View Full Version : Part 2 of Chaos warrior tactics

Comrade Wraith
07-08-2007, 16:04
The last article talked about using chaos warriors as shock troops, now itís time to see how they can be used in support. But first, two things:

I should have started with unit sizes, but I didnít so Iíll say it now. Donít take large units of chaos, but donít make them too small, anywhere between 10 and 15 should be good enough, however always make sure you have at least five models in the front rank, as chaos warriors are built to kill and will rely on causing wounds more than gaining rank bonus. 15 should really be the limit, although 20 warriors rampaging around is a scary prospect, it is wasting points for very little gain (Warriors arenít likely to have many casualties if you look after them properly) thatís where the expensive points eating unit starts to ring true.

Every chaos unit should have a mark, and each one has itís advantages as long as it is used in the right situation, Nurgle and Slannesh are generally good all round, with Nurgle marked warriors causing fear, they are useful against non undead armies, and Slannesh are good against most armies, particularly undead. Tzeentch is only useful if you have a sorcerer that plays a large role in your battle plan, but itís always nice to have three (or four even) dice to cast each spell rather than one or two. Khorne is brilliant with halberds, two hand weapons and great weapons, Iím sure even a slowly decomposing general might flinch when his grave/tomb guard is charged by a frenzied unit with heavy armour and a ton of attacks. Also, Khorne generates one dispel dice a turn, which is handy against high elves, dark elves, tomb kings (NASTY magic phase believe me, and I play Tzeeentch!)

back to the point

As I said before, Tzeentch marks are invaluable to a mage/lord with mark of Tzeentch granting them one extra power dice per mark. I have only one character in my army, and some question this, but it boils down to having one kick ass level 4 wizard/Lord
with a potential 9 power dice a turn, very rarely do I fail a spell, and I can actually cast all my spells in a magic phase. However, if your warriors are broken then you will lose the bonus until they rally.

Chaos warriors make good reserves, if you centre your army on marauders (as I hope you will not after seeing how useful warriors are) then take small units of warriors and keep them back from the main advancing line. Use marauders to soften up particularly nasty units (greatswords, swrodmasters, temple guard, etc) and charge in with the warriors for a devastating blow. This is useful for routing small elite armies relatively quickly and a useful tactic in breakthrough scenarios.

FEAR (or goblin speciality)
The Nurgle Mark is required for this one, and it only works on living armies and non Slanneshi ones. (Be warned this one is very hit and miss so donít rely on it) Advance your warriors slightly forward of the main line and charge the low leadership units of an army (so weíre looking at goblins, militia, gnoblars, skinks), the desired outcome is that these units will flee when you charge (you need larger units for this one unfortunately) and flee, leaving the opponents line horribly out of formation and vulnerable to flank charges.

I get the feeling I have not covered every aspect of the not so humble Chaos warrior, so i will take on queries etc into later articles. Enjoy...... again, and by the way, i like constructive critiscism.

Comrade Wraith
07-08-2007, 16:32
Remember the word CONSTRUCTIVE though people

07-08-2007, 16:44
Chaos warriors simply arent very good.

Tzeentch warriors : small units,maybe with sheilds,for power dice generation and table quarter contesting purposes only.

Slaanesh warriors : with sheilds and the rapturous standard they can take a knight charge,not really much point otherwise.

Nurgle warriors : bigger than normal unit,less units.You want the fear to help you,use something else to do the killing for you,not quite so great now there is insane courage.

Khorne warriors : arm them however the heck you want,big units small units,so long as it gets to combat they will kill everything.

Undivided warriors : not great really,fairly immune to panic but thats it really,nothing impressive about them,worth avoiding.

As for chosen,treat as khornate warriors.

For the most part,if your chaos warriors have 1 attack,they are either used an expensive speedbump or a power dice generation unit.
Nothing more.

07-08-2007, 16:48
Hrmm... all of these points have allready been covered in the two tactica's on this site, and it would be easier if you could try and put all of these posts into one rather than starting a new thread each time.

I would also delve a bit deeper on the subject of Fear causing Warriors, since there is no point in fielding large blocks of them actually, they aren't killy enough when made durable, and thus, a block of twenty for the fear allone is not what makes the Mark of Nurgle so excellent on them.

Instead, the Mark of Nurgle grants immunity to Fear from normal foes and renders the usual effect of Terror completely obsolete, of course, this is also true for Slaanesh and Khorne, however, unlike the two, you can flee with your units, and unlike Khorne and Undivided, you won't be autobroken by a lucky block of Zombies.

