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Don't tread on me!
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Discussion Starter · #1 · (Edited)
For the past 6 months my gaming group and I have been playtesting a "mini-dex" for my Soul Reapers Chaos Marines. Included at the bottom is one of my custom Special Characters, he has been playtested in at least 30 games and seems balanced to my gaming group.

We have three more Special Characters written but they haven't been completely tested for balance. I will add them once they have been extensively tested.

Here is the preliminary list of changes to the CSM codex for my Codex: Soul Reapers

Looking at what the new 5th ed books are bringing us, it sure feels like GW have decided that the background/fluff is important to the army list entries now.

This will be more of a supplement than an actual codex, as I have no desire to breach GW IP. So unless I make a new unit all unit stats and upgrades will be referenced from the Codex: CSM.

I have waited until now to post this so we could have plenty of playtesting done, we have finally moved into the phase where I am now using my own army. In the early stages of playtesting I got to use my army in every 5th game, with me using my opponents army in the other 4.

I appreciate all feedback, if you like or hate something we've done let me know. All I ask is to please keep it constructive.

Thanks,
Jim


Soul Reapers Special Rules


The models in a Soul Reaper army use a number of special rules that are common to more than one unit, as specified in the entries that follow. Given here are either the details of those rules or where to find them.

Fear is for the weak: Soul Reapers have been in service the Chaos for ten millennia and know that the Dark Gods watch over them.

Soul Reapers never have their leadership reduced by more than –2 Ld as the result of losing an assault. If the Unit loses the assault by more than -2, then immediately take any remaining modifiers as armor saves. They may also attempt to regroup even if the squad has been reduced less than half strength through casualties.

=”Our goal” said:
We were looking to create a unique rule with a flavor of its own, not some cheap cliché rip-off of ATSKNF or Fearless. We ultimately determined after looking at the Space Wolves and the Codex Space Marines, the decision was made not to add any points to the units.

For example look at the Space Wolves Grey Hunter; they are 15pts each with the same weapons load out as the basic CSM, plus they have three Special rules, with a base Leadership of 8. So taking into account the basic CSM base leadership of 9, we have given the non-fearless models in the Chaos Marine army one special rule. We have no intention of messing with the points for special weapons, like GW did with the Wolves.

Undivided We Stand: The Soul reapers detest the though of becoming single-minded minions of any particular Chaos God. Because of this the Soul Reapers do not use Cult marines dedicated to any particular God.

A Soul Reapers army my not contain any units of Berzerkers, Rubric Marines, Noise Marines, or Plague Marines..


Icons of Chaos: The Soul Reapers make no use of icons dedicated to individual Chaos Gods. They may only take the Icon of Chaos Glory as listed in the Codex Chaos Space Marine.


Listed below are the Units from Codex Chaos Space Marines with the changes to their entry. Any units not listed below are used as listed in their entry in the Codex Chaos Space Marines.



HQ

All the Special Characters and the Daemon Prince entry in the Chaos Space Marine Codex are not available to a Soul Reapers army.

Chaos Sorcerer: Gains Fear is for the Weak

Elite

Chaos Chosen Space Marines: Gain Fear is for the Weak

Chaos Terminators: Gain Fear is for the Weak

Possessed Chaos Space Marines: Roll for their Daemonkin abilities at the beginning of the game before deployment.

=”Our goal” said:
Possessed just make sense this way. I am also considering adding an upgrade for two models in the squad. Daemonic Fire: two models in the Possessed squad may upgraded to breathe unholy fire for 10 points. Daemonic fire has the same stats as a Heavy Flamer, found in the summary on page 104 of Codex CSM
Troops

Chaos Space Marines: Gain Fear is for the Weak

Fast Attack

Chaos Raptors: Gain Fear is for the Weak

Chaos Bikes: Gain Fear is for the Weak, and the point value drops from 35 to 28 points per model.

”Our goal” said:
This brings bikes more in line with other comparable units while still accounting for the extra CCW and increased leadership.
Chaos Spawn: Gain the Feel no Pain special rule for no additional cost.

”Our goal” said:
I have no idea what GW was thinking when they pointed the spawn entry. Feel no Pain makes these 40 point behemoths viable.
Heavy Support

Chaos Havocs: Gain Fear is for the Weak

Soul Reaper Special Characters

Titus the Butcher

The Daemon Prince Titus the Butcher started out as the second in command of the World Eaters seventeenth Grand Company. He was and is still the armored fist of Lord Krüg, when there is something impossible to do Titus is unleashed to resolve the problem.

