Tuesday, 19 February 2013

If I ruled the world: what could have been done better in the Chaos Space Marine codex.

This article corresponds to one I've written about Dark Angels here and is a brief look at the top 5 things I found lacking in the Chaos Codex. 

Overall, I found the model release somewhat disappointing compared to say the Dark Angels codex. I didn't have as much hate for the 'dinobots' as many did, just was expecting something more and on a larger scale than the handful we ended up with. For a book that had so much more ground to cover fluff-wise, it did seem like a lackluster effort I'm afraid. As a result my initial enthusiasm for the army has worn off somewhat, especially when you see what was achieved with the Dark Angels release. However, it's still an improvement on the old book and far from terrible. the following things stand out to me as ones which could have been improved:

1. Legions:
Far from a meagre task, fitting everything from all 9 legions and their renegade cousins in one book is daunting and, in truth, requires a tome much more along the lines of the SM codex. There were some elements, such as the dark apostle and warpsmith, that tried to give a taste of legions to the book. But in truth the warpsmith is to Iron Warriors what a Master of the forge is to Iron Hands - a poor and ill-conceived substitute that doesn't follow the fluff and ends up being little more than a chaos techmarine. This was perhaps the biggest disappointment for me and what seem to be many other Chaos players.

2. Cult armies:
I discussed these in four seperate articles previously and essentially it boils down to this. Slaanesh cult armies can be represented fairly well, but Khorne, Tzeentch and Nurgle armies are more difficult. The main reasons for this are the lack of wargear and unique elements to the cult troops (such as feel no pain on Plague Marines) being unavailable to units such as Terminators. Again, this is almost as big a shortfall as the Legion issue for those who wanted to build a fluffy, mono-God army. Some will argue that it's for balance reasons but I strongly believe that well-though out points costing can easily address balance issues if the effort is made. 

3. Daemon weapons:
The special issue armoury is a great touch to the newer codices, yet I can't help but wish there was still a generic daemon-weapon option available to Lords rather than having to choose one of the specific ones. 

4. Champions:
The Chaos boon table is a nice little touch that makes for a more interesting game. However, the auto-challenge rule does become rather tedious especially when you find yourself so obviously outclassed. Both in my mind and the words of Phil Kelly, an aspiring champion wouldn't think twice about pushing one of his men in the way to take the blow meant to end his life, nor run and live to fight another day. Yet the rules don't reflect this.

5. Daemon Princes:
The points costing and rules (especially loss of eternal warrior) just seem to be off for this unit. I don't like lots of models gaining EW as a rule, but I feel in this case the DP should have it just to stop it getting railgunned by the first shot of the game.


  1. Mostly agree but still i think that codex is pretty good.

    For daemon weapons there should be at last one for specific god and one for undivided

    Full cult armies could be done just by adding line like:
    "if all units in your army are aligned to one god you can update cult troops to have terminator armor for +xx, bike +yy or jumppack +zz"

  2. Yep, one weapon per god and undivided would be ideal. As for cult armies, I think it would have been A great idea to roll the different armour types and wepons into cult choices but difficult to implement. Maybe easier would have been to have specific god armouries with wargear and gifts and grant access to them once you take a mark.