Plague Marines tend to be our only good move forward, take objective options. This is because they stand a better chance of surviving the ungodly amounts of shots and still being able to dish out some damage when they get there. The fact that FNP will allow them a roll on everything short of AP-2 or AP-1 firepower or weapons does make a difference. They are Fearless and cannot be broken. Basic CSM have an alarming tendency (in my opinion at least) of failing that roll and costing you an entire unit. If you factor in the cost of getting them Fearless or rerolls by other means, their cost goes up and the difference between quality versus quantity alters. Plague Marines allow you the option of a Blight Drones. I converted and built my own. These turn out to be rather cost effective, nasty buggers that come in flying on the 2+ turn with a Large Blast AP-3 template or a Flame Template. They essentially do the job of a Defiler at a fraction of the price w/the durability of a hard to hit flier. *Bear in mind I'm assuming you will be making your Plague Marines scoring via Typhus or an appropriate Lord.
The main benefit of basic CSM appears to be more bodies for VOLUME of fire. This begs the question of whether or not we can get that better with Noise Marines, or if we can get close enough via the quality over quantity method. More and more this Edition is demonstrating that the gun is king and I am finding myself splitting the difference on bodies with some cheap allies (IG) or Cultists so the heavy work is done by Plague Marines and/or Noise Marines. What seems most effective is coming in with a damn Vendetta (along with my Blight Drone or Drones) to blow the crud out of things and have IG with lots of flamers disembark to hit also. What seems most important is critically mauling and quickly locking up the most effective and ever more numerous gun line units. The only more or less dedicated assault type unit I take is Raptors and even then I still like that they can shoot.
I realize I have gone all over the place but I do mean to tie this all together. A safe strategy is always going to be more bodies and more shots. Basic CSM can, via math, provide this. You sacrifice options, however, and I'm not sure that is the best way to build an all-comers (i.e. tournament competitive) list. It is my belief that you have to split the difference and get those options with the least loss of shots. Plague Marines provide this with their durability. Noise Marines provide this with their volume of shots. You offset this with the cheap chaff unit (you will have at least one) that is either allies or Cultists. This is because not ever unit in your army has to be great. It merely has to do the job assigned to it. You want to bring your most effective units against your opponent's worst ones. Screw a fair fight. Plague Marines might not have a 4+ FNP anymore but they are still better overall despite the price.
Marines lose 13pts. marines>plagues vs plasma/rocket/lascannon, in terms of efficiency in the army building stage.
In that sense, against 90 (to make it easy) bolter shots we get the following
CSM=60 hit, 30 wound, 10 failed saves = 10 dead.
90 bolters kill 10 CSM for a point loss of 140pts
PM=60 hit, 20 wound, 6.6 failed saves, 4.4 failed fnp=105.6pts
PMs get about a 30% increase in durability vs bolter fire. (huge increase vs lasgun 260% as durable there)
CSM=6 hit, 5 wound, 5 dead=75pts
plague=6 hit, 5 wound, 3.34 dead=80pts
So against the typical opponent with S4 as the average gun, the plagues live a little longer but due to FNP being worse this age and CSM being cheaper than before the difference really isn't all that huge.
The argument isn't that you could take 5 plagues instead of 5 CSM since the points aren't the same, you can take 2, 5 man plague squads with dual plasma for the price of 3.3, 5 man CSM squads with a plasma gun each.
The plagues have a little more firepower from plasma but less bolters, the plagues survive slightly longer depending on what is shooting at them (they don't like rocket dev squads) but they don't score without a nurgle lord (and both khorne and slaanesh seem better so you make a small sacrifice there) and they hold less objectives.
I don't see a huge benefit in either one tbh, the two units are fairly even. If you're already taking a nurgle lord then plagues become an option but without this your making a sacrifice just to field the PMs as troops. If their not troops I wouldn't bother.
You can also make almost plagues by giving CSM the mark of nurgle for 16pts a model, still much cheaper than actual plagues.
A plague marine is a kind of jack of all trades in that it has the extra cc weapon (which is pays for), it has FNP (which it pays for) and it has blight grenades and plague swords....again which they pay for.
