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Dath Path: Guide to Chosen Chaos Space Marines
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Old 03 Sep 2007, 11:17   #1 (permalink)
Ethereal
 
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Default Dath Path: Guide to Chosen Chaos Space Marines

As I had promised, here is another installment of the “Dark Path”, articles to further explore the capabilities and opportunities that the new Chaos codex has in stall for us.

Today I will be touching upon the Chosens.


Dark Path: Chosen Marines


In the codex of the old, they are our terminators and also our veterans. In the old codex, most would not even touch upon the notion that they should take normal chosen as they are rather expensive for what little weapons they offer. People instead will often look upon Chosens as the only mean to get Chaos terminators. They (non-terminator armoured Chosens) are the neglected slot in the list of all the mortal units in the 3rd edition codex. Rather sad isn’t it?

But now with the new codex, they have done the Chosen many favors. First of all, they are separated from the terminator option, and thus they are a standalone unit. Secondly, they are ‘chosen’ to be the only unit in the new codex that can infiltrate. Thirdly, they are gifted to have a dazzling array of weapons that will make them worthwhile.

Now let’s see what they can do.

Infiltration

Now that they will be the only infiltrating unit in the new Chaos codex for some time, we have to understand they they have a rather interesting tactical and perhaps strategic purpose in mind. They can be used like any infiltrator, from hunting down the most dangerous thing in the opponent’s army fast, to counter- infiltration where they can prevent other infiltrators from doing the same thing to you.

Versatility

With so much weapon options, they are indeed an elite unit. Up to 4 units may choose to change their bolters(for the shooting variant) or close combat weapons and/or bolt pistol (for assault variants) with one of the many weapon choices that the codex offer for them in addition to the optional 5th person to carry more shooting weapons.They can have almost everything that the new codex could offer and have an overwhelming punch from being a rather scary assault unit, to being a rather shooty unit. There are two options that you can arm hem with; Close combat and shooting.

Close combat

Chosens can be armed to the teeth in close combat with the three options that the codex have decided to give to them; Power weapon, Power fist, and lightning claw.

Power weapon
Power weapons are very good in assaults as they are able to ignore any armour saves, and that is the bane of all armies with an armour of at least 4+. In addition, they may shoot into close combat with their bolt pistol before charging into close combat.

However like all weapons, it does have a weakness. The weapon relies upon the WS and strength of the user, and thus in the case of space marines it will have a hard time harming anything else that is above T5.

Lightning claw

This one is a true anti-infantry weapon, as it is able to desecrate their innards everywhere. With the benefits of a power weapon and an additional rule of being able to re-roll any to wound result, they can most definitely kill an infantry squad like they are flies.

However, it also suffers from the same weakness as the power weapon that it is entirely reliant upon the Ws and Strength of the bearer in order to make it effective. In addition, in order to get the +1 attack for having another close combat weapon, they need to be fielded in pairs and that means they will always throw away their bolt pistol for that kick. This is pure assault, and not any shooting element at all.

Powerfist

This weapon is a very powerful weapon as it doubles the strength of the bearer and thus this makes it a viable assault choice, as you will more often than not kill something with it. In addition it also ignores armour saves.

However, the main weakness of a powerfist is that it will always strike last, and this could prove deadly if the enemy that is in base to base contact have a higher initiative and also carrying a power weapon of sorts.

Shooting

This is where the Chosen really shines, for they have a dazzling array of weapons that they can take to make them anyone’s nightmare. So let’s see their options shall we? Some of the weapons can only be carried by one Chaos Space Marine, while the others can be carried to a maximum potential of 5 marines. It may sound confusing so I decided to separate it to

a)Weapons limited to only one marine

b)Weapons limited to a total of 4 marines + 1 marine

c) Weapons limited to a total of 4 marines + 1 marine

D)Wargear unlimited to any number of Chosen

And thus I shall explain the weapons.

Weapons limited to one marine

Lascannon

The premier long-range anti-tank gun in any forces that uses Imperial weapons, its reputation is already known to all, both good and bad.

Autocannon

A very reliable weapon, works wonders against any light vehicles.

Missile Launcher

One of the most versatile weapons on the field, with decent anti-infantry and anti-tank capabilities.

Heavy bolter

A very powerful anti-infantry weapon, but that’s all.

