So a friend of a friend somehow got the codex early so I thought I would borrow it and try them out today. I thought I would use as many different upgrades and pieces of war gear as possible so I could essentially throw the mud at the wall and see what sticks. I used both slaanesh and nurgle lvl 3 sorcerers. I also tried cultists with the mark of nurgle, blobs of chaos marines with mark of slaanesh and the FNP icon. I also tried a vindicator and nurgle oblits. Also a large unit of nurgle termies with the fearless icon.It's weird it felt like a small army but it had a large model count.
First thoughts? The vindicator just wasn't worth it. The T5 oblits were great... Havocs with a mix of autocannons an missiles with flak upgrades seems like the best option. Of all the heavies that's what I like. Forgefiends for 200 points with the three weapons makes it too much of an auto target so not all that worth it.
Troops were kind of leaving me on the fence. I like I5 with them all with chain swords added and also with FNP but I wasn't making saves so eventually both units ran from combats or got caught so the fearless icon feels better. Yet the saves are nice. As for cultists marks make them wayyyyy to expensive. Also they lose combat and get swept a lot. Way better as charge / meat shields or as objective campers.
Vets of the long war is an auto take and needed with lower leadership and no auto atsknf or fearless....hatred rules
Gift of mutation is worth it, especially if you roll a good combat ability that will help you win future challenges. Axes seem to not work as my champions were dead after the combat anyway withy opponent and I both using axes. Another power weapon works better especially with I5 champs w/ a slaanesh mark
Two level three sorcerers with a spell familiar, a nurgle or slaanesh mark for thier respective lores, and a sigil of corruption is an auto take...period. They are extremely useful I will always use one of each. the 4++ from the sigil is an auto take everytime
The helldrake is a unit I would add. Yet I see myself taking a rhino rush list with them. This codex feels very similar to Space Wolves on ability, costs, and army make up. Overall I like it ... Not overpowered but middle tier...more on this later...