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Chaos Army Composition: Footslogging or Mechanized?

Greetings Chaos Lords and Ladies and welcome to the first installment of my weekly article here at the Ailarian! The new Chaos codex has recently been released and as my first order of business I have decided to share with you my views on the effects this codex has had on overall Chaos army composition.

The biggest loss we have sustained tactically in the new book is losing the ability to infiltrate our basic troops. Now that only our chosen squads can infiltrate we are forced to either footslog our troops up the board or resort to the one vehicle that has been nick named "The Rolling Coffin". We also have to realize that if rhinos are used we will need enough other armor in the list to make sure that at least some of our rhinos deliver their cargo safely. This is where we come to the new tactical choices, to footslog or to run full mechanized?

Footslogging Armies

Now footslogging marines is not something that I would normally be inclined to do but chaos has a few shiny new toys that make this option rather interesting. The "new toys" that I am referring to are 2 of our cult marine squads, 1k sons and noise marines.

Gone are the days of the 2 wound 1k sons though I do not think that you will find one player that is in the least bit unhappy at the changes that have been made to them. They now sport a shiny new invulnerable save and have special bolter rounds that send Marines running for the hills. The main reason that 1k sons can be effective in footslogging lists is due to their slow and purposeful rule; they can effectively move and fire their weapons to full range.

At first glance noise marines are really not that special, you end up paying 5 points more than a normal marine to gain +1 I and fearless which is not altogether a bad deal but when we get to adding the sonic weaponry noise marines reach their full potential. The sonic Blaster is an absolutely amazing weapon, on the move it acts as a storm bolter with extended range and stationary a full squad can put out enough fire power to give just about anything pause. The blastmaster is an interesting option for noise marines, it is rather expensive but the high cost is justified for such a versatile and deadly weapon. On the move it is only slightly less deadly than a heavy bolter and stationary it is equivalent to a krak missile with a blast template. This weapon has the potential to pay for itself in a single round of firing against marines. Noise marines also have a healthy amount of close support options in the form of a noise champion with doom siren and power weapon though for footslogging lists I recommend that you stick to blastmasters and sonic blasters.

Other than the two squads mentioned above the rest of the list can be composed out of personal preference. You can include chosen or terminators for elites, lesser daemons for more bodies and CC support, bikers or raptors for quick response units, and oblits or havocs for heavy support.

Below is an example Footslogging list:

HQ:

Sorcerer w/ MoS + Flight + Lash of Submission
145 pts

Troops:

8x Noise Marines, 7x Sonic Blasters, 1x Blastmaster, personal icon
240 pts

8x Noise Marines, 7x Sonic Blasters, 1x Blastmaster, personal icon
240 pts

8x 1k sons (includes Sorc.) , doombolt, personal icon
236 pts

8x 1k sons (includes Sorc.) , doombolt, personal icon
236 pts

7x lesser daemons

7x lesser daemons

7x lesser daemons

Heavy support:

6x havocs, IoCG, 3x MLs
160 pts

6x havocs, IoCG, 3x MLs
160 pts

6x havocs, IoCG, 3x ACs
160 pts

Total:
1850 pts
72 bodies

This list will be a real shocker to the enemy as at this point level you would be almost expected to run some sort of armor but by not taking a single piece you are effectively making all of those shiny lascannons your opponent has taken wasted points. The Noise marines and 1k sons move up laying down a hail of fire while the Lash sorcerer keeps any nasty assault units away or lures units to within the optimum range of your fire. The havocs should be able to take down any armor you run into pretty reliably and the lesser daemons can pop out where ever you need a quick CC boost.

Mechanized armies

Now on the other end of the spectrum we have the mechanized armies, armies that rely on armor to win them the day. In general these lists need to have their troops loaded up in rhinos and their heavy slots filled with other high priority armored targets. These lists require much less tailoring than foot slogging lists and in general can include any troop types that you like.

In regards to the rhino, people are sure to have mixed feelings in regards to taking extra armor on them but let me present my opinion. I am totally against extra armor for just a few reasons. The first and largest reason is that I really cannot justify spending what amounts to the cost of an extra marine on an upgrade that only has a small chance of being effective. Second, if your opponent really wants to pop your rhinos then he will, their armor might as well be made out of wet toilet paper for all of the protection it offers. And third, like I mentioned above extra armor will only ever be a benefit if they happen to roll that one special result on the glancing hit table, if they are penetrating the rhino then consider it toast.

Below I will list a sample mechanized list:

HQ:

Chaos Lord w/ Flight + Lightning Claws 140 pts

Troops:

10x marines, IoCG, 2x meltas, Champ w/ Power fist + Rhino
255 pts

10x marines, IoCG, 2x meltas, Champ w/ Power fist + Rhino
255 pts

8x plague marines, 2x plasma guns, Champ w/ Power Fist + Rhino
289 pts

Fast attack:

8x raptors, IoK, 2x meltas, Champ w/ Lightning Claws
250 pts

7x raptors, IoK, 2x meltas, Champ w/ Lightning Claws ( Lord goes here )
230 pts

Heavy support:

Defiler w/ 2 extra DCCWs
150 pts

Defiler w/ 2 extra DCCWs
150 pts

Predator w/ Autocannon + Lascannon Sponsons
130 pts

Total:
1849 pts
44 bodies
6 pieces of armor

Here we have a pretty standard mechanized list. The two defilers are in there to be large distractions, making sure that as much ranged AT fire as possible will be directed their way for the first few turns so that your rhinos can advance in relative safety. The single predator is there to provide a measure of ranged AT fire though I would expect the majority of tank popping to be done by the melta guns on the raptors and on the squads in the rhinos. The plague marines were really included to provide a good measure of ranged shootiness with their double plasma guns and if necessary to be a tarpit with their high toughness, FNP, and blight grenades.

To wrap things up I just wanted to reiterate that I fully believe that in the new Chaos Codex it is very important to either go fully mechanized or fully footslogging. Any half measures will only provide your opponents with a few pieces of armor that are relatively easy to pop. Whether you decide to provide your opponent with a target rich armor environment or a lack of armor or even decide to not take my advice at all, I wish you the best of luck in your future engagements.

DOWN WITH THE FALSE EMPEROR!