Titus earned the title the Butcher and ascended to Princedom on the planet Lambosia on the far Eastern Fringe. It was during a campaign to reclaim one of the Salmora artifacts, that Titus was tasked with holding the Star Phantom Space Marines back while the Sorcerer Xusia preformed the rituals to locate the artifact. Titus lead an elite unit of Reavers from Lord Krügs handpicked Terminator bodyguard into a mountain pass to bock the path of the Star Phantoms. During the fight the Reavers were whipped out and Titus was left surrounded by the lackeys of the Emperor. He had already been mortally wounded, but refused to succumb to his wounds and fail Lord Krüg. Titus grabbed a second power sword from one of his fallen comrades and proceeded to charge headlong into the remaining Star Phantoms. When the dust settled the Star Phantoms were either dead or routing from the field, Titus collapsed knowing that his task was complete.

As he lay there dying he heard the whispers of the Dark Gods. They were pleased with his dedication and the carnage he had done to his foes. They offered him untold power and a chance to fight again exacting his revenge on the Imperium for the greater glory of Chaos. He accepted the offer and rose up as a mighty Daemon Prince of Chaos.

Since his ascension Titus is always found leading his troops from the front, rushing forward headlong into the enemy, he has been known to outpace the warbands transports and tanks. Unlike most Daemon Princes Titus has not been gifted with wings or psychic powers, instead he uses his powerful legs to rush across the battlefield with insane speed. The fusing of his flesh with his armor and his favor with the Dark Gods has made him extremely hard to kill, he is capable of shrugging off wound that would banish other Daemon Princes back to the warp.

Titus the Butcher
Daemon Prince: 200 points

War Gear:
Personal Icon
The Butchers Blade

Special Rules:
Fearless
Eternal Warrior
5+ invulnerable save
Feel no Pain
Fleet

The Butchers Blade is the massive sword carried by the Daemon Prince Titus. His brutality is know and feared throughout the Eastern Fringe. Titus can usually be found standing atop a pile of corpses in the middle of the enemy lines. He is very good at cutting large groups of his foes down with one mighty swing of the Butchers Blade.

To represent this in the game Titus may give up his normal attacks to make single strength 5 attack against all enemy non-vehicle models in base contact. This is an all or nothing attack with a single die roll to hit; if there are multiple WS’s involved the roll to hit is against the highest WS. If successful roll to wound; with the wounds allocated among those models in base contact with Titus.
 

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The special character seems fine. Fleet rather than flight is a nice touch and goes some way towards toning down his abilities. FNP on an eternal warrior is powerful but compare it to MON or MOT which he doesn't have and it is ok considdering his point cost.

The butcher rule is good but be aware that a squad of 10 marines could be engaged with him and only 4 of them could be toutching the base while the others are still engaged. If this is ok with you then fine.

The Fear is for the weak rule is a little more powerful than the standard CSM rules and you give it away for free with no corresponding disadvantages. I sugggest +1 point per model and +5 for characters. By the way the characters are fearless so how does this rule effect them? Also does the IoCG reroll occur before taking fearless wounds or after?

"Undevided we stand" I would replace with "no cult troops at all" either you are undevided or you aren't and you need some disadvantages in the list. If normal squaddies cannot carry an IoK then where do the berserkers fit in?

I know chaos bikes are over pointed in the CSM codex and that spawn are a huge waste of points but really you should stick with the codex rules for them. Always better to overpoint something in a fan codex so as not to unbalance the game. An opponent is doing you a favour allowing you to use this list so best not take advantage. Where would we be if every player could sift through their codex and repoint or give new abilities to any unit he didn't like then proclaim it a fan codex?

Overall a good stabb. Check out our thread on the Chaos Legion codexes.

http://www.librarium-online.com/forums/rules-development/181954-legion-chaos-codexes.html
 

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Don't tread on me!
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Discussion Starter · #3 · (Edited)
Thanks for the feedback. I'll take all the feedback to the group and see what they think. We will consider anything proposed.

The special character seems fine. Fleet rather than flight is a nice touch and goes some way towards toning down his abilities. FNP on an eternal warrior is powerful but compare it to MON or MOT which he doesn't have and it is ok considdering his point cost.
Thanks, I’ve gotten so bored of seeing winged princes

The butcher rule is good but be aware that a squad of 10 marines could be engaged with him and only 4 of them could be toutching the base while the others are still engaged. If this is ok with you then fine.
If that were the case he would just use his normal attacks.

The Fear is for the weak rule is a little more powerful than the standard CSM rules and you give it away for free with no corresponding disadvantages. I sugggest +1 point per model and +5 for characters.
The standard non fearless Chaos units in the codex are already over-pointed when compared to the Codex: SM and SW. Who both come standard with 3 special rules that cannot be lost during a game. Sure Icons are a buff, but they must be paid for and they can be lost in game.

