There has been a request that Warriors of Chaos get some kind of guidebook. Originally, it was intended that the "newcomers" thread be the catchall for all 'guidebook' type questions, but as that thread soars to more than 30 pages, it's becoming apparent that it's better to leave that thread for questions rather than expect new players to give it a thorough reading. That's where this thread comes in. Below I will write out what the most basic of the "generally accepted" Warrior of Chaos tips and strategies.
What I am going to do in this thread is lay out a sort of guide for our units, as well as a decent 2000pt starter army list that you can build for about $250. So let's get down to brass tacks.
Units to Avoid, and the Golden Rule of WoC
Let's start with the "Golden Rule," because it's the simplest part of this. Nothing that anyone says about Warriors is 'law'.
While other armies have 1 list, 1 build that truly
works, the current WoC book is quite possibly one of the two best written books in the history of Warhammer. There are no bad
unit choices. There are also no "instant win" unit choices, so don't ask us for some kind of 'super list'. Most of what is contained below has already been argued back and forth on our boards, and the end result is usually a draw. A veteran gamer can make just about any of our units work in some context. That being said, there are units that should probably be avoided by newer players. These choices are arranged in order from "Please Never Take" (the bottom 2) up to just being "Sub-optimal", meaning that these units might be good, but typically there is a better use for the points. This is common in the Warriors army - several units compete for the same role, but one does it better/cheaper. Where this is the case, it will be noted in the description. So without further ado:
1. Forsaken - This unit just has no admirable qualities. They only wear heavy armor, and while they're fast, they're not fast enough to replace Cavalry. Their attacks are Random, they're frenzied, and they're unmarkable. Forsaken are better left on the shelf. They're probably the only
unit in our book that are beyond salvation - although LordBorak has made use of them in some lists.
2. Chaos Ogres - Chaos Ogres aren't bad
, they have equivalent stats to 3 Warriors stuck onto a single 40mm base. The downside though is that they're about as expensive as 3 Warriors, and they only have half as many attacks. You gain Stomp, but you lose ranks, and worse yet, you lose Initiative. The only way to field these guys is with Greatweapons and Chaos Plate.
3. Shaggoths - Shaggoths are great on paper, massive huge guys that can take extra handweapons and just tear people apart. The problem with them is that they cost as much as a regiment of Warriors... who can also tear people apart. Against a ranked unit with multiple models, Shaggoths will get eaten alive by the return attacks. They're not particularly tough, their save isn't all that great, and they don't have many wounds. Worst of all, they're slow
, with low Initiative, meaning that they'll be lucky if they even get to attack these targets, let alone Stomp them.
4. Daemon Princes (Pinkus is going to kill me) - DPs are a strange choice. Like the Chaos Lord mentioned later, they are going to displace your ability to take a Sorcerer Lord in most games, and that's reason enough to avoid them. Unlike the Chaos Lord, DPs are actually fairly priced in their basic form. The problem is that "their basic form" is all you get - you have no options for an Armor Save, and you're stuck with a 4+ Wardsave at best. They can take Gifts, but none of the 50+pt gifts are particularly memorable, and Marks, which hardly help. You are practically forced to give them MoT just to get that 4+ Wardsave. There is also the opportunity to make them casters. Some people (myself included) believe that this is the one redeeming trait to the Prince - that you can gain the magic defense of a L4 without losing the hitting-power of a Chaos Lord. The trouble is that you are most likely stuck using Lore of Tzeentch, and forgo items like the Infernal Puppet and Dispel Scroll unless you have a second Sorcerer (negating most of the benefit of taking the DP over a Chaos Lord).
5. Giants - I was going to rank these below Shaggoths, but Giants are arguably better at the one role Shaggies do well - killing monsters. Giants almost need
to have Mark of Slaanesh, for the ASF. In combat, they fare worse than a Shaggoth because they have no armor at all. However with ASF you could
get lucky and roll up a Yell-and-Bawl result before anyone even gets to swing. Otherwise, see Shaggoths.
6. Chaos Spawn - Spawn are just too random. A lot of people who do use them, use them for charge interruption, but we have Dogs for the same purpose. Otherwise, the price you drop on enough Spawn to make a difference in combat, you could have just spent on Knights or Marauder Horsemen.
