Assault Vehicles for All!

While I think there is a need for “macro-changes” in 8th edition to help rectify the current discrepancy between shooting and assault, one thing I think that would help accomplish this at the more immediate level would be to provide an additional, affordable assault transport for every major faction so that their close combat troop are not stuck with either footslogging, riding in non-Assault vehicle transports, and/or paying 200+ points for Assault Vehicles.

Here is my stab at making this kind of vehicle for each faction (minus Chaos Daemons):

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RETALIATOR APC — (FAST ATTACK choice for Space Marines, Space Wolves, Dark Angels, Blood Angels, Deathwatch, Sisters of Battle, Inquisition, and Chaos Space Marines) — 100 points

BS4   AV13/11/10   3HP (Vehicle, Tank, Open-Topped)

Transport Capacity: 10 models (no Bulky/Very Bulky/Extremely Bulky models)

WAR GEAR:

-Pintle-mounted TLed Flamer (may upgrade to a TLed Melta Gun or TLed Plasma Gun)

-Siege Shield

-Omni Grenade Launcher — Every turn may choose to use Smoke Grenades (not limited to one use, unlike most vehicles) OR Concussion Grenades (enemy forces may not fire Overwatch at any unit that has disembarked from the Retaliator APC for the rest of the turn)

[***May take normal vehicle upgrades, per parent Codex***]

SPECIAL RULES:

-Advanced Repair Servo — Can repair Immobilized or Weapon Destroyed results or a lost HP on itself each turn (instead of shooting or moving Flat Out) on a successful roll of a 5+

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TELEPORTATION POD — (FAST ATTACK choice for Grey Knights) — 80 points

BS4   AV13/13/13   3HP (Vehicle, Immobile)

Transport Capacity: None

WAR GEAR:

-Gatling Psycannon

SPECIAL RULES:

-Deep Strike

-Drop Pod Assault

-Psychic Pilot (3) — Always knows Force, Banishment, The Shrouding (from Telepathy), and “The Summoning” powers (“The Summoning” is a WC1 blessing with 72″ range and no LOS requirements that teleports one friendly Grey Knight non-vehicle unit or Walker unit to within 6″ of the caster with no scatter, using the rules for Deep Strike; you can upgrade it to a WC3 power which acts in the exact same way, except that the teleported unit can charge on the same turn that it is teleported)

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CERBERUS APC — (FAST ATTACK choice for Astra Militarum and Genestealer Cult) — 75 points

BS3   AV12/12/10   3HP (Vehicle, Tank, Fast, Open-Topped)

Transport Capacity: 20 models

WAR GEAR:

-Pintle-mounted Quad Heavy Stubber

-Smoke Launchers

[***May take normal vehicle upgrades, per parent Codex***]

SPECIAL RULES:

-Suppressive Fire — Any non-vehicle units hit by the Quad Heavy Stubber must take a Pinning Check at the end of the Shooting phase

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CHAMELEON — (FAST ATTACK choice for Craftworld Eldar and Harlequins) — 90 points

BS4   AV12/12/10   3HP (Vehicle, Skimmer, Fast)

Transport Capacity: 12 models

WAR GEAR:

-TLed Shuriken Cannon

-Specter Holo-Matrix — Vehicle may re-roll failed Jink saves

-Star Engines

[***May take normal vehicle upgrades, per parent Codex***]

SPECIAL RULES:

-Assault Vehicle

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SCORPION (FAST ATTACK choice for Dark Eldar and Harlequins) — 110 points

BS4   AV10/10/10   3HP (Vehicle, Skimmer, Fast, Open-Topped)

Transport Capacity: 18 models

WAR GEAR:

-6 x Black Venom missiles (72″ S6 AP1 Fleshbane)

[***May take normal vehicle upgrades, per parent Codex***]

SPECIAL RULES:

-Unrivalled Assault Vehicle — Any units that charge into combat on the same turn that they disembark from this vehicle add +3″ to their charge range and gain +1S to all their close combat attacks during that fight sub-phase.

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KROOT WAR SKIFF (FAST ATTACK choice for Tau) — 60 points

BS3   AV11/11/11   3HP (Vehicle, Skimmer, Open-Topped)

Transport Capacity: 16 models

WAR GEAR:

-2 x Heavy Kroot Guns

SPECIAL RULES:

-War Totems — Only Shapers, Kroot, Kroot Hounds, and/or Krootox may embark on this vehicle. On any turn that a unit disembarks from this vehicle, it gains Hatred, Rage, and Furious Charge for the rest of the turn.

