There are rumors going around of a sixth edition of Warhammer 40,000 complete with a much needed new rulebook for the armies of the Chaos Space Marines. Supposedly this new edition will focus on chaos and the chaos legions, ie those that sided with Horus during the rebellion against the emperor.
That all sounds fine and I was content to wait and see. However a bunch of people online have gotten their panties in knots already over these rumors. Fixing the Chaos Codex isn’t hard, it isn’t rocket surgery. Here is what I would propose as someone having carried the torch for Chaos through many, many, rule changes.
HQ is easy you’ve got your Daemon Princes, your Lords, and your Sorcerers. You also have your special characters. GW likes them, I don’t. GW likes them because they can charge an even larger premium on the sales of special character models. Always remember the rules exist to sell miniatures.
The thing people seem to complain about is not being able to make all powerful mega Lords and Princes anymore so that will probably come back. I expect a lot more options and upgrades available similar to what you see on the Fantasy side in their Daemon Codex.
The biggest decision after who is going to lead your army is what god are they going to follow. I’d force people to choose right from the get go and theme the entire codex around this. Either your leader is devoted to Chaos Undivided or he/she is devoted to one of the four gods: Khorne, Nurgle, Slaneesh, or Tzeentch. This choice will affect your troop options severely. If you choose one of the four gods you may take troops devoted to that god as Troop choices. If you opt for Undivided you may take up to one troop choice from each god.
Lords and Sorcerers can be mounted on daemonic mounts. Nurgle lords can have a pet Beast of Nurgle who is Toughness 5. These are all wargear upgrade options.
I’m old school so I think all followers of chaos should be warped and corrupted so I would have no possessed entry. I’d have a single elite choice, entitle “Chosen of Chaos”. This would be like the Nobz mob in the Ork Codex. I remember when Chaos Lords could have retinues and the Chosen/Nobz are the comrades in arms of the Lord. Chosen could either be in terminator armor or not, just like Nobz mobs. I don’t know about bikes, I guess you could throw that option in.
There would be a special character which allowed you to take Chosen as troops enabling the all terminator army. There would also be a special character making raptors troops too.
Chaos should be more like the Grey Knights a smaller elite force. I mean some of them have been fighting for 10,000 years, you’d think they’d have improved over time, plus had their numbers reduced.
This is easy too, you have your Bezerker entry, they are Khorne’s mortal foot soldiers, specializing in close combat. One major addition I’d make to differentiate the loyalists from the Chaos worshipers is more daemons. For every unit of mortal foot soldiers you are allowed to take a single unit of the same or lesser size of daemonic foot soldiers.
Remember the elaborate summoning rules where Khorne had to get into H2H, Nurgle had to cause wounds, Tzeentch cast spells, and Sleneesh force moral checks I think. That is too complicated for today’s 40K, so probably just Deep Strike but force them to appear within six inches of someone with the matching mark.
Nurglings are supposed to be the most numerous of all lesser daemons. So Plague Marines would be allowed to have a unit of Plaguebearers and a unit of Nurglings. The Nurglings would be say 1-3 stands and wouldn’t be summoned. They would just start the game with the Plague Marines. I’d also not have Nurglings take up any space in transports. So you could cram 10 Deathguard plus 3 stands of Nurglings into a rhino. Call this rule, “There is always room for Nurglings.”
Right now there is a loyalist rhino box and a chaos rhino box, a loyalist predator box and a chaos predator box, and two landraider boxes. This is just dumb. There should be one box for each vehicle type and then one box called “Chaos Vehicle Upgrades” or some such. Putting these in their own boxes will reduce clutter on shelves and allow people to convert IG vehicles to chaos easier. These upgrades would be all new and all spiffy plastic bits.
Daemonic possession of vehicles would be encouraged. It looks cool and differentiates the bag guys from the good guys. Making the vehicle immune to shaken/stunned is good but why are daemons worse shots? Some daemons can see into the future, surely that helps with their aim? I’d make possessed vehicles BS 4 or even WS/BS 5. Then make it expensive say 25% the cost of the base vehicle.
There is no point in releasing a new codex without new models to flog. Chaos will get a drop pod, a new daemon engine, and two flyers. Just look at the Forgeworld stuff. They probably won’t even get a drop pod, just use the Chaos Vehicle Upgrade bits to convert the existing loyalist one. The daemon engine will probably be smaller than a defiler. Think along the lines of obliterators or killer cans. Something that would be fun to build and be fielded in groups of 1-3. Call it the Chaos equivalent of the attack bike or even land speeder. I don’t care if it floats or flies, it is a size of model that is missing from the Chaos range.