7. Dragon Ogres - Dragon Ogres are the exception to that part about Ogres. Ogres are just infantry, and bring nothing to the table. Dragon Ogres however are our Monstrous Cavalry. The biggest downside to Dragon Ogres is their points cost. Otherwise, they're actually not a bad unit - they move fast, they hit hard, and they scare the daylights out of people. Back to their cost though - you can pick up almost 2 Chaos Knights for the price of a DrOgre, and they have (in many regards) better stats, and the cost of a few extra points and 1 less wound. Add in the cavalry nerf (and the fact that official DrOgre models are UGLY) and you have a unit that should be amazing
, but ends up falling just short of greatness.
8. Chaos Lords and Exalteds - this is the most arguable of my points, and I thought about excluding it from the list. The reason that most people won't take them though, is their cost. Like the Shaggoth, they look good on paper, but we can get a whole unit of Warriors for equivalent prices, and with Warriors comes ranks and wounds. The problem is that we're paying for amazing
stats, stats that are so
over the top that they are excessive. Think about WS9 - the best you can hit an opponent on is an unmodified 3+, and the most you'll be hit on is a 5+ - so how is WS9 much better than WS6 or WS7, something that we usually only see on the Lord choices of other races? It's hardly better, but we pay for it anyways. For a final nail in the coffin, our characters are forced to challenge, or to accept challenges - so it's incredibly easy for an opponent to just throw a champion in our way and keep all of that damage from shredding their unit.
9. Hellstriders of Slaanesh - one of the two new units added via White Dwarf. Their rules can be found in the November 2012 issue, although for your Aussies, it was pushed back to December 2012. These guys have some very interesting rules. As they kill off enemy regiments, they gain bonuses similar to those earned from the Eye of the Gods. They're Fast Cavalry, making them easy to get into a position, and they love to rip chaff units like enemy Eagles, Hounds, Skirmishers, and their ilk, to pieces with spears or ASF whips. So why not take them? Because Marauder Horsemen do this job better. True, MCav can't hold a candle to a regiment of 'Striders once these guys are boosted up a few levels, but unfortunately, the 'Striders life expectancy isn't much better than any other Fast Cavalry in the game, and those "level ups" are usually only good enough to offset the casualties you will incur trying to earn them. Furthermore, 'Striders are a Special choice, and won't help you fill your minimum Core. If you need to spend points on Fast Cavalry, you're better off getting the Marauder Cavalry and skimming from your minimum Core requirement.
The Marks, and Units to Take
Now that we know the units that we should probably avoid, what about the rest of the book? Before we can discuss any of the units, it's important that we establish a good understanding of the Marks and what they mean for most of the units in the book.
1. Mark of Khorne - MoK is the most straightforward mark, it simply confers Frenzy. Unfortunately, you can lose Frenzy if you aren't careful, and therefore lose your mark. A lot of people will caution that Frenzy makes you easy to bait out of position. This is mostly a hold over from 7th edition, but now you can take a Leadership check to avoid charging an opponent. With our average leadership, and a BSB nearby, we shouldn't be charging anything that we don't want to (dice gods willing). However, you must
pursue or overrun, and this is where you can still be lured out of position. A canny opponent can stick a cheap, expendable regiment in front of you and leave you with charging as your only option - forcing you to move through that unit and out of position.
2. Mark of Nurgle/Tzeentch - I am comparing these marks directly, because they are to the two "preservation" oriented marks. Generally speaking, it is better to avoid being hit, than to avoid being wounded, and better to avoid being wounded than to have a good save. I don't know why, it's just how the math works. At first glance, this makes Nurgle (1/6 fewer Hits) better than Tzeentch (1/6 better Ward). The problem is that Nurgle only works against BS-based shooting, and WS that is 1pt higher than your own, or exactly half of your own. Mark of Tzeentch on the other hand, works against all
wounds suffered, from Dangerous Terrain, to Spells, to Warmachines, Stomps, anything that allows a Wardsave. Furthermore, comparing Nurgle against Tzeentch when they are both working, Nurgle is typically only 10% more effective, but it costs 10pts more. Tzeentch also stacks with our Parry Save, providing a 5+. This is enough to truly tip the scales in combat. As the book is written right now, Tzeentch is the superior mark.
3. Mark of Slaanesh - MoS is hardly better than Unmarked. Warriors already reroll Panic with or without a BSB, and just like baiting Frenzy, we have respectable Leadership and should usually have a BSB around for the reroll when it comes to Fear or Terror. MoS is normally reserved for units that are acting outside of the BSB bubble, and who you don't want invest enough points into to get MoK.