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DA CHOPPA’ WAGON (FAST ATTACK choice for Orks) — 110 points

BS2   AV14/11/10   4HP (Vehicle, Tank, Open-Topped)

Transport Capacity: 30 models

WAR GEAR:

-4 x TLed Big Shootaz

[***May take normal vehicle upgrades, per Ork Codex***]

SPECIAL RULES:

-More Dakka! — All vehicle weapons can fire at full BS if the vehicle has moved 12″ or less

-Da Biggest to da Front! — Every Nob, Mega Nob, and/or War Boss in a unit that disembarks from this vehicles gains +1A until the end of the phase.

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NECRONTYR WAR BARGE (FAST ATTACK choice for Necrons) — 80 points

BS4   AV11/11/11   4HP (Vehicle, Skimmer, Fast, Open-Topped)

Transport Capacity: 10 models

WAR GEAR:

-Gauss Cannon (may upgrade to a Tesla Cannon)

-Quantum Shielding

SPECIAL RULES:

-Living Metal

-Combat Protocol Beacon — Any friendly Necron non-vehicle units within 12″ of this vehicle gain Hatred

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BROODOFEX (FAST ATTACK choice for Tyranids) — 130 points

WS3 BS3 S6 T6 W4 I2 A2 Ld8 Sv2+  (Jump Monstrous Creature)

WAR GEAR:

-Acid Spray

-Stinger Salvo

[***May take normal Biomorph upgrades, per Tyranid Codex***]

SPECIAL RULES:

-Fearless

-Instinctive Behavior (Hunt)

-Brood Beast — Up to 30 Termagaunts/Hormaguants, 15 Genestealers, or 10 Tyranid Warriors may ride on a Broodofex exactly as if they were embarked on an open-topped transport vehicle (i.e. they can all shoot their weapons, they can disembark 6″ and assault the same turn, they are vulnerable to Template Weapons due to the No Escape! rule, etc.).

Traitor Legions: Fixing Cult Troops

Now that Traitor Legions is officially out (and is an outstanding release overall, I’d say, breathing whole new life into both the tactical abilities and rules-reflecting-the-fluff aspects of the 9 original Traitor Legions), I think there is a pretty obvious shortfall that needs to be addressed whenever the “base” CSM book finally is updated: the obsolescence of Cult Troops.

Given that even basic CSM now get buffs to bring them into almost complete parity with Cult Troops (i.e. Khorne CSM now get Fearless, Furious Charge, and Adamantium Will for “free,” meaning that they have everything Bezerkers have except WS5/access to Chainaxe upgrades and cost 4 points less per model; or, Nurgle CSM also get Fearless, FNP, Relentless, and -1I, just like Plague Marines, but cost 8 points less per model, with the only compensation for Plague Marines being their Blight Grenades, Plague Knifes, and access to 2 Special Weapons when at minimum squad size; etc., etc.), I think GW really ought to provide some improvements to the 4 different iconic Cult Troops to make them worth taking, and not just providing some special formations that give them buffs like they have already.

Based on that, here is  my idea for how to improve Cult Troops in a reasonable manner (while keeping their current points costs the same) so that they are not auto-take, but also are still a competitive option as compared to basic CSM with their respective Marks:

[1] Khorne Bezerkers — Give them back their old 2A base (so, that would be 3A base on the Bezerker Champion) and make Chainaxes a S: +1 AP4 Rending weapon.

*Rationale — Between WS5 and 5A on the charge, I think this would justify the 4 points/model higher cost of Bezerkers over basic Khorne CSM. Additionally, if they paid the extra 3 points/model for the Chainaxe upgrade, not only would they gain +1S and AP4 (so S6 on the charge), but the addition of Rending really increases their versatility and overall close combat hitting power, making them a more expensive, but more capable, close combat option to Khorne CSM (which is what they should be, as an elite unit).

 

[2] Plague Marines — Increase their FNP(5+) to FNP(4+) and add Poison (4+) Bolter ammo to their Wargear.

Rationale — At 8 points/model more expensive than Nurgle CSM, Plague Marines need a bit to justify taking them over their less “elite” counterparts. Based on this, I think they definitely need more than Blight Grenades and Plague Knives to set them apart from basic Mark of Nurgle Marines. Increasing their FNP one “step” I think would give enough of a boost in survivability to make them a strong option for taking/holding Objectives and giving their Bolters/BPs Poisoned (4+) ammo makes them kind of like a CSM version of Sternguard. Overall, with Defensive Grenades, Poisoned (4+) for both close combat and shooting, and enhanced FNP rules, I think Plague Marines would be worth considering over “normal” Nurgle CSM.