There will of course only be one flyer model, you just can configure it to be a bomber or a fighter. I doubt Chaos will get the deploy troops from a flyer option, but you never know.
I never get to use this much. Raptors as troops is a given, maybe that is the Night Lords bone, just bring the right special character. You could make bikers cooler by giving them the option of having jet bikes. Make a new kit that can be built with or without wheels, or just force people to build their jet bikers. Chaos is supposed to use pre-Heresy weapons still.
I’m not sure Fast Attack daemons will happen, that might be something unique to the all Daemon list and I’m fine with that.
There are a lot of givens here: Landraider, Predator, Vindicator, Defiler, Devastator equivalent squad, Obliterators, plus the flyers. Because heavy support has so many options my gut says the new daemon engine thing will be fast attack. Heck where do dreadnoughts fit in, Elite or Heavy Support. I don’t think Chaos will get too many new big toys, but instead will get a lot of smaller options plus combined with special characters to tweak army list composition.
These aren’t going anywhere and supposedly heroic individuals are making a comeback on the battlefields of the 41st millennium. Most of the ones that are already sculpted will continue to exist in the rules. They’ll probably get the bring along lots of troops of that god special rule. Abbadon will make Chosen troops, Kharne will make Bezerkers troops etc. What they have to do to make a true Chaos Legion codex is release one special character for each Legion. I’ll leave that as an exercise for the readers. One trend which I kinda like is special characters who aren’t HQ. The Imperial Guard codex has a bunch but even Orks or the Codex Marines have some, you have your special scout sargent etc. etc. There will probably be one or two of these, but they really need one special character per Legion…
Well more wasted time today.
I’d like Chaos cultists, a special character that allowed cultists would be cool and something I’d consider running just to paint something other than power armor.
Update April 27, 2012
I participated way too much in some threads over at the B&C. A lot of my predictions and reasoning here and at the B&C seem to have been spot on though I never foresaw Demons being completely written out of the Chaos Space Marine army list, as per the latest rumors. That’s what they did in Fantasy so I guess that should have been on my radar. I’m glad that cultists seem to have returned as I’ve painted a lot of power armor over the years, but I’m not so glad that special characters continue to be more and more of a necessity to unlock rules and options. I really should wait and see yet more but people post rumor summaries to Facebook even if I stay away from the forums and unsubscribe from blog feeds…
I have a lot of unpainted models, some I should think of selling, but I also have a really large collection of painted Chaos models so I can field something in the new ‘Dex, I’m just not sure when I’ll be gaming or painting again. I’m also not sure how much time, effort, and money I want to invest in the hobby… Hopefully after I read the book I’ll think of something fun and unique to do, if it isn’t fun and unique I mean why bother. I hope to be able to do a faster and more maneuverable army as those do better in the local Vancouver tournament scene, or at least should given the missions and terrain used. I still am tempted to do another big horde unit, even though I dread painting them. Bezerkers, cultists, or zombies, I’ve stockpiled figs for those units for years, especially Bezerkers and cultists.
Also rumors of no dreadnoughts seems odd given how many I have painted, how many get bought from Forgeworld, maybe they’ll be a Forgeworld rules only model, maybe Forgeworld has a demons + CSM + cultist army list in the pipeline. That is usable at Astronomi-con Vancouver, which is good enough for me.
Must stay away from the hobby for another month or two as I try to find focus and health.
Update July 2012
Looks like my speculation and predictions here and especially over in various threads at the B&C were spot on. Daemons are now allies only, there is a new demon engine and a flying demon engine. There are some new HQ or possibly Elite options which implies the return of the 2 wound cheaper leader. Cult Troops are Elite but can be made troops by a hopefully non-special character HQ choice. Cult terminators are apparently gone which is a shame as I never did finish painting my Forgeworld Deathguard conversion kit models. I still might get the Bezerker terminator conversion bits some day.
