Feast of Blades '13

Monday, October 18, 2010

Making Chaos Space Marines Competitve in Today's Game

{Writers note:Due to the popularity of this article I just rewrote this article to deal with the current meta and to be up to date, here is the link to the newer article, thanks!}

Hey all, I was thinking today about my Chaos Space Marines and how they are slowly becoming less competitive in 5th edition with each codex dropping. About a year ago Chaos were still very good. One of the top codex's in my opinion and doing well in the tournament scene. Plaguemarine armies rampaged across the field with FNP followed by Oblit spam and your favorite flavor of lash prince or sorcerer. They were a force to be reckoned with. Today, although, you see less and less chaos around. They were sucked back into the Eye of Terror by an overpriced codex with less mech heavy options and old tricks people knew how to get around. The once scary "Chaos Lash" Lists fizzled and died as Guard, Space Puppies, BA and Nids fell down. Oblits were still cool but very expensive. Plaguemarines still tough but too costly. Finally lash fell to everything being in a vehicle. CSM as a collective fell from the top, to 2nd and now down to the 3rd of my considered 5 tiers (I break down the tiers more than most people, Ill post it in a future post after DE drop). So basically without a way to defeat heavy mech armies chaos fizzled, a glorious memory of 4th edition.

Now I started Chaos back in January with the hopes of a competitive/fun khorne berserker army to play. I had a tremendous amount of success, with winning a small points tournament with maximum possible points in all 3 games (even with winning a VP game without losing a single model) for awhile until my last tournament with my Khorne Blitz list. Then I went 1-2 in an FLGS tournament witht hem getting hammered in 1 game and just controlled in another. I basically couldn't do anything against mech opponents. I felt disheartened and decided to play Marines for awhile while I get my head straight about what army I want to run right now.

So I decided to try and write a competitive list for chaos that would be able to go toe-to-toe with todays mech while still having a flavor of chaos (possibly Rocky Road). This list serves chaos well with all the fun of a chaos army and the added bonus of heading in the direction I see the game going in today. If armies such as this one start to spread chaos might be able to play itself up to as a 2nd tier codex again. Here is the list with commentary on it following...

Chaos Anti-Mech List 2000 points


1. Chaos Sorcerer, MOS -125
2. Chaos Sorcerer, MOS- 125
(both have lash)


1. CSM x10 , Lascannon, plasma gun – 185
2. CSM x10 , Lascannon, plasma gun – 185
3. CSM x10 , Lascannon, plasma gun – 185
4. CSM x5 , melta gun – 85
5. CSMx5, melta gun -85
*Rhino, daemonic possession, havoc launcher- 70
*Rhino, Daemonic Possession, havoc launcher- 70
*Rhino, Daemonic Possession, havoc launcher- 70
*Rhino, Daemonic Possession, combi-melta- 65
*Rhino, Daemonic Possession, combi-melta- 65


1. Chosen Squad x5, x4 plasma gun, auto cannon- 170
*Rhino, daemonic Possession- 55

Heavy Support

1. Oblits x2 -150
2. Oblits x2 -150
3. Oblits x2 -150

The Key Thing I wanted in this list was atleast 7 different capabley long-ranged, anti-vehicle
units. We see this starting in the three Obliterator Units. Now I had to save points so I did not max out the Oblits yet a unit of two still works competently. I also wanted LasPlas Rhinos since this is the direction I see the game going in after DE. This is also the one competent mech unit that can be seen through out Marine Armies in 40k. These units are a simple yet effective version of the LasPlas Razorback units we see in Marine armies yet if the vehicle is destroyed we still have a threatening 10 man unit with a lascannon. This as well as having the one thing marines wish they had, Daemonically possessed rhinos with havoc launchers acting as mini-whirlwinds. These rhinos will ignore all shaken and stunned results making this version of mech marines a lot scarier than a rhino based marine spam with a similar list. These units are well worth their price. I follow up the three LAsPlas Rhinos with 2 more melta Rhinos. These will house the Lash sorcerers. Now I know Lash is not all that competitive anymore yet with the perfect ammount of points and the Oblits present I couldn't help myself. They form a solid/mean tactic with enough anti-mech to possibly make it viable again. We also see a Chosen squad with 4 plasma and an autocannon in a rhino. This forms a good anti-heavy infantry/light mech unit. This gives us our 7th competent anti-mech unit.

With all that aside this list does have a couple holes in it. It lacks a dedicated death star unit. The Lash rhinos have to try and fill this role which they can but not as competently. Also this lacks a dedicated assault unit. Now the 10 man chaos squads will preform well in assaults but they should be used as the anti-mech for which they are intended.

All around I think this list could be a fairly competitive one. It has a nice chaos lash/ oblit flavor mixed in with competent mech units. With 6 filled rhinos and 3 units of Oblits we have a competent army worthy of any FLGS tournament.

So someone go try out this list. Let me know how it runs. I don't see myself getting the models to run this anytime soon. Yet it is still a thought if I want to have a competitive chaos army again....

....more on this later.....


  1. we can proxy a few models if you want to try this out, I do have a chaos Berzerker army also....and you may want to see what a 1750 point list looks like, since most local FLGS tournies run at that point level.

  2. 2 Words Thousand Sons...and nurgle bikers