Another strength of the Fear causing Warriors is when you give them, lo and behold, Additional Handweapons, they don't need shields when fighting low Ld armies, they simply rush straight into the enemy, forcing a Fear check, which, if failed, results in the enemy unit hitting them on sixes, meaning that anything that survives the onslaught will, most likely, not be hitting you when hitting back. Also, Fear on my warriors has been known to stop the occasional combined or Lance charge from enemy units, this severly messes up an opponents plan of assault when one of the units simply didn't make it to combat, and toe to toe, Chaos Warriors can usually manage to come out on top of most unsupported units.

Furthermore, the Mark of Tzeentch is actually the weakest mark of all to be putting on Warriors, especially in lower points levels where you don't have Ld9, even in 2k points, where a Lord is either too expensive to include, or atop a dragon, blasting away, this is a mark I would reckomend people to leave to the Chariots, Undivided is that much better on a Warrior, since you will not put a 200 points character with a 200 points unit, that is, unfortunately, what I'd call pure and simple stupidity.

Warriors act best in small detatchments, for this, the marks of Nurgle, Slaanesh and Khorne are best, with Slaanesh, the reliabillity is what you are looking for, with Nurgle, the abillity to severly hamper an opposing enemy's battleplan, and with Khorne, well, screw reliabillity, let's kill stuff. A unit of 10 or 12 Warriors (or worse, Chosen Warriors) of Khorne positioned on a flank or placed to head straight for the enemy's main line WILL cause Havoc if you handle baiters properly. I have lately started to look into Greatweapons for these Khornate units, Hallberds and Additional Handweapons are often the better option if you expect to end up in a battle that will last more than the innitial turn, however, with 13 or 19 strength 6 attacks, a Warbanner, a rank and a Banner, this isn't very likely, I will come back when I've learnt more about this though.

There we go... could someone merge this and Chaos Warrior Tactics 1 with either the Chaos Guide or the Chaos Tactica on the site?

07-08-2007, 16:59
another important aspect is the psychology of the Chaos Warrior. I used to (6th edition) field a unit of twelve Chosen Slaaneshi Warriors with shields and the rapturous standard. When I plunked them down on the table, you could see the wheels turning in the mind of my opponent. Especially since I used to deploy them right up front, as if to say, come here, and you die. Many is the player that would dance away from that unit, only to expose themselves to a charge from something else, and get slaughtered. Technically, that unit never, ever earned its points back, in CC, but often it turned the tide of battle in my favor. Theres nothing better than a unit of knights running right up to your flank, only to discover they need 5s to hit (ouch), and I have a 2+ save, even worse. Many is the unit that just bounced off those boys..

07-08-2007, 17:51
I respect your devotion to persuade us Comrade Wraith, but as Neknoh mentioned all this has pretty much been said before in variety of threads (the chaos tactica and all the previous threads you started about chaos warriors). Also, none of the things you said changes the fact that chaos warriors just don't have the necessary hitting power, resilience and speed to justify their high cost.

07-08-2007, 19:26
Has anybody ever tried a 2000 point Chaos Warrior heavy army that roughly looks like this?:

Aspiring Champion, Chaos Steed, Barded, Shield, Sword of Might, Armor of Damnation, MoK
4 x Chaos Knights, Musician, Standard MoK

30 x Chaos Warrior MoK
Shield, Halberd, Standard, Musician

30 x Chaos Warrior MoK
Shield, Halberd, Standard, Musician

8 x Furies

10 x Fleshhounds of Khorne

10 x Fleshhounds of Khorne

93 models.

One of my concerns with this list is there is only 1 unit of knights. But the 2 blocks of Warriors seem to be kill-y enough? If anybody out there has 60 warriors do give it a go and let me know how it goes.

I think I might wanna proxy this list against my friend's dwarf army (LoL)

07-08-2007, 19:57
erm, three units of 20 Warriors would be much, much better, also, you need screens to avoid Frenzying all over the place, not to mention the fact that you have chosen to field an Aspiring Champion with the Sword of Might rather than an Exalted with a Hallberd, saves you points and will kill a lot more, leaving the AoD superflous, remove it and give the newly formed third unit of Warriors a Full Command

07-08-2007, 20:07
will people get it into their head that most people who dislike chaos warriors know they can work with MoK.

I think warriors suck. However with the MoK they are viable.

havnt we established this already?

07-08-2007, 20:47
W0lf, I always hear you promoting MOK, but it is not the only mark out there. think if someone has a tzeentch, slannesh, or nugle general, MOK isn't an option. and as you said you "think" warriors suck, but opinions are like butts, everyone has one and they all stink!

