This will be the new WOC combined thread for tactics. Can we have the other two locked so we can use 1 combined 8th ed thread?
Welcome to 8th!
This will be the new WOC combined thread for tactics. Can we have the other two locked so we can use 1 combined 8th ed thread?
Welcome to 8th!
The official "Tactica: Warriors of chaos (7th)" approved 8th ed thread.
Any opinions on banners and command? The move through all terrain banner, good for knight? Full command still useless on knights?
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RiP. In memory of: (2007) Luciano Pavarotti & Marcel Marceau. (2008) Bobby Fisher & Sofiko Chiaureli. (2009)Michel Jackson & Brimstone (2010) Alexander McQueen & Grundig Harry. (2011) Jack Kevorkian & My Grandmother Sophia & Ramaz Chkhikvadze (2012) Tonino Guerra (2013) Ray Harryhausen
i tryed out the horde of Marauders yesterday
50 marauders with great weapons full command and mark of khorne, clocking in ad 300 points was completer destroying everything it touches. i have to say that they where only fighting zombies and skeletons and where continually fighting fresly raised units until the reached the necromancer who was summoning the critters.
it was the only unit that did perform well in my armie yesterday so i am a little biased. my chosen didn't have the killing power to kill the unit they where fighting (grave guard) they where really tough with the mark of Tzeentch and hand weapon shield bonus (3+ as and 5+ ward save). the +1 leadership banner and a lord with the crown of command. making the unit effectively stubborn leadership 10 and with a bsb nearby they could re-roll that leadership.
my lord didn't perform as he should manly because of my tendency to roll 1 on everything he did. i failed his 3+ ws to many times.... and so he was cut down by a vampire lord.
in the end i had only my horde of marauders and my bsb standing and he only had a unit of zombies in combat with my bsb and his unit of grave guard and vampire lord. so a major loss on my part but i have learnd that a horde unit works wonders. and that chosen and normal warriors with the 3+ save and 5+ ward are really tough to kill. but they cant dish out enough pain to win combats and so they will eventually loss and run away. (when fighting a unit of grave guard with a lord in it)
i will be using the horde a few more times to see if they can take tougher opponents and you will hear from me when i played an other game.
WoC, last updated: a long time ago
Fair enough, I'll try and post up a general overview of Warriors of chaos in 8th for any newer players.
Well 8th edition is now fully upon as and as agreed in the old Warriors of Chaos Tactica, now that everything has now been released we can start the new tactica. Since Shamfrit (OP of the old tactica) has been banned I thought I might as well do the overview for the new one. I’ll also try to answer in the first few posts as many of the queries that are popping up on warseer and other forums about setups of units for different uses, marks, mono-god armies and whether X unit is good/bad in 8th compared to 7th.
First a couple of links:
I couldn't fit the characters and mono theme sections in the start of the thread due to the character limit, so here it is:
The FAQ on WOC for those who don’t have it yet:
I’ve also added a post in the armylist section for people to post their ideas for their list in the army list forum. This post isn’t really for comments and suggestions, more to give people an idea of what their army is for 8th and their thinking behind it so if you do post there do feel free to add extra detail for readers. Hopefully this will also help keep this thread clean from people posting their list here and asking for help with it.
COTEC- Warriors of Chaos Forum
And just for completeness since a lot of WOC players also have parts of other armies:
The Herdstone- Beasts of Chaos Forum:
The Daemonic Legions- Daemons of Chaos forum:
Since everyone should now have some kind of access to the book or has been reading forums I’ll just give a quick run down of some of the major changes in 8th and some quick notes on what they mean for WOC.
In 8th edition any unit which has more ranks than the opposing unit can take any break tests on its own unmodified leadership- i.e. in 7th edition terms it is basically stubborn. This means that units of cavalry, monsters, chariots or other hard hitting units with a low model count (shock troops) can no longer simply roll over units of infantry by wiping out the front rank and breaking the unit more or less immediately with combat resolution.
In 8th edition all casualties are taken from the back of the unit which means that, unless your unit suffers casualties to the extent that it doesn’t have enough models to form a front rank, you can always fight with all the models in your front rank. This again means that having your front rank wiped out is now less of a problem since you can now still attack back. It also means that great weapons (even if they no longer strike first on charge) are an excellent weapon for a longer melee.
In 8th this allows units of more than one rank to get one attack from the second rank if charged to the front. This means that units with ranks (typically infantry) now have more attacks, and this second rank also benefit from stepping up.
This allows a unit with a musician to reform on a successful Ld test, following which it can still move its normal move distance in the remaining moves part of the phase. Again this is of more use to units with more ranks but is good for any unit with a musician.
This allows a unit to reform in combat (automoatically if it wins, on a successful Ld test minus the amount it lost combat by if it lost). The unit can expand frontage to bring more models into combat but cannot reduce its frontage or otherwise reduce the number of models currently fighting in combat. This has many applications (going wide to butcher a horde of skaven slaves in combat for example) and also means that being charged in the flank is not as bad as it was in 7th as long as you don’t break in the first round. It also means that charging in the front and flank is the only way to negate your opponents rank bonus over a period of turns.
Any unit at least 10 models wide can make an additional attack with
Charging is no longer twice your movement.
Charging is now your M+2D6 (M+the highest 2 dice of 3 D6 for units such as cavalry with the swift strider rule). This means infantry can now charge a lot further on average and can potentially outcharge cavalry and monstrous infantry in 8th edition. It also makes 3rd turn charges against missile troops a possibility for M4 infantry.
All of the above rules have resulted in a substantial boost in the power of infantry compared to other troops types.
Striking in initiative order & charging only grants +1CR
Initiative has become a lot more important in 8th since charging no longer allows you to strike first. In 7th Cavalry could almost always strike first against infantry but in 8th everything is based on initiative order- which is great for armies with high initiative like Warriors of Chaos.
In 8th, units classed as monstrous infantry- MI- (which for WOC includes, ogres, trolls and Throgg but does NOT include dragon ogres) can use up to 3 supporting attacks from the second rank. This has meant a major increase in the utility of having larger units of monstrous infantry. In 7th edition a second rank was an expensive and relatively pointless waste whereas in 8th it allows you to use a lot more attacks. MI also now count 3 wide as a rank (6 for horde) rather than 5 which makes it a lot easier to have two ranks- 6 models is sufficient compared with 10 in 7th edition.
Frenzy is rather different in 8th edition is several key ways. First you must potentially charge your enemy at your maximum potential charge distance i.e. your M value plus the maximum value on 2D6 (12) so this would be16 inches for Chaos Warriors or 19 inches for Chaos Knights for example). You can, however, test to restrain to prevent charging (and can re-roll from the bsb) which makes frenzied troops much harder to bait than 7th edition and thus generally better. Also, unlike 7th, a frenzied character in a unit only causes the unit to have to test or charge, rather than individually, this prevents the problem in 7th where a character on a faster mount could easily be baited out of their unit. Finally frenzy (and hatred) no longer necessarily transfers to mounts meaning for example that Khorne Marked characters no longer have their frenzy passed to their mounts.
BSB Allows re-rolls of ALL leadership based tests in 8th edition
This is a major change in the utility of the bsb character who has generally gone (for WOC) from a character you can take or leave to one that you will almost always want to take. Re-rolling steadfast break tests is great, re-rolling frenzy restraint equally so. Re-rolling stupidity makes trolls a LOT more viable in 8th and also improves some of the magic items.
Generation of Power and Dispel Dice
In 7th power dice and dispel were generated by every wizard, in 8th you have a random pool with each wizard having a small chance to channel and extra die (1/6 chance for each wizard). Thus, whereas in 7th investing more and more points in magic would net a greater return, this is definitely not the case in 8th. Essentially this means that wizard-heavy lists from 7th can now drop additional mages and free a lot of points to spend on troops (or a bsb).
Casting level added to casting roll for spells and dispels
This means that having at least one high level mage for casting and dispelling is a good idea if you want to boost your magic phase or blunt your opponents to a greater extent.
Failed casting and Dispel Rolls
In 8th if a caster fails to successfully cast or dispel a spell they can’t cast any further spells or dispel any other spells that turn. For armies who want to use magic offensively this means having at least one back-up caster is definitely a good idea in case the dice desert you. It also means that items and abilities that can be used to boost your casting roll or re-roll dice are worth their weight in gold to reduce the potential problem of losing your main caster. For dispelling a backup caster is perhaps less important but can still be worthwhile.
Irresistable Force and Miscast
In 8th both irresistible force and miscasts are both caused on a casting roll with 2 or more sixes meaning that getting IF is not necessarily a good thing. The new miscast table is generally more destructive than in 7th although the chance of your sorcerer outright dying is much reduced. Miscasts will tend to make a mess of any unit the caster is in and most result will cause the loss of D6 magic dice which will often basically end your magic phase. As a result, if possible, and spells which require a lot of dice are best cast at the end of the phase, and especially by a mage not surrounded by expensive models or on their own outside a unit.
In 8th slot restrictions no longer apply as such and each army can split its points according to <25% Lords, <25% Heroes, >25% Core, <50% special and <25% rare. A further caveat being you can’t take more than 2 of the same rare choice of 3 of the same special choice unless you have a grand army (3000 points or more). This means it is much more easy to take multiple special or rare choices and reduces some of the pressure when choosing an army, especially in the special selection. Spawn are still a 2 for 1 choice meaning you can take 4 in an army of less than 3000 points.