Weapons limited to a total of 4 marines

Plasma gun

This is a very powerful weapon, as it can evaporate TEQs like they are nothing. However they do suffer from the ‘Gets hot!’ rule, and the chances of an unit dying by it increases with the weapon rapid-firing a target..

Meltagun

One of the most powerful weapons in the game, as it can tear down armour like they are molten cheddar. However it suffers for having a very short range for it to work.

Flamer
The most reliable weapons out there, as its range is template and it can punish infantry very well. However, it does suffer from the fact that its range is rather short and also it is one of the weakest weapons among the many options that the codex have given to the Chosens.

Combi-weapon

They are essentially bolters that are strapped with a one-shot weapon. The variants are combi-plasmagun, combi-melta, and combi-flamer.

Twin-linked bolter
The name says it all, and needs no further explanation

Plasma pistol

They are similiar to Plasmaguns, but only that they count as pistols and can be used along with assaults. It also counts as an additional close combat weapon as well.

Weapons limited to a total of 4 marines + 1 marine

This part is similiar to the “Weapons limited to a total of 4 marines”, but are limited to only three options which are flamer, plasma gun , and meltagun.

Wargear unlimited to any number of Chosen
Meltabombs
Thjis bomb is a very good anti-tank weapon but you have to be base in base contact with a vehicle for it to work Nice supplement to Chosens, but not necessary.

Application for Chosens

From what I can see, they will be used in three most prominent ways; Infiltrate , Firebase, and Mounted.

Infiltrate

This style in my opinion, will be the flagship way in which to use the Chosens, as they can use it to bring them closer to the opponent without the extra point cost of the Rhino. Expect to see them in large squads, as they are more or less hot targets for the enemy. The maxim “Shoot anything that comes too close” will always play out with Chosens who infiltrate as they will be the first squad to suffer heavy casualties.

Some of the configurations that suits the infiltrating style of play.

1.Plasmagunners From Hell

10 Chosen, 5 chosen with plasmagun.

This configuration is a rather brutal machine, as it can dish a potential of 10 plasma shots within 12”, and they will do this more often than not as a result of their infiltration. Terminators, Carnifexes, Hive Tyrants…..actually almost everything that walks on foot or riding in a vehicle that have an AV below 14 would cry out “Cheddar sprinkled with Mozarella cheese” when they face the firepower of this unit.

The other five guys are there just to enable them to become a scoring unit still just in case that your units drop like flies as a result of the ‘Gets hot!’ result.

2. Chaos Melters

10 chosen, 5 with meltagun

This configuration is a anti-tank and also anti-monstrous creature squad. They are a very effective since infiltration bring them closer to their target within optimum range of their guns. I can see this being one of the other variants of the Infiltrating squad of Chosens.

3. Daermon Chosen

1 aspring Champion
1 Chosen with Icon
3 Chosen


This is a very simple configuration and a very sacrificial one, as it's only purpose is to just summon daemons like crazy, from Greater Daemons to the lesser ones.

Firebase

This is interesting as they can be used in a more defensive role (indeed if you decided to go firebase it is the only defensive way of playing Chosen) and support your entire army. However, I have to note that this way can be fulfilled by normal Chaos Space marines for a fraction of the cost, and thus this will not crop out as often as the Infiltrating Chosens or Mounted Chosens.

Here is a configuration that work for Chosens who decide to go Firebase.

1. 1 Heavy weapon- 4 plasmagun squad

This option is unique as it can also work in infiltration, but the presence of a heavy weapon will mean that they will not move often from a spot. They will come in squads of 6-10 people. Lascannon (most likely), missile launcher, and autocannon variants will be sen with them, with the first two being the more common and workable ones.

1Heavy Weapon with 1plasma gun

Similiar as above but cheaper.

Mounted

Another viable options for Chosens to be used in the game would be in a form of Mounted squad of them. This will more often than not be used by those squads that are primed for assault.

Here are some of the configurations that work for Mounted Chosens (some are truly crazy but very effective nevertheless)

1. Wolverine Chosens

10 Chosens in a Rhino
Chosen Configuration
1 Aspiring Champion with Lightning Claws
3 Chosen with lightning claws
6 Chosens

Rhino Configuration
Rhino with Extra armour (or Daemonic Possession)


Just as Wolverine from the ‘X-men’ uses his claws to shred enemies like they are torn toilet paper, this squad’s purpose if to just go into the heart of the action and just shred their enemy to bits. With 4 lightning claws on the charge, they will falter.