07-08-2007, 20:58
W0lf, I always hear you promoting MOK, but it is not the only mark out there. think if someone has a TZEENTCH, slannesh, or nugle GENERAL,

what like my 2000 pt Tzeentch army?

i dont have a single model that uses the mark of Khorne (well not for fantasy)

07-08-2007, 21:20
Many moons ago when i used far more warriors in my list this is what i used to use, i think the only army that beat it was skinks (which kinda dont count as he killed his own army with a comment anywas) and a empire army lead by valten (fun!!)


Exalted Champion of Chaos
-Mark of Khorne
-Barded Steed
-Great Weapon
-Gaze of the gods
Total 187pts


5 Knights of Chaos
-Mark of Khorne
-Full command
Total 285pts

15 Warriors of chaos
-Mark of Khorne
-Full command
Total 300pts

15 Warriors of Chaos
-Mark of Khorne
-Full command
Total 300pts

15 Warriors of Chaos
-Mark of Khorne
-Full command
Total 315pts

6 Chaos Hounds - 36pts

6 Chaos Hounds - 36pts

6 Marauder Horsemen
-Throwing Axes
Total 102pts


2 x beast herd
-5 Gors with two weapons
-7 Ungors with spears
Total - 68pts (136)

8 Chaos Furies
Total 120pts

3 Minotaurs
-Mark Of khorne
-Great Weapons
Total - 183pts

Total 2000pts
Dispel dice:
models: 104

It is a hell of alot easier with a khorne as you dont need half the amount of characters, this isnt the list i used now however but i might dig this out again at some stage.

07-08-2007, 21:32
Do you think you could confidently say that swapping the mark of khorne for a different mark would see no change in how well that army does?

07-08-2007, 21:47
well i doubt is that simple as i would have plenty of points left over, if i dropped khorne then i would be adding in extra hand weapons i i would think it would perform the same bar being weaker to magic

08-08-2007, 08:14
Putting all this in one post would be a good idea and then comrade wraith could put it all together on the first few pages and comments nd later additions added. Still rather than saying give up lets keep flogging the dead horse, who knows maybe we can get something out of it. Here is my whip for the fray:

Warhammer is largely a game of statistics. 15 warriors with shields and full command cost 255 points.

For 255 points you can get 38 empire swordsmen with full command or a unit of 25 with points spare for detachments.

Assuming someone really wanted 38 empire swordsmen in one unit who would win it a straight up fight (no one charges)

CW attack first:
6*.66666*.66666*.6666= 1.77 wounds
Swordsmen attack back (assume champ died and round wounds to 2)
4*.5*.33333*.5= 0.33 wounds.
CW win by 1.5/ But wait, the swordsmen have enough ranks for a +3, warriors only +2. They also have outnumber, so they win overall by 0.5. In reality the empire player would have 25 (who would still win) and detachments or a cannon or hellblaster as well.

CW vs HE spearmen (20 in 4 ranks of 5). Equal initiative so we will work out damage simultaneously. Warriors- 2.3 wounds. Elves= 15*.5*.3333*.5= 1.24

Elves lost a rank but so have the CW. Elves have outnumber- CW lose again.

Against saurus (19 saurus). CW attack first 1.33 wounds. Assuming they kill the champ and we round down the 0.33 saurus they cause 1.33 wounds. Saurus win by outnumber and in a long fight will also win with a rank bonus for +2 break test to the warriors.

Ok that was shields and hand weapons, how about additional weapons?

15 CW now 285 points. Against swordsmen: 3.3 wounds. Swordsmen cause 0.333 wounds. CW win by one

Against 23 spearelves: 4.23 wounds vs 1.666. CW have one rank, HE have 2 and outnumber. CW win by 0.5

Against saurus (21): 2.44 wounds caused, 1 by saurus. Saurus have either 2 or 3 ranks, CW have 1. CW win or lose by 0.44 (draw)

Halberds fall somewhere in between the figures above, but generally speaking unmarked warriors need additional weapons to be anywhere near competitive. Compared to horde infantry they may be tougher but lack the numbers to soak up casualties. Still with a/hw they can be a viable combat unit.

08-08-2007, 09:02
Is this all there is to it then? the maths?

Not quite, the warriors with additional weapons have some other advantages:

1) if charged in the flank by light cavalry they (and the saurus) have a reasonable chance of seeing off the charge. For example 5 dark riders with spears charge to the flank cause 1.6 wounds+1 flank attacks. If 2 warriors survive they will get 1.7 wounds back + standard and outnumber- warriors win. If 2 die they cause 0.85 wounds back- draw, and victory next turn. Thats a handy ability in itself. The swordsmen will lose and likely break. The spearment 2.27 are also more likely to break. Also the moral of this story- remove casualties from the centre of the back row, not the sides. They can also potentially handle fliers and weaker flying cavalry. For enemy characters (esp wizards with regiments) they also represent a danger to the character that a human with a sword frankly doen't.
2) They have the chance to get a magic banner- this in itself is a great thing that the saurus, swordsmen do not have, and the spearmen can take only at the expense of other units. The war banner and a warrior or two less means the warriors are doing much better in all their combats.