In 7th if you were outnumbered by a fear causing enemy and lost you would break on anything but insane courage, now fear is much weaker- Ld test or reduced to Ws1, A1 and you can re-roll the Ld test. This has benefited smaller elite units like warriors and also means that defence against psychology is not as necessary as it was in 7th.
There have been many changes in the victory points, table quarters no longer give VPs, you only get VPs for killing a unit rather than 50% like in 7th. Perhaps the biggest change is in capturing standards- standards are now worth 25 points each (100 for the battle standard) rather than 100 points meaning taking a standard for a unit is far less of a risk than in 7th edition meaning units that in the past may not have been given a standard for fear of giving up VPs may well now be given a standard. As an aside, one of the rulebook scenarios (Blood and Glory) can be immediately and automatically lost at the start of the battle if you don’t have any standard bearers at all and generally having more standards is very useful for that scenario.
Changes in the Rulebook Lores
The rulebook lores are now substantially more powerful than before with some spells now overshadowing the chaos lores in terms of sheer destructive potential- some of them because some spells can be boosted to be more powerful or to have increased range. For the rulebook lores available to Warriors of Chaos there has also been an increase in the overall casting values required to cast the spell and some changes in the nature of the lore. Each lore now also has a special ability which vary in their usefulness:
Lore of death has risen from an average difficulty of 8.17 in 7th to 9.14 in 8th or 14.28 if using the empowered versions of spells and is now primarily a character sniping lore. The special ability is that for each wound caused on a 5+ you get another power dice- a fairly useful special ability.
Lore of Fire has risen from an average difficulty of 8.17 in 7th to 8.85 in 8th or 12.85 if using the empowered versions of spells. Lore of fire is still generally a straightforward blasty lore. The special ability is that if casting a fire spell on a unit which has already hit by a direct damage or fire spell spell from the lore of fire you can add a (non-cumulative)+D3 to your casting roll. Not a great special but occasionally useful.
Lore of Heavens has risen from an average difficulty of 7.33 in 7th to 9.57 in 8th or 15.42 if using the empowered versions of spells. Lore of heavens is now less of a boosting/buff lore and more of a hex/damaging lore. The special ability is that any flyer targeted by a lore of heavens spell suffers an additional D6 S4 hits. Again, not a great special.
Lore of Shadows has risen from an average difficulty of 8.50 in 7th to 11.14 in 8th or 14.28 if using the empowered versions of spells. Lore of shadows is no longer the “movement lore” and only contains one magical movement spell. Apart from that it contains a mixture of damaging spells, buffs and hexes.. The special ability is a lore of shadows caster can.swap position with a friendly model of the same troop type within 18”. I really can’t see this being of much use in a battle, and especially not for chaos where different casters may well be different troops types or may be otherwise disallowed from doing this. The BRB also doesn’t deal with problems such as if a wizard on a chaos steed (cavalry) in a unit of knights casts the spell and a disk riding mage (cavalry) is within 18”- a flying character can’t join the unit but is of the same troop type.
In general the rulebook lores now have much higher casting values although if cast by a level 4 wizard the base spells are easier on average to cast than in 7th. The boosted values are considerably higher though. Compare these to the average casting values of the chaos lores:
So with adding your caster’s level to the casting roll we can see that chaos spells are much easier to cast in 8th than 7th and are generally lower than the rulebook lores, especially if we consider the empowered spells.
The Chaos Army
In the next section Iíll go over the different units in the chaos army. In past editions I would always have started with the characters but in 8th I feel the troops are more important in many ways. For each troop type Iíll give it a rough and dirty score out of 10 and a rough score for what I felt the unit was like in 7th edition.
Chaos Warriors- 9/10 (6.5/10 in 7th)
Chaos warriors have always had the potential to hit hard but in 7th chaos warriors could also be steamrollered easily by heavy shock units wiping out the front rank (or most of) leaving very few models to attack back and therefore leading to losing combat by a large margin. This was made worse by the fact that although the base leadership of chaos warriors is good, the leadership of chaos characters in general is mediocre at best and with chaos lords never being a particularly good option the Ld of the army tended to be capped at the base leadership of 8. What this meant was that although Chaos Warriors were not a bad unit in 7th per se, they needed the army to be carefully built and the unit supported appropriately in order to be used effectively.
In 8th having a high base leadership is excellent for taking steadfast tests without needing the general nearby and with bsbís being more prevalent warriors are now much harder to break on the charge since they will generally have more ranks than most shock units. This means they are far less likely to simply be crushed on the charge.
Striking in initiative order at I5, step up and support attacks means that chaos warriors can lay down serious damage to almost any unit that charges them, and often will strike before their opponent- thus further reducing attacks from elite units. Definite contenders for best core infantry unit in the game this edition after almost 15 years of being ďmehĒ.
Chaos warrior units designed as blending machines for enemy units have traditionally been 6 wide since this is the maximum number of models you can fit in combat against a 5 wide unit on 20mm bases. This general rule is also true in 8th. This makes multiples of 6 the most common way to run warriors:
12 Warrior units were used by some in 7th but in 8th I think may well be too small since they are at risk of being crushed by shock troops since 2 kills means they will no longer be steadfast and casualties will also mean they are losing support attacks from the second rank. As a result units of 18 Warriors is probably the standard and best size for a killy unit since it isnít too expensive and yet can hold against most things on the charge and needs to take 6 casualties before losing any support attacks.
For equipment, statistically the best for killing your enemies are halberds- S5 negates the most common armour saves and wounds T3 on a 2+ and T4 on 3+ whilst allowing full use of the high initiative of warriors to often strike first. Shields are also an excellent investment, whilst in 8th you will never be able to use them in combat a +1 boost to a 16 point model for 1 point is generally worthwhile. Since we are talking about units with maximum killing power, ideally this unit will be frenzied so either mark of Khorne or banner of rage producing 24 Ws5 S5 attacks to the front- or 13.33 dead T3 5+ save infantry.
Additional hand weapons have been a popular choice in the past and many people have these models and whilst they arenít statistically as good as halberds to the front, with the armour piercing banner they are very close behind. Against our typical T3 5+ save troops Khorne a/hw warriors with armour piercing will also kill 13.33 models. As T increases though they are slightly worse than halberds- but again not by a lot. A/hw are worse against higher armour but the armour piercing banner mitigates this issue. A/hw warriors are also generally better than halberds against flanking troops or troops that charge the rear of the unit. So not a bad option at all.
The final option for killy warriors is to go with great weapons- S6 is superior to S5 against T4 or higher units and high AS units but great weapons are more expensive and the unit will be striking last so may suffer more casualties. GW warriors are very good for long term grinding of tougher units, but ideally they should be slightly larger- perhaps 24. Again we want frenzy on this unit. Consider a dragon charging this unit, 4 models will be in contact and with support attacks and frenzy the dragon will be subject to 16 S6 attacks- between three and four wounds on a dragon which is a serious chunk out of a big lizard. Thatís twice the damage halberd warriors would do and almost 7 times the damage a/hw warriors would do. A great weapon wielding unit is very expensive though.
For all the wonderfulness of the blender units above, if a warrior unit takes casualties from shooting or magic or the shock unit is large or nasty enough (blood crushers with herald, blood knights with 4+regen or a large bretonnian bus) then a unit of 18 warriors can still be crushed in one turn on the charge since if they can reduce the warriors to one rank (or have more ranks in the case of bretonnians) steadfast wonít apply.
There are also still some infantry units in the game which can butcher their way through chaos warriors with some ease- in particular some of the elven elites. 9 wide black guard with killing blow can kill 8 warriors per turn and will be striking first. White lions 9 wide and at least 18 models will kill 11.2 warriors before the warriors get to attack and will wipe the warriors out the next round. Swordmasters 9 wide will kill 13.33 warriors per turn. Worst cast scenario would be 9 wide Har Ganeth executioners with a bsb with the ASF standard and +1A from a cauldron- with the hero with a GW they will (on average) wipe out the entire chaos warrior unit before it gets to strike (18.1 kills).
With the greater ease of reforming in 8th it isnít unlikely to be facing 9 wide elves at some point either. For dealing with such shock troops and elites there is a second effective warrior formation which concentrates on being an anvil rather than being a blender (although it still hits pretty damn hard). This is the 5 wide Tzeentch warriors with shields unit with a 3+ armour save and 5+ ward save. I think there are two basic ways to run them:
1) The cheaper anvil- 15 strong and bearing the rapturous standard. The rapturous standard is necessary to give the unit a very good chance to hold even when butchered to the extent that it doesnít have a rank bonus for steadfast and for bretonnian charges. This unit is designed to hold against anything and will also be able to beat many units, but not necessarily elites or shock troops.
2) The solid anvil- 20 strong and bearing either the rapturous standard or (my preference at this size) the war banner. This unit aims to win combats rather than simply hold.
5 Wide denies some of the attacks of the shock and elite units noted above- only 4 bloodcrushers can get in b-t-b compared to 5 for 6 wide. Elven elites get one less model in combat. If we return to some mathshammer from earlier with the white lions and swordmasters they killed 11.2 and 13.3 of our blender warriors respectively. Against a Tzeentch anvil swordmasters will kill 6.3 warriors and will suffer 4.16 losses in return. The warriors will probably have more ranks though and maybe the warbanner (if the solid anvil) and will probably win the combat. Against white lions the Tzeentch warriors suffer 5.5 wounds (i.e. half that of our blender warriors above) and again will kill 4.16 in return and probably win with ranks and war banner.
