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Index Malleus: Champions of Chaos - Part II - Chaos Sorcerers
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Old 04 Jun 2008, 12:00   #1 (permalink)
Anton
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Default Index Malleus: Champions of Chaos - Part II - Chaos Sorcerers

Heya,

My second part to the Index Malleus series is long overdue, but rest assured that it has been worth the wait! These articles I'm writing are nothing special or ingenious, just taking a unit, breaking it down and analysing it. I did some extensive modifications this time, and added more depth and information than the first article on Chaos Lord's, that and there are many more options to discuss with the Chaos Sorcerer! :P

Enjoy!

[hr]

Index Malleus: Champions of Chaos - Part II - Chaos Sorcerers.

In the previous Codex Chaos Space Marines the Chaos Sorcerer was rarely or never used, with the Chaos Lord and Greater Daemons being the more favourable choices. Due to a lack of efficient and worthwhile Psychic Powers the Chaos Sorcerer became a backbench character, however with the new Codex Chaos Space Marines the tables have turned and now the Chaos Sorcerer has made a spectacular come back! With new and improved psychic powers and a Force Weapon to boot, more people than ever are waving goodbye to their Chaos Lords and welcoming the Chaos Sorcerers with open arms.

And so I will discuss why the Chaos Sorcerer has become so popular, and what options are available for us to take.

The Basics

The Chaos Sorcerer’s basic stat line is nigh different from that of a Loyalist Space Marine Commander, with a high leadership value and good wound count. In comparison to the Chaos Lord we can see that the Chaos Lord has a superior stat line to the Sorcerer and also has the Fearless special rule, however this is not a bad thing so don’t despair yet! Unlike the aggressive nature of the Chaos Lord, the Chaos Sorcerer is more tactically flexible allowing you to make more out of your Sorcerer than just a simple killing machine. One advantage we will be able to notice immediately is that the Chaos Sorcerer now comes with a Force Weapon as standard! Of course this means that overall the Chaos Sorcerer is more expensive than the Chaos Lord, but in return we get a free Power Weapon and the capability to cause Instant Death! The Chaos Sorcerer also comes equipped with a Bolt Pistol, Frag and Krak Grenades.

The Options

Getting right to the psychic stuff, we can see that the Chaos Sorcerer now has a lot of psychic powers to choose from; however some of the powers require God specific Marks, (something I’ll discuss later!) For Chaos Sorcerers without a Mark of Chaos you have the choice of taking any one of the following Psychic Powers:

(Note: Sorcerer’s with the mark of Slaanesh, Nurgle or Tzeentch can also take non God specific marked psychic powers.)

Doombolt: Is a psychic power which can be used in the shooting phase. It’s cheap and can add some much needed killing power. Doombolt is a S4 Assault 3 weapon which is also AP3 (much like the Thousand Sons Inferno Bolts rule, but instead of affecting the Sorcerer’s Bolt Weapons it just fires straight from the Sorcerer.) It also has a slightly greater range than that of a rapid firing Bolter. Doombolt is now cheaper and more effective than it was in the previous Codex.

Warp Time: Is a psychic power which can be used at the start of any players turn and remains active for the whole turn. Warp Time is one of the most popular psychic powers available, as it basically allows you to re-roll all failed to Hits and to Wounds for the entire turn! This power only affects the Chaos Sorcerer; he can’t use Warp Time on any other unit. It gets better because a Chaos Sorcerer marked by Tzeentch can use both Warp Time and a Force Weapon in the same turn! This will increase the chances of instantly killing enemy Characters drastically.

Gift of Chaos: Is a psychic power which can be used at the start of the Chaos players turn. Basically you select an enemy model, your roll a psychic test, and if the test is successful you then have to roll a D6, if the result is greater than the targets toughness the model is removed and no saves can be taken against it! But it get’s better! If you have a Chaos Spawn model available you can replace the target model with a Chaos Spawn which will now be under the Chaos player’s control! Gift of Chaos is great for sniping/removing Powerfist/Powerklaw wielding Squad Leaders and enemy Characters nestled in with an enemy squad. Many will argue that Gift of Chaos isn’t worth the points, which I can understand as Gift of Chaos is based more on the player’s luck than anything else, and thus many hardcore gamers will ignore Gift of Chaos over other Psychic Powers, but look at what you get if you roll successfully! Annoying Squad Leaders and expensive Characters can be transformed into Spawn, which will not only give you many easily earned Victory Point’s, but a good laugh at the unfortunate who got transformed. Gift of Chaos is one of those powers that you either love or you hate.

Wind of Chaos: Is a psychic power that can be used in the Shooting Phase. Wind of Chaos is as some people say “an over glorified Flamer,” which in a way is correct as it is a Template weapon. However unlike the Flamer, Wind of Chaos always wounds on a 4+ and denies armour saves and cover saves, but can also automatically glance vehicles on a 4+ as well. Wind of Chaos is quite expensive, and whilst some people swear by it, others don’t. It all depends on what you want your Sorcerer to do, but Wind of Chaos is great at cutting a swathe through enemy Infantry and works perfectly in conjunction with a Jump Pack/Winged Sorcerer.

