18 February 2013

Typhus' Musings: Elites, Fast & Heavy

I've looked at Daemonic Vehicles, Troops and HQ choices so far. Time to quickly ponder the rest of the army options, then we'll consider some list building.

I've used Nurgle Terminators on just the one occasion - a minimum unit acting as honour guard to Typhus as he Deep Strikes into the action. They didn't last very long and only managed to inflict the odd casualty in return. They did take the heat off the big man which I guess was the point of their inclusion, so the planned worked. What I need to investigate next is whether a larger unit, or indeed a LARGE unit, could reap significant rewards. Their Mark of Nurgle gives them extra toughness but it's not going to make much difference except against standard attacks and small arms fire.

The old Chaos Dreadnought (sorry, Hellbrute) has become a tad more reliable these days but has been usurped by the shiny new Daemonic Vehicles. Struggling to find a dedicated role it will have the tendency to fall between the cracks, and this is what I have found thus far. Despite only starting at 100 points before upgrades, it doesn't carry enough threat to persuade me not to want to spend the points elsewhere. Certainly my current Nurgle Hellbrute, with his fist and Multimelta isn't doing the job. If I were to replace his long range weapon with another close combat option he might become a cheaper alternative to a Defiler. Alternatively I could replace his Fist with a Missile Launcher, which isn't the best weapon but the only option to turn him into a mobile gun platform. This is the problem, there's always another model available that can do the job better. Still, I'm prepared to try things in order to find the right army list.

Possessed marines seem to have been improved no end. Their stats are slightly better than regular marines but their rolls on the mutated table will now always provide something useful. As a dedicated close combat unit they seem a very good option, the only issues are (a) the escalating cost as you give them upgrades - but hey, their an elite unit - and (b) the Mark of Nurgle is not terribly helpful - they'd be better with the Mark of Slaanesh for improved initiative or Khorne for improved attacks. I still think they're worth a look though.

Chosen marines are the most versatile unit of grunts in the book. You can basicaaly tailor them to,be what you want them to be. As regular readers will know, I used to adore these guys in my old tournament armies. Alas, they can no longer infiltrate as standard. As such they become an expensive option, when compared to regular marines who can also hold objectives. Taking Abaddon would allow them to become Troop choices but the points cost would become quite silly.

The final Elite option available is Mutilators, who are basically close combat Obliterators. These do not appeal at all for their points cost and don't seem terribly popular across the internet either.

I've already discussed the Heldrake which, to be honest is the only Fast Attack unit I've ever used in a Chaos army. I love the idea of bikes, I have lots of them sitting unbuilt in a box. Nurgle bikes are the only ones you want to be taking, with their improved toughness of 6, so I promise we will be seeing them at some point down the line. The only problem here is how many?

Chaos Spawn have never been viable until now. They make an excellent distraction unit and the Mark of Nurgle makes them also toughness 6. I like the idea of these guys, especially running alongside bikes or a biker lord. However, it would involve spending more money which I'm reluctant to do right now. I may try this option with proxy models to see how it fares.

Raptors are a unit that I like the look of, the models at least. I love the idea of Chaos jump pack troops, especially Nurgle jump pack troops. Not sure how effective they would be nowadays and, with the Heldrake being SO good, it seems they could be wasted points. One to consider though, worth trying with proxy models. Warp Talons are their more daemonic cousins, all armed with lightning claws - another unit that sounds great on paper but is just so expensive I can't see them ever being used.

Finally on to Heavy Support. I discussed some of these options in the Daemonic Vehicles review.

Obliterators have always been my main go-to heavy support choice. Despite being nerfed for the second codex in a row they are still a viable choice. Only just though and you need to take the Mark of Nurgle for the extra toughness to make it work. They haven't done so well in my games so far but that has been mainly due to poor positioning by me which has hindered their impact. Expect to see more of them in the future.

Havocs seem to be the internet's heavy unit of choice and it is easy to see why. Their cost has been reduced and so taking a devastator type unit with multiple heavy weapons become a great cheap option. I have to models waiting to be painted so again, expect to see these guys surfacing in a battle report soon.

The Maulerfiend is the Forgefiends close combat cousin. He's the vehicle that the poor old Hellbrute wants to be. I like the idea of them but from what I'm reading on the internet, their impact may be limited as your opponent learns how nasty they can be. Certainly one to consider, but I won't be rushing out to buy a new model just yet.

The trusty Land Raider made its debut performance in my Nurgle army last weekend. It did its job well it has to be said. However, as a gun platform there are much cheaper alternatives so its primary role, if included, must be as a transport for Terminators, who have no reliable alternatives. It's expensive no matter which way you look at it, but it is almost guaranteed to make some impact in a game and is difficult to take down. Expect to see this guy again.

Finally the humble Vindicator tank with its Stength 10 battle cannon. Used so effectively by Bull in the opening games, its potential threat is as powerful as the gun itself. I've not included it yet in my army but it is definitely one to consider. Considering two would be even better! Worth trying out for sure.

And that's it for the musings. I'm going to go away now and compile a few list ideas to try out and ponder over, whilst I'm painting more Plague Marines. You can give me your feedback on those lists when the musings return and we'll try and give Bull a few more things to worry about.


  1. There are two roles for Helbrutes

    1 is as extra long range fire support when your HS slots are full. Sometimes I run a triple vindicator Nurgle list and then a couple of dreads with Plasma or Las and Missile Launcher are useful.

    2 is as extra big monster style targets when you are running Daemon Princes or Greater Daemons in an allied Daemons list, for target saturation. I have Helbrutes in my Khorne CSM army so they can combine close fire support with an additional close combat threat, and take the heat off a deepstriking Bloodthirster.

    1. Thanks for sharing your perspective, Knight.

      I used to use shooty dreads all the time in Imperial marine lists but never took to them in chaos. Definitely something I may have to try. I have to say I do like the idea of them being (almost) bodyguards to the monstrous stuff. I think it's a case of one on it's own isn't much threat, but throw in a couple and you opponent will have something else to really worry about.

  2. Shooty Plasma-cannon/ML Dreads combine well with Vindies, they can fill in long range firepower and act as a countercharge unit to attack/plasma cannon any deepstrikers.

    They are cheap enough to take two or even three. Now they have lost smoke they really need to be deployed in cover.

    Attacking Dreads have a hard time getting closer to the enemy these days but in a two or three run behind a rhino or an infantry screen for cover they do force your opponent to shoot at them rather than any Bloodthirsters or deepstriking Terminators. Even a screen of Cultists will give them a cover save. If they shoot at the BThirster then the next turn the Dreads are getting close to Melta/charge range.