I posted are thinking behind this decision above but I’ll repeat it here.

We ultimately determined after looking at the Space Wolves and the Codex Space Marines not to add any points to the units.

For example look at the Space Wolves Grey Hunter; they are 15pts each with the same weapons load out as the basic CSM, plus they have three Special rules, with a base Leadership of 8. So taking into account the basic CSM base leadership of 9, we have given the non-fearless models in the Chaos Marine army one special rule. We have no intention of messing with the points for special weapons, like GW did with the Wolves.

By the way the characters are fearless so how does this rule effect them? Also does the IoCG reroll occur before taking fearless wounds or after?
Well if the IC is joined to the squad he is subject to the rule. It doesn’t matter when the re-roll happens because the saves must be made.


"Undevided we stand" I would replace with "no cult troops at all" either you are undevided or you aren't and you need some disadvantages in the list. If normal squaddies cannot carry an IoK then where do the berserkers fit in?
We left them in tied to the HQ’s because while the Warband detests the thought of being a single-minded minion to any specific deity, they understand the potential use of the specialized skills of the cult units.

Look at it like this, the cults are a specialized tool in the Warbands toolbox. Why bring a hammer to cut down a tree if you’ve got access to a Chainsaw?

The disadvantage is that to even get one cult unit the army must have already purchased two basic Chaos Marine squads and an HQ, and to access a 2nd cult squad must purchase a 2nd HQ. With that said we have been thinking of limiting it to one Cult unit, as they are extremely rare in the Warband.

I’ve got some great fluff on this that needs finishing.


I know chaos bikes are over pointed in the CSM codex and that spawn are a huge waste of points but really you should stick with the codex rules for them. Always better to overpoint something in a fan codex so as not to unbalance the game. An opponent is doing you a favour allowing you to use this list so best not take advantage. Where would we be if every player could sift through their codex and repoint or give new abilities to any unit he didn't like then proclaim it a fan codex?
I do understand where you are coming from. Bikes as you pointed out are way over-pointed, and the Spawn has awesome models, but crap rules. So why would you not address the fact if you are going through all the effort to playtest and write a derivative codex?
Luckily, I’m not taking advantage of anyone, the list is being written and playtested by all 8 members of my gaming group. In fact other than the desire to make a couple of Special Characters the mini-dex was not my idea and it’s my flippin’ army.

I don’t know where we’d be if everyone wrote their own codex, but I imagine there would be just as many well thought out and playtested lists as there were crappy ones.

Overall I say “good for you” to anyone that busts out of the ‘Officialdom’ box and creatively uses their imagination.

Overall a good stabb. Check out our thread on the Chaos Legion codexes.

http://www.librarium-online.com/forums/rules-development/181954-legion-chaos-codexes.html
Thanks, I have looked at what you guys have done and it’s looking good.

-Jim
 

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Don't tread on me!
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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
I sat down with the guys last night after our games, we had a great chat and have decided to try dropping the Cult troops completely and attempt to add a couple unique units to the list.

From our quick brainstorming we came up with two probable candidates.

The is first not my idea but I like it; Siege Breaker assault marines. Initial thoughts for a starting point are non-fearless Khorne Berzerkers that must be mounted in a Rhino with a Siege Shield and extra armor.

The second is a special Bike squad with an option to upgrade one to an Infernal Harvester bike. It’s a hellish nightmare of a bike covered in power blades combined with a sidecar containing a second marine wielding power scythe.

So Mad Cat thanks for shaking things up. If we are going through all the effort why not create something truly unique.

-Jim
 

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I like the killer attack bike/sidecar idea. Something like this maybe...

Stats
WS5 BS4 S4 T4(5) W2 I4 A3 LD10 Sv3+.

Wargear
Equipped with a TL bolter and a power weapon.

Unit type
Bike.

Special Rules
Fear is for the weak.
Furious charge. (Note this does not transfer to other models in the unit)
Spiky death. When charging it gets +1D6 attacks instead of the usual +1. These additional attacks are not from the powerweapon but due to the spikes on the bike. They get the rending special rule.

Points 80. One of these may be added to a chaos bike unit of at least 5 models.
 

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Scourge Lord
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Nice one guys. These are some good updates to the same old CSM stuff. I'm very interested in seeing the fluff for these guys and the new Seige Breaker unit's unique abilities. Fear is for the Weak is a nice balance between Stubborn, Fearless, and normal morale. I think not being able to take cult units is cost enough for this ability.