So both blender and anvil warriors are very effective in their roles and are also generally tough against shooting and magic. Some pansy elf infantry may be able to beat certain set ups but pansy elves with T3 and a 5+ save can be killed of a lot easier than chaos warriors too. Plus warriors are core.
To return to an earlier point- remember in 8th its much easier to reform, if your warriors are faced by 80 slaves in horde formation, go wide and butcher them all the faster. If you are about to be charged by a bretonnian lance, 6 wide is of no use for taking the charge. If you are against orcs, chaos or beastmen (25mm base) you can go 7 wide for maximum attacks. Formations are not set anywhere near as much as in 7th edition.
So warriors may not RULE ALL in 8th edition but they are undoubtedly an excellent unit in almost every respect.
Chaos Marauders- 9/10 (7/10 in 7th)
Marauders in 7th typically were taken in one of two forms- as a mage bunker unit with mark of slaanesh and 20-25 strong for a decent bit of static combat resolution or as a Khornate unit often 18 (sometimes 24) strong as a cheap unit that was potentially very threatening on the charge. The former unit tended to fulfill its role quite well but was still somewhat vulnerable to shock units. The latter unit tended to get filled full of arrows, blowdarts and then charged and broken- but at least it occupied a fair bit of enemy attention for a relatively low cost.
In 8th marauders with mark of Khorne and GW/flails can potentially be a combat powerhouse. 6 wide they have 18 Ws4 S5 attacks which is a very good damage output indeed for a unit of 5 point models. They are also cheap enough that they can be taken in large enough numbers for a deep unit 5 or 6 ranks to benefit from steadfast against almost anything that charges them from the front. 30 with GW and full command is only 200 points.
There is also the potential of using the horde rule which, against your typical 5 wide 20mm unit means an extra 6 attacks. Horde is obviously more useful against wider units and suffers from the fact that for the unit to be deep enough to be steadfast we are looking at about 300 points. Still the option to go horde is still a good one and can be helpful against other horde units since marauders will hit harder than most. Also, as noted earlier, with the ease of reforming in 8th you can choose whether you want to go horde for more attacks or go deep to deny an enemy regiment the steadfast bonus to break through their line. The latter is one of the key advantages marauders have compared to warriors- a large number of ranks and a good damage potential will make it a lost easier to break enemy infantry units. What you decide to go for is going to depend on what battlefield role you plant to use them for and how much you need to bulk up your battleline. 2 Units have a lot more flexibility than one big unit but costs more.
If we return to the problem of elven elites earlier, killy marauders will generally take more casualties than killy warriors but in a large unit are more likely to have a full 2 ranks of models to fight back with. Against white lions for example you will lose 13.3 marauders and kill 7.5 in return (10 if in horde formation). With a deeper unit the marauders will hold due to steadfast (but lose frenzy) and can thwack away a second round again losing 13 and killing 5 (7.5 in horde) in return. This means you are losing every turn and against a large elite block will eventually be wiped out. However you are also killing elite 15 point models whereas your opponent is killing 5 point ones. So first turn 66 points of marauders die compared to 112.5 (150 if horde) points of elven elites. From the second round you are losing 66 points of marauders compared to 75 (112.5) points of elven elites. From this perspective things donít look as bad, and unless the elven unit is huge they will soon be losing attacks from their second row as well. The elves will win but will suffer a lot of damage and just a little further nudge will grant victory to the marauders- a chariot, a character with stream of corruption (or a killy character). Also a unit of 20 elven elites is running 330- 405 points depending on magic items.
GW or flails?
I would say units of over 25 are better off with great weapons since they have the numbers to survive a charge and can happily puree the opponent over several turns. Units of 20 or less are probably better off with flails since they are at risk of suffering casualties (from missiles magic or from a shock/elite troop charge) that will greatly reduce their ability to strike back so making use of I4 to strike first is generally more important.
The second build for marauders, as for chaos warriors is the Tzeentch anvil. With light armour, shield and mark of Tzeentch (or just shields and mark of Tzeentch if tight for points) the unit has a 5+ armour save and a 5+ ward save against most things to the front. Combined 5 wide with 5, preferably 6 ranks deep, they are likely to hold almost anything charging from the front for a considerable length of time as long as they pass their steadfast break tests and in combat with another basic infantry unit (like empire halberdiers) they will probably win combat by a small margin. They will lose against orc boyz first round but win from the second round on, will lose against elf spearmen by a fairly small margin every turn and so on. Still this is primarily an anvil unit and can also function as a decent mage bunker since losing 6 point models in a miscast is nowhere near as bad as losing 17 point ones.
So marauders can generally fulfill the same roles that chaos warriors can and for 2/3 the price and a generally higher chance of steadfast which might make us believe that marauders are superior. Warriors, however still have several advantages over marauders:
1) They are much harder to kill. Against S3 shooting they will take less than a quarter of the wounds naked Khorne marauders will and a third of the wounds Tzeentch light armour+shield marauders will take. So statistically its more points efficient to kill marauders with S3 shooting. For S4 shooting warriors are more efficient to shoot at and for S3 armour piercing/S3 poison they are about even. In combat though not losing models can be even more important for winning the combat. A typical unit of empire halberdiers will kill 3 marauders or about 1.5 warriors so its much of a muchness. On the other hand HE spears will kill 7.5 marauders and take 7.5 casualties in return and will generally have the same or better CR (war banner). As soon as frenzied marauders lose a single combat round they will be broken soon afterwards. Chaos warriors however will only lose 2.5 models and kill 13.3 in return and will butcher the unit in short order. Marauders striking last with GW is also an issue with heavy cavalry- a bretonnian lance can inflict 5 casualties on marauders and suffer two in return and the lance may have enough ranks to prevent the marauders being steadfast meaning the marauders will probably break, even with a bsb nearby. Halberd warriors will strike first against the bretonnians killing 3, maybe reducing the attacks against them and will suffer 2 wounds in return probably resulting in a draw and the warriors defeating the bretonnians next turn.
2) They are killier- Ws5 is still better thanWs4 against a lot of things and warriors also have more attacks than a marauder unit (unless its horde in which case they are equal). Warriors do strike harder and more consistently so. Killier is also an important feature when comparing Tzeentch anvils- the warrior anvil will actually defeat most opposing units- orc boyz, saurus spears, human infantry, HE and DE spears, some elites and shock troops.
3) They can take a magic banner. There are many useful magic banners available now, banner of rage, war banner, rapturous standard, blasted standard etc. none of these are an option for marauders.
4) Warriors have base Ld8 rather than Ld7. This means when the general is not nearby warriors will pass steadfast break tests, panic tests (tzeentch and nurgle marked) and frenzy restraint tests 72% of the time rather than 58% of the time. With a bsb its 92.3% compared to 82.6%. These are substantial differences, and especially important when you want your general doing other things (like leading the cavalry on his jugger or flying around zapping things on a disk).
All in all marauders and warriors are both excellent units and having a mix of both is probably the best way to go overall. Interestingly 40 horde khorne marauders will lose convincingly to 18 frenzied warriors with halberds (who must first go 12 wide and receive the charge) and will be wiped out second combat phase without a chance to attack whereas 50 horde khorne marauders will wipe the chaos warriors out since the first turn kills by the marauders will seriously deplete the fighting potential of the warriors. Horde Khorne marauders are one scary unit if charged to the front, but ear in mind that even a unit of 30 empire halberdiers charging the flank of the unit will comfortably break it in one turn.
Speed Bump/flanking/semi threatening marauders
A final setup we could try with marauders is the speed bump. This would be a unit of 12 or 18 marauders 6 wide with flails with no marks or command (perhaps mark of slaanesh, maybe khorne if you have plenty of points to spare). These cheap 60/90 point units could potentially be a nice little flanking unit for denying combat resolution and can happily beat human infantry/goblins/gnoblars on the first turn if charging the front and will win almost every round if they get the flank. The 18 marauder unit is also a bit dangerous to smaller units of knights and monstroud infantry- 4 ogre bulls will lose one or two models before they get to strike and will probably lose the combat. Vanilla knights will lose 2 models if the marauders win the I roll off. Not the best use of marauders mentioned here, but might suit those who like to have more units on the table top.
Command Groups for Warriors and Marauders
For both warriors and marauders its now worthwhile investing in the full command group- standards give +1CR and now give up few VPs, musicians allow the fast reform and +1CR in drawn combats and are cheap. Champions are excellent when challenging monster riding characters, especially in 8th since if the rider kills the champion the dragon/griffin/whatever canít attack at all.
Marauder Cavalry 6.5/10 (7/10 in 7th)
In many chaos lists on the internet in 7th edition the primary role of marauder cavalry was to fill up your core slots so you could load up on knights. For light cavalry with decent WS and S5 from flails they also had some danger potential as a flanking unit and were generally good at war machine and wizard hunting. Unfortunately 15 points or more per model and with T3 and a 5+ save in an army of T4 and silly saves meant that every bow, crossbow, terradon rock and generic D6/ 2D6 magic missile in the game tended to come their way and there is only so much hiding behind terrain you can do. In short they tended to die but would often force the opponent to concentrate resources on them and they would still often be able to take out a war machine or two or get a flank charge in against an unwary opponent.