It really seems like plagues are tooled to get into CC because they pay an extra 8pts per model over a nurgle marine. FNP is worth maybe 3-4 per model but the rest comes from CC abilities which a 5 man squad mostly won't be using. (or at least not on their own, perhaps if you have many 5 man squads supporting each other)
I am slowly starting to consider taking 2 Chaos lords just to get access to 2 types of elite troops, though the khorne lord on steed is rather tempting and hard to give up.
That is the cost of an additional wound on a naked squad.
Plague marines aren't 24pts a piece either, especially since we have mostly been talking about 5 man squads of CSM with 1 plasma and 5 man plague squads with 2 plasma.
The plagues costs 30pts a model if you factor in the cost of the plasma, it seemed logical to me to keep those points out of the general discussion as it makes it easier to follow.
Plagues would lose more if we added the weapons to the mix but that is only accounting for cost per wound and no factoring in their increased offensive power.
After checking out the web and the codex, I came up with the start of my Tourney list. Is this about right:
Chaos Lord: Bike, Nurgle, Black mace
5 Plague Marines: 2 Plasmaguns, Rhino, VotLW
5 Plague Marines: 2 Plasmaguns, Rhino, VotLW
5 Plague Marines: 2 Melta’s, Rhino, VotLW
5 Plague Marines: 2 Melta’s, Rhino, VotLW
5 Chaos Spawn: Nurgle
5 Havocs: 4 Missile Launchers, Flak
2 Obliterators: Nurgle
Aegis Defense Line: Quad Gun
The Spawn (they seem AWESOME), joined by the Nurgle Lord. Thanks to him, we still get PM as troops.
Havocs with anti-aircraft.
Obliterators for anti-tank.
What could I add to this list??
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I find the HQ slots are very worth using so even if its just a 60pts sorcerer I would take something for the 2nd hq slot.
Flakk missiles are horrible, skip them, go with auto-cannons or lascannons on havocs.
Give your lord the sigil for defence, are you sure you want your lord with an ap4 weapon? the special rule is nice indeed but he is essentially your only melee so having an ap weapon might be better.
OK, I think I've finally cracked the code on how to exploit the champs of chaos boon rules: five Chosen with five flamers.
No precision strikes on weapons that don't roll to hit, so all of the champ's flamer hits go into the wound pile with the other flamers. If any of them kill a character, bam, boon roll.
Am I missing anything here?
Armies: Iron Warriors (CSM), The Black Crusade (CSM), Jenen Ironclads (IG, ABG)
for some reason i thought you had to kill someone in a challenge to win a roll not just kill a character
No, you just need to kill a character. Doesn't even have to be in assault.
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Its just a choice, not even one that has a huge significance.
That cultist unit of 10 with a flamer is 55pts, the plasma CSM unit is 90 pts.
The difference of 35pts buys you 4 bolter and 1 plasma shot per turn. You also go from 10 t3 wounds with no save to 5 T4 wounds with a 3+.
As people often take out the enemies most threatening units for the first couple of turns before turning to taking out the scoring units you can normally count on about 3 turns of shooting before you start having to go to ground to keep them alive, after which your hitting on 6s. Still 35 pts even for 3 turns shooting, 12 bolter shots and 3 plasma shots doesn't seem that bad for 35pts in my book.
I run both cultists and CSMs myself, 2 cultist units for rear objectives and to man the quadgun and the CSM to take the forward objectives since cultists tend to run if they ever have to step out of cover so I see a place for both of them. As I said, I would rather take 2 units of 5 CSM with a plasma than a single unit with two plasma guns unless I already had 6 scoring units on the table.
This is because most games we play have 4 objectives so its nice to have 4 scoring units alive at the end of the game if at all possible.
Last edited by Vsurma; 25-10-2012 at 05:08.
Plasma is the best special gun for a "static" unit since it has the longest range, so can effect the game from their Objective position.
5-man CSM can be decent with Plasma Gun and Havoc Launcher Rhino. Relatively cheap unit that can effect the game from their home position, while remaining low enough threat for your killy units to draw fire away. That being said, I wouldn't bring *only* 5-man units. A mix of 5-man units and a tougher Troop choice like large Cultist units, Plague Marines, Thousand Sons or large 20-man Nurgle or Icon'ed Slaasnesh CSM units should be used to maximize effectiveness.