 

[3] Rubric Marines — Improve Inferno Bolts to (S:4 AP3 Armourbane, Rending), improve Soulreaper Cannon to (S:5 AP3 Armourbane, Rending), and improve both Warpflamer/Heavy Warpflamer to Torrent (6″) weapons (this would obviously impact Scarab Occult Terminators as well).

*Rationale — Like Plague Marines, Rubric Marines are MUCH more expensive (8 points/model more expensive) than their Tzeentch Marine counterparts, but also are a lot better than them out the gate (i.e. 4++ instead of 6++ save, AP3 Bolter ammo, access to Psychic Powers via their “sergeant,” etc.). What Rubric Marines really need, I think, is better shooting versatility, instead of being limited to just AP3 Bolters. Adding Armourbane to both the Soulreaper Cannon and their Inferno Bolts makes them MUCH more versatile against light-medium vehicles and adding Rending to the Inferno Bolts gives them a chance at dealing with Terminators, Heavy Vehicles, MCs, etc. Finally, making the Warpflame weapons into Torrent (6″) gives much more reach and versatility for these anti-horde options, especially since Rubric Marines are so slow outside of Rhino/Land Raider transports.

 

[4] Noise Marines — Give them BS5 and allow them to take one Blastmaster (30 points) or Doom Siren (20 points) per 5 models in the squad.

*Rationale — Noise Marines are currently only 2 points/model more expensive than their Slaanesh Marine counterparts, but they also have nothing to show for it, except access to Sonic Weaponry (which they have to pay even more points for, and Slaanesh CSM have access to normal Special/Heavy Weapons that Noise Marines cannot take). Giving Noise Marines BS5 would justify taking them instead of normal Slaanesh Marines and would make purchasing the Sonic Blaster upgrades even more worthwhile. Also, giving them options for up to 4 Blastmasters/Doom Sirens in a max squad of 20 (or 1 in a squad of 5, 2 in a squad of 10, etc. etc.) would help “customize” them as a solid option in competitive play.

Black Templar “Decurion”

Here is my idea for experimental rules for Black Templar to get their own Gladius, or Decurion, type detachment, as well as special Relics, etc:

 

BLACK TEMPLAR CRUSADER FORCE (1-2 Core, 0-3 Command, 1+ Auxiliary)

Special Rules:

1 – Litanies of Hate – All Chaplains and High Chaplain Grimaldus in this detachment grant themselves and their squad Shred when in close combat

2 – Vows of the Templar – Before each game, must choose one of the following Vows, which then applies to all models within the detachment for that game:

*Abhor the Witch, Destroy the Witch – All units in this detachment gain Preferred Enemy: Psykers, Brotherhood of Psykers, Pyschic Pilot

*Accept Any Challenge, No Matter the Odds – All characters in this detachment gain +D3 attacks and Initiative when fighting in a challenge

* Suffer Not the Unclean to Live– All units in this detachment gain Hatred when locked in close combat with one or more models from the Eldar, Dark Eldar, Harlequin, Orks, Tyranids, Tau, or Necrons faction

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WARLORD TRAITS

1 – Warlord gains +1A/+1WS

2 – If the Warlord’s Unit fails a morale check during the Shooting or Psychic phase, they run 2D6” toward the nearest enemy unit, instead of falling back

3 – Warlord has Hatred: Psykers and Preferred Enemy: Psykers

4 – Warlord and his unit may re-roll charge distances

5 – Warlord has Fearless and may re-roll failed to Hits when in a Challenge

6 – Warlord and all friendly units within 12” may re-roll failed Morale, Pinning, and Fear checks

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RELICS

1 – Blade of the Crusader – S: x2 AP2, Two-Handed, Massive (always strikes at I2)

2 – Armor of Hatred – Terminator Armor that gives bearer +1T and Eternal Warrior

3 – Black Rosarious – Bearer and unit gain 5++ save, or re-roll failed Invul saves if they already have one, while locked in Close Combat (Chaplain only)

4 – Orb of Antioch – 12” S8 AP2 Small Blast, Ignore Cover, Shred, One Use Only

5 – Chains of Zeal – Bearer and his unit add +3” to Run and Charge distances

6 – Banner of Wrath – All friendly Black Templar units within 12” gain Fearless/within 6” gain +1S when locked in combat (Command Squad/Honor Guard only)

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CORE (1-2 Option)

a) Battle Demi-Company (see Codex: Space Marines)

b) Crusade Fighting Company

(*1 Castellan [Captain] or Chaplain)