4. Unmarked - when in doubt, there is absolutely nothing wrong with an Unmarked unit. Certainly Warriors are better with Marks, as are most of our units, but you can save points without sacrificing too
much effectiveness. Also understand that Marks are comparatively more expensive as your units become smaller, so it may not be worth marking that 5-man regiment of Horsemen for +6pts/model.
Now, getting into the Units that we should take. This is in no particular order, this just goes through the rest of our book and looks at the typical configurations and roles of each unit.
1. Warriors - this is where our book gets its name after all. Warriors are great - they have great stats, they are fairly priced (if not a bit cheap compared to other armies) and have several versatile loadouts. They are one of the few Core choices in any book that can take a 50pt banner on every unit, no strings attached, and our Marks are equal to a Banner in their own right. Warriors usually range in size from 18-24 models. Some people run units as small as 15 or as large as 30, but it often depends on the size of the game being played. A 6-wide frontage is generally considered the best balance for getting as many Warriors into combat as often as possible. Commands are advised, with a Champion in the unit only if you are also escorting a Character (when escorting characters, drop a model from the unit). The two common loadouts for Warriors are:
a) MoK w/ Halberd, Shields - this is your butcher unit. Their shields are only there to get them across the field, and then they smash whatever is in front of them. This is a favorite build for "mixed" armies, as it's probably the most effective use of Warriors.
b) MoT w/ Shields - this capitalizes on the fact that Tzeentch pairs with a Parry Save. This unit is slightly less effective, and is more popular in armies which don't want to include Marauders. The point of this unit is to stand firm against anything that is thrown at it, and grind them down slowly. Spells (like Lore of Shadow) can be tossed onto these anchors to help them get through combat a bit faster, or you can flank the enemy with a more dangerous unit, but typically you don't want to base your entire army on units in this configuration.
The choice that you most want to avoid with Warriors is the Great Weapon. We pay for our Initiative, and sacrificing it is pointless - especially when we can just take Halberds. Additional Handweapons are an option, but when it comes to killing power, they'll always lose out to the Halberd.
2. Marauders - marauders are the sweatshop labor of the WoC army. At 5pts each for a Marauder with a Greatweapon, they are probably the best cheap core in the game. Units of Marauders range from 40-60 strong, usually falling right in the middle with 50 guys. Greatweapons and Mark of Khorne is the favorite kit, although you can also go MoT/Shields for the same reason you would with Warriors. The difference is that Marauders in a Horde have enough spare bodies to soak up the damage even without the boosted save. Keep these guys cheap - once you start buying them armor and the likes, you may as well grab Warriors. This is because Marauders are best used for going after targets that you want to avoid with your Warriors. Enemy elites who will rip through a Warrior's armor, or who might hit/wound them on 3's or better are best left for the Marauders to handle. This makes a strange dichotomy for our army - we send our Elites against enemy Chaff, and send our expendable guys against their Elites - and we win in both cases. Never underestimate the humble "Naked Northman."
EDIT: There's been a recent interest in a new type of Marauder regiment. Namely, small units armed with Flails rather than GWs. The idea is that Marauders are still I4, which is fast enough to strike with or before most regiments who aren't of Elven descent. Flails provide a single round of S5 hitting, but do it at initiative. The idea is to field several
small regiments of 18-21 Marauders in 3 ranks, armed with Flails and MoK, and use them as a first wave of attack. The units are mind-blowingly cheap, and hit like a ton of bricks. I was doubtful at first, but after running the math I realized that 18 Marauders will not only win, but nearly destroy
any regiment of equal cost. For larger regiments, the Marauders will still make a massive dent in their numbers and tie them up for a round before your Warriors or Knights can come in and finish the job. Most of all though, these units are great for clearing away screens of skirmishers, and redirectors like Eagles or Fast Cavalry.
