View Full Version : Chaos warriors. Optimal unit size?

10-09-2005, 12:57
ok, so im building my 3000 point chaos horde up. i got a load of beast units and most of my characters all painted up and ready to go cave some skulls in. however, i am concerned about the size of my chaos warrior units atm.

the plan is to have 4 meaty units or warriors. 2 undivided and 2 alligned (khorne & slaanesh)

i have the khorne and undived currently at 16 models each. what i want to know is simpe. is 16 warrior too much? just right? or too little?

what is the optimum size for my chaos warrior regiments. it doesnt matter what their alleigance is as for aesthetic purpouses, they will all be the same size.

so, what should it be?

10-09-2005, 13:24
What have you equipped them with? IF they ahve shields they would be stable at 16 i guess with full command. The problem is only that they areso way overpriced :(

10-09-2005, 14:13
well the 2 undivided and the slaanesh units have hand weapons and shields whilst the khorne dudes have 2X hand weapons.

all units have full command and my super-nails-hard lord on foot generally hangs out with one of the undiveded regiments.


my reasoning is that with 4 ranks of 4 warriors i am able to take advantage of the full +3 rank bonus. im not too fussed about losing any to missile fire as my opponents generally field choppy armies these days. i could expand the frontage by 1 model but would this be wasted points?

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10-09-2005, 20:57
I say 15. The unit is bie enough to take some punishment and still hit back hard. The point of chaos warriors is not to have numbers but to cause wounds, which a wider frontage allows for.

10-09-2005, 21:18
The problem is only that they areso way overpriced
You're kidding, right?

10-09-2005, 21:52
What do you mean? Kidding about CWs beeing overpriced?

Lets say i want some khorne warriors in a unit of like 16 with great weapons. Thats 331 points for a reg with a 5+ AS. Sure they dish out alot of pain, but still far from living up to the cost. And giving them chosen status comes in at 427 points, pretty cheap huh?

Then take a look at the marauders. Sure lower S and T but still they are far superior getting a 25 man squad with HW+Shield for 200 points.

Only way the chaos warriors is worth their points is with units around 10-12 acting as detachments for marauder units etc. Still id take marauders over CWs any day :)

10-09-2005, 22:02
A 4x4 block of Chaos Warriors deals just the same amount of damage as a 4x1.

The rank bonus could (should?) be brought inn by a support unit of, say, Marauders.


10-09-2005, 22:25
isnt that an incredibly cheeze-tastic tactic? i wouldnt feel morally justified pulling something like that just to save a few points.

from what i can gather, the 16 strong unit is looking to be a winner (presumably 4X4) so ill give that a blast. though i do hear what you are saying about the maximum frontage. i suppose if im choppin up loads of goblins and skeletons, the rank bonus wont matter much/be as important.

10-09-2005, 22:32
CW are very expensive. A rank is going to cost 50+ points. That rank will give you +1 CR. You are better off trying to kill your enemy.

I think CW's should be in units of 12, 6x2, with full command & xhw. That should give you 13 attacks or 8 hits. That should give enough kills that you don't need 3 ranks or outnumber.

Also, the war banner is MUCH cheaper than a rank for CW's. Take 1.

10-09-2005, 22:36
ok, tempted to go for 3 ranks of 5. damn, though it will require making a whole new load of movement trays! :D

10-09-2005, 22:42
You can go up to 6 wide & still get the entire front rank in combat with most units.

CW's win combat by killing the enemy.

Gobbo's win combat throught CR.

10-09-2005, 22:44
hmm, i guess. but my regular opponent takes a rank width of 4, and i'm sure he would go less if he thought he could still get the rank bonus.

10-09-2005, 22:49
Units of 15 with Shields and Full Command. Why? Simple, in a 3*5 they have 2 ranks, banner, and a few kills, more if Chosen (I high advise that you don't have any Chosen untill you're around 3000 Points or more).
If you give them two hand weapons, then units of 12 will be great flankers. I'd also have a couple of units of Marauders on hand (around 4 or 5) to take the charge, and have your Warriors flank them.
Personally, though, I'd just go for a Marauder Horde (Hordes of Chaos, ;)).

10-09-2005, 22:55
hmm, well that would require painting up marauders and i HATE painting flesh with a passion:D

still, i got plenty of beasts running around causing havoc (and how!) maybe those will do?

11-09-2005, 01:19
I don't think there is such a thing as 'optimal unit size'. There are times when you wish you would have taken the full unit of 16 or more, and there are times when 10 warriors would have sufficed. Remember that your opponent will recognize what role you have given your warriors and try to deny them from performing that role. I.e. if they are supporters and flankers, he will hit them with line-breakers (cavalry, chariots). If they are main combat units, he will either divert or delay them, or outmanouver them.