I didn’t do the best job of focusing prior to my CFA exam and my health is still a work in progress, but it appears I will play my first game of Warhammer 40,000 in a long time soon. I’ll type up a battle report, it will be with sixth edition but apparently it is a month or two more before the chaos codex. I’ve made some notes about what I’d like to do, even given some thought to Demon allies. I also like Guard and Ork allies but with cultists providing cheaper troop choices in the CSM codex, they should be worse than Space Marine Scouts, like Rabble in the Imperial Armour 7 rules. Imperial Guard have good anti-air with the Hydra and Orks have lots of Forgeworld stuff too. Before I return to painting and modeling I need to find a real full time job.
Update 2 July 2012
Bitching and moaning about a book they haven’t even read continues over at the Bolter and Chainsword, but as more rumors come out and even some official GW teasers, a lot of my predictions were correct. Marks unlock cult troops, more demon engines, a flyer, no demons as troops. Abaddon apparently doesn’t make Terminators troops, breaking my proposed Leroy Jenkins build, but Typhus gets his own special build. Not sure I’ll run a Nurgle Lord or an Undivided Lord. I like Chosen and I honestly don’t mind having 3 Elites in a 1500 point army. A Dark Apostle boosts Cultists so maybe that is my small points leader, maybe I’ll do an Undivided Lord and Nurgle Sorcerer, finally repainting Cancerous the Extremely Naughty.
Update August 26th 2012
Some thought the new Chaos Codex would be out by now, it appears they were wrong. However some people have claimed to have seen it and someone calling themselves Faeit 212 has collected all the rumors in one place so you could pretty much start pricing out your army. I still am looking for work, so won’t be playing any miniature wargames or buying any models for a long time. I own plenty already, should probably sell some. I’ve sort of got three army lists in mind. One basically whatever I feel like using the many models I’ve already painted and converted, sort of a one of everything list just to try the new rules out. The second would be a pure Chaos Space Marine list to build towards which may or may not include Forgeworld stuff like the Decimator or Storm Eagle. The final list would be a series of lists with allies, starting with demons, likely not even all Nurgle demons. Based on the new rules I like Tzeentch demons best followed by Slaneesh.
I’ve always liked Chosen and now that you can just make up any sort of justification you want for your army list, I’m thinking two squads of Chosen so I can infiltrate one and outflank the other. Possibly one worshiping Chaos Undivided and one still worshiping Nurgle as I have so many models painted. I’ll still have three troop choices, but I’ve no clue about HQ. Part of me wants to do a Nurgle Biker Lord just to have toughness 6 and be annoying, but I possibly might do what I already do and put a sorcerer on the bike and have an undivided lord. I might even do a Khorne, Tzeentch, or Slaneesh Lord maybe all three, though I already have many models I could use.
I will use Cultists. My Servants of Decay will finally see the table top. Not sure if I’ll ever run a special character it seems so unimaginative, crutch 40K. The only special characters that interest me are the most obscure ones that don’t even have a model, like the Plague Father. I will use my existing Defiler and may build a second Defiler ASAP. I will first paint an undivided Rhino though I may need a dedicated Khorne rhino for my Bezerkers if the rumors are true. For Chaos your choice of HQ affects what counts as Troops, so it makes the most sense especially if I ever play larger games to have a Nurgle guy as my Warlord as I have so many Nurgle models painted. That is what I’ll probably do first, but ultimately I still don’t know.
I totally don’t know what I’ll do for Fast Attack. Your local ‘meta game’ and how common Flyers are will probably determine if you take the Chaos Dragon or a Forgeworld Flyer. I probably will get one of each at some point as I’m more of a collector than a gamer. Besides Defilers, Vindicators especially demonically possessed Vindicators are supposed to be all the rage. I guess I’ll continue to wait until the actual book is in my actual hands before I write a proper list, but I definitely have thoughts. The new box set is up on GW’s website so new Codices can’t be far behind.
Update September 4th 2012
Not much changes in my life, but I’ve taken again to reading the B&C and other rumor sources. Supposedly the Codex is coming out this month. Dark Vengance as they are calling the 6th Edition box set is already out. Here is yet another big rumor collection, I’m disappointed Chosen will lose Infiltrate, will Chaos Space Marines especially those of the Alpha Legion and its descendants be the only army list without any infiltration ability. Demons don’t count obviously as they all Deep Strike in. I’m thinking of running a Nurgle Lord on bike, just four toughness 6 and the ability to prevent scattering…
I may have 2 HQ at 1500 points as the 2 wound HQ has returned to Chaos supposedly, one of my many predictions that seems will come true.