Will Codex Chaos Be A “Space Marine” Book?

By Jack Stover | August 9th, 2017 | Categories: Chaos, Editorial, jstove, Warhammer 40k

Chaos Space Marine Codex Wal Hor

The Chaos Space Marine Codex is almost here and JStove has concerns as a Chaos player. Will this codex focus on actual Chaos Space Marines?

Alright Spikey Bits, it’s the Jstove and I’m here to do 2 things: Write satire articles and write about Chaos Space Marines. Why? Because I’m a Chaos player. This isn’t a satire article, so if you’re a corpse worshiper, just close this browser tab now.

The question I’m asking the classroom today is simple- Will Chaos Space Marine Codex 8E be an actual MARINE BOOK?

First a little history: Our last codex, CSM 6E, was not a Marine book. It was Cultists and Heldrakes. The Marines themselves were a weak choice and the only thing in the book that really kept it on it’s feet were the dinobots. We got band-aid books late in the game in the form of Khorne Demonkin and the 1k Sons. However, those didn’t help Chaos. They just helped Khorne and Tzeentch, respectively. Even then, KDK had a hard time even getting power armor. It was mostly bikes and flesh hounds. Without a Land Raider to deliver Terminators and Berserkers, getting actual World Eaters in the list was rough. Add insult to injury: Big Daddy Kharn wasn’t even in his own book!

Kharn MemeBut now let’s look at what’s coming up in CSM 8E, a book that is, so far, looking like it’s going to do for the humble Chaos Marine what CSM 6E didn’t. What is it going to do?


Keywords are the big deal. Almost everything with <Heretic Astartes> in its tag is going to inherit hot new Legion-specific special rules. But will these keyword perks be juicy enough to put power armor infantry on the table instead of the Cultist workhorse that took over the codex in 6E?

The real power of keywords is a sweet spot where effectiveness meets economy. Individually, a Marine is better than a Cultist in every way. Stronger, tougher, bigger gun, and better save. But, in the past, being better didn’t work because the Cultist did something the Marine didn’t: Be cheap as hell. What was even worse, if you were running Nurgle, you had Typhus and that made the Cultist fearless. Now he was cheaper and fearless! But can these hot new keywords make a Marine’s price tag worth justifying?

Let’s have a look at what we know for sure so far.

Iron Havocs are in!
Iron Warriors will all gain the ability to ignore cover. For the Legion that invented Havocs, that’s huge. Those piles of autocannons that every proper Iron Warrior are hoarding are looking juicier and juicier. I wouldn’t be surprised if Iron Warrior players still stuck to Cultists for cannon fodder. However, it’s Iron Warriors having Cultist cannon fodder that is fluff compatible for them.

Possessed are looking hot.
For the first time in a long time, Possessed are looking good. D3 attacks each with a 7” move, -2 AP on their demon claws, and a 5++. A lot of the perks that used to be random are now just on all the time and some of the Legion rules we’re seeing make them look really hot. Emperor’s Children Possessed will always strike first and the Icon of Excess pops Death to the False Emperor! on a 5. That’s not bad. Tzeentchy-Possessed can get a spell on them that drops their invulnerable save down to a 4++, which isn’t a bad deal either.

Possessed Meme

Emperor’s Children pistol+CCW marines?
With all the love Slaanesh gave his boys, an interesting question is what can you get done with the cheapest Marine in the book? We already know Noise Marines are hosers with their ignore cover assault weapons that they can fire as they die. Those guns cost points and the melee perks of the Third Legion are looking huge. The important thing to consider is, like I said earlier, keyword economy. You want to spread that butter across as many bodies as you can to maximize that value. So how do we feel about vanilla Chaos Marines with chainswords, that strike first, pop their dice on loyalists on a 5 with their Icon, and can get classic Feel No Pain from a nearby Sorcerer? That can be a lot of bodies getting a lot of juice.

Night Lords Fear Bombing?
Here’s one that’s really got me thinking. The rumored Night Lords trait is that every enemy within range of a NL unit takes -1 LD and that penalty is cumulative. This means that you can sink it down to 1 if you put enough Night Lords in range. When that happens, any time the opponent takes morale, his models are going to melt. So how do you make your opponent take morale? Well, first you win fights. You also want to get a bunch of guys in there as fast as possible to really jump on them and push the modifier down. Naturally, you’re going to want Raptors and warp talons because those are iconic Night Lords units that can be dropped into an opponent’s lap. What I think is interesting is that these new keyword perks apply to Helbrutes. Now, Contemptors are Helbrutes and, more importantly, Contemptors are quick on their feet. Dumping a bunch of jump marines and heavy metal on your opponent and watching him melt from leadership checks would be pretty sweet.

Barclay Nurgle Wrapper

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