With the fluff out there, it opens up more ideas for new units and abilities to replace your cult choices.
 

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Don't tread on me!
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Discussion Starter · #7 · (Edited)
Thanks guys.

Mad Cat the guys and I really like those special rules, consider them used.

Krovin-Rezh, I have a fluff thread here's the Linky it will need some retooling now that I am dropping the cult troops. Like the creation of the cult marines text will obviously be changed.

I have started working out a unit profile for the special bike squad. When looking at the points values for this squad, I'd as you to keep in mind that we have lowered the base cost of a standard Chaos Biker to 28 pts.

Added to the Fast Attack force org chart.

Seeker bike squads are used as an advanced element for any Soul Reapers army. They scout ahead of the main force disrupting enemy movements and probing their lines for weak spots with lightning fast raids.

The squad if often augmented by the addition of an Infernal Seeker bike. It’s a hellish nightmare of a bike covered in power blades combined with a sidecar containing a marine wielding power scythe.

Seeker Bike Squad (Points 129 )
Stats
Seeker WS5 BS4 S4 T4(5) W1 I4 A1 LD9 Sv3+
Seeker Champion WS5 BS4 S4 T4(5) W1 I4 A2 LD10 Sv3+

Unit type
Bike.

Squad composition:
1 Seeker Champ
2 Seeker Bikes

Wargear
Bike with a TL bolter
Bolt Pistol, Close Combat Weapon

Special Rules
Fear is for the weak.
Scout

Options (The points values for wargear upgrades can be found on Pg 99 in the Bikers entry in the codex CSM)
May include up to 4 more Seeker bikes at 38 points per model

The Seeker Champion may replace his close combat weapon with one of the following:
Power weapon
Power Fist

Up to 2 Seekers may take one of the following:
Plasma gun
Melta gun
Flamer

One Seeker may be upgraded to carry an Icon of Chaos undivided.

Add one Infernal Seeker Assault bike to the squad for 80 pts.

Infernal Seeker Assault Bike
Stats
WS5 BS4 S4 T4(5) W2 I4 A3 LD9 Sv3+.

Unit type
Bike

Wargear

Bike with a TL Flamer
Bolt pistol, power weapon

Special Rules

Fear is for the weak
Scout
Furious charge (Note this does not transfer to other models in the unit)
Spiky death: When charging it gets +1D6 attacks instead of the usual +1. These additional attacks are not from the power weapon but due to the spikes on the bike.

I am currently working on a mock up for the Infernal Seeker bike and will get pics up as soon as I have my camera back from the shop.
 

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You have dropped the attack bike down to LD 9. Thats good as you don't want it having a better LD than the rest of the squad if the champion dies for some reason.

You know my views on dropping the points for the bikers but adding scout as well as fear for the weak for no point cost is pushing it. Adding the attack bike to a PF + 4 normal bikers makes a killer combat unit and enabling them to get first turn charges with no prospect of being shot for zero points is really unballanced. You would never add infiltrate and fleet to berserkers for no cost and simply justify it with a little fluff. I would remove scout or charge them 5-10 points per model for it. I don't think they need it anyway to be effective, simply turboboost on turn one and take a turns worth of enemy shooting with your super 3+ cover saves. Next turn get stuck in to combat.

Only Ravenguard get scouting bikes and this is the main reason for taking their army. They suffer for it in other ways - basicly a medeocre codex in most other areas. Space marine scout bikes can do it too but they are hardly a killer combat unit. Even shining spears, the best and most expensive combat bikes in the game, don't have scout.
 

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Drill Sergeant
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Even though i think Chaos are all Traitorous scum I'm liking the theme and the list so far.

One thing that sits wrong with me is Rending for that Assault Bike. That bike can charge (basically ram) a vehicle and with rending can penetrate and kill pretty much every tank bar a Land Raider.

If a bike rammed a vehicle it wouldn't end well.......for the bike. I think +D6 extra basic attacks is enough. You've already got 3 Attacks with a Power Weapon.
 

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Don't tread on me!
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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
I agree scouting bikes are a bad idea, what I meant to give them Outflank as a special rule not the Scout USR. How many points do you think outflank would cost? 5pts per bike?

How about we make the standard bike 38 points, basically adding 5pts to the codex bikes PV.

Mad Cat, I get that you don't think messing with points values is a good idea, while I do understand I don't agree. GW arbitrarily changes points values all the time, and nothing that we are looking to change points wise is arbitrary. It's an attempt at normalization, in points.