(*0-1 Emperor’s Champion)

(*0-1 Sword Brethren Squad [Command Squad])

(*4-8 Crusader Squads)

(*2-4 Assault Space Marine or Assault Centurion Squads)

(*0-1 Devastator or Devastator Centurion Squads)

Special Rules:

1 – Crusade of Wrath – Once per game, choose an Assault Phase and all units in this detachment have the Hatred and Fleet rules until the end of the phase (this can be used separately from High Marshal Helbrecht’s ability of the same name)

2 – Unequalled Zeal – Any unit with the Righteous Zeal special rule in this formation gains Counterattack and Rage FOR THE REST OF THE GAME if it suffers one or more casualties in the Shooting phase or as the result of Overwatch

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COMMAND (0-3 Option)

a) Strike Force Command (see Codex: Space Marines)

b) Reclusiam Command Squad (see Codex: Space Marines)

c) Council of Zeal

(*3 – 6 Chaplains)

Special Rules:

1 – Reclusiarch’s Vow – All Chaplains in this formation gain +1WS/A for free

2 – Shield of Faith – All Chaplains in this formation grant themselves and their unit +2 to their Deny the Witch rolls (this is not cumulative if there is more than one Chaplain in the same unit)

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AUXILIARY (1+ Option)

a) Storm Wing (see Codex: Space Marines)

b) Land Raider Spearhead (see Codex: Space Marines)

c) Armoured Task Force (see Codex: Space Marines)

d) 1st Company Task Force (see Codex: Space Marines)

e) Marshal’s Hammer

(*1-2 Land Raider Crusaders)

(*2-4 Vindicators)

(*1-2 Techmarine)

Special Rules:

1 – Anointed Armor – Vehicles in this formation ignore the effects of the Lance rule

2 – Awaken the Machine Spirit – All Vindicators within 12” of a Techmarine from this formation have the Power of the Machine Spirit rule

f) Drop Zone Clearance Force

(*1-3 Dreadnoughts/Venerable Dreadnoughts/Ironclad Dreadnoughts – must take Drop Pods)

(*1-3 Thunderfire Cannons – must take Drop Pods)

Special Rules:

1 – Clear the Zone – All units in this formation must start in Deep Strike Reserve and arrive on turn 1 automatically (their Drop Pods do not count when calculating the Drop Pod Assault rule). Thunderfire Cannons gain the Relentless rule and Dreadnoughts/Venerable Dreadnoughts/Ironclad Dreadnoughts count their weapons as Twin-Linked on the turn they arrive from Reserve

g) Templar Lancer Assault Squadron

(*1 Command Squad – All Veterans must take Space Marine Bikes and Power Lances)

(*2-4 Space Marine Bike Squadrons – Must take Veteran Sergeant with Power Lance)

(*0-2 Attack Bike Squadrons)

Special Rules:

1 – Furious Charge

2 – Tank Hunter/Monster Hunter

 

Ideas for Deathwatch Special Weapons

I think Deathwatch is a very interesting and challenging faction to play right now, especially given some of the really good things GW did in designing the codex and also some of the pretty significant missed opportunities that exist in that book.

One of the best things about the new Deathwatch book, IMHO, is the unique weapons like DW Shotguns and Infernus Heavy Bolters, which really set this army apart from all the other “Marine equivalent” factions, is true to its fluff and style, and also helps it be competitive.

Based on that, I think GW should have gone “all the way” in giving Deathwatch an entire armory of unique, better-than-average weaponry, both to reflect their fluff of getting access to the best/rarest equipment and to make them more competitive in the niche as a “glass cannon” army.

Here are my ideas for a “complete overhaul” of the DW armory along the lines of what I described above:


—DW RANGED WEAPONS—

*”Deathwatch” pattern Bolters and Combi-Melta/Flamer/Plasma/Grav (with Special Issue Ammunition) – No change except all Combi-weapons only cost 5 points to upgrade and all of these weapons gain “True Grit” rule (model that has a Deathwatch Bolter or Combi-Weapon and another, non-Specialist CCW get +1A)

*”Deathwatch” pattern Storm Bolter – Gains access to Vengeance (18″ S4 AP3 Gets Hot!, Assault 2), Kraken (30″ S4 AP4 Assault 2), Dragonfire (24″ S4 AP5 Ignore Cover, Assault 2), and Hellfire (24″ S2 AP5 Poisoned (2+), Assault 2) Special Issue Ammunition.