3) Support units- chaos has great support units and a massive collection to choose from. A unit of warriors and a tuskgor chariot is a powerful combo, with a mortal chariot its a more expensive but still very powerful combo. A spawn is a fear causing tarpit that can protect a flank for only 60 points. Lets look further afield and include the marks:

Mark of Nurgle- expensive and insufficent fear causing unit strength. We don't want 20 warriors but how about 15 with war banner and a flank or rear charge by 8 furies? Or a combined charge with some nurglings (-1 to hit the warriors too). Or supported by 3 minotaurs with GW. Nurgle mark works well in tandem with other fear causer so you can get to the critical outnumber. Still not the best buy of the marks but somewhat feasible.

Mark of Tzeentch- Tzeentch can get a useful unit here, +1 power dice and a bound spell (banner of wrath) if they want to crank up the magic offence. The weakest mark for the unit its true. In support though we can have the firewyrm (not bad against horde enemys and undead) or if we have horrors then 4 flamers can guard both the flamers and warriors from charges to ensure getting the charge in. Also with 2 flying units and maybe flying characters enemy war machines can be neutralised early to protect your warriors.

Mark of Slaanesh- The best spawn in the game as support, immunity to psychology means they can't flee but the spawn is fast enough to get ahead of the warriors to intercept and countercharge. Rapturous standard is excellent for both protection and taking down the bad guys although you may want it on your knights instead. Still have the warbanner though.

Mark of Khorne: Not worth going in to in too much detail, Khorne marked warriors with halberd are by far the best warrior choice. 20 points for frenzy (bargain) and 25 points for an extra dispel die (cool).

4) Characters. Characters being mountable on steeds and still joining units has made elite infantry in general a bit more viable by giving an extra save, saving points on 1 elite trooper and adding an extra attack from the steed (not a big thing but hell it is there). Chaos characters can turn the tide of battle without difficulty, with warriors they have several benefits.
The cost of a barded chaos steed is the same as the warrior you drop from your rear rank.
The unit is now much more killy and the character can move to an endangered flank to whack the living crap out of flankers.
The character can absorb punishment saving the regiment from taking losses.
Certain objects- slaanesh whip of pleasure and helm of many eyes, even a lowly sorcerer with a warrior familiar) allow strike first greatly increasing the survivability of the regiment if charged, especially if flanked.

The character can ride a daemonsteed giving the whole regiment immunity to fear (and terror as fear), making charging enemy take a fear test and adding 2Ws4 S5 hits to the mix. Also adds fear causing US4 to a nurgle regiment. Sadly this also takes out 2 of the warriors from the fight meaning although meaning the daemonsteed character works best with marauders rather than warriors.

Thats about all I can think of now, tried my best comrade wraith. Units of warriors with additional weapons and the warbanner and/or character and/or good support units are still actually a viable choice without the mark of khorne and are also somewhere safe to plop a sorcerer or dark emissary. A unit of knights does move much faster it is true. But 13 warriors with additional hand weapons, full command and the warbenner will cost the same as 6 chaos knights with full command and the warbanner and will underperform slightly in comparison. They will still break a lot of enemy regiments though and can absorb more damage on the way. They will do better if combo charged front and rear, they can be hit by a stonethrower, take losses and still win a combat that the knights would now lose. They can be hit by a few armour piercing spells or weapons and still get their job done, something which can't be said for the knights. Lastly, maybe your opponent will understimate them, or think them too slow and be in for a nasty surprise.

Compared to chosen knights- well lets not be silly, they don't hold a candle to chosen knights first so get that single unit of chosen knights before anything else, but for your second core choice, maybe they are worth a thought.

The last thing I'll add. Warriors are not a true anvil, with the war banner they can perform this role. They are an attrition unit. If you lose to outnumber or ranks the first round, you may well win the second- an army standard or even a Ld9 general (Tzeentch only i guess) goes a long way to ensuring you will butcher the enemy in the end. Marauders will not perform this role, they will tie against the enemy time and again or lose against elites sometimes. They offer a colid combat resolution to assist harder hitters but if its a close combat with marauders, it will be with the dice gods to the end. A spawn roadbump that helps your marauders charge will likely make little difference, a roadbump that allows your warriors to charge will mean a lot more dead enemy.