I have been known to take warriors in units up to 20 strong. Needless to say, those points invested in chaos knights would have been FAR more useful for me. Still, I like infantry, and I like the concept of Chaos Raiders as an armoured juggernought, steaming southwards.

What you need to recognize is that a unit of 20 warriors, perhaps with a character in it, and with a warbanner, is capable of taking on virtually any unit in the game with good results. However, they are extremely easy to counter. They will probably cost 500+ pts with the character included (about 400 without) and as a result you will be sorely lacking in units. That means the enemy is free to divert the unit and force it into bum charges that will only expose its flanks (and by forcing a charge, I mean parking a unit of light cav right in front of the unit, at an angle - so the warriors either charge and expose their flanks, or they stay put). March blocking them also means they will move slower into combat.

Here is a plausible scenario for a unit like that. Say you win the roll to go first.

Turn 1 - unit moves forward 8".

Turn 2 - enemy throwaway unit has parked right in front of the warriors, 2" away at an angle, so any overrun will actually take the warriors further away from the real battle. So charging means they advance 2" this turn. Not charging means they stay put.

Turn 3 - Unit moves forward 4" due to march blockers. 2" of that move is a wheel back towards where the action is. The unit has now advanced a full 16-17".

Turn 4 - Unit is not in charge range, since no sensible opponent will have moved FORWARD, unless we are talking about another throwaway unit. Warriors advance 4", into charge range.

Turn 5 - Unit charges. Let's be kind and say the unit did not recieve any ranged casualties at all, so it is unscathed. It defeats whatever it fights and runs it down. Beating an average infantry unit, they earn 250-300 VP (including a banner). They either overrun or stay put - at this stage, it does not matter.

Turn 6 - They turn to face the enemy, hoping like hell they don't get flank charged in the last turn of the game.

Just think about it. This is a pretty damn good scenario too, for those Warriors. It also assumes that you can advance every turn without danger of flanking cavalry or monsters, and having invested so many points in a unit like this, you have less units to protect you from said flankers. It also assumes that you will recieve no incoming fire at all (yeah, fat chance of that happening!)

The problem is not inherent in chaos warriors - the problem is inherent in this edition. Elite infantry is very easy to counter, whereas cavalry or cheap infantry is much more effective on a large scale.

That said, some people swear by Chaos Warriors. I say playtest them before making any definite decisions (like for instance, making movement trays :p )

11-09-2005, 17:12
heh, cheers Sanjuro, thats some prety sage advice. honestly it never did cross my mind to optimize them for specific roles each battle. i kinda get strung up on visuals (theres something satisfying about 4X 5 wide units of warriors and 2 24 strong beastheards plus various monsters):D

looks like ill have to get my thinking cap on and figure out the best combos posible

11-09-2005, 17:33
I have to agree that Warriors are generally overpriced for what you can achieve with them. The best use for normal warriors is with shields as a rank bonus for a character. I always try to take a full +3 rank bonus, cos your enemy will too, and your better combat ability will hopefully swing it in your favour. I don't like to go into a combat at a disadvantage due to enemy ranks, outnumbering etc.

11-09-2005, 18:41
CW's win combat by killing the enemy.

Erm...with 1 attack? Even with their high WS, I, and decent S that still ain't enough attacks to win a fight versus a fully ranked Gobbo unit usually.

11-09-2005, 19:35
Well they most certainly do not win combat thanks to outnumbering the enemy. :)

If you are looking for static CR providers, the Chaos army list has a quite excellent unit to play this role: the marauder footsoldiers.

11-09-2005, 19:53
Yeah, I think the main purpose of non-chosen warriors (Equipped with Shields of course) is a unit of tough to kill guys that can survive a turn or two so the other elements of your army can get into position.

11-09-2005, 23:46
Dod what I do with daemonettes (also 15 points a pop (no pun intended). Units of 16 - that way you can go 2 ranks of 6 and one of 4, or 4 ranks of 4, depending on the situation.

12-09-2005, 00:26
Blimey, Blowfish, blast from the past!

I'm an idiot that goes for looks above practicality. For this reason I take a unit of 18 slaaneshi warriors with shields and additional hand weapons.

Costs an absolute bomb and is not chosen for purposes of winning, however, I have gleaned the odd point from using them:

- shields and additional hand weapons is costly (18pts each) but the ability to pick a 3+ save or an extra attack is often very useful. They can slice'n'dice their way through speedbumps with ease whilst retaining the ability to resist a charge.