Ever since GW abandoned an actual formula driven points system, it has become extremely hard to create unique homebrew stuff without looking at parity within your chosen armies medium, and then it's still a crap shoot. ( MEQ or GEQ )

Lord Borak, your right about the Rending, I'll drop it as it is a little cliche anyway. I will keep the D6 non-PW attacks on the charge.

Thanks again for the feedback.

-Jim
 

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Don't tread on me!
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Discussion Starter · #11 · (Edited)
Here is the preliminary Troops entry for the siege troops.

Reaver Siege Marines are specialists at assaulting fortified positions. They are the direct product of the corrupted techniques of the Apostles of Malevolence. These once proud servants if the Imperium now despise their former masters as weak minded fools. They now serve the Soul Reapers with a level of fanaticism that is high even for an Asartes; this is probably related to the aggression chips that have been implanted in them.

Reaver Siege Marine WS4 BS4 S4 T4 W1 I4 A1 LD9 Sv3+ Pts 25
Reaver Champion WS4 BS4 S4 T4 W1 I4 A2 LD10 Sv3+

Unit type
Infantry

Squad composition
5-10 Reavers

Wargear
Bolt Pistol, Close Combat Weapon, Frag grenades, Melta Bombs

Character:
Upgrade one Reaver to an Aspiring Champion for 35 points. The Aspiring Champion has the following Wargear:
Bolt Pistol, Power Fist, Frag grenades, Melta Bombs

Options
Up to two Reavers may take one of the following:
Flamer
Melta gun
Heavy Flamer (one per squad) 30 points
Demolition Charge (one per squad) 25 points
(Stats for the Demo Charge are as listed in the Codex IG)

One Reaver may carry an Icon of Chaos Glory

Special Rules
Fear is for the weak.
Furious Charge

Transport
Karpathian pattern Rhino 55pts
BS 4
Armor
F 12
S 11
R10

Wargear
Twin Linked Bolters
Smoke Launchers
Searchlight
Siege Shield

Options
Pintle mounted Heavy Bolter 15 pts
Extra Armor

Special Rules
Repair

Fire points
2

Access points
3-Side and rear hatches.
 

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Drill Sergeant
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These boys sound cool. They (too me) seem like Berzerkers. Furious Charge, WS5 and implants in the brain??
One thing i'd think about is the WS. WS5 is pretty high and i always associate WS with skill. These guys are frothing maniacs so maybe increase their attacks charatarisitics instead? Or give them prefered enemy to represent some unholy zeal or like the Chaplains re-rolls to hit on the charge.

The Rhino seems pretty cool, AV12 is a nice touch but maybe have some downside to the additonal armour? Reduced capacity or if it moves 12 you have to make a difficult terrain check due to the strain on the engine??

If those suggestions seem silly it's because i'm very very tired but maybe it's some ideas for you anyway.
 

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Don't tread on me!
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Discussion Starter · #13 · (Edited)
These boys sound cool. They (too me) seem like Berzerkers. Furious Charge, WS5 and implants in the brain??
One thing i'd think about is the WS. WS5 is pretty high and i always associate WS with skill. These guys are frothing maniacs so maybe increase their attacks charatarisitics instead? Or give them prefered enemy to represent some unholy zeal or like the Chaplains re-rolls to hit on the charge.
Oops, WS 5 was a bad cut and paste job, they are WS 4. I've fixed the above post.

The Rhino seems pretty cool, AV12 is a nice touch but maybe have some downside to the additonal armour? Reduced capacity or if it moves 12 you have to make a difficult terrain check due to the strain on the engine??
While I think the idea has merit, the points value is probably enough of a downside for a transport. Don't forget that the Rhino chassis can support the weight of the Vindicator weapons system and ammo.

If those suggestions seem silly it's because i'm very very tired but maybe it's some ideas for you anyway.
No suggestion is ever silly when commenting on a homwbrew unit.

Menzies one of the followers of my Blog has offered to do some artwork and the cover for the finished product. Here's a teaser pic for the Mini-dex he did.

 

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Don't tread on me!
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Discussion Starter · #17 ·
Finally ready for public viewing and testing!

The Galaxy in Flames Blog proudly presents: The Soul Reapers Mini-dex

Download here

This book is obviously an unofficial supplement for use with the Codex Chaos Space Marines. You’ll need a copy of it to use the mini-dex.

Please keep in mind that this is a bare bones playtest version of the book with the content and layout being geared towards getting the points values and Special Rules out for trial. The final version will be polished with lots of background and flavor.

Here’s what I’d like from anyone that is willing. Play games using the list as many times as you can and send me feedback here or by PM.

The Beta testing will last from now until the end of February 2010.

I’d like to thank Menzies again for his fantastic Artwork!
 
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