Another option for this squad would be to replace the Aspiring Champion’s Lightning claws with a powerfist.


2. Chaos Dragons
10 Chosens in a Rhino
Chosen Configuration
1 Aspiring Champion
5 Chosens with flamer
Chosens

Rhino Configuration
Rhino with Extra armour (or Daemonic Possession)


This configuration is a horde army’s nightmare. With 5 flamers starting you down the face, it is no laughing matter, and then if any of the enemy elements are still alive, you can just charge the entire squad into combat to wipe them out. However, the weakness of this squad would be that its effectiveness will decrease with the armour save of the opponent’s unit. So do go in front of any TEQs!

3. Energy assault
10 chosen in Rhino
Chosen Configuration
1 Aspring Champion with powerfist and plasma pistol
3 Chosens with Power Weapon and Plasma pistol
6 Chosens

Rhino Configuration
Rhino woth Daemonic Posession


This is a more agressive version of the plasmagunners from hell, as they shoot plasma and they also can chop you to bits. This configuration can also be used in a Infiltrating capability, but it is more risky than the Rhino one, which I think is superior.


Don’t forget the marks!

Chosen can be marked so that they can boost their abilities with the marks. The marks of Khorne and Slaanesh will benefit a squad that have a close combat nature, while the Mark of Nurgle and Tzeentch will benefit those squads that are of more shooting-based and defensive-based.

Conclusion

Chosens are fun and very competitive to play with, and they reward the players who are rather audacious with their units. In theory it would be nice to put in as many varied weapons in a Chosen squad to be very versatile. However, in real-life (and I have tested it out as well) chosens are best used

a)Give them a purpose in mind.: Give them only one type of weapon choice and then let them loose to hunt down their preferred target.

b)Bigger squads are better: Not only will it take an opponent longer to cut down a squad, they will also be able to lend in more firepower into the mix (if available)

c)Play smart with them: They are not meant to be a blunt instrument and they are not standalone units. So always use them to support your army and also support them as well as they go about their duty.


Edit: Just added in some new stuff in the article.
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Old 03 Sep 2007, 14:12   #2 (permalink)
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Default Re: Dath Path: Guide to Chosen Chaos Space Marines

Nice tactica . Karma'd
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Old 03 Sep 2007, 17:04   #3 (permalink)
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Default Re: Dath Path: Guide to Chosen Chaos Space Marines

Nice tactica, I'll be making a squad of plasmagunners from hell. One thing that might be worth mentioning is having the AC take a plasma pistol to really squeeze in as much plasma goodness as possible.
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Old 03 Sep 2007, 17:14   #4 (permalink)
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Default Re: Dath Path: Guide to Chosen Chaos Space Marines

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Originally Posted by Cadaver
Nice tactica, I'll be making a squad of plasmagunners from hell. One thing that might be worth mentioning is having the AC take a plasma pistol to really squeeze in as much plasma goodness as possible.
I have thought about that when first heard the rumour, but finally having a look at the codex (Thank you GW friend), it seems that the new codex have rooted that out totally. So basically we either have 5 Plasma guns or 4 plasmaguns with one plasma pistol. The new guys who designed the codex knew that this would be abused somehow, and have decided to do just that. The aspiring Champion wargear section is merged with the rest of the chosens, so he is also restricted along with the rest of the Chosens as a whole, instead of the style of 3rd ed,where he have his own wargear department.

Oh yes, I have forgotten to mention that you either have 4 plasmaguns or 4 plasma pistol, and also they have the option to take meltabombs in addition to all the other goodies. :P

Darn I guess I have to touch up on the tactica tomorrow. My eyes are just dropping already.
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Old 04 Sep 2007, 00:35   #5 (permalink)
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Default Re: Dath Path: Guide to Chosen Chaos Space Marines

I just finished looking over the codex and came to correct myself. It's a little frustrating since I want him to have a powerfist as well as a plasma pistol. This is mainly a problem for my modeling plans for the AC.

From how I'm understanding this it's saying its an either/or for plasma pistol/PF,PW,LC. So I could have my AC with PP and PF but then only take two additional plasmguns.