3. Hounds and Marauder Horsemen - rounding out are core are the fast options. Hounds are a favorite because they are our version of the expendable charge-redirection units. Most Warrior players will also use them to eat up enemy deployment drops. Our army is small, so dropping 3-4 30pt units of Hounds on the table can buy us time to figure out where our enemy is going to place their elites. Hounds also provide cover to the units behind them, which can help us get across the field against shooting armies. Horsemen can fill the same role, but are a bit more expensive. Horsemen are usually given Flails and Mark of Khorne, a popular holdover from 7th known as the "Cruise Missile". The goal of such a unit is to hit an enemy 'bunker' in the front, and target the character with as many attacks as possible. If a 90pt unit of Horsemen can kill a 100pt Caster, you're already a step ahead. Both Hounds and Horsemen can be used to hunt down enemy flankers or scouts, or hunt warmachines if they can survive long enough to reach the back of the table.
4. Chosen - Chosen aren't much better than Warriors. They get a pregame roll on the Eye of the Gods, and have +1WS, but they cost 3pts more and don't fill your Core requirement. One option that Chosen do
have however, is fiercely manipulating that first EotG roll. Giving them a Wailing Banner and a Favor of the Gods will give you the opportunity to modify almost any result to a reroll, helping to guarantee that you get either the Stubborn 4+wardsave, or that you get whichever +1Stat that you want. Some players will even take this a step farther and include 1-2 Warshrines to add in a boost. At the end of it all, you're looking at a roughly 25% chance that you'll get the 4+ ward on any given roll. The argument against such a configuration is that you are investing a massive part of your army into this single unit, and hoping that it works out for you.
As far as equipment options, follow the same suggestions as for Warriors, except that some people will go for MoT&Halberds if they are aiming for the 4+ ward.
EDIT: The 4+ Ward: I've done the math for this unit, and actually considered dropping Chosen down to a "do not take" regiment. A lot of people say that with 2 Warshrines and the Pregame roll, Chosen are guaranteed
to get the Wardsave. Not true. Because the benefits drop off as soon as you activate the Shrine to give another, you will never have more rerolls available than you have Shrines. The only way to guarantee that you will get the Wardsave is to have a Favor of the Gods on the unit (no need for the Wailing Banner) and use it to get the following results on the first turn:
This means that you need to have 3 Warshrines there to boost the unit. You are effectively paying ~400pts, plus 3pts per Chosen, to have a regiment of Warriors with +1WS, a 4+ Wardsave, and Stubborn. Granted, you also have the 3 other benefits gained, all but one of which can be moved to another result by reactivating your 2 remaining Shrines. However, for the amount of points invested in the unit, you could actually get 2 regiments of Warriors with your choice of equipment, and probably give one of them a 50pt banner and still have points to spare.
Therefore, Chosen are not bad enough to make it into the bottom section, but neither are they good enough to really warrant taking them over Warriors unless you have filled your Core requirement and have a few points left over to upgrade a Warriors regiment for 3pts/model.
5. Knights - The statline of a Knight is basically a Warrior on a Horse. Great. The Cavalry nerf in 8th really hurt them, but they are still excellent choices. There are two approaches to fielding them. 5/6 models can tear through small enemy units, and help add some punch on the flanks of a Warrior or Marauder unit. The other option is to field them in a unit of 10-12. Similar to the Chosen, this is investing a large portion of your points into a single unit, as you are normally going to want to add in some kind of defensive item like the Blasted Banner to the regiment. A regiment this size will often terrify an opponent, and can negate ranks when charging an opponent in the flank. However, they will never be as good as an equivalently priced regiment of Warriors. The role that large Knight-blocks fill is generally one of breakthrough and support, creating a gap by destroying a mid-power enemy unit and breaking through to threaten the rear of the army.
The other role that Knights add, is bring Magical Attacks to the table. Against Ethereal units like the new Vampire Counts, this is a priceless commodity, and something that you should keep in mind when writing lists.
Lances should be avoided at all costs, +2 strength on the charge is not worth +1S at all times and magical attacks.
*a note on Juggernauts - some people will field a character on a Juggernaut along with their Knights. Understand that by doing this, you are typically cutting 2 Knights from the front rank, rather than the 1 that you would lose for adding a character on a basic Steed. The Juggernaut also costs about as much as a Knight and a Steed, and has the same attack profile. With a Jug you have 2S5s and a S5 stomp. With the Knight/Steed you have 2/3S5s, and 2S4s, all at equal or better initiative. The only reason to take a Juggernaut is to gain MR1 on the unit, keep this in mind.