In 8th edition with steadfast and step up they are no longer effective flanking units since even goblins can handily kill a couple of horsemen when charged in the flank, and will still have their full static bonus since in 8th you need two ranks to negate rank bonuses. They can still chase war machines, can wizard hunt only against armies with lower I and it seems have been greatly restricted in potential. With true line of sight it is also going to be harder to hide behind terrain.
Its not all bad though and marauder horsemen still have a few nice things going for them:
1) The re-roll of pursuit dice and swifstrider means that horsemen can be an excellent unit to run down a fleeing opponent. Their long charge range also makes them good for chasing down units that are already fleeing
2) The vanguard moves means that if the horsemen deploy wide they may well be able to get out of the forward arc of missile troops. If larger units are the trend for 8th they are going to be more likely to find a safe bit of the battlefield to start from
3) Throwing spears now have a range of 12” combined with vanguard and a 16” march move this means they can strike with throwing spears 40” from their initial deployment position. With war machines now being weaker to shooting, this means shooting war machines to death is sometimes a viable option and they can definitely make life awkward for shooting troops. Also in 7th marauders were always seriously overmatched at range by other light cavalry armed with 24” missile weapons, with 12” javelins marauder cavalry are much better equipped than before.
So I think horsemen in 8th are best with a bit of flexibility- 5 with flails, throwing spears, musician. Light armour and/or mark of slaanesh if you have the spare points.
I think trying to run a unit of 10 to break ranks is a BAD idea since even if a gnoblar sneezes in their direction they won’t be breaking ranks and make a much bigger target for opposing units.
Since fast cavalry now have ranks and can benefit from vanguard a larger unit of marauder horsemen (15-20) with light armour spears and shields led by a character is a very zippy if slightly fragile combat unit. More of a fun unit to try out than a seriously competitive option though since you can get a big unit of marauders or decent unit of chaos warriors for the same price.
Chaos Hounds 8/10 (9/10)
A tremendous unit in 7th edition, incredibly useful on the battlefield whilst never actually killing a single thing. I’ve seen a couple of places on the internet claiming that chaos hounds are now useless in 8th edition and I’d like to have a look at the reasons behind these claims:
They don't efficiently march block anymore
- true it is much harder to march block now but mine seldom survived long enough to do this anyway.
They don't negate ranks unless in units of 10
- Again true and even units of 10 are unlikely to be negating ranks much, but even in seventh hounds died so easily you were often giving up as much CR as you would get for negating the ranks and if enough died, well…
They can't hamper opponents charges as well due to changes in charge redirection.
- This is definitely true, but they still can hamper and annoy opposing units but they need to redirect earlier at a further distance from the rest of your troops.
They can no longer screen units from shooting
- I don’t think this one is particularly true. Missile troops and RBT’s very often had a nice little hill to sit on and could happily shoot over the hounds regardless. Now with TLOS and the generally low nature of hills used by most people hounds can screen units (cover save) even if the opposing unit is on a hill.
They can no longer screen units from magic
- True, but then I never found they could screen against magic much in 7th- a wizard would only need to move slightly (even within their own unit or maybe to the next unit in the battleline) to be able to get LOS to the back corner of one base in the unit the hounds were screening and then they could cast away. Not only that casters often started together with war machines or missile troops on hills and some cheeky beggars (lizards) had large target line of sight anyway.
They can panic units when they die!
- True, but they always did. Tzeentch warriors/marauders may be more popular than slaanesh at the moment but if you really want to ignore psychology you should stick with slaanesh. Also after the first turn the hounds tend to be far forward of the battle line, often far enough to avoid panic tests in other units.
They are no longer as necessary to prevent frenzy baiting by the opponent.
- This is definitely true, but you can still fail restrain tests and its better to be 100% sure than 92%
So they have definitely taken a hit but their key roles remain unaffected:
1) They are a 30 point deployment drop. This gives you a huge advantage in deployment for most scenarios. In 8th units are getting bigger at present, for WOC this is paid for by dropping 400 points of spellcasters from your list. For most armies however that weren’t dumping a huge number of points in magic offence larger units will come at the expense of how many units you have to deploy. In 7th I did a quick trawl of the first 5 pages of army lists on warseer and the average number of units to deploy at 2250 points was 8. trawling again in 8th the average number was 7 at 2250 (8 at 2500 and just 5 at 2000). Thus hounds have become even better in the deployment phase.
2) War machine hunting- having a cheap unit you could divert without wasting points to take out that spear chukker/rock lobber/RBT/etc. in the far corner was good in 7th, its just as good now and may even be better if war machines do proliferate as some believe.
3) Missile Troop hunting- never the most effective missile troop killer but with a flank charge they could comfortably break a missile unit (one of the reasons they tended to die easily) this hasn’t changed much at all in 8th.
They also still fulfil other suicidal roles on the battlefield such as releasing fanatics and rear/flank charging big beasties in a challenge with anither unit to get a couple more points of CR.
Also with the changes in US and the +1 bonus for charging cheeky units of hounds also have a chance at defeating small units of cavalry/MI if they can get them in the flank. Not going to happen often but I thought I’d mention it. Flank charge+charging bonus=+2 CR.
Finally, as with marauder horsemen they can charge troops that are already fleeing from combat.
Chaos Knights- 8/10 (9/10 in 7th)
The favoured WOC unit in 7th edition- super hard hitting, fear causing, T4, 1+ save cavalry with mental horses for a reasonable price. For 230 points you could buy yourself a unit that could shred almost any infantry unit and break it easily on the charge.
In 8th, however, those infantry units will probably be steadfast, they will also be getting attacks back even with the front two ranks wiped out which means chaos knights are a t risk of taking casualties for a change. This means that units in 8th need to be slightly bigger than in 7th- I would say the minimum for a combat unit should be 6.
But hang on, infantry got boosted- they step up, they support, the stay steadfast, they charge much further, they can get a 6+ ward, they break ranks easily, they laugh in the face of fear tests and flanking means “nothing”. Aren’t cavalry dead?
Well, no. Take a unit of chaos knights charging a unit of 30 infantry- 12 die first turn. Second turn 10-12 and suddenly there is almost no one left to step up or support or be steadfast (no rank bonus left) its breaking time and the knights can cow choose to pursue and run them down or reform to face down the extent of the enemy line.
For the same reason flanking an enemy unit with knights is still undoubtedly worthwhile- the CR bonus is negligible, fewer step up attacks are nice, being able to ignore parry saves but being able to go down the enemy line is very useful indeed. A unit with warriors/marauders to the front and knights in the flank will suffer 25 kills and may well simply be annihilated on the spot. ANNIHILATED!
Also M7 and a 14” march is just as much better than M4 and 8” march in 8th as it was in 7th. Whilst infantry now have a greater charge range, cavalry ALSO have a greater charge range- chaos knights have an average charge of 7+ just over 8 inches. Not a certain thing anymore but if you want to take out those missile troops second round M4 infantry still doesn’t cut it. It’s also worth mentioning that cavalry don’t get stomped or thunderstomped like infantry do. Also stone throwers no longer negate armour saves and S3 allowing full armour save isn’t particularly scary. A stone thrower hit will kill 1.05 knights compared to 2 in 7th.
Chaos knights have undoubtedly got worse, and I would rank them as worse overall than warriors/marauders but I believe that they still have a definite role and place on the battlefield. Faster troops, movement and flanking is not as dead as some seem to believe, and a balanced list will still need faster elements.
Forsaken – 5/10 (5.5/10 in 7th)
Yes they have managed to get even worse. In 7th a unit of 6 forsaken could potentially charge in and wipe out the first rank of an infantry unit and maybe win on kills against static. With step up and support attacks that possibility for a unit of 6 forsaken is gone. They have two remaining roles in 8th- first the are fairly good units to run at war machines, they aren’t as fast as marauder horsemen but they are a lot less vulnerable to small arms fire. The other is for suicide attacks on units to kill wizards/bsbs. Still 90/108 points can get you a lot of other useful things- 20 marauders with GW for a start.
Chariots- 7/10 (7/10 in 7th)
Chariots have had two traditional roles. One is that a double chariot charge could break a lot of units in 7th edition. They are highly unlikely to be able to break an infantry unit in 8th although double chariots can still be a threat to cavalry and monstrous infantry. In this sense chariots have been slightly weakened. The other traditional role for chariots has been infantry support- especially against ASF infantry. Whilst units will get step up attacks against chariots they are still pretty tough with T5 and a 3+ save. If we return to some of the units that could stop warriors and marauders earlier in this tactica, a chariot charge is enough to convincingly turn the tide of battle in the favour of chaos troops. Also if more infantry becomes the rule, units with swiftstride for pursuing and fleeing are still very valuable, and for 120 points chariots are one of the cheaper options for doing so.
Also WOC are one of the few armies who get a discount for chariots for characters. Now whilst a US5 chariot isn't a great thing like it was in 7th (since there is no no US) its still not a bad place to stick a sorceror- especially if your opponent is going to be throwing hands of karkora or the like around the place.
