As I have thought about the impact the Webway Portal (WWP) has on Dark Eldar Tactics, and the lack of Drop Pods in CSM forces, I thought “what if Chaos Marines had access to a piece of Wargear that was like their own version of the WWP?”
I think this simple addition could be fluffy, easy to implement, and game changing for how CSM are played and for their overall competitiveness in the 40K meta.
Here is my idea for a CSM exclusive Wargear, the WARP GATE BEACON:
Cost: 35 points
Availability: Can be taken by any CSM “non-unique” Independent Characters, CSM Champions, and/or CSM vehicle with the Walker type
Rules: Starting turn 1, for each model in Reserves with a Warp Gate Beacon, you may attempt to Manifest the “Warp Portal” Blessing power in the Psychic Phase (model with the Warp Gate Beacon does not have to be a Psyker to do this). The “Warp Portal” power has 3 levels:
**Level 1 (1 WC) — Model and any attached unit may Deep Strike with D6″ scatter and has FNP on the turn they come in (lasts until start of next friendly turn).
**Level 2 (2 WC) — Model and any attached unit may Deep Strike with no scatter and has FNP on the turn they come in (lasts until start of next friendly turn).
**Level 3 (3 WC) — Model and any attached unit may Deep Strike with no scatter and has FNP/the ability to charge on the turn the come in (lasts until the start of the next friendly turn).
NOTE: Units riding inside transports of any kind cannot use the Warp Gate Beacon
So, basically, this Wargear allows CSM a “Drop Pod-like” ability to Deep Strike any unit in the codex (or even allies, if a CSM IC attaches to them), starting turn 1, provided that they can harness sufficient warp charges and their opponent does not successfully deny the witch on their ability. By paying the price of harnessing more Warp Charges, a CSM player could reduce the scatter (and hence risk) of this ability. Obviously, any army could do this, but ones with more Sorcerers/Warp Charges are better at than, say, an all Khorne army with zero Psykers which has to rely solely on the “Winds of the Warp” D6 roll to get Warp Charges to use their Warp Gate Beacons. Also, while this can work great against an opponent with no Psychic countermeasures (like Tau or Necrons), against an opponent like Grey Knights or Eldar, it can be risky because of the sheer amount of Deny the Witch dice they can muster.
In terms of gameplay, I think this would open up a ton of new possibilities for CSM players, allowing them to get troops anywhere on the table starting turn 1 (just like Loyalists Marines with their Drop Pods), but do it in a unique way so that it is not just “copy and paste” of how Codex: Space Marines works with extra spikey bits glued on for visual effect.
For example, imagine Warp Gating in a squad of Chosen with 5 Plasmas with no scatter to light up an enemy Riptide at 12″ turn 1, or dropping in a 20 man squad of Rubric Marines with massed Inferno Bolts and Bolt of Change for killing MEQs, or even just “portaling in” a maxed out squad of Bezerkers turn 1 right into the face of a Tau or Astra Militarum gun-line (sure, they still have to take a turn of shooting, but would be basically guaranteed the charge turn 2 and would put LOTS of pressure on the opponent’s battle plan). You could even apply this to Havocs with massed flamers, normal CSM squads, CSM Bikers with meltas, Forge Fiends/Mauler Fiends, Hellbrutes, Defilers, Possessed, Plague Marines, Spawn, you name it.
Anyways, you get the idea. Bottom line is, just like Tyranocyte Pods did for Tyranids, I think Warp Gate Beacons would be a game-changer for Chaos Space Marines, even if you did not change anything else in the Codex that currently needs fixing.