*”Deathwatch” pattern Bolt Pistols/Hand Flamer/Grav-Pistol/Inferno Pistol/Plasma Pistol – All gain “Quick Fire” rule, which enables them fire Overwatch at full BS (vice normal BS1) and, for template weapons, to automatically get 3 hits from Wall of Fire (vice normal D3 hits).

—DW SPECIAL WEAPONS—

*”Deathwatch” pattern Shotgun – No change

*”Stalker” pattern Boltgun – No change

*”Brimstone” pattern Flamer — Torrent (6″) S4 AP5 Assault 1 (5 points)

*”Hellion” pattern Melta Gun — 18″ S8 AP1 Assault 1, Melta (10 points)

*”Nova” pattern Plasma Gun — 24″ S7 AP2 Rapid Fire, Blind  (15 points)

*”Spectre” pattern Grav Gun — 18″ S* AP2 Salvo 2/3, Graviton, Concussive, Monster Hunter (15 points)

–DW HEAVY WEAPONS–

*”Infernus” pattern Heavy Bolter — No change

*”Deathwatch” pattern Frag Cannon – No change

*”Cyclone” pattern Missile Launchers (available only to DW Terminators) – No change

*”Beowulf ” pattern Missile Launcher (25 points) – Missile Launcher with multiple special ammo types “organic” to the Missile Launcher:

(a) Firefang Missiles – 48″ S4 AP5, Small Blast, Ignore Cover, Heavy 1
(b) Ironspear Missiles – 48″ S8 AP2, Sunder, Heavy 1
(c) Skyfury Missiles – 48″ S7 AP3, Skyfire, Interceptor, Heavy 1
(d) Venomcraft Missiles – 48″ S2 AP3, Fleshbane, Heavy 1

*”Wolverine” pattern Assault Cannon (25 points — available only to DW Terminators) – 24″ S6 AP3 Heavy 4, Shred, Rending

*”Draken” pattern Heavy Flamer (10 points — available only to DW Terminators) – Torrent 6″ S5 AP4 Heavy 1

–DW MELEE WEAPONS–

*”Deathwatch” pattern Close Combat Weapon (Free) – S: User AP5

*Heavy Thunder Hammer (30 points) – No change

*”Reaper” pattern Lightning Claw (15 points) – S: User AP3 Shred, Specialist Weapon, Deadly Precision (user gains +1WS when fighting with this weapon)

*”Xenophase” pattern Power Sword (15 points) – S: User AP3, Molecular Realignment Field (enemy units must re-roll success Invul saves taken against wounds caused by this weapon)

*”Furion” pattern Power Lance (15 points) – S: +1/User AP3/4, Swiftstrike (gains +2I on the charge)

*”Direblade” pattern Power Axe (15 points) – S: +1 AP2, Bulky (always strikes ay I2 with this weapon)

*”Shieldbreaker” pattern Power Maul (15 points) – S+2 AP4, Concussive, Sunder (re-rolls failed Armor Penetration rolls)

*”Bellator” pattern Power Fist (25 points) – S: x2 AP2, Unwieldy, Rampage, Specialist Weapon

*”Xenosbane” pattern Thunder Hammer (30 points) – S: x2 AP1, Unwieldy, Concussive, Specialist Weapon, Master-crafted

*”Praetor” pattern Relic Blade (30 points, only available to a DW Watch Captain) — S: +2 AP3 Two-Handed, Champion Bane (gains AP2 and “Pulverize” when bearer is in a Challenge)

*”Redemptor” pattern Crozius Arcanum (DW Chaplains only) – S: +2 AP4 Concussive, Rending

*”Vigilance” pattern Guardian Spear (DW Watch Master only) – S: +1 AP2, Two-handed, Block, Armourbane (Shooting portion has profile of a DW Storm Bolter with Special Issue Ammunition)

—DW SPECIAL ISSUE WARGEAR—

*”Durendal” pattern Combat Shield (5 points) – Gives model a 5++ save

*Omnispex (5 points) — Bearer’s unit gains Split Fire and Night Vision rules

*DW Locator Beacon (15 points) — Any friendly unit arriving by Deep Strike within 9″ of the bearer does not scatter

*Long-ranged Auspex (10 points) — If bearer does not shoot, he may nominate one enemy unit within 24″ during that shooting phase. That enemy unit has -1 cover save against all friendly shooting during that Shooting Phase.