Chosen – 8/10 (6/10 in 7th)
Chosen initially look like a sweet choice, all the benefits of chaos warriors with Ws6, a roll on the EOTG table, a champion to put gift of the gods on and a warshrine to boost them up even further. All for 3 points more than a warrior. At second glance though, due to the cost of the command group, its more like 4-5 points more expensive each. The warshrine isn’t a great combat unit either and if its main purpose is to boost the chosen that’s another 130 points added on. So you’ve probably spent 230 more points on the chosen than you would on a similar unit of warriors- that’s a unit of 36 Khorne GW marauders with FC.
Of course if everything does go well a unit with a 3+ ward save, stubborn and T5 is an absolute monster. And in 8th with the boosts to infantry movement and the reduced worry for march blocking it’s a lot more likely to be causing serious carnage on the battlefield.
Ws6 is also a little bit more useful in 8th since elven elites are one of the bigger threats to chaos warriors, Ws6 helps a fair bit there. Still against most things Ws6 is not really any better than Ws5.
Generally comments that apply to chaos warriors apply to chosen, best setup is probably halberds, shields, mark of Tzeentch (for 3+ ward) and banner of rage for a unit that does everything.
So basically it’s a risk, if you are fortunate you will have a killer unit. It might though be an overkill unit. If you stick with warriors instead you can have two combat units guaranteed on the battlefield. I prefer the latter personally, but chosen aren’t a terrible choice by any means either.
Some Maths for Chosen
A unit of chosen with favour of chaos has a 8.3% chance of getting 12 on the table first roll.
Their chance of being able to re-roll the result (via 2,3,6,7,8) is 52.78%
Since you can re-roll infinitely though your chances of getting a 12 (or the other useful bonuses of 3-6) is actually a little better now. If you go all out for the 12:
chance of reroll, followed by 11 or 12= 4.4%
chance of re-roll, followed by a reroll, then 11/12= 2.3%
" " " followed by rerollthen 11/12= 1.2%
Means your chance of getting stubborn 4+ ward with favour is in the region of 18% if you go all out for it.
The chance of getting the somewhat ***** roll of a 9 (probably adjusted to a 10 for fear) is 11%
The very average result of a 10 has an 8.33%
Chance of getting the really useful ones (4+ward and stubborn, +1T, +1A and +1 S) is 50%.
Chance of re-rolling (value of 7 or 8) 36%
So chance of getting useful ones after multiple re-rolls is about
Subsequent warshrine likelihood of a good roll is slightly less since 2 and 7 can no longer be re-rolled and a lot will depend on what you currently have in effect. Still with 2 Warshrines you can expect your chosen to be boosted significantly by turn 2.
Trolls 7/10, 8.5/10 with bsb (5.5/10 in 7th)
Perhaps the biggest jump in effectiveness of any unit in the chaos army with a nearby bsb. Trolls have profited greatly from the changes to monstrous infantry- 3 attacks from the second rank, S5 stomps and with the best defence (4+regen) of the MI and MB troops available to chaos. Stupidity now grants permanent immunity to psychology which is nice and, most important of all, a bsb allows you to re-roll stupidity. Monstrous infantry (and monstrous cavalry) will also suffer less damage from a direct hit from a stone thrower since only the centre of the template causes D6 wounds now.
A unit of 6 trolls is a truly unpleasant unit to face- 120mm width isn’t too wide (less than many chaos units) and with mutant regeneration even when they suffer wounds they may not actually become weaker in combat. Trolls are efficient killing machines with a unit of 6 killing 10 T3 5+ save troops every round. They are also a credible threat to big nasties like dragons- even a star dragon will only cause 1.67 wounds to the trolls (who therefore are steadfast and have a rank bonus) whilst the trolls will inflict 2 full wounds back. Greater daemons apart from bloodthrirsters are also fair game. Trolls will lose to units such as chaos warriors and Khornate marauder hordes due to combat resolution (kills are slightly in favour of the trolls) but since 6 trolls is only 270 points this isn’t surprising.
So in trolls we have a hard hitting, tough, unit capable of having a good old smack at almost anything in the game which doesn’t have flaming attacks. Also as MI it can’t be thunderstomped by hellpit abominations or the like- unlike chaos infantry. Above all M6 is fairly speedy, eve if they don’t have swiftstrider. Unlike in 7th trolls can charge a unit on the second turn if the opponent deploys at the front of their deployment zone.
The disadvantages of this otherwise great unit are that it needs to be babysat by the general and bsb which can potentially restrict the movement of all 3. Second if the general or bsb is killed the trolls become a lot less reliable. Finally, even with the bsb the trolls can still fail their stupidity roll- once every 12 turns on average or once every two battles.
A unit of 4 trolls is not a bad unit either with a decent damage output due to the 12A and 4 autohitting stomps.
A couple of rules points here:
1) Trolls can only vomit against models in base to base contact and the whole unit must vomit. This means for trolls in two ranks it is never worth vomiting.
2) Stomp is also base to base only.
A final comment on trolls is that they are one of the best units for stopping a cannonball since in 8th if the cannonball fails to kill a MI model it is stopped there. A chaos character on a jugger, disk or a daemon prince, shaggoth or giant behind a unit of trolls will be hard to hit with a cannonball since even trolls in 1 rank have a 67% chance to stop the cannonball due to regen and 3 wounds (89% if 2 ranks of trolls). This may turn out to be very useful when running certain builds.
Chaos Ogres 7.5/10 (7/10)
In 7th chaos ogres were a decent hitty unit if equipped with the mark of Khorne and could be dangerous if they could get the drop on heavy cavalry or monsters and could shred infantry quite well. Of course if they were charged by shock troops or monsters they would be broken quite easily. Typical equipment was GW, chaos armour and often no command models.
In 8th chaos armour and GW are probably still the way to go. Mark of Khorne is perhaps less necessary now, depending on formation. Chaos ogres have received similar boosts to trolls with monstrous support and a (weaker than trolls) S4 stomp. If run in two ranks the potential of the mark of Khorne is slightly wasted since monstrous support is capped at 3 attacks per model so only the front rank will gain an extra attack. If run 4 wide like in 7th mark of Khorne is definitely worthwhile. Otherwise mark of slaanesh is attractive if you want to run them without need for bsb/general’s support and mark of nurgle if you are worried about shooting.
A standard bearer is much more viable in 8th and is generally worth taking, as is a musician. Champion is a bit more troublesome- when hunting ridden monsters or greater daemons the champion means the foe can happily charge, butcher the champion and break the ogres with very little danger. Having a champion does give you the opportunity to kill enemy heroes in a challenge and net 50vps. Personally I would save the points and wouldn’t take the champion.
Ogres are more expensive than trolls, have a less effective stomp, are more vulnerable to psychology and their benefits (standard bearer, musician, S6 GW attacks) don’t quite make up the shortfall IMO. Even with stupidity trolls are a better unit when properly babysat. That is the key issue here- if you want a unit to operate independently ogres are superior to trolls, otherwise trolls are generally superior and cheaper.
So 6 ogres with mark of slaanesh, gw, chaos armour, musician and standard- 330 points or 4 ogres with mark of khorne, standard musician (allows them to run 2*2 if space is tight)- 260 points.
Dragon Ogres- 7/10 (8/10 in 7th)
Dragon ogres have got relatively worse in 8th, mostly due to the greater improvements for ogres and trolls. The first thing to note is that dragon ogres are not MI but monstrous beasts. This means they have stomp and swift stride but do not get 3 monstrous support attacks from the second rank- only 1 attack. Monstrous beasts may also be affected by items that MI will not be (pipes of doom, flaming attacks cause a fear test for example).
Step up and support attacks mean they (like the MI units) will be taking a couple of wounds even when they charge, but with a 4+ save and W4 they can withstand a bit of punishment. They are very expensive though at 19 points per wound. Their traditional role of cavalry killers with S7 is slightly less necessary in 8th where there is less cavalry. They are also worse at shrugging off the attacks of big beasties when compared to trolls. The fact that chariots are no longer autopopped and steam tanks are T10 anyway means they have fewer specialised roles to fulfil.
Stomp means that they can handle infantry units well enough but can’t cause the same level of carnage as a 6 strong unit of trolls or ogres. On the other hand, Ws4 is a very useful weapon skill to have and they will often be hit less than trolls/ogres OR will be hitting more often.
I’m also thinking that in 8th a/hw may in fact be a worthwhile option whereas in 7th GW were always better. A/hw are cheaper and the extra attacks are useful, also S5 is now the key strength to have in 8th edition whereas 6/7 was in 7th. The reason for this is the hw+sh bonus- in 7th you needed S6 to negate the most common armour save. In 8th S5 is all you need. 4 Dragon ogres with additional weapons comes in at 292 points and puts out 16 Ws4 S5 attacks and 4 autohitting S5 stomps. Against Ws3 infantry 4 dragon ogres has a greater killing potential than 6 trolls or 6 ogres in 3*2 formation. This does make them weaker against monsters though. With Ld8 and will of chaos dragon ogres can also be used independently unlike trolls.
Overall Dragon Ogres haven’t actually got worse as a unit, but they are now lower down the pecking order of chaos units. Whereas before they were perhaps the second best unit, they are now much further down the list. Not a bad choice by any means though and definitely worth considering if you don’t have any swiftstriding units in your army.
Chaos Spawn- 5.5/10 (6/10 in 7th)
Chaos spawn have definitely got worse in 8th and they weren’t exactly the best choice in 7th either. Step up and support attacks mean that spawn are far more likely to die and die more swiftly in 8th and may not even hold up the enemy unit at all. At the same time they can potentially hold up even hordes of dross troops (skavenslaves, goblins, gnoblars) for a couple of phases and if they do hold up a unit it will probably be a bigger unit than in 7th.
