As I continue to review the new rules for the Traitor Legions, one thing that has jumped out at me is the rules for the Alpha Legion. Specifically, they get the following:
*Alpha Legion armies cannot take any unique characters and cannot take any marks, but get VotLW for free on all units that have access to it, plus their Daemon Princes can take powers from their respective God’s discipline.
*Forward Operatives: Chosen become Troops. Chosen, CSM, and Cultists gain Infiltrate
*Many Heads of the Hydra: If warlord slain, pick a new friendly character from AL detachment or formation. He generates warlord trait immediately. You can do this as long as you still have a character left to assume the mantle of Warlord and your opponent does not get Slay the Warlord if they haven’t killed last remaining warlord from this rule.
—Alpha Legion Unique Detachment—
*Hidden Deployment: All non-vehicle units get shrouded 1st turn.
*Cult Uprising: Cultist units that are destroyed are placed into ongoing reserves on a roll of 4+.
Based on all this, I think one of the most competitive “all-rounder” CSM units in the future will be Alpha Legion Chosen squads. Based on these new rules, they now get:
 Ld10 and Hatred (Space Marines), thanks to VotLW.
 Infiltration USR.
 If they are in a CAD/Allied Detachment, they get Objective Secured. If they are part of the Alpha Legion special detachment (i.e. specifically, as part of a Chaos War Band), they get first turn Shrouded and Objective Secured.
In the past, many people considered Chosen over-priced and generally not a very competitive unit. These new abilities change that a lot, I think, and bring them up into a genuinely “go to” unit choice, especially given that you can access them quite easily.
If you go the CAD route, then you can have an entire army of Chosen with top-rate Leadership (to mitigate their lack of ATSKNF), plus the ability to Infiltrate and/or Outflank “in mass” and put their numerous weapons options to use starting Turn 1… and they can do all this without requiring any outside support from attached ICs, WL traits, etc.
Between the ability to take up to 5 Special Weapons (Flamers, Meltas, and/or Plasmas) in a 5 man squad, Infiltrate inside their DT Rhinos, and 3A base (with the option to take any combination of PW, LC, or PF), you can really do an effective MSU Infiltration “swarm” army that alpha strikes (pun intended! 😉 ) their opponents with massed short-ranged shooting turn 1 (remember, Tau don’t get Interceptor against Infiltrators, so they can’t counter them in the same way that they would, say, against a Space Marine Drop Pod army).
Imagine two squads of Chosen (and their Rhinos with Combi-Plasmas) unleashing 24 x BS4 Plasma Shots on an enemy Stormsurge or Wraithknight Turn 1, before the Xenos forces can even react? Or imagine lighting up a Genestealer Cult/Tyranid army with massed Flamer templates turn 1, tearing up scores of Acolytes, Gaunts, etc. in a single volley? Or imagine alpha striking a mechanized Astra Militarum/Imperial Knights force with massed meltas before they even have the chance to engage you?
Even against a powerful melee opponent, like a TWC based Space Wolf army or a Blood Angels Lost Brotherhood Strike Force or a KDK army, Infiltrating Chosen give you the chance to “pre-emptive strike” such a force before they have a chance to charge and/or activate any Psychic Powers that they rely on for durability and/or mobility. For example, if you are able to unload massed Plasma weapons on a selected SW Wulfen/TWC squads and either destroy them or severely weaken them on Turn 1, you can remove critical “cogs” in the enemy army’s synergy before the game really gets going (a VERY Alpha Legion style tactic, I might add! 😉 ).
If the enemy survivors still try and charge you Chosen after this, you get to Overwatch them for some more possible wounds and, if you have sprinkled in a PWs/PFs into you Chosen squads, you have a solid chance of finishing off these weakened survivors with your high level of base attacks. Alternately, you can “bubble wrap” your Chosen with cheap Cultists (who also have Infiltrate and Objective Secured in an Alpha Legion CAD), thus allowing your elite troops to keep shooting for a couple more rounds unmolested by enemy assaults.
As I mentioned earlier, I think probably the best way to maximize Alpha Legion Chosen is to Infilitrate them INSIDE their DT Rhinos… not only does this give them great reach for their special weapons (i.e Infilitrate 18″ away, then move 6″ and disembark 6″, putting you a maximum of 6″ away from any enemy unit you are targeting), but it also provides another layer of protection for the Chosen that has to be stripped away before they can be engaged and it gives you even more cheap, mobile, MSU Objective Secured units (DT Rhinos of course count as a Troops choice themselves in a CAD, and so get Objective Secured as well as their passengers).
Finally, if you are not interested in getting up close early, you still have the option to Outflank your Mechanized Chosen squads, or you can even deploy them more conventionally, but with the advantage of seeing where all your opponent’s forces are already deployed, since they get to Infiltrate after normal deployment has been completed. No matter which way you go, Alpha Legion Chosen are exceptional flexible units that, in the hands of a competent commander, will be very effective in the 40K meta going forward, I think.