I guess that does cut back on abuse for the chosen squad. Maybe I'll just take the powerfist to have some CC punch and 3 plasmaguns for shooty goodness.
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Old 04 Sep 2007, 05:40   #6 (permalink)
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Default Re: Dath Path: Guide to Chosen Chaos Space Marines

Crisis_Vyper,

Two more options to consider is the application of the Chosen Squad as a replacement for the old Las/Plas teams lost to our troops section, and the squads usefulness as a Greater Daemon Delivery System.
Taking 6 marines and equipping them with a single Lascannon, and a single Plasma Gun is not much more expensive than it was to equip a small troop squad this way alongside the infiltrate Vet Skill in the old dex. This unit is reletively inexpensive, and is great for flanking actions.
Further due to the new summoning rules for greater daemons, an ordinary Squad sargeant (Un-upgraded marine no less!) can be sacrificed to bring in your Inexpensive, but powerful Generic Greater Daemon right on your opponent's doorstep. So... Wrong...
As tempting as it is to bulk up on buku weapons options, remember that the unit needs to have a viable purpose for it's point costs. This is one of those units where it's really easy to go nuts and lose your way.

Enjoy, but watch the unit cost!
Ged
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Old 04 Sep 2007, 06:05   #7 (permalink)
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Default Re: Dath Path: Guide to Chosen Chaos Space Marines

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Originally Posted by Inquisitor Sian Kytonus (Ged)
Crisis_Vyper,

Two more options to consider is the application of the Chosen Squad as a replacement for the old Las/Plas teams lost to our troops section, and the squads usefulness as a Greater Daemon Delivery System.
Taking 6 marines and equipping them with a single Lascannon, and a single Plasma Gun is not much more expensive than it was to equip a small troop squad this way alongside the infiltrate Vet Skill in the old dex. This unit is reletively inexpensive, and is great for flanking actions.
Further due to the new summoning rules for greater daemons, an ordinary Squad sargeant (Un-upgraded marine no less!) can be sacrificed to bring in your Inexpensive, but powerful Generic Greater Daemon right on your opponent's doorstep. So... Wrong...
As tempting as it is to bulk up on buku weapons options, remember that the unit needs to have a viable purpose for it's point costs. This is one of those units where it's really easy to go nuts and lose your way.

Enjoy, but watch the unit cost!
Ged
Yes indeed. I did notice that as well when I take a closer look at the codex. For the Daemon Summoning Chosen, you need not to take any type of weapons with them or any mark for that manner, as they are meant to be "sacrificed" .

As for the 6 man squad Las-plas squad, I admit that they are good and cheap for what they do. I guess I can talk about them as well. And now for the editting for the Plasma pistol uses for Chosens.

Thanks again Ged, for pointing out the Daemon-Chosens.

And now for the editiing.
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Old 05 Sep 2007, 09:12   #8 (permalink)
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Default Re: Dath Path: Guide to Chosen Chaos Space Marines

Sorry if I seem too skeptical, but how about providing us with some battle reports so we can see some of this in practice? I appreciate how you are elaborating on all the options we have in the new 'dex, but I also don't think we should get too ahead of ourselves. Otherwise we might end up with all this theoretical speculation, eg., "Whoa, Nurgle T4(6) bikers for the win!", only to realise they suck up way too many points from the rest of your army without a proportionate benefit.

Honestly, I'm not that interested in knowing all the weapon combinations I can give my Chosen. I already know the strengths and weaknesses of the weapons they can take. I want to get a more holistic understanding of them. What sort of army do they work best in? How do I best deploy them on the table depending on my opponents deployment (who, if they have half a brain, will be keeping in mind the fact that you are about to infiltrate five plasmaguns/meltas/flamers into his midst)? Are there any special tricks or maneuvers I can use to make them more effective rather than just "Fire!" or "Charge!"? As Ged points out, how much of a points trade off is appropriate? Should I be taking 10 chosen with 5 plasma guns if I don't have many scoring units and the enemy has many Eg. the new style of space marines who have this whole combat squad thing happening?

I'm inclined to run my chosen as infiltrators with big guns as well as summoning lots of daemons. How do I adjust my strategy for this? Do I want to be close enough to the enemy so my daemons can assault straight away? Do I need a powerfist as deterrence in case my daemons don't turn up when I want them?