They also function as fairly cheap deployment drops but generally hounds are better since they are cheaper and generally a bit more useful. Buying a spawn or two isn’t the end of the day and occasionally they may surprise you. Also they don’t take up a rare slot any more.
Chaos Warshrine- 6/10 (6/10 in 7th)
Warshrines are big, tough and hard to kill but they are also slow and have the hitting power of less than 2 chaos warriors. They struggle to beat anything in combat and whilst they can potentially support an infantry unit in a minor way their main use is in granting bonuses via eye of the gods- especially for chosen.
Warshrines are again a bit of a gamble whether or not you will get a useful bonus or not. Chosen with favour of the gods are more likely to get a good bonus and in 8th stupidity is not such a serious problem if you do roll it. In 8th warshrines also don’t have to worry about being outnumbered so for CR they have 1 less static CR to face. Still I’m not particularly a fan of spending 130 points on a gamble as noted in the chosen section above although others will undoubtedly disagree.
Thunderstomp would have made it a lot more useful
Dragon Ogre Shaggoth- 6/10 (5.5/10 in 7th)
The shaggoth has had a mixture of buffs and nerfs. S6 thunderstomp and the disappearance of +1CR for outnumber has meant the shaggoth can now actually beat an infantry unit even from the front with an average of 6 kills per turn. The shaggoth can still beat the living daylights of a unit of cavalry as well. The change in the large target rules means that the shaggoth is generally less vulnerable to missile fire (although it is harder to hide behind terrain with TLOS).
On the other hand stone throwers are more accurate now (cannons were always fairly accurate IMO) meaning more danger although you can try the troll screen first turn against cannons at least. A key issue is that shaggoths can no longer break ranks, taking away one of the main benefits of using a shaggoth in 7th edition. Terror is also weaker now so the shaggoth is also less useful as a terror bomber.
Overall I think the shaggoth is slightly improved but again it’s a small improvement in a list with much greater improvements in other units. GW is still the best option for flexibility and +1A isn’t much of an improvement on 5 attacks and 3.5 thunderstomps. And the shaggoth still doesn’t compare to a hydra or hellpit abomination but that’s a whole different kettle of fish.
Chaos Giant- 6.5/10 (6/10 in 7th)
Well, quite a lot of what applies to the shaggoth applies here too. Giants have traditionally been a bit of a scary unit- yell and bawl being a potential equaliser against any unit in the game and pick up and squash can kill anything. No large target status is a bigger boost for the giant since, unlike the shaggoth, it has no armour at all to speak of. Steadfast has taken the edge off the threat of yell and bawl breaking an infantry unit but cavalry still need to beware and thunderstomp can help put down a lot of damage.
Step up and support attacks are more of a risk to the giant than to the shaggoth though with no armour save to speak of but T5 and 6 wounds is still a fair bit to get through. Stubborn Ld10 and ITP are always handy as well.
As to marks, unmarked of course is the cheapest option and not at all a bad one. The ASF slaanesh giant is nice although in some ways striking first is less important with step up and support attacks.
Nurgle is also a nice mark since you can now have a ninja giant avoiding arrows and bolt throwers and also makes him last a bit longer against Ws4 units.
Giants will always attract attention, often more than they deserve due to their random nature, and the extra points saved from spending less on characters in 8th means that you can potentially take one and still have a solid group of battle units.
Hellcannon- 9/10 (6.5/10 in 7th)
Ah the hellcannon. I found them usesful support monster for my warrior block in 7th but they still weren’t anything to write home about and were stuck with fairly low movement and being caught between two roles, neither of which they excelled at.
I think hellcannons have been given several buffs in 8th edition and are now actually a good choice first of all for shooting:
i) No guessing ranges means they are a lot more accurate (especially for me).
ii) No partials means a lot more hits. Twenty one models on a 20mm base (17 kills if T3 and armour save 5+ or worse) or sixteen on 25mm base (13 kills), five on cavalry bases (2 kills on 1+ save T3 cavalry).
Second in combat:
iii) There is no outnumber anymore which means opposing units no longer have the +1CR over the hellcannon the traditionally had.
iv) They now get D6 extra stomp attacks meaning they can potentially kill enough to win the occasional combat instead of just being a tarpit all the time. Theoryhammering the hellcannon and crew can kill 6 Ws3 or lower dross infantry or 1.7 T3 1+ save knights.
v) The crew can no longer be targeted for easy CR and no longer offer up half VPs.
vi) Terror is still useful, especially if pandemonium goes off.
vii) The cannon itself now has sort of three bonus wounds in the form of the crewmembers since any wounds are transferred to them on a 5/6.
Finally in general:
viii) With the bsb allowing re-rolls of Ld tests rampage is now going to be passed a lot more often meaning they are more easily controlled.
ix) In 8th huge units of dross troops (slaves, goblins, zombies etc.) can potentially tarpit even super elite units like warriors for a long time for far fewer points. Having something that can kill a mass of them before combat starts is very useful to ensure they break. Its also great for wiping out elven elites that can potentially cause serious problems for warrior and marauder units.
x) Despite claims of infantry hammer I think in many ways big beasties have actually got more threatening, especially to elites. An extra 3.5 auto hitting S6-8 hits hurts a lot and having something S10 causing D6 wounds is nice, even if it only helps restrict their movement. A dragon for example will kill 6 Halberd wielding chaos warriors per turn and the rider probably 1 more and 1 or 2 more with its breath attack.. If its at full health it will eat the whole unit. If it has lost a couple of wounds it can’t risk a frontal charge.
xi) Two hellcannons actually constitutes a half-decent shooting phase with the new template rules (rather than a novelty) and combined with strong magic means your army doesn’t have to belt across the table full pelt every time, more tactical options- which Tzeentch likes.
xii) The new M&H rule says Handlers are "generally ignored", their exact position is irrelevant (they are moved out of the way if they block movement or LoS) and that the monster is the "extent of the unit". Which means the hellcannon now uses M6 instead of the M3 of the chaos dwarves..
xiii) Small buff in that large targets are no longer +1 for shooting so the hellcannon is now a little bit more resilient to shooting- bolt throwers in particular.
There are two new downsides though:
i) Step up and support attacks mean the hellcannon is going to get hit and maybe wounded more in combat, especially by poisoned attacks and GW (which will be more popular).
ii) The miscast table now is so nasty that if you misfire and roll that result its going to seriously hurt any unit the mage is with- and chaos warriors cost a lot more than empire swordsmen.
A great unit in 8th, I'll be using two.
Chaos Gifts and Magic Items
Due to forum rules I wonít be posting the points values as such but will be using the currency of GW marauders
Common magic items:
Sword of bloodshed- for the cost of 15 marauders with GW +3 attacks isnít bad to have a khornate or fighty lord- especially a Khorne lord to really mow skulls for the blood throne.
The Screaming blade (2 marauders) is a nice and cheap magic item if you have the spare points to make a unit immune to fear and force your opponent to make fear checks.
Warrior bane (1 marauder) is an even cheaper sword which is a bit like a poor manís glaive of putrefaction. Unlike the glaive, however, its effects take place immediately meaning it may well kick in before the foe get a chance to attack. Combined with a potion of strength on a simple exalted on foot a star dragon will lose two attacks before it gets a chance to strike, and this combo leaves 25 points of magic items allowance free- a nice amount to afford some protective gear (dragon helm and stone of luck, collar of khorne etc.) Warrior bane and the biting blade are also good options to stick on a sorcerer lord if you have a few spare points and want something that can harm ethereals or if you plan to buff the sorcerorís prowess through occams mindrazor. Sword of might is solid as always.
Common magic armour has some lovely items
Tricksters helm (10 marauders) is very good on a chaos lord due to T5
Helm of discord (6 marauders) is very nice giving a decent defensive effect and +1 AS although 30 points is a bit awkward since it prevents some nice combos. Potentially goes well with doom and darkness, pandemonium and doom totem.
Enchanted shield (3 marauders) is as great on a sorcerer in 8th as it was in 7th. Note you can no longer get hw+sh bonus when using a magic shield in 8th.
The dragonhelm (2 marauders) giving +1 armour save and a 2+ ward against fire at a bargain price.
Charmed shield (1 marauder) As cheap as buying a mundane shield on an exalted, ignoring the first hit on a 2+ is potentially tremendous since it doesnít specify in combat meaning the first cannonball hit is ignored as well. Nice and due to its cost will be common on sorcerer lords.
Talismans is perhaps the best section of new items
Talisman of preservation (9 marauders) means we finally have a true 4+ ward save available to us. Few Tzeentch players will be able to resist a 3+ ward but itís the best defensive item chaos has for almost anyone.
Dawnstone (5 marauders) re-roll failed armour saves- in an army where 1+ save is easy to get this is a tremendously useful item. A jugger rider could carry this and a common GW and be an absolute terror in combat.
Luckstone (1 marauder) 1 one time re-roll of your armour save, and a great bargain price.
Arcane items donít impress as much since they are under pressure from some great WOC arcane items and fewer slots. Feedback scroll is perhaps the best answer to Teclis or book of hoeth mages though. Some players seem to be throwing a ton of dice at a particular spell in this edition (I wonít) in which case it isnít bad. Not good enough against all comers to get into the army though. Forbidden rod (7 marauders) isnít a bad item if you are a bit of a gambler and have a good ward save for your caster.