- frontage of 6 is what you need. It's a little unwieldy, but lets be fair, they're going to be chugging up the middle with the rest of your army funnelling units towards them where possible.
6 in the front means 12 attacks with my set up (13 with champion) all at WS5 and S4. There aren't a great deal of units that can take that on. Also, everyone deploys 5 wide at the front for some reason, so you're always going to have everyone attacking and more of them.

- Even if the unit doesn't make its points back in terms of models kills, a unit like that dominates the centre and puts the enemy into a reactionary mode. You know before the game starts that they are either going to be like a magnet to distracting units or to units just as tough as it. Having an idea of what the enemy is going to do before he does it is often very useful...

- When the chips are down and you're in a bad situation, nothing holds up like these guys. Despite being spiky, most chaos units break and run fairly easily through lack of survivability or numbers. Number of times a chunk of chaos warriors have acted as an anchor, holding up the enemy advance while everyone rallies.... its very inspirational.

However, despite my positives, I'd still say they're a points sink and not at all cost effective. If you're looking for a tournament list, you'd be hard pushed to justify warriors. If like me you love the look and feel of a bunch of hard bastards mooching around.... good luck :p

12-09-2005, 01:40
Chaos warrior regiments are optimal in different sizes, depending on your army.

As far as the various Chaos gods are concerned:

I'd say these guys work well in most sizes, since they have the ability to re-roll psychology (i.e. panic) tests, so you have the option to take small units, AND they are cheap (for chaos warriors), so you can take lots of them. Chosen chaos warriors armed with shields and hand weapons are very points-efficient and good all-rounders. A frontage of 5 is good for these guys, since they don't often have many attacks. plus if you go fopr Archaon's horde, you can take large regiments, 5 wide, that get free command groups.

Reccomended unit size: 15-20

Everything about Chaos undivided applies to these guys, but they are slightly more expensive as a unit because of their mark. Again, chosen with shields are always worth taking, yet the immunity to psychology allows you to be confident with smaller units (usually best as support for the larger ones)

Reccomended unit size: 12+

These guys tend to be very elitist and expensive, but they are utter killing machines. Always go for a frontage of 5 with these guys as their killing power is how they win combats. Taking an extra hand weapon is not usually a good idea, as they will get shot to hell. I'd usually take at least 15, to survive shooting.

Reccomended unit size: 15-20

This mark gives them the ability to cause fear, so large numbers are advised for the autobreak rule (16-20 armed with shields is often a good idea). If faced with low ld troops, they will benefit even more because of fear, which just adds to their defenses (6's to hit them?)

Reccomended unit size: 16+

never been fond of the mortal followers of tzeentch myself, i'd usually arm them with shields, build units of 12-16 and form them around and as close to the general as much as possible. With tzeentch, the more marks the better, as long as you don't go over the top (more than 14 power dice a turn isn't going to make much difference on the magic phase).

Reccomended unit size: 12+

12-09-2005, 10:03
hmmm. a lot to think about. i never considered Chaos warriors as the centre of the army to any real extent, but now general consencus is persuading me to in fact bulk my main undivided unit (with shields) up to a hefty 20 figures (inlcuding the lord). these i suppose are gonna sit right in the middle of my battle lines. tempted now to get a small geiment of undivided knights to try and force my opponents hand (ie funnel him towards the big regiment)
also toning my slaanesh regimet down to an experimental 10 dudes in 2 ranks of 5, CHOSEN and with a magic banner (the musky one) as a kind of detachment for the big unit.

@ Hywel: Heya! :D i didnt feel right untill i got my old av back (redesigned of course)

12-09-2005, 15:59
I tried using 10 chosen warriors as a kind of detachement. They were armed with shields and halberds, but no command except a musician. In theory, they work well, since they can take on almost anything but a main ranked unit and heavy cavalry. However, the only time I've used them they were brutally put down by some skaven slaves clipping their corner. Most cheesy, but then what would you expect from a bunch of rats, eh? :cheese:

But my tip would be this: if you do go with warriors, go either all-out or minimum support. That would be, either a unit of 20 or a unit of 10. I've used units of 15 and 16 quite often, and they have almost always been dissapointing in their performance.

Provided you can still dominate the movement phases (both yours AND your opponent's), large blocks of warriors will probably function very well. If you cannot, then they are a huge waste of points. This is why I never take to the field without tons of supporting units with high mobility.

12-09-2005, 16:35
well my army has a lot of fast elements in it. various beasts, dogs and horsies running around. the idea is to tie up the enemy with these whilst my warriors get into position

12-09-2005, 17:28
isnt that an incredibly cheeze-tastic tactic? i wouldnt feel morally justified pulling something like that just to save a few points.