That covers the non-mark specific psychic powers, and so I shall move on to the Mark specific powers. If you give your Sorcerer the mark of Tzeentch, Nurgle or Slaanesh you can take one of the following Psychic Powers:

(Note: Sorcerer’s with the Mark of Tzeentch not only recieve a +1 to their invulnerable save, but they can also take two psychic powers, and use two psychic powers in the same turn, but not two powers that count as firing a weapon, as models can only fire one weapon per shooting phase.)

Lash of Submission: Is a Slaanesh only psychic power, which means that this psychic power can only be used by a Sorcerer with the mark of Slaanesh. The Lash of Submission is a psychic power that can be used in the Shooting phase instead of using another ranged weapon. You can use the Lash of Submission on any non-vehicle enemy unit that is visible to the Sorcerer and is with 24” inches. When you make a successful Psychic test the unit you chose to use the Lash of Submission on can be moved 2D6” inches by the Chaos player (you) in any direction, this move isn’t effected by difficult terrain, however you cannot place enemy models into impassable terrain, within 1” inch of enemy models or off the board edge. The unit you chose to move must also take a pinning test.

The Lash of Submission is one of the most debated about psychic powers in the game, many claiming that it is overpowered. The Lash of Submission is a very potent psychic power, but one which should not be relied upon too greatly and should be used with due care and attention. However, contrary to popular belief, the Lash of Submission is not overpowered, but is a very useful and devious psychic power which can tip the odds of winning in your favour greatly.

Nurgle’s Rot: Is a Nurgle only psychic power, which means that this psychic power can only be used by a Sorcerer with the mark of Nurgle. Nurgle’s Rot is a psychic power that can be used in the shooting phase instead of firing another ranged weapon, and upon inspection we can see that Nurgle’s Rot is an anti-infantry psychic power and can be cast whilst in close combat. When a psychic test has been successfully passed, any models within 6” inches of the Sorcerer suffer an automatic strength 3 AP – hit. Whilst this may seem weak, imagine a mob of 20 Ork Boyz all packed into a confined space, or in combat with your Sorcerer, then you will understand just how dangerous
Nurgle’s Rot can be, even against Space Marines it is relatively good!

Bolt of Change: Is a Tzeentch only psychic power, which means that this psychic power can only be used by a Sorcerer with the mark of Tzeentch. The Bolt of Change is a psychic power that can be used in the shooting phase instead of firing another ranged weapon. When a psychic test is successfully passed, the Bolt of Change can be fired and operates in exactly the same way as a Multi-Melta, the ony difference being that the Bolt of Change is not a Melta weapon.

Example Chaos Sorcerer’s:

The “Anti-Marine” Sorcerer:

Chaos Sorcerer = 200pts
• Mark of Tzeentch
• Wind of Chaos (Psychic Power)
• Warp Time (Psychic Power)
• Terminator Armour

The “Anti-Marine” Sorcerer is one of the most expensive, yet highly effective Sorcerer builds that I am currently using myself. With the Mark of Tzeentch I can cast Warp Time at the beginning of my turn, then cast Wind of Chaos, re-rolling my failed to wounds for it, almost guaranteeing me that the models I have placed the template over will die! I equipped the “Anti-Marine” Sorcerer with Terminator Armour for an improved armour save and the ability to Deep Strike, allowing me to either surprise attack my enemies rear lines, surprise attack an enemy flank, assassinate expensive units (e.g. Space Marine Terminators) or support one of my squads that has been assaulted and can no longer hold them off.

Indeed this is an expensive character, but look at what you get. If you don’t need to use Wind of Chaos, or if you need to take down an enemy character, you can use the Force Weapon combined with Warp Time to assure that you will instantly kill the enemy character. This is my favourite build of Sorcerer, and I’ll find it hard to locate a suitable replacement or equal to the amount of death this monster can unleash.

The “Lash” Sorcerer = 155pts
• Mark of Slaanesh
• Lash of Submission (Psychic Power)
• Jump Pack/Wings

The “Lash” Sorcerer is quite a common build, and has left many non-Chaos players red in the face at how good this type of Sorcerer is. With a Jump Pack/Wings the “Lash” Sorcerer can quickly move around the battlefield to target enemy units, and because he is an Independent Character he will be extremely difficult to kill at range. The “Lash” Sorcerer makes a great support unit; by using the Lash of Submission you can force enemy units into or out of cover, into fire lanes or within assault range, or move powerful enemy units from your lines to deny them a charge against your own units.