Enchanted items has a few of note- crown of command (7 marauders) isnít a bad item to grant stubborn on a lord level character with a good save to tie up and cut down enemy units. Could also be used to give a unit stubborn
Potion of Strength (4 marauders) is a great item, especially when combined with glaive of putrefaction, whip of pleasure or warrior bane. +3S greatly increased the efficiency of these weapons against big beasties. Also nice with the +3A sword for when you are cavalry/monster hunting. Potion of Strength (4 marauders) +3T is a nice defensive boost. Potion of foolhardiness is ok if you have 5 points to spare on a mobile character and potion of speed is nice against elves of all kinds to strike first or deny ASF re-rolls. Although the potions are great, they must be drunk at the start of the TURN, meaning if you drink a potion of strength and charge that dragon rider, they may well have the good sense to flee and your +3S may well be wasted. Same with the potion of toughness- your opponent may simply charge a different target or refuse a challenge. So the potions are great but do have a downside.
The ironcurse icon (1 marauder). A 6+ ward (5+ for Tzeentch) ward for the character AND unit is very nice for the points.
War banner is great as always on a larger anvil. The banner of swiftness (3 marauders) +1M isnít bad for a cheap price if not essential. Lichebone Pennant (3 marauders) Mr1 isnít as good as in last edition but stacks nicely with the Tzeentch mark. Standard of discipline (3 marauders) +1Ld is nice, although RAW if your general is in the unit he canít grant his leadership bubble so no Ld9 sorcerors or exalted generals still nice for Ld9 restraint tests for frenzy or for Ld9 steadfast. Banner of eternal flame (2 marauders) grants flaming attacks but RAW doesnít grant magic attacks. Very useful against some of the more overpowered monsters in the game. Good on a unit of warriors, but also good on a unit of 6 Khorne knights for hydra and hellpit abomination hunting. Khorne knights are also a safer bet against the hydra since they canít be thunderstomped and 1+ save will shrug of hydra breath (especially since they will strike first and take 3 or 4 wounds off it). I also like it on knights since against high elves they are more likely to be able to avoid dragon princes, small issue but there you go. If you were going to take Khorne knights anyway you would probably take a standard in 8th as well, so a few more points for this seems a bargain.
WOC Gifts and Items
Tendrils of Tzeentch- still great and still the primary reason for running a daemon prince.
Stream of corruption- 7 S3 autohits in one combat is a wonderful ability. Will probably never be used as a shooting template but this allows a sorcerer on disk to win convincingly against missile units and also against cavalry if charging to the flank. For a model in a unit its also a great way to get overkill against an enemy champion and can serve as a quasi defensive gift for a bsb on foot by killing the challenger before they can strike.
Third Eye of Tzeentch- Has gone from being a bit pointless to being a very good gift indeed- with the more powerful rulebook lores and reduced number of spellcasters this is a great gift. Some people are putting this on a level 4, I prefer it on your back-up caster since they are less likely to have good spells and it means even if your level 4 is killed you can still make use of all the PD in your magic phase.
Soporific Musk- Slightly better this edition makes it easier to run down the foe. Nice but hardly essential
Conjoined Homunculus- Big boost to the homunculus, stupidity being less of an issue with bsb greatly reduces a caveat to its use. With the new rule of being unable to cast if you fail the casting roll, anything which allows you to add to the casting roll is gold and key in establishing magical dominance relative to other armies.
Bloodcurdling roar- always a useful gift although heavy cavalry may be fewer war machines are now fair game and the roar is also handy for knocking a wound off the new super steam tank.
Fury of the blood good- a 2+ ward save against magic is handy for the DP, not taking magic items means its not so much use elsewhere although a khorne exalted might consider it.
Glaive of putrefaction is still a nice weapon, and even better with a potion of strength. In 8th whip of subversion is also worth a look in, with striking at I and high initiative you can potentially turn an enemy character against their unit. You can also easily turn a dragon or other big beastie against its rider which is a nasty shock for the enemy. In this manner it also acts as a defensive item since if you inflict a wound you wonít be getting attacked. Not worthy of consideration in 7th edition I think its worth a look in 8th.
Armour of Damnation- not bad in 7th, Iíd rather have a 4+ ward in 7th.
Crimson armour of Dargan- for jugger mounted heroes (suffering from no LOS roll in 8th) this combined with the blasted banner on the unit is the best defence against war machines. If no blasted banner then a 4+ ward is generally superior overall, although a chaos lord can consider the crimson armour and the ironcurse icon.
Armour of morrslieb- wasnít great in 7th, only if you want a second character with a 4+ ward.
Bronze armour of Zhrakk- never bad for 15 points, and popular on a bsb, but there are other options I prefer this edition since some of the common armours are pretty good.
The Black Tongue- With the nastier miscast table in 8th and the fact that half wounds no longer gives half vps. At the same time 50 points isnít cheap add that to losing a wound, the fact that your opponent needs to fail to cast (and preferably early in the game in an edition where wizards will be trying much harder to cast successfully) and its far from certain you will make your points back. Nice and fluffy in a Khorne list though.
Collar of Khorne- Always a good item and somewhat underpriced, Mr2 is decent (best with Tzeentch) and this is one of the best protective items for a bsb against death lore and nurgle snipers.
Golden eye- same role in 8th as 7th on a disk/slaanesh steed exalted/sorceror with points free for the book of secrets or other items.
Necrotic Phylactery- In 8th I think lore of death is very dangerous to expensive chaos characters- and this grants complete immunity. Immunity to poison attacks is a minor secondary benefit.
Bloodskull Pendant- Nerfed by the FAQ, a favourite item of mine in 7th and my sorcerer lord always had it. Now with step up, no hw+sh with enchanted shield and a nastier miscast chart it doesnít seem such a good idea for my most important model. Its still viable for a level 2 sorceror though- especially now that there is a 5 point shield to go with it for a boosted save and a 2+ to ignore the first hit.
Book of secrets- definitely nerfed by the FAQ but still an excellent item for an exalted nonetheless.
Helm of many eyes has got even better due to the bsb re-roll for stupidity and, indeed, seems the perfect item to put on a fighty bsb- helps with defence and allows re-rolls to hit.
Blood of Tzeentch- this just got an awful lot better, and with picking spells when rolling doubles giving you (by my reckoning) an 87% chance of getting gateway or the spell you most want spell familiar is no longer as necessary. This is IMO the default first item pick for a level 4 sorceror. You can avoid miscasts and boost failed casting rolls when needed. Golden.
Power familiar- absolutely necessary in a magic heavy list. An extra PD is worth even more in 8th than it was in 7th. In 7th it was a 50% chance to cast flickering fire, now itís a 50% chance to cast treason of Tzeentch or 67% chance of pandemonium.
Spell familiar and warrior familiar are still good items but with far greater pressure on arcane item slots, I can see them being a lot less popular in 8th.
With the nastier miscast table in 8th, some are saying that the puppet is even more vital now. In 7th I took it always but, and this may be controversial, I donít think Iíll ever bother with it in 8th and these are the reasons:
1) On the new miscast table its possible that at both ends the puppet can't even change the result anyway
2) Its very difficult for the mage to die from the miscast result.
3) Due to the S10 hits my sorceror lord will be on a disk with a 3+ ward save so the scariest bit about the miscast table is losing the power dice.
4) With homunculus and blood of Tzeentch I won't ever be casting spells on more than 3 dice compared to 4/5 for gateway last edition. 3 Dice gateway on a level 4 with homunculus goes through something like 80% of the time, even higher with blood of Tzeentch
5) I have fewer mages now anyway (Sorc lord and bsb)and blood of Tzeentch and power familiar are more important to the magic phase. This is perhaps the most important reason- I simply wonít have enough casters to include a third arcane item.
6) All the miscasts are about equally nasty IMO from the perspective of what I would want my opponent to suffer. Large S10 template is nasty but I think most mages will be taking steps to prevent miscasts/to be in the corner of a cheap bunker or line of missile troops. Even against lizards, if the slann is with temple guard then wiping them out would be nice but even if they rolled the best result and lost D3 levels I would be happy with how much it nerfed his magic phase. Also the truly nasty ones are gone. There is no longer "death" (not on 1/3 chance like now) at the bottom end of the table. Nor is there a "free gateway" result for 5-6 anymore.
7) Equally, unlike 7th there are no ďsafeĒ results to modify the result to like 7 and, to some extent 8-9, 12 and, against armies with poor magic, 5-6.
Prevention is better than cure in my opinion, although if you have your sorcerer lord in an expensive unit and you have the arcan item slot then puppet would probably be my third choice- its still a great item but not all lists will have room for it.
For the reasons above I also donít particularly rate the puppet+black tongue combo that much since it is much harder to kill the enemy mage now and thatís 85 points of item allowance to do it.
For magic banners, banner of rage, blasted standard and rapturous banner are all still excellent standards.
Characters in 8th
Iím running out of space here but let me just say that the trend of running a level 4 sorceror as the only lord choice in 7th is still the most effective choice IMO. Daemon princes with tendrils are still good and Tzeentch is no longer the only viable lore. You can also use the trick with trolls or dragon ogres to stop cannon balls picking him off first turn.