Uh, what? Using two units in such a way that their combined strength is better than the sum of their whole? Isn't that kinda what Warhammer is all about in the first place?

12-09-2005, 17:30
i guess. i just dont think its "cricket" to use the minumum reg size because i can and it works :D

i know it sounds sad.
but i do like big units

12-09-2005, 18:36
Erm...with 1 attack? Even with their high WS, I, and decent S that still ain't enough attacks to win a fight versus a fully ranked Gobbo unit usually.
You're right. That's why I think they need xhw. 13 A hiting on 3+, wounding on 3+, with 1 rank & standard can take a unit. Make them Chosen with the warbanner & they are nasty. Expensive, but nasty.

12-09-2005, 19:36
Even better make them chosen khorne with GWS. 12 of them 2x6 full command with warbanner.

19 str 6 attacks = teh win ;) Too bad they cost 364 points and are so damn easy to waste with a bolt thrower at 35 points :(

12-09-2005, 22:24
i had a lot of trouble with my khorne army. i had two regiments of khorne warriors shielded by beasts and flanked by marauder horses and my opponenets still dragged em round the table

13-09-2005, 22:38
If you are going to go with Khornate warriors non-chosen, then take a bestigor khornate unit. They are faster, cheaper, and hit just as hard.

As for the optimum number of models, I usually go for 12 chosen slaanesh, with rapturous standard with halberds. I put them 6X2 or 3X4 and set them up to take a charge from heavy cavalry.

People see this as a wast of points but heavy cavalry doesn't have much rank either, will get the charge off on them and think they can break them with only 1 extra rank. They may kill 2 but there will still be 9 strength 5 attacks back. The raptourous standard is a surprise. It cost a pretty penny, and if I have a character, I'll sub out one of the warriors and put him in freeing up 22 points. But now I am considering adding shields to them, to give me the flexibility of using either halberds or hw/shield.

It is a very close call to choose between +1 str and +1 attack. If chosen, I think +1 str is better, while if unchosen, +1 attack is better.

Rune of Death
15-09-2005, 20:46
i like 16 chosen warriors. armed w/ hand weapon and shield. line them up 4x4 and get the 3+ rank bonus, or go for the large frontage 6,6,4, and take the war banner.

09-10-2005, 10:13
I (being a starter) mostly put or 2 unit's of 12 warriors, or one unit of 20 warriors on and 12 in one unit is really to small for 2000 pts,if you are playing against a shooty strong army it shoots them to pieces.
20 is a little to big because they're also pritty expensive and if you would like them to be chosen that costs you a lot of points.
I think 16 warriors of chaos in one unit should be good.

09-10-2005, 15:37
Erm...with 1 attack? Even with their high WS, I, and decent S that still ain't enough attacks to win a fight versus a fully ranked Gobbo unit usually.

very good point. if you have chaos warriors with only one attack you are seriously wasting points, for non-khornate warriors i highly recommend 2 hand weapons. chosen are a bit too expensive, but if armed with hand weapons and shields they have a very good armour save for an infantry unit, and can still have 2 attacks.

as far as size is concerned, there seems to be a strong temptation to take what you get in the regiment box set (ie. 12), which while cost effective (in terms of $), isn't necessarily the best size in game terms. as someone else mentioned, either large units or small detachments work best.

furthermore, in terms of guarding the flanks of your units - a couple of points here:

1. large frontage is important not only to get maximum models in contact, but also because chaos armies tend to be small, so if you have too many units with a small frontage you are going to have big problems protecting your flanks.

2. use other units to support your warriors' flanks - especially those that are not or are less vulnerable to flank attacks. daemons are ok as they won't break even if the combat goes against them (instability is the unfortunate downside to this...); nurglings are even better as they count as a swarm. individual models are the most useful for this role, as they are not penalised for rear/flank charges. it is often better to 'team' characters with units rather than have them actually join the unit. also chaos spawn can be very good for this. while their movement is unpredictable, remember that the compulsory movement phase is before the normal movement phase, so you can either keep pace with your infantry units (as long as you don't roll too low), or even if you roll high for their movement, the spawn is/are unlikely to get so far ahead that an entire unit can slip through the gap and hit your flanks. their unbreakable special rule and toughness 5 can easily hold up units that try to attack your flanks, and there is of course nothing gained by charging spawn in the flank, making them ideal for this role.

warriors are an effective force on the battlefield, but like all units in warhammer you have to compensate for their weaknesses. having small numbers is the downside to playing a mortal chaos army, but you should try to use your units in such a way that makes it hard for your opponent to use this against you.