*Digital Weapons (5 points) — No change

*Melta Bombs (5 points) — No change

*Rad Grenades (15 points) — Same as used by Ordos Xenos Inquisitor from Codex: Inquisition

*Blind Grenades (5 points) — Same as used by Vindicare Assassin from Codex: Assassins

*Psykout Grenades (5 points) — Same as  used by infantry units from Codex: Grey Knights

*Orbital Strike Relay (25 points, DW Watch Master only) — Same as carried by Inquisitor Karamazov from Codex: Inquisition

Shield of Guilliman Strike Force

I have greatly appreciated the effort GW has put into providing Gladius equivalents for White Scars, Raven Guard, Salamanders, Iron Hands, and Imperial Fists.

I realize that the Gladius Strike Force, and pretty much everything in C: SM, is supposed to be the Ultramarine’s version of things, since they are the most “Codex-adherent” chapter out there, but I still think it would be neat for the Sons of Guilliman to have their own unique Detachment, Relics, etc.

Here is my stab at that concept:

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SHIELD OF GULLIMAN STRIKE FORCE

*1-2 CORE

*0-3 HQ

*1+ AUX

RULES:

1 – Rites of Command — If WL from this detachment is alive, all units from this detachment may use his Leadership value instead of their own for any Morale or Pinning tests.

2 – Veteran Skill — Once per game, Veteran Sergeants in Tactical squads from this detachment may give their squad and any attached characters Relentless. Once per game, Veteran Sergeants in Assault squads from this detachment may give their squad and any attached characters Shred for their close combat attacks. Once per game, Veteran Sergeants in Devastator squads from this detachment may give their squad and any attached characters Interceptor for their shooting attacks.

3 – Battle-Tested Leaders — If this detachment includes 2 CORE choices, one with a Captain and one with a Chaplain, then any Tactical, Assault, Devastator, Scout, Scout Biker, Assault Centurion, or Devastator Centurion squads may upgrade their Sergeants to Veteran Sergeants for free.

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CORE

1 – Battle Demi-Company (See C:SM)

2 – Assault Demi-Company (1 Captain or Chaplain, 0-1 Command Squad, 0-1 Dread/Ironclad/Venerable Dread Squadron, 3 Assault/Bike/Attack Bike squads, 0-2 Assault Centurion squads)

**RULES — Assault Doctrine (can choose to use once per game for models in this formation), free Eviscerators in Assault squads

3 – Devastator Demi-Company (1 Captain or Chaplain, 0-1 Command Squad, 0-1 Dread/Ironclad/Venerable Dread Squadron, 3 Devastator squads, 0-2 Devastator Centurion squads)

**RULES — Devastator Doctrine (can choose to use  once per game for models in this formation), free MMs and HBs in Devastator squads

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HQ

1 – Strike Force Command (see C: SM)

2 – Librarius Conclave (see C: SM)

3 – Command Tanks (see Angels of Death Supplement)

4 – Guardians of Ultramar (Marneus Calgar, 1-3 Honor Guard squads, one of which must take a Chapter Banner or Relic Banner)

**RULES — All units in this formation have Preferred Enemy and Fearless as long as Marneus Calgar is alive

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AUX

1 – 1st Company Task Force (See C: SM)

2 – 10th Company Task Force (See C: SM)

3 – Stormbringer Squadron (See Angels of Death Supplement)

4 – Skyhammer Annihilation Force (See Angels of Death Supplement)

5 – Ravenhawk Assault Group (See Angels of Death Supplement)

6 – Raptor Wing (See Angels of Death Supplement)

7 – Armoured Task Force (See C: SM)

8 – Centurion Battle Group (1-2 Devastator Centurion squads, 1-2 Assault Centurion squads)

**RULES — Monster Hunter, Tank Hunter, Overwhelming Fusillade (any unit hit by shooting from Devastator Centurions from this formation may not fire Overwatch if charged by Assault Centurions from this formation)

9 – Armorium Support (2 Land Raiders/Land Raider Crusaders/Land Raider Redeemers, 0-1 Chronus)

**RULES — Blessed Hulls (Lance Weapons only reduce armor to AV13, Melta Weapons only gain +D3 to their penetration rolls, and Haywire weapons suffer -2 on the Haywire Table against vehicles from this formation)

10 – Talon of Ancients (3 Contemptor Dreadnoughts, 1 Techmarine)

**RULES — Battle Doctrines of the Great Crusade (all Contemptors from this formation within 12″ of the Techmarine from this formation may enact EACH of the doctrines once per game at the start of each friendly game turn: i) Advance Upon the Foe! — May move 9″ this turn [or] ii) Smite the Foe — Gains Rampage this turn [or] iii) Decimate the Foe — May shoot twice in the shooting phase this turn, but must shoot the same target)

