenges whenever possible and without a Ward save on your Hero, he may take a beating in the Challenges (provided he doesn't kill the opposing character/champion in the first round).
Light armor on Marauders has never prevailed for me personally. 20 points just to add a 6+ armor save against bows essentially (since most enemies will have armor piercing or strength modifiers to negate your armor saves). If you feel they need it, keep it. Otherwise, I'd use that 20 points + the 15 leftover to possibly grab a ward save item for your hero. You may have to shuffle points around a bit to make up another 5-10 points but Preservation on your Hero will save you a headache (there are a few different ward save items to look at between our codex and the BRB generic list). Not many abilities prevent you from throwing ward throws.
To be honest, knowing one spell won't be any use to you what so ever. To succeed in casting your one spell you'll have to throw a LOT of power dice at it in order to have a chance of your opponent being unable to dispel it. This means you're likely to miscast and, with the Book, even more likely to explode and die. This is obviously bad on a model which is both your main combat fighter, caaster and your general. If you want a caster, get a caster. If you want a fighter get a fighter. Just equip them to do their tasks well.
I'm not saying this build is't good. It is, but it's more of a 'support' hero armament.
As for the rest of your list. Seeing as you only have certain models to work with it looks good. There are just a few things though.......
1] Generally champions are not worth it unless you're trying to protect a character from being challenged. You don't need this protection as your character is nails in combat. SO you can ditch the champions and use the points for something else
2] Light armour on Marauders isn't worth it. Use these points to give the Knights Mark of Khorne or something.
3] At this points level I'd probably run the Marauders as an 18 man unit with Flails and MoK. Such a small unit can't really afford to strike last and take the beating and use the step up rule to its best effect so you really need to strike at initiative. When you make the unit bigger just make the other model with Great weapons and move them to the front. No one will mind you having a half and half unit.
4] Consider some of the cheap banners. The radiant Std is perfect for an army wit no BSB. Banner of discipline works well too.
Ad for ark of Nurgle. -1 WS can be handy. Against WS3 troops they end up hitting warriors on 5's which pretty much screws them over something chronic. -1 to hit from shooting is pretty good too. Alas MoN is not always useful so generally people pick the more reliable marks like Khorne or Tzeentch.
exalted, swap the enchanted shield out for either a mundane shield(parry save) or a charmed shield (2+ vs first hit is, and its cheap) and if you really want him to be your caster, give him a spell familiar. its only 2 spells, but its better than none, until it backfires. a kited out chaos sorcerer can survive melee combat pretty well at 1k, thats probably your best bet for a general in small games.
warriors, 5x3 is good, 6x3 is best. if you can snake points to make them an 18 man unit, or at least give them a 6 man front with a few in the back rank, theyll kill much better. that said, theyre honestly just fine as is.
marauders. dump the light armour. s4 denies it anyway, so its wasted points. also, like borak said, if theyre that small they need their hefty I4. give em flails. other option for a small unit of marauders is maybe MoT shields light armour. use them as a tar pit for a couple turns until you can flank charge with your knights/trolls. flails is probably best.
hounds. split them up into 2 units of 5, or drop them down to 1 unit of 5. dogs arnt good for much but dying. not that its a bad thing. use them as hard cover to screen your valuable units, or to hunt war machines. if your opponent decides to kill them, great! they just saved a bunch of models that will actually kill stuff. also theyre strategic deployment drops, but youve got alot of drops already.
knights. if you can, 6 is the magic number, at this level tho, 5 is fine. they would definitely do well with a mark of khorne. atm 2 wounds and they have to test to run away.
last thing. when you decide to expand on your marauder unit, if you do model the first 20 with flails, its easy to make them into GW if you want to. just clip off the ball and chain and glue a big axe head on top. i butcher my chaos warriors unused weapons for them. it looks pretty decent imo.
I spent some time talking to the manager at the GW shop today, and I ended of course I read through the suggestions this afternoon. Lots of excellent info, so I made some change to the list...
1 Exhalted Hero
Mark of Tzeenetch
Chaos Steed (barded)
Talisman of Preservation
Favour of the Gods
15 Chaos Warriors (5x3)
Mark of Tzeenetch
20 Chaos Marauders (5x4)
10 Chaos Hounds (2grps of 5 or 1 long line of 10 to eat missile fire)
5 Chaos Knights
Mark of Tzeenetch
997 pts total
@ Borak - you're right the lord is a lord and not a spell caster I'm taking away from his "core competency", and ya, light armor is probably a waste on marauders. You and Shoe are right about the marauders GW to flails, I just know I'm going to grow this group into a GW group so I don't really want to go flails and have to convert later.
Also, the trolls... the more I thought about it the more I became uncomfortable with stupidity... even if they're by the general 1 out of 3 turns they're picking their nose if I don't have them in combat, no wonder they're so cheap... I'd rather go with something more reliable so I switched them out for a warshrine with MOT (I'm thinking beastmen chariot conversion), it has AS 4+, WS 3+, T6, the definition of a tarpit.. I can send this at something super scary or set-up flank charges with this tank.
Thanks for the input. Comments are always appreciated.