6. Trolls - these are our best option for Monstrous Creatures. Trolls are capable of laying down a ton
of damage with their Stomps, and their Monstrous Support (allowing up to 3 attacks from the rear rank). Because of this, a block of 6 Trolls can lay down a whopping 18 attacks, with an additional 3 Stomps, over a 120mm frontage with a rank. Warriors can't touch that - 10 Warriors will put out 15 attacks, 20 if they're Frenzied. While Trolls wear less armor, they have Regeneration, which also helps to make up for their lower Initiative as well. Unfortunately, Trolls can't be marked and have no upgrades available to them, although they do get to roll on the Eye of the Gods for successful Regens. Stupidity can be a problem, but not often if you keep them near a BSB and your General. The other downside to Trolls is that they fill much the same role as Warriors or Chosen, although they take up a Special Choice. This makes the special character Throgg worth noting - he can give you Trolls for Core, as well as serving as a second BSB for anything monstrous. Many a WoC general has anchored his battle line with a hefty regiment of Trolls, with or without Throgg.
7. Hellcannons - this is our monster of choice. An Unbreakable, T6 monster with a 4+ save and 3 handlers is something for anyone to fear, and in fact the Hellcannon is generally viewed as being better in combat than it is when shooting. People who plan on using Hellcannons to shoot will sometimes back them up with a Death Wizard and the -1Ld Banner from our book, with the intention of forcing enemies to test at -5Ld when hit with the cannon. This can work, but it is a waste against any foe who is Immune to Panic or Psychology. Rather, Hellcannons are best used to anchor a flank, and tie up enemy units that you don't want running around unchecked. I have had my personal Hellcannon take a charge from a 23 Saurus Warriors, a Scar Vet, and a Salamander - only 3 Saurus Warriors survived after 4 rounds of fighting.
8. Warshrines - the Warshrines is, unfortunately, not quite a monster. It doesn't have Stomp, it doesn't have handlers. It does however have a hefty Wardsave. Warshrines are typically fielded in a support role, with a target unit in mind. Once you have gotten the boost you want on that unit however, the Warshrine just sits in place. This is a bad strategy - while not as sturdy as a Hellcannon, a Warshrine can still defend a flank and tie down an enemy regiment for a short time, and the boost that it grants will carry on even after it is destroyed. I typically deploy a Hellcannon on my "strong flank" and place the Warshrine so that it can move to the weaker flank of my army. A particularly devious tactic for the Warshrine is to turn it sideways in front of a unit - as a monster, it gets as many free turns as it wants. Using it's 4+ ward, it can shield that unit from cannonballs and similar damage, as a cannonball must kill
the target before moving through to the next one.
9. The BSB - this is a necessity, although I said not to take Exalteds, this is the exception. BSBs can be fielded in a variety of roles, but generally the magic standards available to us are lackluster. I'll describe the first style of BSB here, and save the second for the next part. The most common BSB carries either a Halberd or a Magic Weapon, and then has some sort of defensive Wardsave. These characters are normally on foot, to stay with the bulk of your armor, but there are also generals who field them mounted, to add some strength to their Knight blocks.
10. SkullCrushers of Khorne - wow. Just, wow. This is definitely a case of GW wanting to give us a unit to take our money, and they pulled through with a pair of brass appendages that would make the Blood God himself rather envious. See every point made about Knights, amplify, and then provide a major price cut. "But Captain" I hear you saying, "a Skullcrusher costs more than a Knight." True, yes. However, as Monstrous Cavalry, SkullCrushers get their ranks at 3-wide, making a rank of SkullCrushers 20pts cheaper than a rank of Chaos Knights. For this 20pt discount your rank has 9 wounds instead of 5, Toughness 5, boasts just 1 less attack from the Riders, and replaces 5, S4 Steed attacks with 6 S5 Juggernaut attacks and 3 auto-hit S5 Stomps. The unit also boasts Magic Resistance 1. But that's not all. No, like some kind of Billy Mayes infomercial from the very depths of hell, this regiment has so much more to offer
. Knights are most effective when fielded in 2 ranks. However, the downside is that your Knights are limited to just 1 attack from the second rank, even though you've paid for 2 (or even 3, from Khorne). No, SkullCrushers get their full attacks from the second rank. So while they were 1 attack behind in a single rank, they're now a massive 3 attacks ahead
of a regiment of 10 Knights. Better still, they have almost double
number of wounds (18 to 10) and they don't lose their attacks or rank bonus until they've suffered three
unsaved wounds, which with T5 and a 1+ armor save, is pretty difficult for anything up to and exceeding a Chaos Warrior to score on them.