It is also nice once the enemy starts getting into assaults that they are only killing a 5 man unit and then having to sit out of combat for a turn being shot at.
Mephiston or a deathstar unit has a really hard time deciding who to fight when all your units cost 150pts max.
Forgive me if that has already been discussed, but I just can't read through 84 pages to find out now.
One of the most resilient rumors about the new CSM codex, pretty much coming from all sources, was that the Helldrake would be the ultimate Flyer killer. Even when the stats and weapon options were leaked people talked about it in that way. And even now that the codex is out for weeks it still seems to be common knowledge to play a Helldrake when you want to get rid of enemy Flyers.
I just don't get that.
What makes the Helldrake such a supposed Flyer killer?
He only has 4 shots that hit on a 4+ and have no additional anti Flyer special rules. Most Flyers have a front and side armor of 12, which means the Helldrake will at average cause one Hull Point loss to another Flyer per shooting phase. The Vector Strike is even less useful thanks to S7 against the side armor.
Considering that other Flyers have 3 synchronized Lascannons or two S9 Lances with BS4, the Helldrake even seems to be one of the worst Anti-Flyer-Flyers in the game. Am I forgetting something here? I really don't get where it gets its reputation from.
I would imagine it has something to do with being able to cause D3+1 automatic strength 7 hits against an enemy flyer, bypassing Hard To Hit and Evade (depending on how you read Evade - no to-hit roll is made, so I'd say you can't Evade it)
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Compared to all the other Flyers, Heldrakes are fine; they are by far the most survivable of the bunch, and the Vector Strikes make them well-suited for dealing with the other Flyers simply by means of hitting them from a location where they can't hit you back (i.e., behind them) short of Hovering, which is a death sentence, if they even have the option.
And for reference, that lowly "one Hull Point loss" against AV12 Flyers is exactly what a Vendetta would average back against the Heldrake. Except it's technically less if the Heldrake survives to roll IWND, and obviously the Heldrake can choose to throw the numbers further in its' favor with Daemonforge. Given how all the other Flyers in the game stack up against Vendettas (read: not well), Heldrakes are doing just fine.
If you're expecting a single one to kill three Vendettas or single-handedly destroy a Necron Air Force, you will be disappointed. But it absolutely has the tools to deal with enemy Flyers, and it goes about it in the right way in terms of interesting gameplay (the wrong way being "let's just make it better than everything else in every way possible," also known as Grey Knight Disease) in that it's a Flyer-killer that shakes up the otherwise first-to-shoot-wins nature of Flyers in 6th; it doesn't matter if you're talking about Vendettas, Razorwings, Stormravens, Voidravens, Stormtalons, etc., a Flyer v. Flyer battle is generally settled by "whoever's Flyer arrives second wins" as the nature of their weapons and the forced movement makes returning fire unlikely even if you happen to survive.
Heldrakes are both spectacular at and resistant to that particular problem: Daemonforge is the end-all of first-to-shoot abilities, dramatically upping your damage capability for a single turn, while on the flipside the combination of survivability and Vector Strikes means that an enemy Flyer arriving from Reserve and parking itself 17" infront of you will both be far less likely to kill the Heldrake than it would have any other Flyer, but also not benefitting from the near-immunity from return fire that arriving second usually grants, as you can happily take your Vectors at it as you pass by.
Basically, Heldrakes in game work out to be far better than a quick glance at their Codex entry and some simplistic number-crunching makes them out to be. From a tactical standpoint, they are perfectly suited to winning at the playstyle necessitated by the Flyer rules.
Well written DJ3, it sum's up my opinion asbout the Heldrake as well.
Yea I saw helldrakes and went "well that is my enemy heavy support problems solved.
Seriously I did not even do a double take when it came to modeling then with the flamer or autocannon.
Am I missing out on anti air opportunities? Sure, but outside of one mission the game is won on the ground. Not many units can stand up to the baleflamer(especially since you reminded me about daemonforge) Combine that with vector strikes against ground units and we have a solid unit to deal with. Hits em coming and going.
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