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ULTRAMARINE RELICS

1 – Victorum Laurels  — Bearer may choose his WL trait, instead of rolling for it, as long as it is from the Ultramarine WL Trait Table

2 – Helm of Varthion — (Veteran Sergeant from a Tactical squad only). Gives Bearer and his squad one free use of Tactical Doctrine

3 – Mantle of Ultramar — TDA that gives bearer +1W

4 – Marian Blade — S: User AP2 Swiftstrike (gives bearer +1WS/+1I)

5 – Orbital Command-Link — Bearer may bring in one friendly unit from Reserves automatically each turn

6 – Banner of Macragge — (Command Squad/Honor Guard only) All friendly Ultramarine units within 12″ gain Preferred Enemy

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ULTRAMARINE WARLORD TRAITS

1 – Champion of the Blade —  Warlord and his unit gain +1 WS

2 – Eye of Precision — Warlord and his unit gain +1 BS

3 – Master of the Vanguard — Three friendly units chosen before deployment gain Scout

4 – Master of the Keep — Three friendly units chosen before deployment gain Objective Secured

5 – Indomitable — Enemy units must re-roll successful To Wound rolls made against the Warlord

6 – Unequalled Warrior — Enemy units must re-roll successful Armor and Invul saves of 6+ made against the WL’s close combat attacks

Genestealer Cult as “Counts As” Catachan Jungle Fighters

This is a bit out of the box, but I think the new Genestealer Cult rules are quite fascinating and I would be interested to find a way to try them out as an Imperium player… then it hit me, I think Codex: Genestealer Cult would be an excellent surrogate codex to represent a Catachan Jungle Fighters army:

-Neophytes — Catachan Guardsman squad

-Acolytes — Catachan Sapper squad

-Metamorphs — Catachan Devils squad

-Aberrants — Catachan Ogryn squad

-Goliath Truck/Rockcrusher — Catachan “Brawler” Jungle Assault Vehicle

-Patriarch — Colonel Ironhand Straken

-Primus — Catachan Officer

-Magus — Catachan Primaris Psyker

-Iconward — Catachan Regimental Standard Bearer

-Chimera/Leman Russ variants/Sentinel types — Same as they currently are

As for the Cult Ambush and Return to the Shadows rules, you could just rename them with Catachan specific names and they would perfectly reflect the Catachan “Regimental Doctrine” if you will. Finally, you could represent the unusual weapons as follows:

*Clearance Flamer — Catachan “Demon Flamer”

*Mining Laser/Heavy Mining Laser — Catachan “Jungle Lascannon/Heavy Jungle Cannon”

*Seismic Cannon/Heavy Seismic Cannon — Catachan “Fury Missile Launcher”

*Webber/Web Pistol — Catachan “Snare Rifle/Snare Pistol”

*Heavy Mining Drill — Catachan “Breacher Drill”

Experimental Rules for Marks of Chaos

With the recent release of the Traitor’s Hate supplement for CSM, it got me thinking about how the overall faction can be improved/brought up on par with top-tier factions in 40K.

While many have proposed creating “Chapter Tactics” equivelants (or more appropriately, “Legion Tactics”) for the different Chaos Space Marine Legions, and this is definitely one possible way to approach the problem, I thought about how the different Marks of Chaos/Chaos Gods are really the defining aspect of this entire faction. I also thought it would be neat to introduce unique options for Marks of Chaos on vehicles and all Independent Characters/Monstrous Creatures.

Finally, and perhaps most significantly, in this proposal, no CSM units (vehicles or troops or MCs) would pay for their Marks… rather, they would choose which ones they get and have them for “free” at their current base points cost, basically taking the place of the “free” Chapter Tactics that Loyalist Marines have. CSM with no alignment to any God (i.e. “Mark of Chaos Undivided” forces) would get their own bonuses for free instead of what the units with a Mark of a specific Chaos God gets, to make sure everything is even in terms of competitiveness on the tabletop.

Based on that, here is my idea on how to revamp the Marks of Chaos (and even Chaos Undivided) to improve the faction without otherwise changing any points costs or rules/wargear in the Codex as it currently exists:

 

–MARK OF SLAANESH–

**Troops and Walkers — +1 Initiative and Weapon Skill

**Non-Walker Vehicles — Gain “Fast Vehicle” status

**ICs/Monstrous Creatures — +1 Initiative/Weapon Skill and “Hit and Run” USR

**Icon of Excess — Grants FNP to unit

**Changes to Noise Marines — +1 Weapon Skill, plus replace their Bolters with Sonic Blaster for free and have an extra CCW included in their Wargear for free.