To make 'Crushers even better, you can fit a regiment of 6 of them into a 1500pt game, and can squeeze 10 of them into a 2400pt game, and give each regiment a Musician at 2500pts. This is where those Exalteds on Juggernauts belong - bringing your total number of monstrous cavalry to 12, enough for two units of 6 of these insane biomechanical death-machines. So far, I have not found a single enemy regiment that will hold if flanked by a regiment of these while simultaneously engaging one of my ranked units to the front. The pure carnage unleashed by a regiment of SkullCrushers is enough to strip ranks off the backs of anything but an enemy Horde, and win combat enough to force a non-steadfast opponent onto Insane Heroism.
If there is unit in the entire book that I would tell you not to be caught dead without, it's SkullCrushers.
Sorcerers, the Role of Magic, and the Book Lores
Magic is a huge part of the game in 8th edition. It has been dialed back from 7th, made more random, and balanced out with a wide brush, but the nature of the spells has become far more destructive. This means that magic defense, at a minimum, is paramount to success in this edition. Warriors have an unfortunate Casting phase, in that it is only 'average' or even slightly weaker compared to other armies. It was meant to be there to hand our lack of a shooting phase, but it hardly suffices. That said, lets look at our Sorcerers.
1. Sorcerers and Sorc Lords - the Sorc Lord is practically our only choice for a general. That said, he should have at least
a 4+ wardsave, either by having a straight 4+, or by having a 5+ wardsave with the Tzeentch boost. Beyond that, we normally want to focus on magic defense, since our offense is somewhat lacking. The best defensive item that Warriors have available to them is the Infernal Puppet. This item not only defends our casters from miscasts, but also punishes overconfident opponents. The next battery of items are of course the Black Tongue, and Dispel Scrolls, which can placed on additional lower level casters. Some players will also turn to our Gifts to add a little extra punch to our casting phase, but then you are starting to increase the points invested in characters, and detracting from the number of models in an already small and elite army.
* a note on the BSB - the Book of Secrets is a rare item for any WHFB book, allowing us to turn an Exalted into a L1 caster for just 25pts. Some people will use this opportunity to fit a Dispel Scroll into the list without adding another sorcerer. Others will imitate a L2 caster by giving the Exalted the Mark of Tzeentch and the Spell Familiar. The other item of note is that this character is a prime recipient for the 3rd Eye, allowing him to steal spells from the opponent. Rather than sacrificing your L4's spells, you can get all of the spells an opponent has, using an Exalted. The downside is that you are losing out on any magic weapons or defenses, although I typically field my BoS BSB with a Shield, to at least have the 5+ Parry in combat.
2. The Book Lores - the most popular lore for WoC players is by far Shadows, followed by Death, Heavens, and then the Book Lores. The virtues of each of the core lores is already fairly well known, and I'm not going to discuss them in this thread. All that I will say is that Shadows' focus on buffs and debuffs is the best way to add combat effectiveness to our army, and therefore, while no lore truly compliments our army (aside from Life, but we can't have that one
) Shadows is usually seen as the next best thing. However, I will still look into the Book Lores.
a) Nurgle - Nurgle is on par with Shadows actually, with it's buffs and debuffs. It also mimics Death somewhat, with the Buboes spell. Finally, it offers a very cheap area-of-effect spell. Nurgle does all of this with a low casting cost, but features a short range. Unfortunately, Curse of the Leper -it's best debuff- is a low cost RiP spell, meaning that most opponents will burn it in their own casting phase. This is true of a few of the Nurgle spells, and is their downfall. Shadows can have a stronger effect for a single turn, whereas Nurgle can have a great effect as long as the opponent is foolish enough to leave it in play.