The “Anti-Horde” Sorcerer = 150pts
• Mark of Nurgle
• Nurgle’s Rot (Psychic Power)
• Terminator Armour

The “Anti-Horde” Sorcerer is very effective at wiping out vast swathes of weak enemy infantry (e.g. Imperial Guardsmen, Ork Boyz, Eldar Guardians) and can be exceptionally effective at disrupting the all too common “horde charge” type army. With Terminator Armour and the Mark of Nurgle most weak enemy infantry won’t be strong enough to kill the “Anti-Horde” Sorcerer, combined with the 2+ Armour Save and 5+ Invulnerable save Terminator Armour grants you shouldn’t have any real difficulties getting stuck into the enemy. Plus with Terminator Armour your Sorcerer can enter battle by deep striking normally or via a Chaos Icon, allowing you to get the “Anti-Horde” Sorcerer into the thick of battle.

[hr]

As always feel free to add your own input, and please share with us your Chaos Sorcerer and how you use yours!

Nice work, Anton. +1. - Cadaver
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Old 04 Jun 2008, 18:51   #2 (permalink)
Shas'La
 
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Default Re: Index Malleus: Champions of Chaos - Part II - Chaos Sorcerer's

Quote:
Originally Posted by Anton

Doombolt: Is a psychic power which can be used in the shooting phase. It’s cheap and can add some much needed killing power. Doombolt is basically a Bolter with a greater range and is an Assault 3 weapon which is also AP3 (much like the Thousand Sons Inferno Bolts rule, but instead of affecting the Sorcerer’s Bolt Weapons it just fires straight from the Sorcerer.) Doombolt is now cheaper and more effective than it was in the previous Codex.
Its not like a bolter really, only the str is the same. Doombolt has less range, far more shots, better AP and is an assault weapon so you can still assault afterwards. It is a good choice and cheap.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Anton

Warp Time: Is a Psychic Power which is used at the start of the Chaos player’s turn and remains active for the entire Chaos players turn. Warp Time is one of the most popular psychic powers available. Warp Time basically allows you to re-roll all failed to Hits and to Wounds for the entire Chaos players turn! This power only affects the Chaos Sorcerer; he can’t use Warp Time on any other unit. It gets better because a Chaos Sorcerer marked by Tzeentch can use both Warp Time and a Force Weapon in the same turn! This will increase the chances of instantly killing enemy Characters drastically.
Warptime can actually be used at the start of ANY players turn, its what makes it so deadly

Nicely done, a good breakdown of the many uses that the sorcerer now gives us.
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Old 04 Jun 2008, 20:32   #3 (permalink)
Anton
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Default Re: Index Malleus: Champions of Chaos - Part II - Chaos Sorcerer's

Quote:
Originally Posted by Sardis Varrn
Quote:
Originally Posted by Anton

Doombolt: Is a psychic power which can be used in the shooting phase. It’s cheap and can add some much needed killing power. Doombolt is basically a Bolter with a greater range and is an Assault 3 weapon which is also AP3 (much like the Thousand Sons Inferno Bolts rule, but instead of affecting the Sorcerer’s Bolt Weapons it just fires straight from the Sorcerer.) Doombolt is now cheaper and more effective than it was in the previous Codex.
Its not like a bolter really, only the str is the same. Doombolt has less range, far more shots, better AP and is an assault weapon so you can still assault afterwards. It is a good choice and cheap.
I cannot copy down the rules of Doombolt word for word from the Codex, however I will annotate it bettter.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Sardis Varrn
Quote:
Originally Posted by Anton

Warp Time: Is a Psychic Power which is used at the start of the Chaos player’s turn and remains active for the entire Chaos players turn. Warp Time is one of the most popular psychic powers available. Warp Time basically allows you to re-roll all failed to Hits and to Wounds for the entire Chaos players turn! This power only affects the Chaos Sorcerer; he can’t use Warp Time on any other unit. It gets better because a Chaos Sorcerer marked by Tzeentch can use both Warp Time and a Force Weapon in the same turn! This will increase the chances of instantly killing enemy Characters drastically.
Warptime can actually be used at the start of ANY players turn, its what makes it so deadly

Nicely done, a good breakdown of the many uses that the sorcerer now gives us.
Ah, I missed that one out.
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Old 04 Jun 2008, 22:33   #4 (permalink)
Shas'Vre
 
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Default Re: Index Malleus: Champions of Chaos - Part II - Chaos Sorcerer's

Fantastic article, really well done! You should karma yourself for this :P I will it!

My favorite spell still has to be Gift of Chaos... turning one of your enemy's precious warriors into a Chaos Spawn is too priceless!
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Old 05 Jun 2008, 07:17   #5 (permalink)
Shas'El
 
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Default Re: Index Malleus: Champions of Chaos - Part II - Chaos Sorcerer's

Great article, Anton. It's perfect timing for me since I just finished converting a Nurgle sorcerer in terminator armor.
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