**Changes to Lucius — Gains “Hit and Run” USR

 

–MARK OF KHORNE–

**Troops and Walkers — +1 Attack (loses Rage/Counterattack)

**Non-Walker Vehicles — Gain “Scout” USR

**ICs/Monstrous Creatures — +1 A (loses Rage/Counterattack) and Rampage USR

**Icon of Wrath — Grants Furious Charge and Fleet to unit

**Changes to Khorne Bezerkers — +1 A (loses Rage/Counterattack), Get Chain Axe for free, Chain Axe now S: User AP4 Rending

**Changes to Kharn — Gains “Rampage” USR

 

–MARK OF NURGLE–

**Troops and Walkers — +1 Toughness (or +1 HP if a Walker)

**Non-Walker Vehicles — Gain “Shrouded” USR

**ICs/Monstrous Creatures — Gain +1 Toughness and IWND (4+)

**Icon of Despair — All enemy units within 12″ of the Icon have -1 Ld

**Changes to Plague Marines — Can take 1 Special Weapon OR Heavy Weapon for each 5 models in the squad.

**Changes to Typhus — Gains IWND (4+)

 

–MARK OF TZEENTCH–

**Troops and Walkers — +1 Invul save (or 5++ if no save)

**Non-Walker Vehicles — Gain “Psychic Pilot” and the Boon of the Iron Beast power automatically

**ICs/Monstrous Creatures — +1 Invul save (or 5++ if no save) and can harness Warp Charges on a 3+

**Icon of Flame — Grants “Shred” USR to unit’s shooting

**Changes to Thousand Sons — Inferno Bolts changed to S5 AP2 Armourbane

**Changes to Ahriman — Gains ability to harness Warp Charges on a 3+

 

–MARK OF CHAOS UNDIVIDED–

**Troops and Walkers — Once per game, may choose to either shoot twice or double their attacks for a single player turn

**Non-Walker Vehicles — Once per game, may choose to shoot twice for a single player turn

**ICs/Monstrous Creatures — Once per game, may choose to either shoot twice or double their attacks for a single player turn; also, gains “Preferred Enemy” USR

**Icon of Vengeance — Grants unit “Stubborn” USR and the ability to use its “double attacks or double shooting” a second time during the game.

**Chosen  — Once per game, may choose to either shoot twice or double their attacks for a single player turn; also, gains “Preferred Enemy” USR

**Changes to Huron Blackheart and Fabius Bile — Once per game, may choose to either shoot twice or double their attacks for a single player turn; also, gains “Preferred Enemy” USR

**Changes to Abbadon — Becomes a LORD OF WAR Choice; gains “Hit and Run,” “Rampage,” “Preferred Enemy,” “IWND(4+)” USRs; once per game, may choose to either shoot twice or double his attacks for a single player turn

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While this would not solve everything, or provide a perfect solution, I think it would make Chaos Space Marines significantly more competitive on the tabletop, still preserve the authenticity of their fluff, and also make them unique from other factions (i.e. not just “Marines, but with spikes and worse rules”).

I especially like having Marks for Vehicles, as I think this would make them more enjoyable to use and more effective as well (e.g. imagine “Fast” Land Raiders due to the Mark of Slaanesh, or Helbrutes with +1A because of the Mark of Khorne, or Maulerfiends with Shrouded because of the Mark of Nurgle, or Rhinos that generate “free” Warp Charges because of the Mark of Tzeentch, or Vindicator Squadrons with the ability to shoot twice, once per game, because of Mark of Chaos Undivided).

I also like how even “basic” Chaos Space Marines would be a lot better, since they are getting their Mark for free… while CSM would still lack the ATSKNF and Chapter Tactics of their Loyalist brethren, they would be cheaper overall (13 points/model, compared to 14 points/model for most Loyalist Marines) and would be able to have real advantages of their own built into that cheaper price (i.e. double shots/attacks once a game, or +1WS/I, or +1A, or a free 5++ Invul save, or +1T).

Finally, I think the new versions of the Icons of Chaos are significantly better, with Icon of Despair (-1 Ld aura for enemies), Icon of Flame (Shred for shooting attacks), and Icon of Vengeance (Stubborn, plus ability to use the “double attacks or double shooting” ability a second time during the game) in particular being more competitive than they used to be, I think (even Icon of Wrath got a little better, with Fleet replacing re-rolls of charge distance)