Also, I think it is important to explicitly point out something like not putting icons in the hands of bolter marines, since they are your first choice for casualties. My icon will be in the hands of my special weapons guys or my aspiring champion (unless I intend him as a greater daemon vessel).

I know you address these things a little (eg. specialising them with one weapon type and a preferred target) but... for the most part it's just a description of the strengths and weaknesses of weapons. Their sheer amount of options makes them difficult to cover, but perhaps we should try to find the most absolutely effective options or the best options for an all-comers list, rather than just enumerating all the possible options. Cause I'm not buying all the models or bits or doing all the conversions and painting to have all these options available to me.
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Old 05 Sep 2007, 10:01   #9 (permalink)
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Originally Posted by Chimerical
Sorry if I seem too skeptical, but how about providing us with some battle reports so we can see some of this in practice?
I would love to, once I get all my minis up and running. In practice, they are not meant to be standalone units (actually all units are like that). If you really want to see what combos can be done, I can give you one but it involves three squads of "Plasmagunners from hell" with two Slaaneshi biker sorceror with Lash of Submission, 6 obliterators, and 1 vindicator.

Quote:
I appreciate how you are elaborating on all the options we have in the new 'dex, but I also don't think we should get too ahead of ourselves. Otherwise we might end up with all this theoretical speculation, eg., "Whoa, Nurgle T4(6) bikers for the win!", only to realise they suck up way too many points from the rest of your army without a proportionate benefit.
I am not one of those guys who fell for the "T6 riders for the win." I know they may be tough, but that means fire magnet for me. But I used them anyay, as they suit my style of play and they fill in a niche for my army's lack of anti-tank. Raptors may be good, even better in assault, but for anti-tank I have to go bikers.

The same goes with the Chosens. They have nice gears, but to make them worthwhile, they need to be deployed smartly and be used smartly.

Quote:
Honestly, I'm not that interested in knowing all the weapon combinations I can give my Chosen. I already know the strengths and weaknesses of the weapons they can take. I want to get a more holistic understanding of them. What sort of army do they work best in? How do I best deploy them on the table depending on my opponents deployment (who, if they have half a brain, will be keeping in mind the fact that you are about to infiltrate five plasmaguns/meltas/flamers into his midst)? Are there any special tricks or maneuvers I can use to make them more effective rather than just "Fire!" or "Charge!"? As Ged points out, how much of a points trade off is appropriate? Should I be taking 10 chosen with 5 plasma guns if I don't have many scoring units and the enemy has many Eg. the new style of space marines who have this whole combat squad thing happening?

I'm inclined to run my chosen as infiltrators with big guns as well as summoning lots of daemons. How do I adjust my strategy for this? Do I want to be close enough to the enemy so my daemons can assault straight away? Do I need a powerfist as deterrence in case my daemons don't turn up when I want them?

Also, I think it is important to explicitly point out something like not putting icons in the hands of bolter marines, since they are your first choice for casualties. My icon will be in the hands of my special weapons guys or my aspiring champion (unless I intend him as a greater daemon vessel).

I know you address these things a little (eg. specialising them with one weapon type and a preferred target) but... for the most part it's just a description of the strengths and weaknesses of weapons. Their sheer amount of options makes them difficult to cover, but perhaps we should try to find the most absolutely effective options or the best options for an all-comers list, rather than just enumerating all the possible options. Cause I'm not buying all the models or bits or doing all the conversions and painting to have all these options available to me.
I understand what you mean. But this article is about Chosens in general, and not about the tactics yet. That one I am currently testing out everything about chosens and trying my best to do that. I will fill in once I know what makes them tick well.

So rest assured that I am doing my best to fill out on what you said.
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Old 05 Sep 2007, 10:11   #10 (permalink)
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Default Re: Dath Path: Guide to Chosen Chaos Space Marines

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Originally Posted by Crisis_Vyper
In practice, they are not meant to be standalone units (actually all units are like that).
Yes, that is exactly what I'm getting at though. They will be more effective in multiple squads. But you didn't talk about that in your guide!

BTW I wasn't suggesting that you had promoted T4(6) bikers. Rather just making a general point that we should not presume too much without actually trying it out.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Crisis_Vyper
That one I am currently testing out everything about chosens and trying my best to do that. I will fill in once I know what makes them tick well.

So rest assured that I am doing my best to fill out on what you said.
Good to hear. Keep it up.
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