* Curse of the Leper pairs perfectly with Enfeebling/Withering from the Lore of Shadow. By casting the Shadow spell first, you can reduce the target to the minimum stat of 1, and then hit them with Curse to reduce it to 0 and kill the entire unit without any saves. This will only work if the spells are cast in that order, in a single turn however.
b) Tzeentch - Tzeentch is the most commonly taken lore from our book. The Gateway is a horrifying spell and has a great psychological impact on our opponents. Glory is also a great spell, provided the opponent does not dispel it. Often, people will use this spell to raise a Marauder to Exalted status in order to kill off enemy characters or to eat a challenge when there is no champion in the unit. You can technically end this spell before rolling any armor saves, leaving your opponent to swing and kill a basic model, although this is seen as very unsportsmanlike. Pandaemonium is probably the best spell in the lore, as at the very least it will force your opponent to burn dice to dispel it in their own phase, but at best it can shut down their leadership - leaving typical 'horde type' units very vulnerable, and can also destroy their casting phase if they choose to leave it in play.
c) Slaanesh - this is the most difficult lore to use, made even more so by the fact that it doesn't work on any unit or army that is Immune to Psychology (Daemons, Vampires, Tomb Kings). When it does work though, it can be perfect. Siezures is just as good as Dwellers, but it far cheaper to cast. Titillating Delusions can also help to draw enemy units out of position, either to be avoided or flanked in turn. The Frenzy spell is good on both sides of the field - casting it on friendly units will give them an edge, at the cost of a few casualties - while casting it on enemies can force them to overrun/pursue, possibly charge, and will still kill them off slowly.
The Starter Army
Below, I'll show you how you can easily create a 2250pt starter army for under $275. There are ways that I could keep this number below $250 (very easily in fact) but I also want to provide a solid stepping-off point for beginners out there. Veteran gamers will recognize that this list isn;t perfect, it probably won't win you any tournaments, however, it shows you how you can quickly amass enough Core choices to field a much larger army, as well as showing you some of the basic WoC theories in action. As you expand your collection, you will want to add or change units in the list to fine-tune it. That is what makes WoC such a fun army - you can personalize almost every aspect of it, and hone your army into a force that is truly your own, effective in your own hands, and no others.
Lvl4 Sorcerer Lord w/ Talisman of Preservation, Infernal Puppet, Distendable Maw, Lore of Shadows
Exalted BSB w/ Mark of Tzeentch, Shield, Book of Secrets, Dispel Scroll, Third Eye of Tzeentch
17 Warriors w/ Mark of Tzeentch, Shields, Full Command, Razor Standard
17 Warriors w/ Mark of Khorne, Halberds, Shields, Full Command, Blasted Standard
40 Marauders w/ Mark of Khorne, Greatweapons
5 Chaos Hounds
5 Chaos Hounds
5 Chaos Hounds
5 Chaos Hounds
5 Chaos Knights w/ Mark of Khorne, Standard Bearer, Musician
5 Chaos Knights w/ Mark of Khorne, Standard Bearer, Musician
Army Total - 2241/2250
How to Build This Army
I am assuming that you are buying all of your models directly from GW, and I am using the prices found on the US store as of 3/14/12. Prices may differ based on where you live (sorry, you poor Aussies get the hose again), and you may be able to find lower prices through sites like eBay or TheWarstore. What you will need to buy are:
2x Battalion Boxes - $200
1x Warriors of Chaos - $35
1x Halberds Bitz Sprue - $12.50
1x Sorcerer of Chaos - $13.50
Total Cost ------------ $261
1. Open your Battalion Boxes and assemble your Knights and the first 17 Warriors with Shields as usual. Put the Knight lances to the side to use later.
2. Games-Workshop does not sell Great Weapons for Marauders. To convert them, assemble your 40 Marauders as though they are armed with flails, then cut the heads of the flails off (just above the wooden handle) and replace them with axes heads and picks cut off of the handweapons included in the kit. Now you have 2-handed weapons.
3. Opening the Warriors regiment and adding 5 of the left-over models from the Battalion, begin assembling the halberdiers using the bitz that you purchased. The Knight 'lances' also make perfect halberds - cut them at the hand for a hand-swap, or cut them just below the elbow for a full-arm swap. You may need to trim the bottoms of the lances off, so that they fit onto the bases and rank up. The extra banner poles included in the kit can also be converted into halberds by cutting up one of the swords and axes and gluing them to the top of the banner pole. Just be sure to leave at least one banner pole for step 4.
4. Using one of the two left-over Warriors, convert your BSB. You should have extra helmets from your Knights, possibly some extra swords to use as well, to set him apart. Creative basing will help here too, like standing him on cork/slate or something similar. Use the extra banner pole from your Warriors to create his flag.
5. Assemble your Sorcerer. I am suggesting that you use the resin kits just because they are good looking models, and they are a bit cheaper.
Now all that's left is to paint your army, and you're on your way to glory in the name of your dark gods!