Chaos lords are still overpriced for what they do although a Tzeentch chaos lord on a disk is zippy and can multi-task fairly well.
The most vital model in the army now is probably the bsb- they make a huge difference to so many things, and even more so in other armies which donít have will of chaos or lack the killing power of chaos troops and thus need steadfast more. Hunting the bsb will be a major consideration in 8th edition, especially for armies that run cheap horde units to tie up the foe.
Magic in 8th
WOC in 8th edition are not as powerful in the magic phase relative to 7th edition, but are still on the upper tier of magic. The ultimate magic phase in 8th belongs to Teclis with gimp backup, backed by the banner of sorcery with an average of 11.33 PD to play with every magic phase with IF most of the time and ignoring most miscasts. After that we have Lizardmen, High Elves without Teclis, daemons of chaos, dark elves with dagger, VC and then WOC. At least that is how I see the order when using the rulebook lores.
In 7th we had lores considerably more powerful than anyone elseís, now all lores are a lot more powerful potentially. Also compared to other armies in 8th we have 1 item which adds PD, 1 item which adds +D3 and two items which allows re-rolls. Not bad at all, but not the best either.
In 8th, however, we do have perhaps the most cost effective lores for what they do, and this is quite key in giving us a further leg up, Rolling 5/6 dice and adding a +4 for your wizard lord is nowhere near as effective as casting 3 or 4 separate spells and adding your level. Especially if your opponent doesnít have a mage lord, but even if they do they canít afford to risk failing a dispel roll. The rulebook lores are good, and fine on a secondary caster perhaps but the chaos lores are definitely still effective. Lets compare a few spells:
Ecstatic seizures- 24Ē range, all models take T test or suffer a wound (generally die) with no saving throw. Difficulty 12
Dwellers below (24Ē range) all models take a S test or die with no saving throw. Difficulty 21
Buboes- 24Ē range, model take 1 wound with no armour save. Difficulty 5+
Spirirt leech (24Ē range)- compare Ld and roll a D6, suffer wounds for the difference. On average worse against Ld8 models than buboes, same against Ld7 but with a greater potential overall. 10+ to cast.
Similar spells, (similar ranges where possible) but notice the difference in difficulties?
Of course the new lores have some wonderful unique spells but then so do WOC- Pandemonium? Titillating delusions?
Rolling fewer dice at spells does mean a greater chance of failing to cast the spell when the dice are against you, and this is where blood of tzeentch and conjoined homunculus (and tendrils) are key in reducing that risk. It also means it is definitely worth having a backup caster, maybe with third eye just in case. But most armies canít modify their dispels in this manner which means they will have to err even more on the side of caution when dispelling.
So your opponent may blow his load to get that 21+ spell cast IF and suffer a miscast whereas we can throw spell after spell with little chance of miscast including spells that are equally game breaking. 8Pd used this way in 8th can have as many spells cast as you could in 7th.
Magic in 8th gives fairly diminished returns for more than two casters IMO and unless you really want a particular item or setup, 2 casters is probably going to be the most efficient use.
Tzeentch is as good as always as a lore and changes to RIP have made pandemonium even better.
Slaanesh has got better in 8th and ecstatic seizures may often be a more powerful damage spell than gateway, although it lacks the flexibility of gateway. Titillating delusions is still a game winner.
Nurgle is the weakest of the chaos lores now, although plague squall is very good against the new steam tank. Rot glorious rot will generally be weaker in 7th although it may turn out to be pretty good against gunlines.
A final comment on magic- in 7th gateway was the great potential equaliser for deathstar units of doom, now there are a lot more spells that can severely hurt a deathstar so eggs in one basket is probably less of a good idea in 8th in general. Consider this before sticking all your characters in that unit of chosen.
Marks and mono themes
Khorne and Tzeentch have appeared a lot in this overview for ideal marks for units, but this doesnít mean that slaanesh and nurgle have suddenly become useless. For warrior builds the banner of rage on slaanesh (purely for theme)/nurgle is better than mark of Khorne for blender warriors. Nurgle anvils may not have the 5+ ward for anvil warriors but they do have -1 to hit with shooting and many troops striking on 5s instead of 4ís so are still very effective. Slaanesh is still a cheap mark that allows you to ignore psychology. Whilst terror is weaker, fear autobreak is gone and the bsb allows re-rolls remember that panic is now probably worse. Will of chaos allowed re-rolls to psychology anyway and yet slaanesh was still the most popular mark. Make no mistake, psychology has not gone away and Ld7/8 is not that good.
For marauders, nurgle and slaanesh canít compare to khorne for killiness but can still function as fine anvil units- you can rely on warriors and other units for your killing.
Mono Khorne is still not the best choice but now you are going to have a lot more dispel dice so at least you can dispel something, in many ways its more effective in 8th than 7th.
I was going to give some character setup 20,000 character limit reached
Last edited by Kerill; 12-07-2010 at 12:50.
Good work Kerill! You have a good insight in the WoC units, and it's great you share them with us.
One thing to note, while hitty marauders and anvil warriors are great and viable options, I think they work better the other way round. Simply because warriors are made for killing, and have a good defence to start with.
As Marauders are better for large numbers, and so steadfast is great for them. But going for the kill might not be as good for them as the Tzeentch bunker. Steadfast relies on the preservation of ranks, while the Khornish axemen might dwindle too fast in numbers. Steadfast isn't that important for them anyway. Since when they need to use Steadfast, they already lose frenzy.
After watching various games, seems to me all you need are warriors with khorne or tzeentch and its more or less autowin.
MoT gives 5+ ward now?
I haven't read the new book, where exactly is this stated?
HW+shield = 6+ ward
MoT +1 Ward
So common magic item say armour of destiny (4+ ward) oh look now a 3+ ward lol.
Expect to see loads of WoC armies coming out of the woodwork
Great stuff Kerill, lots of very good analysis there. I suspect this will develop as we all get some more games in, but nonetheless it's a very useful start.
Just couple of points to make, not to disagree with your conclusions but worth thinking about (and in no particular order).
1. Same Initiative is not rolled off - the units strike simultaneously.
2. Khorne not giving frenzy to mounts. I think this one is open to debate. The wording in the army book is that the model gets frenzy. Under the rules for cavalry it clearly discusses the different 'elements' (ie rider and mount) of the single model. I'm not absolutely certain either way, but it's arguable that both get the extra attack.
3. Miscasts are appallingly destructive. I really think that the puppet is an autoinclude now. Given this, I really think considering a L4 plus a L1/2 or two is worthwhile, not for cating/dispelling as such, but for the items allowance.
4. Monstrous Beasts and supporting attacks. I'm reserving judgement on DOs until the errata. Do they get it per the summary at the end of the book, or not per the unit type entry? ATM I'd say not, and if they don't, I'd keep these guys down at 6/10, stay on the shelf. (And I own 16, used them in a Throgg MoC list in 7th).
Last edited by teleologica; 11-07-2010 at 16:45.
Awaiting a worthy sig since 2008
Of course it dosnt provide any power over my opponents casters, but it gives a better protection for the character thats holding it.
The Errata made no changes to the blood of tzeentch....so this means you can still reroll any dice as long as it isn't a 1...so rerolling 6's is now fine..bloody useful.
Unless that was an oversight by GW.
Last edited by CmdrLaw; 11-07-2010 at 19:03.
I'm fairly confident (famous last words) that Khorne won't give frenzy to mounts but the banner of rage will since it affects the whole unit rather than just the riders.
Hopefully this will help for new chaos players and give a basis for discussion of the different parts of the army (at the end of the day this is all simply my opinion) and doubtless as the edition develops assumptions and ideas of best usage will change. I'll try to finish the last part by tomorrow night.
Outstanding work Kerill, thank you very much! That was very informative and really helped me narrow down the direction I want to take my army. It's nice to see that the hellcannon can give us some much needed range support. Granted it's not cheap but anything that helps me thin down units of HE elites is aces in my book. With all the asf re-rolling that HE can do my chosen were starting to get a tad nervous having to deal with an 18 guy strong unit. Blowing up some of them before hand seems like a good tactic.
As far as chosen are concerned, I've had some success using them as the focal point of my battle line. I find that the bonus roll can really go a long way into making the unit a beast even if it is pretty expensive. A unit of 18 chosen with MoT, full command with FotG and a +1 Str roll can be difficult to contend with. They're not quite as nasty as say Black Guard but they get the job done. The nice thing with chosen is that it's not necessary to take halberds to get Str 5 so you can still get the 5+ ward and dish out some painful attacks.
As for WoC on the whole, I think this edition has afforded us a variety of tactical options. We have different styles of infantry, almost all of which are viable choices. For cheap horde style units we have marauders which will be great for when you need a unit that can soak up casualties but are still cheap enough to be fielded in large numbers.
Our warriors and chosen are there for when you need the high AS and Str to bring the pain, and ogres and trolls for everything else in between. WoC might not be the absolute top tier of armies out there, but I feel reasonably confident we can go toe to toe with almost anything out there and have a fighting chance.
Is there anyone that takes MoN on warriors, i never really see it pop up in most lists, is MoT just the better option?
I'm thinking about the AP one, but it's really pricy and we have the banner of rage available.
ďFor a long time humour was thought to be the most potent antidepressant; recently, though, it was found that the bitter suffering of one's enemies, with the placing of sensible limitations on the success of one's friends, was still more effective.Ē