Support the warriors and they can accomplish things, but keep it as cheap as possible unless you are basing your whole army on them. 60 points for a spawn or a couple of flamers is great. A unit of furies who have finished taking down war machines will be back in time for the warriors to hit the enemy line. A unit of mounted marauders with flails, or norsemen with flails or a tuskgor chariot are all in the pricemark I would consider. Once you start passing 100 points though you are probably sinking too many points in them to make them worthwhile.

08-08-2007, 12:39
This seems to have become a topic for regugitation of things already established. Some people think they work others dont? why keep making massive posts unless there is actually something *new* to add....

08-08-2007, 12:52
Why make a 28th post to add nothing at all to the discussion?

Master Kain
08-08-2007, 13:19
Just one thing to add - Bestigors are as durable and as strong as CWs, but faster, cheaper, and come with GWs. Surely they can do the same job for less? Perhaps not so great for mortal armies, but if you've got a couple of specials free.......

09-08-2007, 00:07
They are as durable (without shields) and they are faster. The negative side being:

Ld (if they lose a combat the odds are they will break)
Ws4 means they will do far less damage against opposing infantry of Ws4.
Against sworsmen they would kill 2.5, warriors kill 4.23.

vs knights 2 wounds, warriors wth a/hw do 1.7 so they are better against knights by a wee bit.

But if later rounds warriors will be striking in I order meaning they will do better against all foe.

Master Kain
09-08-2007, 14:24
Yeah true Kerill, CWs do the job better, and are more survivable in protracted combats. Plus special choices are needed for stuff like flesh hounds, daemons, etc.

09-08-2007, 15:00
FEAR (or goblin speciality)
The Nurgle Mark is required for this one, and it only works on living armies and non Slanneshi ones. (Be warned this one is very hit and miss so donít rely on it) Advance your warriors slightly forward of the main line and charge the low leadership units of an army (so weíre looking at goblins, militia, gnoblars, skinks), the desired outcome is that these units will flee when you charge (you need larger units for this one unfortunately) and flee, leaving the opponents line horribly out of formation and vulnerable to flank charges.

Goblins don't cause panic in orcs, trolls, giants, etc...
Gnoblars don't cause panic in anything else. Their largely insignificant rule even says that even fellow gnoblars will laugh at their fleeing brethren.
As for skinks, good luck catching them with their M6...

09-08-2007, 19:42
So fielding warriors in units of 20 isn't good?

10-08-2007, 04:57
Well a unit of 20 is a waste of 50 points compared to a unit of 15 with the warbanner. That 50 points is almost enough for a spawn or other support unit.

The warbanner is also better in other respects- it counts even if flank charged (unlike ranks), if you charge in with marauders as well (who already have 3 ranks) you will still gain +1 for the banner but nothing for having three ranks of warriors.

Again anvil units are better served by marauders (or even bestigor).

10-08-2007, 08:55
Also, none of the things you said changes the fact that chaos warriors just don't have the necessary hitting power, resilience and speed to justify their high cost.

Right. The real problem is that the Chaos Warriors are overpriced; itís a design problem that I hope the GW would fix on the new 7th Edition Hordes of Chaos (Ö in a far future, I fear).

Why? Just compare the Warriors with one type of shock troop that we see regularly on the tabletop: The Dryad.

A Dryad costs only 12 point and she has +1 Initiative, +1 A and +1M! She cause Fear, use the skirmish formation. Then the ability Forestís Spirit (Iím not sure if itís the correct term, Ďbecause I have the Italian edition of the Wood Elves book) gives her Immune to Psychology, 5+ Save and her attack are magical.

The Chaos Warrior, with the Chaos Undivided Mark, costs 14 point (2 more than a Dryad) and has only +1 WS compared to the Dryad. Well, we can upgrade them but they became quite expensive (+ 2pts for a great weapon, +20 pts/unit to be Immune to Psychology with the Mark of Slaanesh and so on).

Cleary, there isnít match.

And I have dozen of Warriors that I have bought starting from the í80 and I rarely use them.

Lord Tzeentch
13-08-2007, 19:32
I have to say im not keen on MoK as alot of the time your opponent can chose the fights.To many times have i used Slaves to lead a champion of death away from the field of battle its just an easy army to control IMHO. I know MoT isnt very good for the Warriors but who cares its all about the lvl 4 lord. Give him a dragon and the Golden Eye and watch as he kills the other army sigle handed. Its great if you fighting a gun line every things going to shoot at him and hes going to slap cannon ball out of the air, then everything else jut charges. Tzeentch...Best...Mark....Ever!!